- Entain owned sportsbook bwin along with Partypoker, Party Casino and Party Sports are now live in Ontario.
- 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.
Add a couple more brands to the Ontario iGaming marketplace. Earlier this week, Entain owned bwin opened to bettors in the province. At the same time, the company launched three platforms under the ‘Party’ marquee including Partypoker, Party Sports and Party Casino. As for sports betting, the addition of Party Sport and bwin adds a pair of brings to the Ontario market but only one unique line as the offers on the two site are identical.
Both websites offer casino games but the poker situation is the most interesting component of the launch. bwin also has poker room and that was sort of a surprise. Prior to the launch, the thinking was that they would be offering sports betting and a casino, leaving the poker to Party Poker and Entain’s US partner BetMGM. bwin is a well known sportsbook in some parts of Europe but has minimal name recognition in North America. The thinking is that three three brands will provide more net liquidity to the player pool.
As of now, there are four poker websites operational in Ontario though three are the Entain brands (BetMGM, bwin, Party Poker). The only active site/network is 888 Poker though two more are in the licensing process. GGPoker/WSOP have been licensed but have delayed their launch for reasons unknown. Also unknown is the brand they’ll use in Ontario–the original plan was to go with the better known WSOP marquee but some of the documents they’ve filed with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) have used the GGPoker domain. Poker Stars told the poker focused website pokerfuse that a launch is ‘in the works’. Here’s Rebecca McAdam Willetts, Associate Director of Consumer Engagement and Public Relations for PokerStars in a quote given to pokerfuse:
“We are continuing to work with the AGCO and iGO on our new licensed entity and are getting closer to sharing that offering with our communities across Ontario.”
“In the meantime, it’s business as usual for our players as our site will remain open, deposits continue to be safe, and players can still enjoy playing the events they love the most including our upcoming Spring Championship of Online Poker [SCOOP].”
pokerfuse also addressed the situation with which domain GGPoker/WSOP will use in Canada. As of last Monday, the AGCO website indicated the domain as WSOP.ca but the iGO (iGaming Ontario) website had ‘GGPoker.ca’
The two regulatory entities also appear to have different domains listed as part of NSUS Limited’s application for GGPoker, which is expected to power WSOP when it launches in Ontario.
While a separate AGCO website lists WSOP.ca as the domain, information posted Tuesday by the iGO shows the domain as “GGPoker.ca.”
It’s not clear if the discrepancy was a filing error or if it shows that GGPoker’s plans have changed. GGPoker has said that it will delay launching WSOP in the province.
“We are still working to make the transition for players to WSOP.ca as smooth as possible,” a GGPoker spokesperson stated on social media. “We do not expect to launch this week and you are free to continue playing on GGPoker at this time. We will pass more information as we receive it.”
pokerfuse also reported that iGaming Ontario removed their ‘in progress’ licensing list thinking that it might confuse consumers.