It will soon a year since Ontario legalized an online market for private gambling operators, and provincial regulators are looking to take further actions against the illegal operators. Just recently, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario issued its annual report from April 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022. The report also included data from its new subsidiary iGaming Ontario.
The beforementioned market for third-party casino and sportsbook brands debuted on April 4, 2022, and it is governed by AGCO and iGO. The report also included information from iGO, which is responsible for operating agreements with brands that enter the market, while also taking approximately 20% of their profits, and reinvesting them into the province.
Acting Against Illegal Operations
In the report, the Board Chair of iGO, Dave Forestell commented that the regulator expects more iGaming operators to join the Ontario market in 2023, while also boosting the economic benefit and revenue for the province. He is confident the organization will make investments made by legally operating operators protected and valued by further cracking down on illegal operations.
He also reminds that illegal operations do not share their proceeds with the province and are not under the provincial jurisdiction and its responsible gambling, anti-money laundering, and player protection protocols. But for 2023, Mr. Forestell, vows that the fight against the illegal market will be the main focus for the regulator who tries to improve the iGaming market.
iGO’s Executive Director, Marth Otton wrote in the report that Ontario’s market has quickly transformed into one of the largest regulated online betting jurisdictions. She added that the sector will continue to provide real revenue for the province, and she believes that the iGaming numbers from the market will continue to grow as the market expands progressively.
Back in October 2022, in an attempt to cease offshore operators from functioning in the province, AGCO and iGO put a deadline for brands to make the transition into the lawful sector. The new rules came into effect on October 31, 2022, and required operators to suspend illegal activities. Those who did not abide risk of getting their future license for the province declined.
In an email discussion from this week, iGO vowed to continue to onboard operators that drive players into the regulated sector. The organization also stated that it promotes benefits and protections to players via online and social media efforts to encourage them to only play on regulated sites and avoid unregulated and offshore offerings where player protection is not a priority.
Q3 Report is Now Available
In January 2023, iGaming Ontario also issued the fiscal numbers for the market’s third-quarter operations. For the period of October 1, 2022, through December 31, 2022, online brands in the province generated a stunning CA$11.53 billion in total betting handle. This translated to gaming revenue of CA$457 million. There were approximately 910,000 active user accounts during the quarter.
Source: Zochodne, Geoff “Ontario Agency to ‘Crack Down’ on Illegal Sports Betting, iGaming Sites” Covers, March 1, 2023