- Ontario has launched their regulated and competitive iGaming market.
- The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is the oversight body for sports betting and iGaming in the province.
- Ontario’s sports betting market should be one of the most competitive–and most lucrative–ecosystems found anywhere in the world.
Ontario’s ‘best of breed’ competitive iGaming market went live earlier today with 13 mobile operators taking bets on opening day. For more info about who was ready at launch, check out this link:
We’ve given plenty of props to Ontario’s regulators for the job they’ve done and deservedly so. With the launch of their consumer facing iGaming Ontario website today they deserve credit for another component of the launch–in addition to the list of current licensees they’ve got a list of companies that are ‘in the pipeline’ with the necessary regulatory requirements in progress. From my vantage point, it looks like a partial list as there are a couple of companies that are licensed but haven’t executed their operating agreement not listed (eg: Fitzdares, PartyPoker). Alternately, it could be that these companies have completed all of the regulatory requirements but just haven’t launched yet. If that’s the case, they need to come up with another subheading in their database.
At any rate, the information offered by iGaming Ontario shouldn’t be hard to come by but is. Most jurisdictions don’t provide any publicly available data of companies in the licensing process–or at the very least don’t provide an easy to access compilation of this info. Then again, most jurisdictions–particularly in the US–don’t really want to create a competitive market no matter what they might say publicly. It’s easier to make sure that cronies, legacy operators and financial benefactors are ‘juiced in’ by keeping the process as opaque as possible.
Here’s the current list of ‘in progress’ licensees. Some of these companies we discussed in an earlier article about ‘other companies heading to Ontario’:
IN PROGRESS LICENCEES:
BET99–Probably best known for their sponsorship of Toronto Maple Leafs’ superstar Auston Matthews. They’ve become a major player in the Canadian sports betting scene and are now going to be regulated in Ontario.
BETWAY–Super Group owned Betway already serves a number of US states including Colorado, Indiana, New Jersey, Iowa and Pennsylvania.
CASIGO–One of several casino brands operated by White Hat Gaming that are Ontario bound.
CASINO DAYS–Casino brand offering ‘over 3000 games to choose from’.
CASUMO–Well known European casino brand.
COMEON–Malta based ComeOn is well known in Europe, not so much in North America.
CROSSBET–Well established Australian bookmaker making their first foray into North America.
DELTA BINGO—Charitable gaming operator with 20 retail locations in Canada and a couple in the US. The retail locations offer bingo, ‘POD’ Internet games, and ‘Vegas-style machines’–presumably what are known as ‘Class II machines’ in the United States. Their online presence will likely be a combination of these games and traditional casino games.
DRAFTKINGS–You’ve probably heard of them.
GG POKER–Last I heard, NSUS Limited–the name of the licensed company–was planning to launch the World Series of Poker (WSOP) brand in Ontario. GG Poker is essentially the same thing for international players. NSUS Limited’s licensing entry with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) shows their domain as ‘WSOP.ca’. If I had to guess, my thinking is that WSOP brand owner Caesars Entertainment made the call to keep it US specific, meaning that it’ll be GG Poker in Canada.
LOTTOGO–We talked about LottoGo at length about a month ago. They’ll launch casino games but what’s interesting is that their primary product is lottery derivative games and these are one of the few things specifically prohibited by Ontario’s regulators:
13. Bets on synthetic lottery products and bets on lottery outcomes are prohibited;
I would imagine that *most* of their games would be permitted under Ontario’s regulations including the ‘Instant Win’ scratchcards.
PLAYOJO–Malta based casino brand with the usual games.
NORTHSTAR BETS--The Ontario iGaming directory indicates the domain for NorthStar Gaming as ‘TBD’ though the company has already announced it’ll be called ‘NorthStar Bets’. More on NorthStar Bets here.