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Ontario Government Prepares Plan for Competitive Online Gambling Market

Posted on November 10, 2020 | 9:58 am

Ontario’s government is currently planning to introduce new legislation that will end the gambling monopoly in Canada’s largest province. The new legislation would open the market to private operators, while the state would get increased revenues from licensing fees and taxes.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is the only operator that can offer online gambling in the province, through its website. Last year the provincial government introduced the idea of ending the monopoly, and now they are taking the first real step towards that goal.

The new legislation will see the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) act as regulator for the market. Moreover, a dedicated subsidiary under the AGCO would be in charge of managing the relationship between the government and private licensed operators of online casinos.

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Federal Sports Betting Bill Revived

The Ontario government will also encourage the federal government to finally legalize single-event sports betting across the country. Earlier this year there was a third attempt to legalize single-event sports betting in Canada, but so far the bill has not turned into law.

The bill, sponsored by Conservative Member of Parliament Kevin Waugh, will now be reintroduced. The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Soccer (MLS), Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Canadian Football League (CFL) all declared their support for the bill.

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Helpful for Economic Recovery

The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) supports the new Ontario legislation, saying this would ensure that people would finally have access to safe and legal gambling options.

Speaking about the new legislation, CGA president and chief executive Paul Burns said: “As we grapple with the economic recovery from novel coronavirus, it will be helpful for Ontario to generate revenue from the licensing and taxation of offshore online operators who qualify to operate in Ontario.

It will also allow land-based casino operators to access online gaming, enabling them to diversify their entertainment options and interact with customers outside of property walls.”

Last month, the government of Alberta launched the first online casino in the province. Online gambling is still a state monopoly in the region, but Saskatchewan remains the only province in Canada which does not yet offer some form of online gaming.

Source: “Ontario government prepares legislation to end igaming monopoly“iGB North America. November 6, 2020.

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