• By: Allen Brown

Ontario’s new iGaming market is launching in April

Are you getting ready to hop on the brand new iGaming market? Then a good move is definitely to gather information and check out what are the best betting bonuses in Ontario and be ready for the new era. The Government of Ontario and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) have been working hard to establish the new online gaming market "that will help protect consumers playing through private gaming companies (Operators)" (*quoting from the official iGaming website).

Whoever enjoys esports, table games, slots will now enjoy a much wider choice. Up to now, players have been limited to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation's online platform. Or run some risks by frequenting unregulated offshore sites: this meant a flow of approximately $700 million a year out of the Ontario borders, according to one estimate cited by the government. Now the operators registered on the new market will have to comply with strict licensing conditions, ensuring a safe, secure environment for players.

This strategic move will propel Ontario to the first place among regulated online gaming markets in North America, ahead of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Michigan. The province can rely on a population of more than 14 million people and includes large cities such as Toronto and Ottawa. Some of the world's leading online wagering operators have already secured their licenses and are getting ready for the grand opening on April 4th.

The news is creating excitement well beyond the borders of Ontario. The Miami Herald, for example, has published an enthusiastic review, stating that iGaming

"spells great news for Ontario casino players, as these ambitious rival companies must work hard to stand out. They will need to provide world-class games, an elite user experience, quick payouts, attentive customer service, and lots of value-added features if they are to thrive."

Operators will also need to make some changes to accommodate their "pre-existing" players, who will have to create new digital wallets on the gaming sites and undergo identity verification. The operators "may provide pre-existing players with access to their pre-existing player account after going live in the new market for the purpose of account management, including withdrawing funds,"  iGaming Ontario has explained to the media. This means that operators must settle any wagers that customers in the province have already made with them before they can begin their activities in the new iGaming market.

Playing on iGaming in Ontario will be opened to non-residents too, if they are physically located in the province's territory. Anyone can open and fund an account also from outside Ontario (minimum legal age: 19), but presence in the province is required to actually play. Several mobile applications of different operators are already registered on iGaming, which means easily accessible additional entertainment products will now enrich the tourist offer of the province.

Ontario is thus leading the way in Canada to opening the online gaming market to private enterprise. So far, the only legal platforms have been government-owned.

Photo: iStock