Ontario New Online Gambling Laws

Did you know - new online gambling laws are coming to Ontario?  

iGaming Ontario (iGO) is leading the Canadian online gambling industry by expanding the current online gaming sector in Ontario. Other provinces in Canada are also working on similar legal updates but Ontario is pioneering the movement. 

Want to know more? Let’s compare the old laws to the new Ontario gambling laws so you can get a better sense of what’s new. 

Current Online Gambling Laws in Ontario

The current online gambling laws in Ontario mirror other Canadian provinces. As it stands, online gambling in Ontario is a bit of a grey area. Players can choose to play online in two ways: 

  1. Using PlayOLG - this site is owned and operated by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG)
  2. At international online casinos - these casinos must be entirely operated offshore

Players must be 19 years or older to gamble in Ontario (online and in land-based casinos).

New Online Gambling Laws in Ontario 

To the delight of many online gamblers, the Alcohol and Games Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has decided to create a more competitive and open market. New rules will eliminate the monopoly that the OLG has on online gambling in the province.

A need for interactive at-home activities has led many Canadians to the world of online gambling recently. Therefore, these changes were likely sparked by a growing demand for online casinos.

To create a more open market, Ontario’s new legal online gambling laws will:

  • Welcome private game operators and suppliers into Ontario's iGaming industry 
  • Allow private operators to obtain regulation from the Alcohol and Games Commission of Ontario (AGCO)  

Private game operators and suppliers who would like to enter the Ontario iGaming market will need to apply with the AGCO. To be considered, applicants must first be registered under the Gaming Control Act, 1992 (GCA). This Act is mandated by the AGCO.  

Successful applicants will also be responsible for paying: 

  • Annual operators fee ($100,000) 
  • Taxes to the Ontario government  

This application process will ensure that new operators maintain high standards and fair practices. By ensuring that only the best online casinos are able to enter the Ontario iGaming sector, the government hopes to help protect Canadian players. 

Benefits of an Open iGaming Market in Ontario 

There are many benefits to expanding the iGaming market in Ontario. These new legal online gambling laws will offer advantages for Canadian players, the Ontario government and private operators. 

Advantages for Canadian players: 

  • More variety and gaming options. 
  • Safer iGaming alternatives. 

Regulating and legalizing private iGaming operators will ensure that these organizations offer: 

  • Safe and secure sites 
  • Social accountability  
  • Integrity 
  • Fair play  
  • Better service and overall gaming experience. 

Increased competition leads to innovation and improvements. As there will be more regulated online casinos in Ontario, operators will be forced to provide the best possible service and experience to stay competitive.  

Advantages for the government: 

  • Stimulate Ontario's economy by keeping gambling money in Canada. 

These new legal online gambling laws will create additional revenue from the iGaming industry through fees. They will also allow the Ontario government to capture a portion of the $14 billion that Canadians spend on offshore gaming sites via taxation. 

  • Innovation in Ontario’s iGaming sector. 

Advantages for private operators: 

Currently, for private online casinos to be legal in Canada they must be operated offshore. Therefore, these new online gambling laws in Ontario will allow: 

  • Canadian private online gaming providers to access a new portion of the market. 
  • International private online gaming providers to expand operations into Canada. It will also allow international operators to attract new players, particularly those Canadians who will only play on government-regulated online casinos.  

When Will the Ontario New Legal Online Gambling Laws Come into Effect? 

Ontario’s new legal online gambling laws were first announced in the Summer of 2021. The road map created by iGaming Ontario showed progress throughout Fall 2021. However, the new changes have not yet been fully implemented. 

Operators and suppliers have been able to go to the iAGCO online portal and create an account since September 13, 2021. Creating an account allows applicants to begin the registration process.

However, the application process is quite extensive. So, it will be interesting to see how many private gaming providers choose to participate. 

The hope is to launch a competitive Ontario iGaming market in the near future.  

This is an exciting time for the online gaming industry. So be sure to stay tuned!