Canada’s gambling landscape is undergoing a significant shift, with online casinos leading the charge as a growing number of Canadians embrace the convenience and variety offered by digital platforms. The provinces of Ontario, Toronto, and Calgary, Alberta are all shaking up online gambling in the country. Let’s explore how.

Ontario Online Gaming Market Booming

Ontario’s online gaming market, launched in 2022, has been a runaway success. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) reported a staggering $49 billion in revenue for the market in 2023. As the online gambling scene heats up, gamblers are increasingly demanding quick and easy access to their winnings. As such, online casinos that are known for fast withdrawals are gaining popularity. As Techopedia author and casino expert Joe Napier explains, these sites often offer instant withdrawals to suit individual player needs, including support for both digital and traditional currencies. 

A new study shows good news for online gambling in Ontario. The AGCO says that over 86% of people who gambled online in the past few months chose websites that are regulated by the government. This is a big jump from before when many people gambled on sites that weren’t controlled by the government. These regulated sites are supposed to be safer for gamblers and protect them from online gambling sites that engage in shady dealings. 

However, the online boom doesn’t come without regulatory challenges. The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) challenged the group in charge of online gambling in Ontario (iGaming Ontario) saying they shouldn’t be in control. The MCK claimed that the current rules give private companies too much control and that the government shouldn’t let private companies run online lotteries. 

However, the court ruled in favor of iGaming Ontario and upheld their authority as the provincial online gambling regulator, stating that the current open online gambling model is constitutional under The Criminal Code of Canada. Private companies can help run online lotteries in Ontario’s new legal online gambling system.

AGCO Tightens Online Gambling Rules, Cracking Down on Athlete Endorsements

The AGCO is stepping up its game to promote responsible gambling practices in the province’s newly launched online market. Recent amendments to the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming target a specific area – athlete endorsements. 

Some people are concerned about famous athletes promoting online gambling. In response, AGCO is thinking about introducing new rules to limit casinos from using athletes in their ads. These rules might include a complete ban on athletes in gambling ads or stricter guidelines on the messages these ads can send. 

The AGCO has not yet released details on the specific restrictions placed on athlete endorsements, but changes to this area could impact the online betting and sports betting industries in Canada.

Alberta to Launch Regulated Online Gambling Market, Following Ontario’s Lead

The province announced plans to join Ontario in launching a safe and legal online gambling market sometime next year, offering both online casinos and sports betting for Albertans. Alberta is following Ontario’s lead, launching safe and legal online gambling to keep players entertained locally. They’re learning from Ontario to make sure everything runs smoothly. 

Dale Nally, the Minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction, said that this promotes responsible gambling and brings in more money for the province. The government is learning from Ontario to create a system that ensures gambling remains enjoyable and safe.

Canadian Gaming Summit

The Canadian Gaming Summit is a major yearly event that attracts top executives and other stakeholders from the gaming and sports betting industry across Canada. The event runs from 18 – 20 June 2024 at the Metro Toronto Convention and will focus on the ever-changing gaming industry, both new areas like sports betting and well-established gambling options like casinos. This year’s summit is expected to be the biggest ever, with over 3,000 people attending.