Gambling in Ontario
Established in 1998, The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) are the market regulator of gambling and casinos for the Canadian province of Ontario. Historically, they oversee services provided to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), formed to control gaming operations for the region since the first lottery in 1975, returning over $55 billion to Ontario since, and today, fortified with its very own online casino.
While not strictly illegal for Canadians to gamble at offshore casinos, the OLG online casino, poker and sports betting has been the only official option for players wishing to gamble online. The creation of iGaming Ontario (iGO) in July 2021, a subsidiary of the AGCO, signalled a change In the online gaming landscape. The introduction of iGaming Ontario is the first step in creating a new authorised and regulated online gaming market that will help protect players by governing operations from April 4th, 2022.
The iGO aims to build a leading igaming market for Ontario, protecting players and creating more competition and opportunities within a uniform and regulated marketplace. Prospective online casinos must undergo a 90-day application period to become registered with the iGO and work within an Operating Agreement to provide services to players from the province. Interestingly, the iGO does not manage the online casino services offered by OLG.
The application to become a Registered Operator has fourteen steps with the iGO and AGCO. Step one begins with a non-disclosure agreement to commence a series of checks on the company structure, management and associated persons of interest. A series of audits and checks of the prospective operators’ market readiness follows. Operators are obliged to obtain a responsible gambling accreditation, RG Check, developed by the RG Council to ensure structured programs and services are in place to combat the possible side effects of harmful gambling and meet player safety needs.
With an Operating Agreement in place, the iGO regulates the online casino as per the Criminal Code (Canada), the Gaming Control Act, and the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming. They examine revenue and financial reporting, oversee funds transfer and reconciliation, and collect taxes. iGaming Ontario ensures a straightforward dispute resolution process to handle player complaints or concerns.
iGO registered online casinos must commit to plans for a coordinated and centralised self-exclusion program and pass frequent assessments of current responsible gambling initiatives. Operators are obliged to manage effective anti-money laundering policies with triggers for customer checks, such as KYC (Know Your Customer) and SOW (Source of Wealth).
For players, the new open regulation framework and iGO Operating Agreement means the market sees more consistent working practices from iGO registered online casinos. Expect identity verification for creating accounts and requests for copies of government-issued photographic IDs before play. A rigid responsible gambling network of help and effective systems support your online casino journey. And you can expect to benefit from a more stable and reassuring playing experience with an iGO registered casino than when taking a spin in the volatile grey market.
Please play responsibly | 19+. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem please call 1-866-531-2600 or visit Connex Ontario website.