Casino News

Paul Burns Gives Update on Ontario’s Gaming Market

Gaming operators are eagerly awaiting the green light from the Canadian Gaming Association to offer single-sports betting in casinos and on online sportsbooks in Ontario. Despite being quite busy over the last few weeks, President and CEO of the association Paul Burns assured the industry that the market should open sometime in Q1 of 2022.

Single-game betting was officially introduced in Canada at the end of August. Currently, it is offered only by the provincial lottery agencies such as the OLG and the BCLC, while private operators such as FanDuel, DraftKings, PointsBet Canada, BetMGM, and more are awaiting their go-ahead to also operate in the exciting market.

No Particular Date

Last Wednesday, Mr. Burns said that he cannot provide a concrete day for the opening of the market but according to him it should happen sometime in the first quarter of 2022. The President and CEO assured that the two responsible entities for it – iGaming Ontario and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario are working their best to deliver the new offering as soon as possible.

Tony Bitonti, from the OLG, which is responsible for the regulation of land-based casinos in the province, shared that the corporation is working on a strategy for casinos to offer single-event wagering. Mr. Bitonti explained that the agency is leading conversations with the service providers, while also negotiating with the AGCO for necessary regulatory requirements to integrate sportsbooks into brick-and-mortar properties.

Mr. Burns also commented that casinos which were able to recently renew operations are unhappy with the delay of the introduction of single-sports betting for them. The President and CEO said that he also shares their frustration and that he is disappointed that retail sportsbooks are not yet integrated into the province’s casinos which await the new offering.

Additionally, Mr. Burns said that it will be difficult to launch the new market before the next Super Bowl, which is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and it would provide enormous betting volume. According to him, there will be some changes for operators, such as moving all futures bets to a compliant platform.

New Online Regulator

In order to prepare for the introduction of single-sports betting and for the opening of its new open iGaming market, the province of Ontario introduced iGaming Ontario. This is a subsidiary of the AGCO, which is now tasked with overseeing all online gambling in the province. This new regulator is also responsible for assessing operators’ applications and choosing the most suitable for licenses.

Request Submitted

One gaming company that applied for an Ontario license is FansUnite. The Gaming Related Supplier – Manufacturer will allow the corporation to offer regulated gaming products to the province of Ontario. CEO of the company, Scott Burton claimed that the province’s model will be a benchmark for success for the other provinces that will also start such a market.

Source: McAllister, Steve “Online sportsbooks and casinos are still waiting for the go-ahead for single-event betting”, Toronto Star, November 19, 2021