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Inside Sources Reveal Potential Delay to Ontario Gambling Market

Inside Sources Reveal Potential Delay to Ontario Gambling Market

2021/12/10

The launch of the regulated online gambling and casino market in Ontario is facing a delay until next February, sources have told The Starsources have told The Star.

The launch, which was originally planned for December 2021, has had the breaks put on due to bureaucratic delays regarding the terms and structure of the market.

Had regulation been put in place as planned, private sector operators would have been given the all clear to obtain licenses from the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario) and in the process join Ontario's best casino sites and compete in a market hungry for choice.

According to insider sources, the market launch could be delayed until late February, which will represent a crushing blow to prospective operators hoping to capitalize on major sporting events such as the Super Bowl that happen in the interim.

Policies surrounding game conditions, data management and security requirements are what is being mooted to have held up affairs, according to sources. The issues are thought to have raised red flags for potential operators entering the region as they will need to adjust their systems to comply with these regulations.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), or more specifically their subsidiary called iGaming Ontario, will be in charge of reviewing and regulating online casino operators for Ontario when the time comes next year.

This will leave the OLG, which is owned by the Ontario Government, as a competitor to the new operators expected to apply for a license. The OLG has been around for quite some time, and in that span has had a monopoly on players.

A watchdog had recently raised concerns regarding the regulations, citing potential legal risks that could be involved.

Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk: "As a result, there is a legal risk with respect to whether iGaming Ontario meets the ‘conduct and manage’ threshold set out in the Criminal Code.

"Consideration for whether a province has illegally delegated the ‘conduct and manage’ function in a gaming scheme to a private entity has been the subject of past legal challenges in Canada.

"We conclude that iGaming Ontario’s business model could be subject to legal challenges.

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Colm Phelan

Colm Phelan

Content Manager

Colm's Story

Colm Phelan has spent several years working in the iGaming industry and has plenty of experience when it comes to writing, researching and rigorously testing online casinos and sportsbooks. While Colm has invested a lot of his time into the digital marketing world but his other passions include poker and a variety of sports including golf, NFL and football.

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