Ontario Regulations: Software Providers Round-Up Q&A

Ontario Online Casino Regulations - Round-Up Q&A
7 min read

CasinosHunter has asked representatives of some of the leading online casino software providers to share their opinions about the new offline and online gambling regulations established by the Ontario Province in Canada. Play’n GO, Wazdan, and Light&Wonder have shared their thoughts on the consequences and perspectives of the new laws.

Play’n GO, Wazdan, Light&Wonder Commenting on Ontario

All gamblers in Ontario interested in safe and legal gambling, as well as all gamblers from other Canadian provinces are wondering about the new regulations and their consequences. What casinos are legit now? Will other provinces do the same thing? Is online casino gambling still fun under the new regulations? Software providers tell a bit more about Ontario gambling in this Round-Up.

So What About Ontario Regulations?

April 4, 2022, became a historical day for the Province of Ontario because, on that day, the province passed new regulations for a completely legal offline and especially online casino gambling market. 

The new laws allow operators to offer gambling entertainment to local players if the operators are officially registered and licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Before, almost any online casino, with or even without a license by the Kahnawake Gambling Commission, could offer its services to local gamblers. Even casinos that would love to have a more relevant license couldn’t get it. 

After April 4, 2022, more than 50 operators have already registered legally, both sports betting platforms and online casinos. Instead of operating in the grey zone, they can offer gambling, bonuses, etc. 

Little has changed for gamblers because gambling is allowed for people 19 years old or older who are located in Ontario (but not obligatory Ontario residents). On the other hand, now they can play at fully legit casinos, enjoy bonuses and safe payments, and guaranteed quality of service. 

Ontario Province has created a successful case of a regulated online gambling market in Canada, and the whole industry awaits the rest of the provinces to follow. Casino operators, software providers, and gamblers alike are interested in results and perspectives. 

CasinosHunter decided to collect some opinions from online casino games developers, to get a bigger picture of what is about to happen with online casinos in Ontario and Canada in general.

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Ontario is one of the first Canadian provinces to revolutionize its online gambling market. In your opinion, will this decision allow for improving online casinos and the quality of services they provide to Ontario gamblers? How will this influence the Canadian market overall, should we expect similar moves from other provinces?

Magnus Olsson, Chief Commercial Officer at Play’n GO
Magnus Olsson
Chief Commercial Officer at Play’n GO
Play'n GO

We were really proud to be among the first suppliers to receive a license from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) back in March, which meant we were ready for when the market went live at the start of April. It’s only been a few months, but we’ve been really encouraged by how things have gone so far.

Play’n GO has been a strong advocate of sensible regulation for the best part of two decades now. We’re active in around 25 regulated jurisdictions worldwide, and we’ve always believed that regulation is the best way to offer great gaming experiences to players in a safe and sustainable way. It’s fantastic that Ontario shares this view, and we hope the rest of Canada follows its example.

It will certainly guarantee a higher quality of experience for players in the province, although from Play’n GO’s perspective, it doesn’t really change our approach. We’ve always built games that place the entertainment factor front and center. 

We think in the long-term and we know that if we can offer our players a genuinely enjoyable experience with our games, win or lose, they’ll continue to enjoy them responsibly. This is how we’ve created some of the most popular slots of all time that are played by millions of people worldwide.

The early signs are that Ontarians agree with us. Many of our titles are already performing strongly, including Book of Dead, Tome of Madness, Rise of Olympus, and Honey Rush. We have a really exciting pipeline of new content on its way that we’re sure players are going to love. 

North America is a real focus for us at the moment, and Ontario is already shaping up to be one of the region’s most important markets.

In terms of the impact of regulation on Canada as a whole, we’ll have to wait and see. But I think the direction of travel across the Americas - from New Jersey down to Buenos Aires - is clear. 

Regulation is the only way to build a sustainable future for gaming. We understand our responsibilities and we are absolutely focused on delivering the very best of what our industry has to offer.

Andrzej Hyla
Andrzej Hyla
CCO at Wazdan
Wazdan

We can expect to see the quality of online casino services improve exponentially, especially with the introduction of European legacy suppliers that are introducing first-class knowledge and best practices from the most mature markets globally. Of course, Ontarian players will become more discerning over time – they’ll identify their own tastes and preferences, and more specific offerings will need to be developed for them to continue engaging them in this new market. 

What is especially promising is that the regulator hasn’t put any restrictions on brands and skins for each operator. This dynamic effectively represents a blank slate for the industry to be the market-makers, resulting in a far more diverse gaming landscape for players than would otherwise be possible. 

Of course, all this opportunity doesn’t come without its challenges. We are still seeing a degree of lobbying against any further regulatory precedent from land-based operators, but the possibilities of an omni-channel offering can only be beneficial to these businesses as well. This will become more evident as the market develops.

If Ontario does succeed in establishing a diverse and dynamic iGaming environment, it will be difficult for neighbouring provinces to ignore the potential gains. 

Though it’s still early days, the market has all the hallmarks of one that could grow to be truly seismic and rival some of the world’s most established jurisdictions.

Byron Bridger, VP Commercial, MD Canada iGaming, Light & Wonder
Byron Bridger
VP Commercial, MD Canada iGaming, Light & Wonder
Light & Wonder

Yes, most definitely. Regulated competition in any gambling market will increase the overall quality of the product and player experience. 

I do expect this will lead to further markets opening in Canada. The fact that OLG has largely retained their market share (and thus direct profits back to the government) whilst the government of Ontario has increased its tax base through new licensing and taxation schemes all the while reducing illegal gambling in the market will prove a highly lucrative path for the other Canadian provinces. 

I expect we’ll see another 2-3 Provinces move in their direction within the next 2-5 years.

*** This roundup Q&A was organized by CasinosHunter.com together with speakers taking part in it. All rights are reserved. If you would like to share this material or part of it, you should provide a clickable backlink to this page as a source.