Ontario’s online gambling market is finally a reality and this represents a lot of renewed optimism about Canada’s gambling sector. Being the very first jurisdiction in the country to take bets within the context of a legal and private online gaming market, it sets the pace for what we can expect in the future.
Going forward, residents of Ontario will be able to wager on casino games as well as sporting events. Other forms of gambling products and services will also be offered online on both mobile apps and web-based platforms. These will, of course, have to be from licensed and regulated operators.
So far, iGaming Ontario has registered an impressive 25 operators. More are expected to be added in the long run but this is certainly a great start. Thankfully, there is a decent number of online poker options. Poker enthusiasts in the jurisdiction now have another amazing option when it comes to enjoying their favorite online poker titles.
Now, even though online gaming is now available in Ontario, some of the online poker options will still be offered from offshore sites. Players will not need to worry about the lack of localized content though as the poker operators are taking the new market very seriously.
PokerStars, for instance, will strive to ensure that its customers in Ontario have access to the global poker market as well as its massive player pool. 888poker and GGPoker who are always big brands in the online poker sector also have their sights set on the newly-launched market. There is talk of even more operators coming in.
The launch of online gambling today (Monday, April 4, 2022) came with the creation of a de-factor two-tiered system. As it stands, there are no long-term plans for the system but it is expected to have some far-reaching impacts, especially on poker players.
Commissioned by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), the two-tiered system is intended to help with avoiding a blackout period. This means that licensed online poker operators will be operating alongside rivals that have just started the licensing process.
On the bright side, this could help eliminate the possibility of black market operators stepping in where the players have no viable options. The main disadvantage of this is that it might lead to the market having some arguably inferior products and services. Still, this is all work in progress and we will have to wait and see how it all pans out over the coming months.