This week the conclusion of the transitionary period for online gaming operators in Ontario came to an end and another major brand has now gone online. In recent days, Bet99 announced that it is now up and running in the province, thus making the switch to the regulated sector. From now on the company’s online offerings will be available under Bet99.ca.
The provincially regulated online gambling and sports betting market is governed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and it officially commenced operations on April 4, 2022. Since then, over 20 gaming operators and 40 websites have started to accept wagers online and even more, are on their way. This is the first of its kind private gaming market in the country.
Making the Switch
After previously acquiring regulatory approval from the AGCO, Bet99 has now made the switch to Ontario’s regulated iGaming sector. This week, the gaming operator announced that it has launched a provincially-regulated website, however, the transition was far from seamless. On Monday the company’s .com website went offline, while the .ca one was not yet ready to take bets.
On social media, the operator posted an update in which it said that it was performing maintenance which took longer than expected. However, on Tuesday, both websites were up and running, and some users still reported issues online. It should be noted that the company’s .com website continues to operate in the grey-market sectors across Canada, except Ontario.
The operator’s Bet99.com website operating in other provinces is connected to the company’s gaming license by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which is located in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake just south of Montreal. Meanwhile, its .ca website is regulated by the AGCO and it offers both legal internet casino games and wagering on sports events.
Bet99 got its internet-gaming operator license from AGCO a few months ago. However, it was unable to be online in the province, due to the lack of an operating agreement with the regulator’s subsidiary iGaming Ontario. This is a provincial agency through which private operators can offer online gambling in the province. And now the operator has met the regulatory criteria.
End of the Transition Period
AGCO was heavily criticized for the manner it has been dealing with the grey-market operators. But just recently it took drastic measures. At the start of October, the regulator announced that October 31, 2022, has set a deadline for operators who have a provincial license but are yet to go online in the province. Those who do not abide could face penalties.
In October, the regulator also issued its second-quarter performance report on the online gaming sector. For the period of July 1 through September 30, 2022, the local market generated a total wagering handle of CA$6 billion and over CA$267 million in gaming revenue. There were 628,000 active user accounts that had an average monthly spend of CA$142 per customer.
Source: Zochodne, Geoff “Ontario Sports Betting: Bet99 the Latest to Launch in Province’s Regulated iGaming Market” Covers, November 1, 2022