Ontario Launches iGaming Consultations
March 3, 2021
The Ontario government has announced it is launching iGaming consultations.
A website has been established that provides an overview of the government's plans for Ontario's iGaming market, the discussion paper, and how to provide feedback. The government is seeking feedback on its preliminary model, which it says is focused on prioritizing consumer choice, creating a competitive marketplace to promote business growth and combat the unregulated market, ensuring market integrity and safety, and providing Ontarians with robust consumer and responsible gambling protections.
The consultation opened on March 3 and the deadline for feedback is April 16, 2021. Responses are limited to 500 words per question or 10 pages in total.
The government says it is "committed to working with the industry and key partners to develop a new competitive framework that supports shifting customer access from the largely unregulated online gaming market to a regulated market with increased consumer protection measures."
In addition, it emphasizes it is important "to hear perspectives from operators and suppliers, Indigenous organizations and First Nations, responsible gambling advocates and other key parties, including OLG, to build a model that will work for Ontarians, provides opportunities for private sector economic growth, and generates returns for the Province."
The government has appointed Birgitte Sand, the former director of the Danish Gaming Authority, to lead the development of the regulated iGaming market. Sand will work with the province’s Ministry of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Finance, as well as the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board; Doug Downey, Attorney General; and Stan Cho, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance issued a letter to announce the consultations as well as Sand's appointment as Commercial Project Lead.
The Canadian Gaming Association says it will keep the industry posted as this process gets underway. The AGCO will be seeking input on operational issues (for example, game testing, data capture and storage, etc.) and regulatory standards separately, and we will provide more details on these engagements as they become available.
RELATED: AGCO Appoints Executive Director Responsible for Managing the Province's iGaming Market