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In order to develop a secure, regulated, and competitive online gaming sector, the Ontario government has established iGaming Ontario, a new subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
It will also help Ontario become a global leader in online gambling by ensuring that strong consumer protection safeguards are in place.
Doug Downey, the Attorney General, 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.”
Developing a competitive market for internet gaming
The subsidiary’s formation builds on Ontario’s progress in developing a competitive market for internet gaming in the province, giving consumers additional options in online gaming products within a secure and regulated environment.
The government declared in 2020 that a dedicated AGCO company would be formed to handle and administer the new igaming operations. Through OLG.ca, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) will continue to run and administer its own igaming operations.
The AGCO’s role as a regulator will stay unchanged, and the subsidiary’s duty will be kept distinct. The AGCO will continue to be in charge of all gaming-related activities in Ontario, including igaming operators and suppliers, as well as the new subsidiary.
Finalising structure and rules
The government will continue to meet with the igaming sector, First Nations communities and organisations, and social responsibility groups to finalise the structure and rules for the new marketplace, led by Ontario’s iGaming Commercial Project Lead, Birgitte Sand.
Sand has been providing key knowledge and assistance to the AGCO, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of the Attorney General on developing an igaming model that works for Ontario consumers.
Ontarians spend about $1 billion on internet gambling each year, with an estimated 70 percent of it taking place on unregulated, grey market websites with little, if any, consumer protection or responsible gaming measures.
Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy remarked: “Ontario’s new legal iGaming market will create new opportunities for Ontario businesses and a better, safer gaming experience for players.
“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.”