The Ontario iGaming has finally officially opened their online gambling market. As of April 4th, Canadians can now gamble freely online through the launch of the new regulated online gambling market. Here’s all you need to know about it.
Brand new online market
4th of April 2022 saw the rebirth of the Canadian gambling market as the Ontario iGaming launched the new legalized and regulated online gambling market. The move to rebranding the market has been a developing idea over the past three years and has finally come to fruition with several new exciting features.
The idea behind the online gambling launch stemmed from a desire to take strong action against the unregulated black and grey gambling markets, as they have taken revenue away from the Canadian market. It will be the duties of the Ontario iGaming Committee, a subsidiary of the Ontario Alcohol and Gaming Commission, to distribute gaming licenses to businesses and to regulate the market.
Big businesses are already licensed
Ahead of the launch more than fifteen companies had already received their gaming licenses. Some of the big businesses who have received their new Ontario license includes theScore and Bet365, and even more new online casinos in Canada can be found online.
The approved gambling websites will be allowed to run all types of casino games, including live casinos, as well as betting. A newcomer for the betting branch will be the addition of single-game betting, which was approved in August of 2021. More on that below.
Stricter regulations rule the new market
In order for the Ontario iGaming to effectively manage the new regulated market they have set out several gambling restrictions. All of them are geared towards creating a safer gambling market for the customers. They include new rules such as:
- A ban on autoplay: players must “commit to each game individually”.
- A ban of losses disguised as wins (for example when you win less money than you played for).
- No split or multiple slots screens.
- A minimum of 2.5 second spin speed for slots.
These restrictions are meant to lessen the risk for problematic gaming habits. Alongside these restrictions, there are also some positive legislations. These include the legalization of single-game betting, the availability of deposit limits, and the requirement to provide information about and access to self-exclusion functions.
There have also been several hinted restrictions regarding the registration and application process for businesses in acquiring an Ontario gaming license. According to iGamingBusiness, Ontario iGaming required all gaming operators who applied for a gaming license prior to the launch date to cease all activities from the moment their application was accepted until the launch was initiated. Businesses were also asked to cease all cooperation and partnerships with un-licensed operators.
For un-licensed businesses who applied after the launching date, any continued operations while waiting for the application review risked license rejection. These standstill recommendations are part of the overall aim of the new regulated market to crack down on unregulated ones. This is also why it is illegal for licensed business to cooperate or partner with unregulated and un-licensed businesses.
Single game betting
Another newcomer this year is the legalization of single-game betting. According to CBC, the bill to legalize single-game betting largely gained parliamentary approval when shown that the Canadian market was losing millions of dollars every year to black and offshore markets that offered single-game betting.
The reason Canadians turned to international markets for this type of betting is because Canada only allowed for parlay betting. In this form, players needed to place bets on multiple games simultaneously and be correct on all of them to cash in rewards. The chances of winning were, as one might guess, significantly lower than in single-game betting. Additionally, single-game betting increases chances further by allowing in-game betting as well.
The overturning of the single-game betting lead to immediate results: the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) signed NHL sportsbook partnerships just a few months later with an accompanying tv-show, #OLGGamePlan, to prepare for the LVI Super Bowl which took place in February.
Overall, the reinventing of the Canadian online gambling scene hopes to make online casino and betting safer for its customers. This tech change will hopefully lead to new innovations within the Canadian gaming market, and the stricter regulations will help bring the revenue back to the Canadian population.
By bringing in new legislation, regulations, and betting opportunities (such as single-game betting), the new Canadian online gambling market will be able to expand their operations to create an attractive, safe, and customer-friendly atmosphere.
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