Ontario Gambling Regulation: Who Will Be In Charge?
For slots players in Ontario, there's a massive change coming in the next few months. While players have been able to spin the reels online at thousands of offshore casino sites, playing at regulated Ontario slots sites where your rights to a safe online space are protected has been a challenge.
If you prefer to play at a regulated site, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has been the only way to go since its inception in April 2000. The Crown corporation has been in charge of gambling activities in the province for over two decades, and its PlayOLG product has provided players with somewhat limited access to the best slot games online. But with all the changes ahead, who is going to lead the province into the new era of regulated online gambling?
What is iGaming Canada... and what happened to the OLG?
While the OLG is owned by the Ontario Government, and reports to the Minister of Finance, it is the Alcohol and Gambling Commission of Ontario (AGCO) that is responsible for regulating the gambling industry.
In July 2021, the AGCO announced the creation of a new subsidiary, called iGaming Ontario. This subsidiary will be in charge of regulating the online gambling sphere in the province. So... where does that leave the OLG?
In September 2021, AGCO opened up its online application system that will allow gambling vendors to apply for a license to operate in the province. Once regulation has been implemented and the new licensees begin operating in the province, the OLG will effectively be another competitor, rather than the watchdog it was formerly.
The Toronto Star has the inside story of "how the OLG lost control" of the online gambling market in the province. The good news for players, however, is that regulation means more options, and healthy competition between vendors, as well as massive potential revenue streams for the Ontario province.