Casinos: Online gambling opens up in Ontario

When its new market opens, currently scheduled for April 4, 2022, Ontario will be the very first province offering a private online betting market. Some analysts believe that it could be one of the largest of its kind in North America, sparking much discussion about the future of online gambling in Canada.

The move comes after the local government recognized that turning current offshore casino players, of which there are many throughout the province, into players at legal casinos approved by the government was safer for the players and a potential source of income.

Since the announcement of Ontario’s decriminalization of gambling, along with their intent to open a new market, operators have been rushing to secure a license. Nearly 30 of them had applied for registration by February 2022, just a month after the announcement came. Of course, not all of them have received a license, but eleven operators have been successful. This is an impressive number for a market yet to have opened, and players will have plenty of choices come April.

The federal government has made it legal to gamble on individual sporting events, bringing legitimacy to a murky industry on which Canadians already spend billions of dollars a year.

The federal law allows provinces to regulate sports betting as they see fit.

"Canadians will have the opportunity to participate in single-event sport betting in a regulated and safe environment, at the discretion of the provinces and territories," Attorney General David Lametti told a news conference.

Canadians spend about $10 billion a year on single sporting events. An additional $4 billion a year gets spent by Canadians in the so-called grey market, in offshore jurisdictions where such bets are legal.

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