PokerStars, the international online poker giant that was formerly headquartered in Toronto, is up and running in Ontario’s regulated online gaming market after executing an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario (iGO).
The brand, now owned alongside sportsbook FanDuel by Flutter Entertainment, has become the 21st fully approved operator in the province after receiving its license from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario earlier in June.
PokerStars will offer poker, casino and sport “while presenting a localized schedule and offering,” according to a news release. With the addition of the on.pokerstars.ca, on.pokerstarscasino.ca, and on.pokerstarssports.ca sites, there are now 31 sites currently licensed to operate in Ontario. Flutter already has a foothold in Ontario with FanDuel having been one of the first entrants into the province’s regulated market back in April.
PokerStar’s approval means the 21 regulated Ontario gaming operators are:
- NorthStar Bet
- Royal Panda
- theScore Bet
Others, including four brands owned by Super Group, the parent company of sports betting operator Betway and online casino Spin, are looking to join the fray before too long.
PokerStars is the fourth online poker provider to receive approval from the Ontario regulators, following 888 poker, BetMGM Poker, and Party Poker. Meanwhile, others including GGPoker (WSOP) and NorthStar have plans to launch poker options in the province.
“In many respects, Ontario is our home market, given the first-ever hand of PokerStars was played here over 20 years ago, so we are thrilled about the new regulated environment within which our players can play,” said Tom Warren, group marketing director for PokerStars. “A lot has changed in that time, but our commitment to offering our players the most epic and thrilling experience in the market hasn’t – and we can’t wait to get started.”
To mark the launch of the new PokerStars CAON platform, the company will host a special launch series, the Ontario Platinum Series, exclusively for those in Ontario from July 10-18, offering a $1.5 million guaranteed prize pool.
PokerStars says it is also looking forward to working closely with its gaming partner Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) to provide players with epic rewards, opportunities, and experiences. MLSE and Flutter had announced that partnership, which also includes FanDuel, back in April, explaining that the deal would include PokerStars being featured prominently throughout Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors games, including rink-board and on-court signage.
Later that same month, the brand announced it had launched a new peer-to-peer online betting exchange called PokerStars Exchange which lets bettors buy and sell wagers with other users internationally and includes access to a range of markets.