Court issues order on legality of cross-jurisdictional online gaming

In 2022, FanDuel and DraftKings shuttered DFS operations in Ontario

Canada’s most populous province could see changes to its rules relating to daily fantasy sports and online wagering.

The government of Ontario has filed an Order in Council with the province’s Court of Appeal to question whether patrons in Ontario can partake in online games and wagering with players located outside of Canada. Ontario, with approval from its Attorney General, is questioning whether online gaming and wagering with players outside of Canada would remain lawful under the province’s Criminal Code as DFS remains a hot topic globally.

Ontario emerged as a new sports betting and igaming market in 2022 but as a result, DFS and sports betting operators DraftKings and FanDuel shuttered DFS operations in the province. The operators removed their fantasy contests due to a lack of cross-jurisdictional liquidity for prize pools in Ontario as a result of a ruling that requires DFS contests to only include players in the province.

DFS operators have to pay the same $100,000 annual licensing fee as sportsbooks, according to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). The AGCO also forces DFS operators to implement a 20% tax rate on revenue, which is paid to the province.

Despite no DFS operations, FanDuel and DraftKings continue to offer online sports betting in Ontario. That could change to both wagering and DFS if the AGCO changes its jurisdictional rules.

Previous rule changes in Ontario

Last month, the AGCO updated its regulatory framework for iGaming.

The commission approved amendments to the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming to ensure safe and fair practices for marketing and advertising. The changes, which went into effect on Feb. 28, include the banned use of cartoon figures, social media influencers, and celebrities who are likely to appeal to minors in materials provided by licensed operators.

Operators are also barred from using athletes in promotion unless the athlete is explicitly promoting responsible gambling.

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