Gambling operators have very high hopes for the iGaming Ontario launch, which sees Canada's biggest province become the first jurisdiction in Canada to accept wagers in a legal private online setting. As from the 4th of April 2022, the people of Ontario can bet on casino games, their favorite sporting events, and participate in any other gambling activity via online sites and apps of operators that have register to run gambling activities in the newly regulated Ontario online casino and gambling market.
Twenty-Five New Online Gambling Sites
At the time of writing this article, there have been twenty-five operators that have registered with iGaming Ontario. However, not all of these sites will launch straight away, and, according to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which is the company that regulates this industry, this number is expected to continue to increase. Those operators that plan on accepting gamblers have been increasing their advertising in order to attract more users. At the end of the day, online casinos that do not manage to attract new players are ones that will not be around for any length of time.
Below is a list of some of the operators that have been handed licenses by iGaming Ontario:
· Rush Street Interactive
Obviously, online casinos will only ever be as good as the casino games that they have on offer - an online casino that has a poor gaming library is obviously one that will not be around for too long because players will end up getting bored and will just take their custom somewhere else. Thus, these operators will want to team up with some of the biggest and best software developers in the game, and the likes of Play'n Go, Inspired Entertainment, and High 5 Games have all been approved to work with the above licensed operators.
"They launched OntarioBets.com, which is a free site that allows the citizens of Ontario to compare legal casinos and online sportsbooks, so that they can find the best site for them".
In anticipation of this launch, the Gambling.com Group decided that they would start offering marketing services for the licensed iGaming and online sports betting operators within Ontario. At the end of November 2021, they launched OntarioBets.com, which is a free site that allows the citizens of Ontario to compare legal casinos and online sportsbooks, so that they can find the best site for them.
PointsBet Takes the First Legal Wager in Ontario
PointsBet, an online casino and sports betting site, was one of the operators that went live on the opening day of legal online gambling in Ontario. At just after 12:00am local time, PointsBet became one of the first private sports betting sites to accept a legal wager. Their chief executive, Scott Vanderwel, was really pleased about this and he cannot wait to see what the future holds for PointsBet Canada and all the other legal operators.
Additionally, software provider High 5 Games confirmed that their titles were live with various operators on day one of online gambling being legal in Ontario. Tony Singer, the chief executive, said that their games have been found on the floors of many land-based casinos across Canada for a numbers of decades, and now those from Ontario can enjoy them at responsible gambling sites that can be trusted.
Concerns from Brick-and-Mortar Casinos
As was to be expected, there have been a number of concerns from brick-and-mortar casino operators who believe that this new legal online gambling market might impact their income and cause them to have to fire staff members. The HLT Advisory for Great Canadian Gaming, which is the biggest casino operator in Ontario, wrote a report in which they stated that thousands of jobs and $2.8 billion could be lost in the next five years because of this decision to legalize online gambling.
However, Emily Hogeveen, the Bethlenfalvy spokeswoman, declared that the new iGaming framework will actually complement the brick-and-mortar gaming activity, and not take away from it, and it will do this by providing new opportunities for brick-and-mortar casino operators to diversify what they are offering and cross promote between land-based and online sites.
Responsible Gambling is As Important as Ever
Whenever you are gambling, it is of the utmost importance that you do so responsibly. The Ontario government know the dangers that can arise from gambling, which is why they are taking a number of measures to offset any potential harm that can come from gambling.
For instance, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has made sure that operators have technology that monitors whether players are experiencing harm. In addition to this, all operators must display responsible gaming messages to their players, and they must ensure that their players have access to 24/7 help resources as well as self-exclusion options. Adverts that target minors or are misleading are completely against the rules.
Nigel Turner, who is a scientist from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has studied gambling issues for many decades, and he feels that there are both negative and positive aspects to legalizing gambling online. There is a chance that more people might become addicted to gambling as it becomes more available, but people gamble online already, and legalizing it is something that allows for more checks to be made.
Online Gambling Has Always Existed in Ontario
Online gambling is something that has always existed in Ontario, mostly in the shape of gray market sites that are based outside of Canada. As is the case in other countries such as India, the government have the ability to make gambling illegal across the country, but they do not have the ability to prevent their citizens from opening an account with online casinos in Canada that accept players from their country.
Alongside these sites from abroad, gambling was also available via the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp that launched their Proline+ bookmaker in the summer of 2021 after the decided to legalize betting on single-event sports.
The government of Ontario has said that its newly regulated gambling market will help to protect gamblers and provide them with more of a choice. In addition to this, the province can earn more revenue from the online gambling scene, and this money can then be put to good use to improve the province. However, at this current moment in time, they have not yet declared what the projected revenue might be.