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Ontario has commissioned new regulations specifically addressing the online gaming market. The review, first proposed in September 2021, will make it possible to legally enjoy online gaming.

The province had planned to have the new online gaming market ready for the end of last year. That was put on hold until this year owing to delays in the final shape of the technical details.

Once the new gaming market is released it will mean sports fans and gamers can enjoy a fully regulated local source of play.

Previously much of the online sports betting and gambling was offered by overseas international companies.

Online casinos and sportsbooks licenced in Ontario will benefit players and the state itself. High paying jobs in the industry will bring new revenue to the area. Gamers can also play in comfort and security with added safeguards put in place.

The popularity of gaming in Ontario and Canada

Gaming and sports bets are hugely popular in both Ontario and Canada. The government has said that people in Ontario spend around $1 billion gambling online every year. As things stand at the moment, around 70% of that goes to unregulated international sites.

Canada as a whole has also been taking their gaming online in ever-growing numbers. According to statistics Canada, Canadians have wagered more than 15 million dollars on sports betting. Much of this will have been accessed online, with bets on online casinos adding to the total.

History of Gaming in Canada

Canada has enjoyed a reasonably relaxed attitude to gambling for much of its history.

Records of placing bets on gaming activity go back to 1497 and John Cabot. While he and his crew had playing cards and dice on them, they also observed indigenous tribes playing games of chance.

A major change in the gambling industry in Canada took place in 1892 when all forms of gambling were banned. The law was repealed and amended several years later, and by 1910 most kinds of gambling was allowed.

The legalization of lottery games and slot machines was finalized across Canada in 1969. This move further popularised gaming entertainment.

In 1985, each Canadian province was granted the power to decide its own rules for the gambling industry. This had a huge influence on the growth of casinos in the country, with Winnipeg opening the first Canadian casino in 1989. Ontario opened the Casino Windsor in 1994.

The growth of online technology had a huge effect on gaming in Canada.


The New Regulations

Ontario will soon enjoy a newly regulated gaming market. Put together by iGaming Ontario working with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), the new marking will promote responsible gaming.

The new guidelines have been put together to address the essential factors that affect consumers and businesses. They will set out to provide choice and safety for consumers, while reducing the legal red tape that could hinder business growth.

Essentially, the new market space is looking to create a dynamic and secure environment for players in Ontario.

How will online providers and players be impacted?

Gamers in Ontario will eventually benefit from the new gaming provisions chiefly in the amount of choice available.

At present, the state-run Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) site concentrates on interactive casino-type games such as Blackjack and Slots.

The fact that huge numbers of players head to overseas sites for different gaming options highlights the need for more variety. By opening up the gaming landscape to new providers, players will have more options on how and where to play.

Online gaming providers will have to adhere to the application process set up by AGCO to compete against the OLG.

A relaxation on long-standing prohibitions on single-event sports betting is also part of the new initiatives.


Why Regulations and Laws are Needed

The new regulations will help to protect Ontarians accessing sites for gambling and gaming. The online world is expanding all the time and can be difficult to regulate. This is why sophisticated rules need to be in place to prevent fraud and money-laundering activities.

The new iGaming rules in Ontario will require operators to provide identity verification measures when a new player creates an account. This will protect both parties from any possible illegal activity.

Operators can obtain ID verification from credit checks confirming that the player is who they say they are. This is confirmed by matches on name, address and credit history. A government-issued photograph will also be required to open an account.

All player information will then be kept on file with a reminder sent out annually to review and update their information.

Ontario’s new online gaming market promises a safer and more organised approach to online gambling.

It is expected that the state will benefit from more players choosing to play locally rather than internationally. Players will appreciate the knowledge that strict measures are in place to protect their finances and personal information.