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Ontario Expected To Launch Online Sports Betting April 4

Ontario Expected To Launch Online Sports Betting April 4

Fans of Ontario sports betting finally have a date to circle on their calendars. The province has set the day for the launch of private gaming operators in Ontario.

On Friday, iGaming Ontario, a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), announced in conjunction with the Government of Ontario that April 4 will be go-time for private online sports betting operators to launch in the province.

Beginning April 4, private gaming operators that have registered with the AGCO and have executed an operating agreement with iGO can begin offering their games to players in Ontario. Companies will operate gaming sites in the market on behalf of the province in accordance with these agreements.

Operators wanting to participate in Ontario’s iGaming market as an agent of the province must first be registered by Ontario’s gaming regulator, the AGCO, and then also execute an operating agreement with iGO.

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Big Players Ready To Enter Ontario Market

Several of the biggest names in US sports betting, including FanDuel, PointsBet, BetMGM, Caesars and DraftKings have been lined up awaiting the go-ahead to launch in Ontario.

PointsBet already has set up a Canadian-specific web page, signed partnership agreements with the NHL Alumni and Curling Canada, and hired Canadian pop-culture icons The Trailer Park Boys to be their brand ambassadors.

Canadian-owned theScore Bet, which last year partnered with American betting giants Penn National Gaming, is also poised to enter the fray.

“We commend the Ontario government for their tireless efforts throughout this process and are thrilled to now have a confirmed launch date,” said John Levy, CEO of theScore, in a statement. “The AGCO and iGaming Ontario have been thoughtful and collaborative in their approach to creating and managing this new industry, and the result is a soon-to-be-launched framework that will bring widespread benefits to Ontarians and establish Ontario as one of the biggest and most important regulated gaming markets in North America.

“We will be ready to launch theScore Bet in Ontario on April 4 and could not be more excited to finally offer our best-in-class mobile sports betting and iGaming experience to customers in our home province.”

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Legalization Of Single Sports Betting

Parlay wagering on sports was available to Canada sports betting fans for two decades. However, it wasn’t until late August of 2021 that the Canadian government legalized single sports betting nationwide. The provincial governments were assigned the task of licensing and regulating operators within their borders.

Up until now, only the government-run Proline+ has offered sports betting in Ontario. With a population of 15 million, which would make it the fifth-largest state were it part of the USA, all of the prominent online sports betting sites and betting apps have targeted Ontario as the place they want to launch.

The thinking is that Ontario could rival New Jersey and New York sports betting for betting handle. In January, its first month of online sports betting, New York has drawn a handle of $1 billion.

“The move to establish a regulated iGaming market in this province will ensure that the people of Ontario have access to safe and legal gambling options,” said Paul Burns, president and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association. “We finally have the opportunity to safeguard the economic benefits that will start to flow to licensed gaming operators and the provincial government.”

The Ontario government has adopted a wide-open approach when it comes to welcoming iGaming operators to set up shop in the province. They are hoping to push offshore sites that pay no money to operate in the province out of the Ontario market.

“Today, most internet gaming by Ontarians takes place on websites not conducted and managed by the province,” iGO executive director Martha Otton. “Our new internet gaming market will give consumers enhanced entertainment choice, support the growth of a new, legal market and generate revenue that can help fund programs and services that benefit all of us.”

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