Ontario-Licensed Casinos

April 4th, 2022 marked the launch of online casinos in Ontario. The most populous Canadian province ushered the online gambling market in a new era and became the first to allow overseas operators to serve local players.

Now, residents of Ontario can open accounts, make deposits, place casino and sports bets, request withdrawals via their smartphones and computers at licensed providers of remote gambling services.

Online gambling has long been a favourite pastime of Canadians, but the law restrictions made them play at offshore casinos. As a result, the grey market flourished.

Ontario licensed casinos
Ontario licensed casinos

Best 5 Casinos claiming for Ontario license

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Gambling Restrictions In Ontario

Casino with license from Ontario, Canada

CasinoLicenseYear foundedGames
LeoVegasOntario, UKGC, MGA, DGA20125000+
888UKGC, Ontario, Others19978000+
Royal PandaOntario, UKGC20143500+

Gambling Restrictions In Ontario

There was not a special restriction for serving Canadians and international operators gladly accepted them and even provided them with the option to bet in CAD and use Canadian payment methods for deposits and withdrawals. However, the lack of regulation put customers at risk. Now, Ontario authorities believe the legalization would “protect consumers and provide choice”.

The Ontario online gambling market debut came 3 years after the announcement that the province would allow international operators to obtain licenses. In early 2022, authorities passed the so-called bill C-218. The latter amended the Criminal Code and lifted the ban on betting on the outcome of “any race or fight, or on a single sport event or athletic contest.”

As a result, a dozen prominent providers of online gambling services applied for a local license and expectations are that more will follow suit in the coming months.

So, if you were wondering can you gamble online in Ontario, the answer is YES. From April 2022, gambling is perfectly legal and operators that used to lurk in the shadows and operate on the grey market are enabled to apply for a license.

Casinos that are about to claim Ontario license:

Benefits of playing at legal online casino in Ontario

Benefits of playing at legal online casino in Ontario

It is a well-known fact that Canadian players open accounts at offshore casinos even though they realize the lack the security regarding payments and personal details. Now, such concerns are non-existent as Ontario players they can take a full advantage of the following perks:

Security

Being an iGaming Ontario licensee means that the casino is legitimate and the gambling authorities have thoroughly checked it to make sure it meets the industry standards. Offshore casinos also promise a fair and safe environment, but more often than not, they cannot keep their promise for fast withdrawals and high customer protection.

Convient Payment Methods

Payment Methods

For better or worse, players still prefer conventional payment methods over bitcoin and altcoins and playing at a regulated Ontario casino eliminates the necessity of using a payment option you are not used to or one that comes with high processing fees.

Some of the most popular payment methods across Canadian online casinos stay: Interac, iDebit and EcoPayz.

Care of the Licensed operators in Ontario

Licensed Operators Care About Responsible Gambling Practices

Even if they do not care enough, the authorities will make them to.

If you keep an eye on the financial penalties the UKGC imposes to violators, you will understand why licensed casinos do their best to obey the rules, offer reality checks, self-exclusion periods, and deposit limits options.

Bonuses and Promotions

A welcome bonus package of CAD6000 looks tempting, but the truth is that legit casinos can hardly afford to offer such a bonus as they have to cover their expenses for operating on the regulated market. Instead, they are more likely to offer a CAD600 welcome bonus that comes with sensible wagering requirements, so that you do not find yourself empty handed.

Offshore casinos, on the other hand, can offer CAD6000 and even CAD 60,000 welcome bonus, but people who managed to cash out such amounts are like ghosts, everyone talks about them, but few have seen them.

Ontario Online Gambling Challenges

Ontario Online Gambling Challenges

Ontario opened its online gambling market on April 4th 2022 and as many as 25 operators are already registered with iGaming Ontario, but their number is expected to grow fast.

Ontario is the first Canadian province to open its gambling market, but along with the positives, some concerns also emerged.

Accessibility of the online casinos in Ontario

First of all, the accessibility of online casino games means that the brick-and-mortar casinos would lose their revenue. What is more, online casinos have to pay 20% tax on their earnings, while the land-based ones pay 55%. Such a drastic tax advantage is worrisome, to say the least.

Likewise, the availability of online casino games would increase the gambling addiction concerns. The low tax rates enable licensed operators to spend more on advertising that will not only attract new customers, but also make those visiting land-based casinos consider opening an online account.

Ontario Gambling Addictions Help

Ontario Gambling Addictions Help

Likewise, the availability of online casino games would increase the gambling addiction concerns. The low tax rates enable licensed operators to spend more on advertising that will not only attract new customers, but also make those visiting land-based casinos consider opening an online account.

To remedy the situation, the Ontario regulator has set limitations on advertisements. Gambling operators are not allowed to launch advertisements starring celebrities whose audience is mainly underage. The ads must not use slang, themes, real life or fictional figures that would attract minors. Bonus-related ads are also prohibited. The bonus offers are available only on the casino site.

The licensees also have to implement a mechanism for monitoring if players are “experiencing harm” and provide a self-exclusion option, allow players to set deposit limits and show them responsible gambling messages whenever relevant.

Games in Ontario

Casino Games in Ontario

As for the games, split screen and multiscreen slots are banned, so is the autoplay.

The games must not leave players under the impression that the speed has an impact on the outcome of the spin. The minimum spin speed for slots is set at 2.5 seconds. Players’ winnings must be displayed in CA$, rather than in credits.

Ontario Online Casinos FAQ

The first step is to submit a license application via the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario) online portal. In this first stage, the applicant needs to define itself as an iGaming operator or an iGaming supplier.

Next, the applicant needs to collect and send all paperwork the authorities require and pay the application fee. Then, the application is processed and if the applicant is compliant with all requirements set by the Ontario authorities, a license is awarded. The final step is signing an agreement with iGaming Ontario.

The Canadian Government can now benefit from the tax revenues instead of letting money go other countries’ coffers.

The licensing fee depends on whether the applicant is classified as an iGaming operator or an iGaming supplier. An iGaming operator needs to pay CA$100,000 annually per every gaming site they operate, as well as additional expenses for the investigation authorities make prior to awarding a license.

iGaming suppliers pay a fee between CA$2000 and CA$15,000, as well as the above-mentioned investigation fee.

Currently, Ontario officials gave the nod to Play’nGO, High5Games, Inspired, Light and Wonder (formerly known as Scientific Games). More of the industry veterans are expected to apply in the next few months.

Which are the accepted payment methods in Ontario online casinos?
Every online casino has its own list of payment methods for Canadian players, but Visa, MasterCard, Interac Online, Citadel, Instadebit, Ecopayz, Skrill, should be among the available options.

Unfortunately, Neteller deposits and withdrawals are no longer processed. It is still unknown if cryptocurrencies will be accepted, although they seem to be a specialty of the offshore casinos.

Each Canadian province sets its own rules regarding minimum gambling age. In Ontario one must be at least 19 years old to play online casino games and place bets on sports events.

Online gambling in Ontario is overseen by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). The market opening brought the necessity of creating a subsidiary called iGaming Ontario. The latter is responsible for issuing licenses to applicants, ensuring adequate customer protection and monitoring the entire market.

If you are not sure if you are playing at an Ontario-licensed online casino, look for the iGaming logo at the bottom of the homepage.

iGaming Ontario is a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. It was created to oversee the online gambling market and make sure the licensees do not breach the rules for serving local players.

Until August 2021, Canadians had two options – to place bets on a parlay basis (bet on the outcome of multiple events) or place whatever bets they wanted at an offshore bookmaker.

Luckily, single-game betting was legalized and shortly after that, Ontario lawmakers announced their intentions for launching regulated markets for both sports betting and online gambling. The foundation of the iGaming Ontario was also included in the imminent plans of the province. Today, all these intentions are a reality.

Some iGaming providers that have been awarded a license offer everything under one roof – casino games, live casino games, bingo, keno, scratchcards, as well as betting on hundreds of sports events. In other words, if you have an account at a casino that also has a sportsbook, you can freely place bets. Needless to say, there are betting sites focused exclusively on sports events.

No, only providers of gambling services (a.k.a casinos and bookmakers) have to pay taxes. What you win is yours to keep.

If you see the iGaming logo at the bottom of the homepage, you already found a good gambling site that has passed rigorous checking procedures before being awarded a license. However, not all casino sites were created equal and some provide better bonuses than others.

The no deposit bonuses are a rarity, but match deposit bonus packages + free spins are common. Make sure the wagering requirements are player-friendly, though. The other factors that make an online casino good is the diverse game selection, the efficient customer support and the fast withdrawals.

Final Verdict

Closing Words

For now, it seems that Ontario regulator effectively holds the reins and handles the issues really well. Although it is unknown what the future holds, expectations are that the online gambling segment will continue to grow rapidly.

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