Official Launch of Ontario Gambling Market Revealed as April 4
After months of speculation, the Ontario gambling market is set to regulate on April 4, 2022, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO) has confirmed.
The AGCO - who will the regulatory body in charge of licensing for Ontario casino sites through it's subsidiary iGaming Ontario - confirmed the new rules for Internet Gaming will come into effect on April 4.
IGO executive director Martha Otton said "Consumers can be assured that companies who successfully enter the new Ontario market will have met rigorous standards of game and operator integrity, fairness, player protection and social responsibility, allowing all players to play with confidence.
"Today, most internet gaming by Ontarians takes place on websites not conducted and managed by the province.
"Our new internet gaming market will give consumers enhanced entertainment choice, support the growth of a new, legal market and generate revenue that can help fund programs and services that benefit all of us," Otton commented.
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 later this year.
With iGaming Ontario now overseeing a plethora of new operator licenses in the area, this will leave the OLG, which is owned by the Ontario Government, as a competitor to the new iGaming companies. The OLG has been around for quite some time, and in that span has had a monopoly on players. While many of their members are likely to stay, there will a lot more competition for new customers with brands expected to offer casino bonuses to lure in new customers.
The news hasn't been welcomed by all, however, with the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSIFN) - who operate land-based casinos such as Great Blue Heron Casino and Hotel Northeast of Toronto - brandishing the decision a "slap in the face".
MSIFN Chief Kelly LaRocca stated: "The government completely and utterly failed to consult our First Nation – leaving their iGaming launch open to constitutional challenge.
"It is a real and significant threat. It will not stand. If the Ford government is not willing to address the harms caused by its decision, we will have to make them accountable, in an election year."
Meanwhile, Alberta has signaled they will soon allow private sportsbook to enter their market, although in a more limited fashion than Ontario, as reported by Yahoo. The operators, who will be chosen by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC), have yet to be announced.
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