Gambling has been legal in Ontario since the 1970s when the federal government legalized real money betting for the first time. However, the real turning point wasn’t until 1985. That year, new legislation allowed each Canadian province to write its own jurisdiction laws concerning gambling. However, it took nine years for Ontario gambling to properly kick-off, with the first land-based Ontario casino opening in 1994. The establishment was called Casino Windsor and still stands today.
Despite the slow start, the Ontario gambling industry soon picked up. The Ontario Casino Corporation (OCC) was established, which was granted the responsibility of building and operating casinos within the province. The government subsidiary worked hard, with many more brick-and-mortar casinos joining the market in the coming years. Today, around 70 land-based casinos exist within the provincial borders, including several government-run commercial casinos and tribal venues operated by the First Nations.
Online gambling has also been enjoyed in Ontario for years, with many online casino sites regulated in other jurisdictions accepting Canadian players. In 2015, Ontario launched its own regulated and legal Ontario casino app, PlayOLG.ca. The province is one of the only in Canada to do so and was Ontario’s first step towards recognizing the potential benefits that having Ontario online casino sites could bring to the state and its residents.