In Ontario Canada, online gambling operators have no way to own and operate an online casino legally which is a rule that spreads across Canada. However, with revenues down in the city, the Ontario state may be the first in the country to allow online casino operators to run online gambling sites from within the state.
This move would mean that private sector operators can register a company for online casinos and sports betting services targeting Canadian citizens. For the time being the system is likely to mimic US operations which restricts only players from within a state where online gambling is legal to join and bet at websites operated by US companies.
However, at this time any regulatory move is only a suggestion and regulatory changes will not be an overnight process. If new laws were put in place, then this would likely be an extension of the Ontario government-operated Lottery & Gaming Corp which offers a form of online gambling which is mostly state lotto games while most suggest that the sector will come under the supervision of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
Ontario Citizens Spend C$500 million Per Year on Gambling Sites
One crazy figure that touted by Ontario officials which hard to ignore is that Ontario citizens spend over C$500 million ($383 million) every year on online casino sites operated by overseas entities.
Even though online casino operators are not legally permitted to operate within the state, Canadian citizens can sign up to websites overseas, deposit, and play. Unlike the US, there are no financial restrictions in place, and as such Canadian players quite happily fund online casinos licensed by trustworthy authorities such as the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).
Payment methods including Paysafecard, Interac, Neteller, Skrill as well as VISA/MasterCard debit and credit cards are all acceptable ways to fund online casinos and sport betting sites owned by operators mostly based in Malta and Gibraltar while there are a growing number of online casino popping up in the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao.
A Brand-New Tax Base and IT Sector for Ontario
The pros and cons of online gambling are lengthy. Ontario citizens clearly insist on gambling online with the numbers already projected by the Ontario government already speaking for themselves. Online gambling estimates are as high as they are because on the whole the Candian government is lenient and has not banned Canadian players from playing at online casinos and rather leaves the choice in their hands.
Obviously, the consequence of not allowing domestic online casino operators means C$500 million flows out of not just the state but out of the country every year. By allowing private operators to open in Ontario this could bring a whole new tax base to the state not just from the gambling profits but from the jobs and IT contracts the industry brings with it.
- IT fulfilment contracts
- Software Contracts
- Taxes from New Companies
- Increase Revenue for Local Businesses
- Jobs Created Within the Industry
- Increase in Property Demand from New Jobs
- The Birth of a New Sector That Could grow
Opposing Arguments Easily Refuted by Pro Online Gambling Gurus
Some will oppose the move stating that problem gambling is a risk but to refute this argument, Ontario citizens already have access to gambling sites. The disadvantages will still exist with or without new legislation.
Another argument is that revenue from the casino industry can filter into sectors that help people with gambling addiction issues. If anything, bringing online gambling in-state will help to increase funding for these non-profit organisations thus improving the services they currently offer to problem gambling issues that already exist.
With the current state of affairs, these organisations will become some of the hardest hit with new budgetary planning likely to reduce their funding consequently making it harder to seek help for those gambling on websites overseas and developing problem gambling habits.
It seems like this is a win-win situation despite the negatives.
Pledge by Premier Doug Ford To Establish a Competitive Market
Since the latest pandemic, the Ontario government is seeing huge deficits in its tax revenues, and the lure of online gambling could be one way to recover some of the losses. Premier Doug Ford already addressed the subject last year before the pandemic hit, and now is as good a time as any to move forward and make good on his promise to in his words “establish a competitive market for online legal gambling.”
Is This Another Hotspot for Evolution Gaming?
One firm that is already poised to create yet another live dealer studio in Canada. Currently, Evolution operates a live dealer studio in Vancouver Canada for BCLC (British Columbia Lottery Corporation) offering both English and French-speaking dealers.
With Evolution already in the country and proof that the firm can adapt to any country after setting up operations in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania USA in record time, the Ontario market could be next!