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Ontario on Schedule to Launch iGaming by Fall 2021

The province of Ontario is on schedule for a launch of its online gambling sector by this fall, according to the Attorney General. Earlier on in March, Birgitte Sand was approached and appointed in the lead role of engaging with the public with regard to the online gambling regulations in place already. This came about prior to a move which will allow both private businesses as well as third-party service providers to enter into the Ontario market. As thing stand at the moment, this operates as a tightly regulated sector.

However, hopes are high for things to remain on schedule. Sand is perhaps the best person to lead this task as well, considering she fronted Spillemyndigheden – Denmark’s gambling regulator – from 2008 to 2020. She was also at the helm when the regulatory body received permission from a court in Copenhagen to block 25 unlicensed online gambling sites from being accessible to Danish gamblers.

Sports Betting Bill Prompts Change

Ontario isn’t the first Canadian state to move forward with adjusting gambling regulations to suit a more modern industry. A similar process is actually being undertaken by several other Canadian federal provinces, and this comes following news that a new sports betting bill is to be introduced across the country. Through Bill C-218, single-game sports betting would become a legal activity within Canada, and this was adopted in February at second reading with a 303-315 vote.

Attorney General for Ontario, Doug Downey spoke with BNN Bloomberg and said that the consultation process will determine what kind of consumer protections should also be added to the regulatory framework. Discussions will also be held to figure out the best ways of tackling money laundering, as well as to help specify what type of role the private sector will have with regard to Ontario’s online gambling industry.

Downey was adamant that Ontario has little intent to wait for the federal government to finish doing what they’re doing before his province moves forward. “It’s our goal to have the framework built and finalized by the fall of this year”, he said.

Map of Ontario, Canada witht a diplay of lagislature and technology for online gamblin

Final Part of the Framework Surrounds Revenue-Sharing

A white paper that was published by the Ontario government suggests that one of the final parts of the framework to be completed surrounds a decision on revenue-sharing. This is in relation to the private sector players. Other features of it to focus on include what types of betting categories will be included and how the existing land-based operators within Ontario will be able to provide players with online options.

The consultations that Ms. Sand will have with the public are all being completed so as to finalize these details. “I really look forward to hearing from people with experience in the field and being with opinions to be able to answer that question, eventually”, said Downey.

Various private sector businesses have been submitting their interest in the upcoming updated online betting world of Ontario. Once the legal framework has been established and set in place, Torstar Corp., which is the owner of the Toronto Star and various other newspapers, could be one of the first to involve itself in the sector. It was in February that the company said has plans in place to develop its own online betting site, in a bid to help with the funding of its journalism efforts within the province.

Ontario Introducing Legal Single-Game Sports Betting to Combat Underground Efforts

Ontario, like many other areas around the world, has seen its fair share of gamblers visiting offshore platforms as a way of enjoying their favored betting options. This has come about due to the illegality of certain forms of gambling within Canada in general. In fact, back in 2019, Ontario was responsible for breaking a $131 million gambling ring, with 28 people being arrested for the crime. Connections to a prominent Mafia crime family were also reported at the same time.

However, with the potential introduction of single-game sports betting in a legal format, the triad of DraftKings (current official daily fantasy sports partner of NFL), FanDuel and William Hill Plc. has been sniffing around. Those three brands have been dominating the U.S. sports betting sector in recent times, and there’s little wonder that they are also looking to take over the Canadian scene, too. However, they may have quite the fight on their hands, considering theScore (a betting app created by a Canadian father-son team) has a legion of fans already.

Basing itself out of Toronto, Score Media and Gaming Inc. saw its shares soar once Canada unveiled its single-game sports betting bill in November of 2020. It is now the company’s intent to allow Canadian bettors to access theScore for a variety of sports betting opportunities within. As thing stand at the moment, the app is active in the U.S. states of Colorado, Indiana and New Jersey. In those locations, it has already proved to be highly popular. There is no reason why that success shouldn’t be replicated within Canada, too.

Of course, the triad of sports betting brands mentioned earlier are much bigger, and better capitalized due to this, than Score Media. The DraftKings brand has a market value of over $19 billion following a huge rise in its shares of more than 300% in 2020. In comparison, Score Media has a market value of about $604 million.

One possible way that Score Media could improve its own standing within Ontario and across Canada in general is by agreeing to a takeover by a larger competitor. The decision for that to take place would be up to the company’s CEO, John Levy. He owns 100% of a special class of voting shares, and this gives him complete control of the board and the opportunity to veto any kind of deal proposed.

Current Legal Options in Canada

As things stand at the moment, Canadian gamblers have the chance to access a select number of online sites for sports betting, poker play and casino gaming. A deep interest in online poker is held by Canadians, and multiple top professional players, such as Daniel Negreanu – (current GGPoker Ambassador -, Timothy Adams and Sam Greenwood, hail from the country.

Anyone looking to play poker, access casino games or involve themselves in sports betting can do so at various legal platforms. These include brands like ACR Poker, where you can benefit from a £10 no deposit bonus with code PRB10FREE, Tiger Gaming and Bodog.