Online gambling is growing at an exponential rate as more people have access to the internet than ever before. Because of the global pandemic, many punters could not frequent their favourite casinos. As a result, we now witness how the igaming industry is bursting out of its seams. Many regions have cottoned on to the fact that regulated online gambling is favourable to the local economy and so they move toward this result.
Canada may be one of the players who is reading the cards right. During August 2021, single-event sports betting was no longer deemed a criminal offence and bookmakers opened their business to Canucks. Shortly thereafter, Ontario established its igaming regulator to provide a safe and regulated industry to punters.
There was also an announcement from the Canadian Gaming Association that they appointed four more board members; the country’s intention is becoming clearer. CGA CEO and president, Paul Burns, commented on the appointments, saying:
“I am pleased to welcome Scott, Neil, Jeffrey and Chuck to the CGA board and believe their experience will help the association implement its operational strategy as we move out of Covid.”
Scott Burton is the CEO of FansUnite, a sport and entertainment company that prides itself on providing technology solutions related to regulated online gambling.
Winds of Change
Canadian law prohibits punters from playing at an online casino that is within the borders of Canada. The Criminal Code of Canada does not prohibit wagering offshore though. However, provincial governments can operate lotteries and online gambling.
Currently, there are no Canadian licensed online casino providers established within the country. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is the exception, as gambling is legal and regulated in Mohawk Territory. Ontario is the first province to establish its igaming commission and, according to Attorney General Doug Downy, safe and regulated gambling will be available before this year wraps up. Downey commented:
“Following parliament’s historic vote to lift the prohibition on single-event sports wagering last month, the establishment of iGaming Ontario is another pivotal milestone in our work to ensure people have access to a safe and regulated online gaming market by the end of the year.”
CGA’s board is gearing up for change in the gambling world and their impressive list of board members includes leaders from the likes of Flutter, Scientific Gaming, and Nuvei. Burns added:
“These seasoned professionals have strong track records as trusted leaders in the gaming industry, and they will provide invaluable insight as we look to launch a regulated igaming market in Ontario and single-event sports betting across Canada.”
Neil Erlick, Nuvei’s Chief Corporate Development Officer, Jeffrey Haas, SVP of International Strategy at DraftKings, and Chuck Keeling from Great Canadian Gaming Corporation all join Scott Burton as board members at CGA.
Ontario Leads the Way to Safer Wagering
iGaming Ontario is a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). The commission will offer licensing agreements to the likes of FanDuel, BetMGM and Bet365 to become platform providers in the province.
They predict that Ontario’s online gambling market could become a C$1 billion industry and, seeing that it is the most densely populated area in Canada, it makes sense that they are the first to have a regulated online gaming market.
It seems like the best is yet to come and although Canada is not racing into the regulated igaming market, recent events point to them preparing for one.