The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) has welcomed the announcement made this week by the Ontario government to establish a regulatory system for online gambling in the province to give consumers access to “safe and legal gambling options”.

According to the association, Ontarians are spending in excess of $500m annually gambling with offshore websites. It said it applauded the government’s commitment in the budget to create a “competitive market for online legal gambling that will reflect consumer choice while protecting consumer who play on these sites”.

The CGA added that it has long advocated for online gaming to be regulated in Canada. “We have seen significant growth in the amount of wagering with offshore websites and we welcome the move to create a regulatory system for offshore sites to better protect consumers,” said Paul Burns, President & CEO.

The CGA  said it looks forward to participating in the government’s planned consultation with industry stakeholders and shares Ontario’s commitment to develop a market that reflects consumers preferences, delivers an entertaining gaming experience, and ensures appropriate safeguards are available.

Burns also thanked Finance Minister Vic Fedeli for the Ontario government’s ongoing pressure on the Federal Government to amend the Criminal Code to permit single-event wagering. “We share the Minister’s view that it’s time to end the gambling prohibition era and allow sports bettors access to the product they want,” said Burns.

News of the changes to online gaming regulation came as part of the first budget to be delivered by Ontario’s new Tory government. It promised to widen online gambling options for the province’s  15 million residents beyond the sole authorized online gambling site,, operated by the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation (OLG). Private online operators will now be able to apply for licenses to operate in Ontario and residents will have the option to use their smartphones to purchase OLG lottery products.