Ontario iGaming Launch: Regulations And How They Apply To Players

Ontario

Our slots, casino and sportsbook experts have broken down everything you need to know about the upcoming launch of online gambling in Ontario, including all the new regulations. We look at what this means for players, likely Ontario online slot site launches, and the impact on the rest of Canada. We update this guide with news and developments in Ontario’s iGaming landscape, so you will always know where you stand.

While gambling regulation across most of Canada is still evolving, the province of Ontario is leading the way by regulating its online gambling industry. From April 4th, 2022, online casinos can operate in the province with licensing from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission Ontario (AGCO). This advancement in regulated online gambling is vast for all Ontario gamblers and sports bettors. And more Canadian provinces are looking closely and are likely to follow in Ontario’s footsteps.

The Launch of Online Gambling in Ontario

In January 2022, iGaming Ontario (iGO) announced that the regulated online iGaming market is set to launch on April 4th, 2022. From that date onwards, any gambling site with the correct licensing can offer online casino games and sports betting to anyone within the borders of Ontario. Previously, only government-backed operators were available to residents. Now private operators can obtain valid regulation from the AGCO and launch in the province.

Many international operators have already acquired Ontario gambling licenses and are planning on launching in the province. These renowned casino slot sites and sportsbooks may bring exclusive Ontario welcome bonuses for new customers and new mobile apps, allowing players to gamble on the go from anywhere in Ontario.

So far, around 30 operators have already applied for a license in the province, which will delight Ontario gamblers. This means there will be tons of betting options when it comes to choosing how to gamble. Some of the biggest gambling operators globally looking to join the Canadian market include Caesars, BetMGM, DraftKings, BetRivers, FanDuel, 888, and others.

Alcohol and Gaming Commission Ontario (AGCO) and iGaming Ontario (iGO)

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO) is the licensing body for all online casinos in Canada. Any gambling site that wishes to receive regulation in the future will need to pass through this organization’s strict tests. The AGCO is responsible for the new legislation that will bring online casinos into regulation in the province.

In addition, iGaming Ontario was created by the AGCO and will act as the supervising body for the new online gambling industry. Part of its job is to ensure the safety of anyone gambling in the province. One of the ways it does this is by providing helpful information for Ontario players so they know how to keep themselves safe. Visiting the iGO site will provide you with a list of all licensed online casinos in the province that are safe to visit. Together, these two bodies will guarantee that every reel spin is fair and every player’s data is secure.

Opting In to Uncover Slot Bonuses and Promotions

Bonuses and promotions are some of the most exciting parts of an online casino, giving players the chance to boost their bankrolls. Many online casinos coming to Ontario will offer generous slots bonuses and promotions for both new and existing players, from deposit bonuses to free spin offers.

However, you will need to opt-in on your chosen casino site to see the latest offers. Online casinos don’t want to push promotional gambling material in the face of someone struggling with online gambling or to people who aren’t old enough to gamble legally.

Opting in is simple and can usually be done during your registration. You just need to tick a checkbox. If you missed this during your sign-up, you can find this option in your account settings. Once you enable this, you will receive notifications of new offers via your account, email, or mobile notifications. If you are struggling with problem gambling and wish to stop receiving this material, you can opt out just as easily.

Location Restrictions and Gambling Age

Online casinos have measures to protect against underage gambling and illegal play, but bettors are also responsible for following local rules to the best of their ability. That means anyone registering to gamble online in Ontario must be 19 years old, the legal gambling age in Ontario and many provinces in Canada. Even if you travel to Ontario from a region where the legal gambling age is 18, like Alberta, Manitoba, or Quebec, you must still follow local rules.

The point about travelling to Ontario to gamble is also something players should understand and consider. Only players within the province’s borders can access regulated Ontario casinos. Therefore, anyone of legal gambling age can visit Ontario and play casino games while there, yet you must always play in Ontario. You cannot create an account in Ontario, then return to your home province and play.

Ontario Gambling Operators

Considering the success of the launch of online gambling in the US, many operators are looking towards the US’ neighbour to the north to offer a similar market opportunity. Therefore, many of the top US operators plan to launch in the province. Brands like BetMGM have already announced plans to go live and welcome ON gamblers, and many more are looking to do the same. Not every operator may be ready by April 4th, 2022, but the range of online slots and casino sites on offer will increase as time goes on.

There are also international online casinos to consider. Many Ontario slot players and other gamblers will be delighted that their favourite brands, like 888, Bet365, and FanDuel, have announced plans to launch in the regulated market. Ultimately, this is great news for bettors in the province, and it means gamblers won’t have to abandon the online casino accounts they already have.

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Ontario Gambling Taxes

In some regions of the world, players have to pay taxes on any winnings they keep from online gambling. Canadian gamblers may wonder whether this is being introduced with the regulation of online casinos in Ontario.

You’ll be glad to discover that players in Ontario do not have to pay taxes on online casino winnings. That’s the same across the whole of Canada. Because online gambling winnings are not a constant source of income, it wouldn’t be fair for Canadian law to charge taxes on this money. However, if you gamble full-time or make a living from gambling, you must pay taxes. You also need to pay taxes on gambling winnings if you receive any interest. You can declare this on a T5 form.

International Sites

While all this excitement is happening in Ontario, the rest of Canada is still waiting for legislation. Players in other provinces won’t be able to access regulated online slots and sports betting sites​ in Ontario, but there is still a range of international online casinos available.

It’s essential to check if these sites have regulatory licenses, but many will be approved by leading gambling jurisdictions like the Gibraltar Gaming Commissioner and the Malta Gaming Authority. Regulatory bodies like these are respected worldwide and put gambling sites through strict testing measures. That means these online casinos are safe for Canadian players to access.

However, regulation in Ontario may mean that certain providers with Ontario licenses may not be able to operate across the rest of Canada. Both game providers and online casino operators that carry Ontario licensing may no longer be available in the unregulated provinces, though it is unclear at this stage whether these territory restrictions will be enforced and what the implications will be for offshore sites operating in Ontario.

While Ontario players can currently access online casinos that carry licenses from external jurisdictions, when online gambling regulation launches, they won’t have to. The province’s regulated gambling industry will have everything players need, including excellent player safety measures.

Best Slots Casinos For Players Outside Ontario

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How Do the New Online Gambling Regulations Apply to Players?

The new regulations mean that any online casino that wants to provide games to players in Ontario must receive a license from the AGCO, which has numerous restrictions placed on these sites to ensure player safety. That means every casino will need to meet the highest security and responsible gambling measures. Therefore, you will need to opt in to see the latest promotional offers, for example.

Canadian sports bettors have already enjoyed this new regulation’s benefits, with single-game sports betting provided by provincial lotteries being available from August 2021. However, from April 4th, 2022, some of the biggest sportsbook brands will make betting markets available in Ontario. The launch will also see incredible welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions coming to the province.

Players already registered with international casinos launching in Ontario may experience some minor changes when launching the online casino for the first time. However, these betting operators have had months to prepare, so the process should be incredibly smooth.

What will get Ontario slots players excited is that this new legislation means many new online casinos that weren’t previously available will be coming to the province. These aren’t obscure gambling brands that no one has heard of but giants in the industry. BetMGM, Betway, DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, and more could soon bring exciting online slots and casino table games to ON gamblers.

The Benefits of Ontario’s Regulated Online Gambling Launch

The regulation of online gambling in Ontario ensures the safety of every player that chooses to gamble. While many international online casinos are safe and licensed, including the sites recommended on this page, there are still online casinos that do not offer guarantees on player safety or financial security. Now, the AGCO will check every online casino that launches in the province. Therefore, this will make online gambling safer for everybody.

One of the key benefits with Ontario players is how many choices they will get. Ontario gamblers have been very limited in what kind of games they can access, with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation providing some.

However, following the regulation of online gambling in Ontario, dozens of online casinos will be available in the province. Each site will offer different casino and slot games, bonuses, and special features. Players can sign up with as many online casinos as they want! ON bettors will love the new regulated online gambling market because of this.

Regulation Across The Rest Of Canada

Despite Ontario paving the way for legislation of iGaming, every province is self-governed. Each Canadian territory has a lieutenant governor who has power granted by the federal government, and any online gambling legislation would need to go through each province’s respective governor. However, many regions will be looking at Ontario as a test run. Therefore, if the Ontario launch is successful, online gambling regulation could quickly come to other parts of Canada.

The History Of Gambling In Canada

Before we look at the future of online gambling in Canada, it’s essential to understand how we got to this point. Gambling in Canada really kicked off in 1985, when the Canadian government gave power to individual provinces to legalize gambling.

However, gambling in Ontario didn’t launch until 1994, when the first land-based casino opened its doors in the province. Since then, the industry has exploded, with 70 brick-and-mortar casinos welcoming customers across Ontario today.

Yet, an issue came with the rise of online technology since Canadian law prohibited online casinos from launching within Canada’s borders. While that stopped local operators, players could still access online casinos through international sites. That’s why Canadians gamble approximately $10 billion a year, despite not having many local options.

Ontario has been one of the leaders for regulated online gambling in Canada, but progress has been slow. In 2015, it was one of the few provinces to launch its own government-run online casino, PlayOLG, regulated by the AGCO. Ontario is once again leading the way with gambling, being the only province close to a regulated online gambling market.

Summary

For so long, there has been uncertainty around online gambling in Canada. However, part of that will disappear with the launch of regulated online gambling in Ontario. Not only will this make online casinos safer in the province, but it will also provide unique opportunities, like local partnerships.

Considering how quickly things changed in the US, which has a similar state-by-state policy to the legalization of online gambling, Ontario could just be the start. If the online gambling market is flourishing, we can expect to see other Canadian provinces introduce similar regulations. For now, ON gamblers will enjoy their new regulated market and all the new online casinos and welcome bonuses that come with it!

Ontario Gambling Regulations FAQ

When will online gambling launch in Ontario?

Online gambling in Ontario is scheduled to launch on April 4th, 2022. New online casinos can launch in the province and bring tons of new games and bonuses to players from this date onwards. Some of the biggest gambling brands, like Bet365, 888, and BetMGM, are confirmed to be launching in Ontario.

What is the legal gambling age in Ontario?

Like in most Canadian provinces, the minimum gambling age in Ontario is 19. That means you must be at this age to register an account and play these games. Even if you are from a province where the legal gambling age is 18, you must follow the local rules in ON.

Is it safe to play online slots in Ontario?

Yes, it is safe to play online slots with any licensed online casino in Ontario. Most sites launching in the province have been operating in other regions and have received regulation to do so. Therefore, each online casino has passed strict tests for player safety.

How do I sign up for an Ontario slot site?

To sign up with an Ontario slot site, all you need to do is head to the online casino via your desktop or mobile device browser. The site will guide you through the registration process step-by-step. You will need to prove your identity with copies of documents like your photo ID and proof of address during the registration process.

Can I claim a welcome bonus at Ontario online casinos?

You can claim a welcome bonus with most online casinos in Ontario, but due to regulations, you will need to opt in at the casino you choose in order to see the bonus offers. There are many different types of bonuses, from deposit match bonuses to free spins.

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