Gambling Expert Concerns Over New Ontario iGaming Market

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Concerns. Image Credit: Shutterstock

With the new Ontario iGaming market just launched, worried experts are already raising their concerns about the possible consequences of the move.

No sooner was Ontario’s newly regulated iGaming market launched, have industry players and experts voiced their concerns about various issues. Land-based operators have expressed worry that Ontario’s new variety of online gambling services would negatively impact their operations. In contrast, addiction experts have warned of a potential explosion of problem gambling in the province.

One of the primary reasons for the launch of the new iGaming market was to draw away Ontarians from illegal offshore gaming websites, where, according to research, they spend CA$500 million every year. This way, the province can keep part of the revenue in its coffers while providing locals with a safe and regulated gambling environment.

Problems to be Addressed

Great Canadian Gaming Corporation CEO, Tony Rodio, commented that it was unfair for iGaming operators to be taxed at 20% of their income while land-based casinos are taxed at 55%. Rodio further explained that with lower tax rates, the recently launched online operators could pour millions of dollars into marketing to attract larger crowds from the land-based industry.

Gambling addiction experts are also on alert with the new iGaming regime. Chanel Larche, a researcher at the University of Gibraltar’s Centre of Excellence in Responsible Gaming, indicated that the increase in the bouquet of gambling products should be backed by an equal increase in resources to assist bettors who experience problem gambling.

In light of this, the leading US gambling company, FanDuel, which recently entered the Ontario market, revealed that it is collaborating with the Responsible Gambling Council. Dale Hooper, FanDuel Canada’s general manager, stated that the company is conducting research and providing the required tools to help protect local gamblers from unwanted effects of problem gambling.

Nigel Turner, an addictions expert at The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, noted that Ontarians need more information on problem gambling. According to Turner, every time the availability of gambling increases, there is a potential for more individuals to develop problems associated with addictive behaviours.