Ontario Coming Soon 800

iGaming and Sports markets boost following the announcement that Ontario Canada iGaming regulations will be in action By April. (Image by Huma Kabakci at unsplash.com)

iGO (iGaming Ontario) announced on Friday that the iGaming and sports betting market will open in Ontario during the spring.

This is terrific news for the Live Casino industry, with content providers such as Evolution Gaming, Pragmatic Play Live, Playtech, and Vivo Gaming Live, now having a whole new market to attract. Gaming operators should register for Alcohol and Gaming commission licensing if they wish to host content from these software providers. The market is due to open up on 4th April for players 19+ years of age.

Ontario has a population of 15 million. In North America, only the states of Texas, California, New York, and Florida have more than that. With such a huge population, the potential is there for Ontario to become one of the most significant, and lucrative, markets in the whole North America region. Gaming will be available to players who are at least 19 years old.

Live Casino continues to go from strength to strength, and there are even some providers that are entering the market, having previously only been involved with video slots. Any newcomers will face stiff competition, as the market is currently dominated by software providers like Playtech and Evolution Gaming. Evolution Gaming has a phenomenal range of Live Casino titles that it has gained recognition for with several awards.

The brand is seen as an innovator in the industry, picking up awards such as SBC Awards (2019) winner of the Innovation in Casino Entertainment category, amongst many others. Plus its line of live games consists of blackjack, roulette, and baccarat. Also, Live Casino gaming fans will be more than familiar with Evolution’s live game show productions. Some of these games are amongst the most popular games on the live dealer scene, with the likes of Crazy Time, Deal or No Deal Live, Monopoly Live, Dream Catcher, Cash or Crash, and Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt all well-known in Canada and are sure to become available under an Ontario license.

Live Dealer platforms in Canada: Pragmatic Play Live, Lucky Streak, BetGames, Ezugi, Vivo Gaming, and more are already available Canada-wide casinos licensed under the Curacao eGaming, MGA (Malta Gaming Authority), and Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC). Meanwhile, most Evolution titles available at casinos operating under these licenses are not available in Canada due to IP blocking. Whether these brands also want to take the same route as Evolution when they are already open to Canadian casino players is something we’ll keep a lookout for.

Ontario Canada iGaming Regulations Said to Offer Higher Levels of Safety

The executive director for iGO, Martha Otton, has stated that players can be confident in the levels of safety with gaming operators. iGO has set out the highest standards that operators must meet in order to offer gaming services. Companies entering the Ontario market must go through a rigorous procedure in order to obtain a license. Conditions include fairness testing, operator integrity, social responsibility, and player protection. Companies must comply with anti-money laundering rules and regulations, as well as provide sufficient measures which will encourage players to gamble responsibly.

Ontario is the largest province in Canada and has a particular fondness to sports. As well as iGaming, players will also be able to place sports wagers on their favourite sports. Revenues for wagers placed on likes of the NBA, golf, and NHL are expected to do well, and following Canada’s historic 2-0 victory against the USA, soccer (football) wagering may well be on the rise too.

The official bill passed by the Canadian federal government for allowing private, legal single-game sports betting, and iGaming, is known as Bill C-218, the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act.

In the past, betting on single-game sports was legal in Canada, however, only parlay wagers were allowed. From 4th April, Canadian residents will be able to bet on iGaming and single-game sports matches, with the exception of horse racing. It is estimated that this move will bring billions of dollars to the Canadian government via taxation, which is currently being lost to illegal gambling operations.

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