One month into the new regulated online gaming and betting Ontario market and things are going pretty well, all told.
As of May 5, at least 34 operators have been successfully registered with the AGCO and 21 websites/apps are up and running. Those include numerous big-name operators from within Canada, the U.S. market, and elsewhere.
“We’ve dealt with some hiccups with payments and the financial services sector,” Paul Burns, President and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association, told The Parleh. “It’s nothing we haven’t seen in other markets, just growing pains as banks get used to and understand that the transactions are legal.”
Amanda Brewer, former Canadian Gaming Association consultant and now Canadian manager for Kindred Group, added that “given the big-name operators who have come on board, it has been as smooth as we could have hoped for”.
“As we get more operators into the market, it will get interesting,” she added. “With every large, well-known operator that comes in, there’s a shift that happens with everyone jockeying for position.”
Recent operators approved for licenses include NorthStar Bets, DraftKings, BetRegal, Betway, and ComeOn.
“Everybody is waiting for DraftKings to come to Ontario,” Greg Warren told Global News. “They’re not licensed with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario yet … but everyone is kind of expecting them to jump into the market soon. And I think when they come, they’re going to be very popular.”
SkillOnNet has also received approval to launch a number of its brands in Ontario, including the SpinGenie and SlotsMagic brands.
Another operator expected to launch soon in Ontario is Bet99, which signed Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews as an ambassador in February.
Ontario Lottery and Gaming chief digital and strategy officer Dave Pridmore told Sports Handle that he thinks the influx of operators to rival OLG’s PROLINE offering is great for the province and its residents.
“There were a lot of illegal operators, and now that money can go to Ontario. From OLG’s perspective, we’ve always been in a competitive market. Our world doesn’t change too much, other than we’re hyper-focused on delivering what our customers need,” he said.
On the supplier side, Armadillo Studios has officially secured certification and is preparing to enter the market, while Vancouver-based developer of digital iGaming content Playgon is one of several more to have applied for a license.