Ontario iGaming Launch - Which Game Providers Survived Regulation

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Regulated online gambling has finally made its way to Canada, with Ontario paving the way and other provinces likely to follow soon.

On April 4, 2022, Ontario will become the first Canadian territory to launch online casinos and sports betting on a large scale. The province issued licenses to some leading gambling operators from the US and Europe, offering safe and regulated Ontario slots sites and sports betting sites across the province. Ontario bettors can now spin the reels of exciting slot games at some of the world’s most prominent online gambling platforms.

Leading US casino brands BetRivers, FanDuel, BetMGM, and top European gambling operators like Bet365, Unibet, and LeoVegas are just some of the renowned casino operators to launch in the province thus far. Similarly, many primary casino games developers have been quick to secure licenses from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to supply slots and casino games to the province’s regulated operators.

Yet, as online gambling spreads across Ontario in the coming months, we expect many more reputable brands and established game providers to join them. This new regulation in Ontario is sure to shake up the online gambling scene, not only in the province but also across Canada. It also leaves gambling operators and game providers with a crucial decision; to launch in Ontario or continue operating across the rest of the country at the risk of being prosecuted as more provinces regulate online gambling.

Types of Online Gambling Licenses Granted by iGaming Ontario

As of April 4th, 2022, private online slots and sportsbook operators that have successfully registered with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) will be able to offer iGaming services to bettors in the province. Once a site obtains an AGCO license, it can legally provide online gambling services within Ontario.

Alongside this, brands wishing to launch in Ontario must also enter into an effective operating agreement with iGaming Ontario (iGO), a subsidiary of AGCO. iGaming Ontario is responsible for overseeing and controlling the Ontario iGaming industry provided through private gambling brands.

However, it’s not just online casinos, slots sites, and sportsbook operators that need to obtain a license to launch in the province. Companies involved in the manufacturing, installing, maintenance, testing, or preparing casino and slot games must also submit applications to register with the AGCO. That includes all your favourite slots and game providers, who must obtain an Internet Gaming Supplier license.

While an Internet Gaming Supplier license and an Internet Gaming Operator license may seem similar, they are two completely different types of iGaming regulation. Betting brands and games providers eager to receive either must also submit supporting documentation for each application and pay either an annual regulatory charge or an annual registration fee.

Ban on Operating in Unregulated Territories

Before launching regulated online gambling in Ontario, AGCO advised operators and developers to cease all activities while acquiring regulation or risk having their licenses rejected.

For example, ahead of the Ontario iGaming launch, Evolution Gaming was rumoured to have withdrawn from Canadian markets. Yet, due to the developer’s Certificate of Registration from the AGCO, a far more likely explanation is that Evolution Gaming was adhering to the AGCO’s advice until its official launch in Ontario.

There is no need for concern, though. The main aim of these efforts was to ensure that Ontario’s switch to its new regulated gambling industry ran as smoothly as possible. After all, a lot of effort went into legalizing the market.

While this new Ontario iGaming license will allow developers and operators to launch in the province, it leaves them with a choice. To regulate and cease operations across the rest of Canada or avoid Ontario.

Slots Software Providers Available in Ontario

With the highly anticipated launch of regulated online gambling in Ontario, bettors in the province can now access top-quality slot games from various software providers. While several developers are yet to launch in Ontario, you can expect to see the likes of Inspired Entertainment, High 5 Games, Gaming Realms, Blueprint Gaming, and many more. Below are several of the leading software developers and their status in Ontario.

Evolution Gaming

Evolution Gaming is arguably the king of live casino gaming, both in Canada and across the rest of the world. The games provider sets the standard of online live-dealer games, powering the best Ontario slot sites and online casinos. Evolution is already live with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Therefore, the developer will soon secure its Internet Gaming Supplier license to operate in Ontario.

NetEnt

NetEnt, the legendary Swedish software provider, has over two decades of experience in the online gambling industry. You may already be familiar with some of NetEnt’s most outstanding titles, including Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest and Twin Spin. Along with the fact that Evolution Gaming owns NetEnt, we can expect the developer to launch at a similar time to its parent company.

Play'n GO

Earlier in March 2022, Swedish software developer Play’n GO managed to secure a license with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to offer its online casino and slot games to players in the province. You can expect to find exciting Play’n GO games at all the best Ontario slot sites, including Diamond Vortex, Riddle Reels and Rally 4 Riches. Magnus Olsson, Play’n Go’s COO, stated that this newly regulated market is vital to both the brand and the “industry as a whole.”

Microgaming

Established almost three decades ago, Microgaming is the industry’s longest-standing casino software developer. The company is the name behind many famous slot games, including Immortal Romance, Game of Thrones, Thunderstruck II, and the renowned progressive jackpot series Mega Moolah. Due to the game providers’ popularity, we will likely see Microgaming launch in Ontario’s iGaming market.

Playtech

Playtech, one of the world’s largest online gambling and sports betting software suppliers, has already rolled out its casino technology for NorthStar Gaming’s launch in Ontario. As such, bettors in the province can play the developer’s top slot games, including Green Lantern and the Age of the Gods series.

BetSoft

While this developer began by developing some of the best flash slots, BetSoft has moved with the times and now boasts some of the most popular slot games. At our best Ontario slot sites, you can spin the reels of exciting BetSoft slots like Tiger’s Claw and The Golden Owl of Athena. You can also expect the developer to obtain its Internet Gaming Supplier license to launch in Ontario.

IGT

IGT’s legendary PlaySports platform already powers various market-leading sportsbooks live in Ontario, including FanDuel. Therefore, we can expect to see the developer’s thrilling slot games and other casino titles launch in the province.

Best Slots Casinos in Ontario

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What to Expect With the Launch of Regulated Gambling in Ontario

Ultimately, online casino operators and games developers are now left with a significant choice to make. While both regulating within Ontario and continuing to operate across the rest of Canada come with unique benefits, only time will tell if the province decides to enforce non-regulated markets to comply. We are yet to see the full impact of Ontario’s iGaming launch and how this will affect slot games at casinos both within and outside the region.

But one thing is sure; Ontario bettors are in for a treat, with numerous leading online gambling sites and top-tier developers already live in the province.

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