Will the Launch of Ontario’s New iGaming Market be Delayed?

Ontario iGaming market image
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The latest news reports from Ontario indicate that there is a possibility that the launch of the highly anticipated local iGaming market will be delayed. 

Ontario has been abuzz with rumours that the launch of the new iGaming market in the province, which has been on the cards for a very long time, might be delayed.  According to reports, the new gaming regime will only go live in the middle of February, meaning that this year’s Grey Cup and Super Bowl will be missed.  As a result, punters will have to continue betting on the existing provincial platform.

Initially, Ontario planned to launch the new iGaming platform before the end of 2021, although this process didn’t go according to plan. Industry-leading North American brands believe that Ontario could become one of the largest jurisdictions for mobile sports betting and urge a quick rollout of the new betting platforms.

Legal Considerations

According to reports, Ontario’s gaming regulator will delay the launch of the new iGaming market due to bureaucratic hurdles in finalising the terms and the structure of the model.  The launch is now scheduled to happen in the middle of February, thus missing the Super Bowl, one of the continent’s leading sporting events.

Two unnamed sources claim that the start of the new gaming model has been prolonged due to outstanding policies around issues such as data management, game conditions, and security requirements. The delay creates uncertainty among operators who planned to apply for a spot and invest in the new market, forcing them to sit back and adjust their systems.

Brian Gray, a spokesperson for the Ontario Attorney General, refused to provide a solid timeframe for the new market launch. Nonetheless, he assured that the government continues its negotiations with potential operators to ensure that iGaming Ontario, the province’s iGaming regulator, and the gaming brands will be prepared for the new regime.

Currently, regulated online betting is only available via the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s mobile platform, which covers land-based gambling. However, for online betting, the responsibility has been passed onto the newly formed entity, iGaming Ontario, a subsidiary company of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

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