Ontario government launches iGaming Ontario to regulate online gaming

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The Ontario government has launched iGaming Ontario, a new subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) in a bid to create a safe, regulated and competitive online gaming market.

It will also help establish Ontario as an international leader in online gaming while ensuring robust measures are in place to protect consumers.

Attorney General Doug Downey explained: “Following Parliament’s historic vote to lift the prohibition on single-event sport wagering last month, the establishment of iGaming Ontario is another pivotal milestone in our work to ensure people have access to a safe and regulated online gaming market by the end of the year. 

“We are determined to work with industry, responsible gaming advocates and regulatory partners to ensure Ontario is a world leader in building a safe online gaming environment that meets consumer expectations.”

The incorporation of the subsidiary builds on Ontario’s progress in creating a competitive market for internet gaming in Ontario, providing consumers with more choice in online gaming products within a secure and regulated framework. 

In 2020, the government announced that a dedicated subsidiary of the AGCO would be established to conduct and manage the new igaming offerings. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) will continue to conduct and manage its own igaming offerings through OLG.ca.

The AGCO’s role as regulator will remain the same and will be kept separate from the subsidiary’s role. The AGCO will continue to be responsible for regulatory oversight for all gaming activities in Ontario, including igaming operators and suppliers as well as over the new subsidiary. 

The government, along with Ontario’s iGaming Commercial Project Lead, Birgitte Sand, will continue to meet with the igaming industry, First Nations communities and organizations and social responsibility groups to finalize the setup and rules for the new marketplace. 

Sand has been working closely with the AGCO, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Attorney General to provide critical expertise and advice on creating an igaming model that works for Ontario consumers.

Ontarians spend close to $1bn a year on online gambling with an estimated 70% taking place on unregulated, grey market websites, with limited, if any, consumer protection and responsible gaming measures. 

“Ontario’s new legal iGaming market will create new opportunities for Ontario businesses and a better, safer gaming experience for players,” said Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy. “A competitive, regulated online gaming market will provide a safer alternative to the unregulated, grey market websites that currently exist – and which may lack proper consumer protections or responsible gaming measures. 

“A new legal market would also generate revenue for the province to invest in supporting jobs and businesses, supporting people and their families, and improving and strengthening critical public services for a post-COVID world.”