Evolution 888 & LeoVegas Ontario

Evolution is live in Ontario & claims 100% market share after the iGaming market officially comes online in Canada’s most populated province! (Photo by Yalın Kaya on Unsplash)

Day one of regulated Ontario iGaming leapt into action yesterday (4 April 2020) with no problems to report so far and thus marking a historic occasion in the casino and sports betting arenas in Canada.

For live dealer players, there was plenty to celebrate – the highlight of the grand opening was their first chance to play Evolution live casino titles under the new iGaming Ontario (iGO) licence; a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), which controls provincial gambling regulations.

Fan favourite Evolution was also clearly in a celebratory mood after it released an upbeat statement on its news portal confirming the brand officially went live through multiple operators – many of which are already partners with the Evolution live casino platform via US state-by-state operations as well as European licenced operators.

The list includes 888 live casino, an operator that has long been in business with Evolution in the UK under the UKGC regulatory framework, and globally via the casino’s Maltese issued MGA license. Both companies also have a long-standing collaboration in New Jersey, USA, under the NJ 888 Casino brand. With a strong relationship between the two already in place, the operator re-partnered with Evolution to host live titles via its 888 Casino Ontario—a deal the pair would have had planned long before yesterday’s official launch.

Another long term European MGA and UKGC licensed partner of Evolution is LeoVegas, also online in Ontario, hosting Evolution live casino game titles via a fresh Canadian-based B2B agreement. Further operators bolstering existing partnerships with Evolution in the Canadian province include US online casino brands BetMGM, Rush Street Interactive, theScore Bet, and Penn National Gaming all adding to the live casino platform’s early market dominance.

Overall, it’s safe to say that it was a great day for Evolution. Especially since, rather surprisingly, it is currently the only live dealer show in town. Despite the non-stop publicity circulating the casino grapevine covering the emergence of a newly regulated online casino and sports betting market coming to Ontario, none of Evolution’s live casino competitors capitalised on the opportunity, nor made any hint of the possibility, of their brands registering as an Ontario iGaming business. As a result, Evolution currently holds 100% of the live casino market share in the province.

Where are the other live dealer platforms? It is early days yet. There is plenty of time for the likes of Playtech, a fierce rival of Evolution in the live dealer sphere in the US states of Michigan and New Jersey, across Europe as well as on other continents. Plus, we could hear from Ezugi, as Evolution owns the platform and has the tools to launch the brand as a second live casino option. As for other possible new market entrants, Lucky Streak, BetConstruct, TVBet, BetGames, or Pragmatic Play are possibilities. Yet, we still haven’t seen any of these live casino game providers make a move into the US, so it is unlikely they will suddenly enter Ontario – at least not without first assessing market performance over the next few months or year.

Jeff Millar, the Commercial Director for North America Gives Praise

In the Evolution announcement confirming the live gaming brand’s first successful day as well as partner operators live in Ontario, Jeff Millar, the Commercial Director for North America gave praise saying “This is a momentous launch for Evolution in Canada”.

He also specifically mentioned the availability of Evolution titles. This includes the brand’s range of 3D First Person RNG titles, which helped the company pick up last year’s ‘Innovation in RNG casino software’ at the EGR B2B.

As for live dealer games, Mr Jeff Millar confirmed the popular SBC 2018, EGR Operator 2018, and Global Gaming Awards 2018 award-winning title Lightning Roulette is live at partner operator casinos. Furthermore, Ontario players will have the pleasure of playing another award-winning title with the Crazy Time game show available. Of course, traditional titles like Live Blackjack, Craps, Poker, Roulette, Baccarat and Craps are all on the cards too.

Is live casino Ontario diverse enough? I can safely say that Evolution has the largest and most successful live dealer platform in iGaming. As far as diversity is concerned, just this brand alone is enough to keep budding live dealer players happy. However, in terms of competition, or at least live dealer game diversity, some players may prefer to stick with live casinos available in Canada not operating under the new licence. However, due to the licensing laws, players will not be able to access Evolution titles at casinos not under the iGaming Ontario (IGO) framework.

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