April 4, 2022 Sports Betting, iGaming, Canada

O Canada: iGaming and single-event sports betting arrives in Ontario

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After years of planning, the province's gaming market goes live today, April 4.

From today, citizens in the Canadian province of Ontario will be able to engage in both single-event sports betting and iGaming. Four years in the making, this launch sees a region the size of the fifth-largest state in the United States enter the North American gaming stage.

With the potential of this market, a deluge of operators, suppliers and affiliates alike are looking to take advantage of this exciting opportunity. 

Ontario’s iGaming and single-event sports betting industries will be regulated by both the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and iGaming Ontario. The market will be open, meaning any operator can apply for a license, however, they must first sign agreements with iGaming Ontario. 

The list of operators set to launch in Ontario has been growing at an impressive rate. This ever-expanding group includes PointsBet, BetMGM Ontario, Unibet, Rush Street Interactive’s BetRivers brand, Coolbet, LottoGo, Fitzdares, Bet365, LeoVegas, World Series of Poker, Rivalry, Royal Panda, theScore and 888.

Several companies have already expressed their excitement, with High Five Games calling the market’s potential “huge.”

Speaking to Gaming America on the potential of Ontario’s market, Paul Burns, the President and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association, said: “Ontario’s gaming market will be unique to North America because it is open license, meaning any company that wants to apply to operate is free to do so. There is no tethering and no restrictions on this.

“In terms of revenue, the estimates we have heard is roughly $1.5bn in gross gaming revenue. I think this is fair but also slightly conservative.”

Operators are not alone in their excitement regarding this new frontier. Indeed, payments companies such as Paysafe are also set to launch their offerings in Canada’s most populous region this week. 

Speaking on this, Zak Cutler, the CEO of North America iGaming at Paysafe, said: “Today’s launch of the new, expanded Ontarian iGaming market marks a milestone for the North American industry and our global company, which has its origins in Canada. Ontario will likely rival the largest US state iGaming jurisdictions when it reaches maturity, and we look forward to facilitating payments for operators and their Ontarian customers to help the market grow to its full potential.”

Excitement regarding Ontario is reaching fever pitch and as more operators set their sights on the province, it is increasingly likely that the rest of Canada’s jurisdictions will follow suit. 

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