Across Canada, individual provinces have been able to set their own laws on gambling since 1970, and Ontario is one of the provinces that has fully legalized gambling, including online casinos. Ontario is Canada’s most populated province and home to the capital Ottawa, as well as Toronto. Gambling has been popular in Ontario for many years, with casino Windsor, the province’s first land-based casino, opening its doors in 1994.
In 1996, the Alcohol and Gaming Control Commission took over the regulation of gambling within the province. A short while later, in 2000, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) was founded. This organization manages legal online gambling in the province and ensures that regulations are followed for games like lottery, sports betting, and online casinos.
Land-based casinos were first established in the 90s, but it wasn’t until 2010 that the OLG site first started offering online gambling. The site offers online bingo, lottery, sports betting, and online casino games. You can read more about this on the PlayOntario site.
At the OLG site, Ontario residents who are at least nineteen years old can register and start enjoying online sports betting as well as online casino gaming. The site currently offers single-event and live betting on sports all over the world, with an online sportsbook provided by Proline. Casino games are also available, with a large selection of slots as well as table games and live dealer games.
What Forms of Online Gambling Are Available in Ontario?
At the moment, the only online gambling site allowed to operate in Ontario is OLG. This government-owned site offers a range of gambling services, including lottery games, bingo, sports betting, and online casino games. Players can sign up on their mobile or desktop and enjoy all types of gambling.
While the OLG site is a lot of fun to play at, it doesn’t give Ontario gamblers much choice. The casino section is fun, but compared to other online casinos, the game selection and lack of bonuses leave a lot to be desired. Alternatively, players can also sign up and enjoy offshore online casinos. Provided these are licensed and accept Canadian players, they’re safe to use.
Offshore online casinos are legal in Canada. They’re just not allowed to operate within the country itself. No Canadian player has ever been prosecuted for playing at an offshore site, and they offer a much better range of games and bonuses. Offshore sportsbooks can also be used by Ontario residents, so OLG isn’t the only option.
The Future of Online Gambling in Ontario
For now, Ontario gamblers are restricted to OLG and offshore sites if they want to gamble online. There’s no legally regulated online gambling industry in Ontario, but that may change in the future. The law has recently changed to allow single-event sports betting across the country, and the provincial government is currently discussing the possibility of establishing regulations for legal Canadian betting sites.
As it stands, the province misses out on an estimated $450 million in revenue to offshore casinos each year. That’s a lot of potential tax revenue that’s leaving the province and the country. Suppose Ontario does manage to set out clear and reasonable regulations for online gambling. In that case, it could be helping to keep money inside the province, putting it to use in local communities and projects.
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