Best Online Gambling Sites in Ontario (2022)

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Legal Gambling in Ontario

This guide to Ontario online gambling will cover all types of gambling in Ontario. It will help you determine what types of gambling are legal, what the current Ontario gambling laws are, and which online gambling sites are best for players in Ontario.

When it comes to legal gambling in Ontario, there’s something for everyone! With so many options to choose from, you’ll never be short on excitement. 

Below are the most popular types of legal gambling in Ontario:

  • OLG Lotteries 
  • Charitable Gaming 
  • Land-Based Casinos 
  • Online Gambling 
  • Poker 
  • Sports Betting 
  • Horse Racing 

Let’s take a look at each type of gambling so you can choose which options are right for you! 

OLG Lotteries in Ontario

There are 13 different lottery games to choose from in Ontario. These lotteries are run by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). Among these lottery games, 3 are nationwide and 10 are province-wide (meaning only players in Ontario can win).  

Province-wide lottery games include: 

  • Lottario 
  • Ontario 49 
  • Lightening Lotto 
  • Wheel of Fortune Lotto, and more 

OLG lottery tickets can be purchased at land-based retailers or on the government-run OLG website. 

Charitable Gaming in Ontario

Charitable gaming is legal in Ontario as long as it’s licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). In other words, if a charitable organization wants to host a casino night, it must apply for a license from the AGCO. 

Charitable gaming can include: 

  • Table games 
  • Bingo 
  • Raffles, and more  

Land-Based Casinos in Ontario

There are 25 casino locations in Ontario. These land-based gaming establishments are regulated by the AGCO and managed by the OLG. 

Some of the best land-based casinos in Ontario include:

  • Elements Casino Mohawk 
  • Casino Niagara 
  • Caesars Windsor 
  • Casino de Montréal, and more 

Online Casinos in Ontario

Online casinos are also legal in Ontario. However, to be considered legal, an online casino must be: 

  • Run by the Ontario government (i.e. OLG.ca) 
  • A private online gambling site that is regulated by iGaming Ontario

Players in Ontario can also use private offshore online casinos. However, the casino’s operations must be entirely outside of Canada. Although this option is not technically legal, it isn’t illegal either.

That said, playing at a regulated Ontario online gambling site is always the best choice. Online casinos that are regulated by iGaming Ontario (iGO) offer the most security and selection.

Regulated sites ensure your personal and financial information is protected. These sites are also held to high ethical and professional standards. As a result, your gambling experience will be much more enjoyable.

As the first province in Canada to introduce an open online gaming market, Ontario offers gamblers a huge selection of online casinos. Best of all, this model guarantees that private online casinos:

  • Engage in responsible operations 
  • Provide game integrity 
  • Protect players’ personal and financial information  

Poker in Ontario

Poker is also legal in Ontario. To be legal, a poker room must be: 

  • Located at a land-based casino run by the Ontario government 
  • On OLG.ca (the official Ontario online gambling site) 
  • A private poker room regulated by iGaming Ontario (e.g. partypoker, 888poker, etc.)

Offshore poker rooms are not officially legal. However, they are not technically illegal either. If you’d like to play at an offshore poker room, you’ll need to ensure that it’s based entirely outside of Canada. That means no operations of any kind can be located on Canadian soil.

Keep in mind - it’s always best to play poker on a site that is regulated. The government of Ontario has no legal jurisdiction over offshore casinos and poker rooms. As a result, they cannot limit the use of these sites.

However, this also means that the AGCO cannot guarantee the safety of Ontarians who choose to play at these international sites. Therefore, for your safety, it’s best to stick to regulated poker rooms.

Sports Betting in Ontario

Sports betting is also a popular gambling option in Ontario. Sports bettors can choose from three different legal events and sports betting alternatives. 

  1. In-Store using OLG’s PROLINE - In-store retailers must be operated by OLG and regulated by the AGCO 
  2. Online using PROLINE+ - PROLINE+ is operated by iGO and regulated by the AGCO 
  3. Online using regulated sports betting sites - Operators must be managed by iGaming Ontario and regulated by the AGCO 

Unregulated offshore betting sites can also be used for online events and sports betting in Ontario. However, it’s always best to play at regulated sites. This is a sure way to keep yourself and your information safe.

Horse Racing Betting in Ontario

Horse Racing is another fun event that Ontarians can bet on. Horse Racing betting is regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. The AGCO is responsible for:

  • Licensing 
  • Officiating 
  • Investigations 
  • Inspection  

There are several racetracks and teletheatres in Ontario where horse races are hosted. Some of the most popular racetracks include: 

  • Ajax Downs Racetrack 
  • Grand River Raceway 
  • Leamington Raceway 
  • Georgian Downs Ltd 
  • Woodbine Racetrack, and more 

Players in Ontario can also bet on horse racing online. Legal horse racing betting sites include those that are approved and regulated by the AGCO and iGaming Ontario. For example:

  • Coolbet 
  • 888sport, etc.

Illegal Gambling in Ontario 

Generally, any gambling in Ontario that isn’t regulated or licensed by the government (or one of its affiliates) is illegal. This rule can be applied to online gambling sites, land-based casinos, and charity lotteries.

Ontario online gambling is complex. For an online gambling site to be 100% legal, it must be regulated by the provincial government. That said, online gambling sites that are owned and operated outside of Canada cannot be controlled by the Ontario government. Therefore, these offshore betting sites are not technically illegal. 

Here are some forms of illegal gambling activities to avoid in Ontario: 

  • Fraud related to lottery and other gambling 
  • Taking part in unregulated betting  
  • Running an unlicensed site or betting establishment within Canada

Gambling Laws in Ontario

Ontario gambling laws have changed significantly in the past. Two of the biggest changes in recent years include:

  1. Single Game Sports Betting  
  2. Open iGaming Market 

Single Game Sports Betting  

On August 27, 2021, Bill C-218 was passed by the Canadian federal government. This bill created more options for sports betting in Ontario by allowing single event betting.  

Before this bill, sports bettors had to bet on more than one event at a time. This is known as a parlay bet. To win a parlay bet, each wager must be won. Single event betting is desirable because it can increase your odds and chances of winning.

Thanks to Bill C-218, sports bettors in Ontario can now place single-game bets.

Open iGaming Market  

On April 4, 2022, Ontario revolutionized online gambling by launching a new internet gaming market. This open market allows private operators to legally offer Ontario online gambling services. 

This decision was made by the Government of Ontario and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). The project is managed by iGaming Ontario (iGO). 

To join, operators must register and be approved by the AGCO.  

New operators are added to the market each day. Some online betting sites that have already been regulated include: 

  • BetRivers.ca 
  • LeoVegas.com 
  • PointsBet.ca
  • RoyalPanda.com
  • theScore.bet, and more

Offshore online gambling is still allowed as well. However, offshore operators are not 100% legal in Ontario - unless they are approved and regulated by the AGCO. Therefore, it’s best to stick with 100% legal sites that are regulated by the provincial government. This ensures a fair and safe experience. For instance, the AGCO ensures that legal privately operated betting sites in Ontario:

  • Promote responsible gambling 
  • Protect vulnerable people 
  • Provide options for self-exclusion 
  • Operate fair games and sports betting 

Age Restrictions for Ontario Gambling 

To legally gamble in Ontario, a person must be: 

  • 19 years old to gamble at land-based casinos, online casinos and online sportsbooks 
  • 18 years old to play the lottery, participate in charitable gaming and bet on sports at in-store locations 

Ontario Gambling Regulatory Bodies 

There are 4 main regulatory bodies when it comes to gambling in Ontario. These organizations include: 

  1. Government of Ontario  
  2. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)  
  3. iGaming Ontario (iGO) 
  4. Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG)

Let’s take a closer look at the AGCO, iGO, and OLG. 

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)  

The AGCO is in charge of regulating all gambling in the province of Ontario. Their goal is to ensure integrity and honesty in online and in-person gambling. Ultimately, this is to protect the health, safety and well-being of gamblers in Ontario. 

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario works hand in hand with iGO and OLG.  

iGaming Ontario (iGO)  

iGO is a branch of the AGCO. They are responsible for the new open online betting market in Ontario.  

The goal of iGO is to protect players in Ontario, while also providing more options for online gambling. 

iGO also allows private gaming operators to join the Ontario internet gaming market. This is done in a way that benefits operators, players, and the province of Ontario. 

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) 

In Ontario, the OLG manages the following: 

  • Casinos and Slots 
  • Lottery  
  • Horse Racing Tracks  

All OLG operations are regulated and overseen by the AGCO.

FAQs

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Thomas is responsible for all content on BettingGuide Canada. With his extensive knowledge of the gambling industry and college degree in law, he knows what you should look out for when choosing the best casino or sportsbook.

Last updated: 5/12/2022