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Ontario’s iGaming Market Scheduled for April 4 Start

The long-awaited launch of Ontario’s new and regulated iGaming market has now been confirmed. Last week, iGaming Ontario, which is a subsidiary of Alcohol and Gaming Corporation of Ontario announced that it has an agreement with private operators to start the online expansion on April 4, 2022, hence they will be able to offer their digital gaming products to audiences.

Ontario’s open market for private gaming operators was on schedule to be launched at end of last year, however, due to some complications in the legal process it was delayed. The market has attracted plenty of interest due to its many opportunities, such as the population of the province, as well as their gaming activity, and the introduction of single-game wagering last summer.

Coming This April

Last week, iGaming Ontario, a division that was created to manage all online gaming offerings in the province, announced that April 4, 2022, will be the official launch date of the new market. If all goes to plan, then private operators will be able to offer their online gaming products to the local population starting from that date.

Ontario’s iGaming market was announced back in 2010, and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation revealed that local bettors spend more than CA$400 million annually on unregulated online sites. However, iGaming Ontario’s Executive Director, Martha Otton, shared that to this date most Ontarians continue to conduct their online wagering on offshore websites.

Ms. Otton assured gamblers that the companies which are set to join the province’s newly regulated market will abide by rigorous standards of game and operator integrity. As well as providing the needed player protection and social responsibility, thus establishing a safe gambling environment for all online bettors who choose the new market and its operators.

She also added that the licensed operators will make sure that they have everything in place to prevent underage gambling, as well as being compliant with applicable laws such as anti-money laundering regulations and rules. Ms. Otton said that those measures and protection are just a sample of what’s to come with the newly regulated market on April 4, 2022.

Looking Forward to Launch

CEO of Rivalry, Steven Salz, commented the company is looking forward to the official launch of the new market this April and is eager to deploy its services to its home turf. Back in October, the company applied for a license to become a fully regulated sports betting operator in the province. The CEO also said that the iGaming market is the right way forward for the province.

Possible Impact on the Land-Based Industry

However, a study called Ontario Gaming Market Assessment prepared for the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, suggests that the new market could come with a cost. The research by HLT Advisory Inc. predicts, that the expansion would cause a massive shift of players towards digital gambling options, and thus take its toll on the brick-and-mortar casino properties in the province.

Source: Artuso, Antonella “Ontario-approved online gaming sites as early as April 4”, Toronto Sun, January 28, 2022