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'This has been a long time in the making': iGaming launches in Ontario

If you want to play online casino games or bet on single-event sports, there’s now a regulated market for it in Ontario.

“We’re getting an open online market that includes sports betting of all stripes and online casino,” said Robyn McNeil of

Ontario’s iGaming market, which officially launched on April 4, 2022, allows private operators of casinos and sports books to legally take online bets within the province of Ontario, rather than just at the government-owned Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp website or retail casinos like Caesars Windsor.

Seventeen companies launched Monday, according to the iGaming website, with dozens more anticipated in the coming months.

One of those companies is theScoreBet.

“This has been a long time in the making,” said John Levy, CEO of The Score — a Toronto-based media company that has been itching to enter the legal gambling market.

Up until now, The Score has been a news and information website, but is now adding betting platforms to its apps.

“It’s a wide open market, very friendly to operators. The whole idea was to get these guys out of the illegal market,” Levy said about the competition from companies not previously based in Ontario.

Levy describes Ontario as the fifth-largest market by population in all of North America, which explains why so many operators are chomping at the bit to get involved.

Levy says governments finally realized there was tax revenue to be made and better protections available to consumers by regulating the market.

“Prior to that, sports betting was happening and all of these dollars were just floating up to heaven,” he said.

NcNeil of says studies have shown concerns that online gaming will cannibalize brick-and-mortar casinos, but notes there is research that the concerns are not merited and that both venues usually end up rising.

“Land-based casinos are already competing against online, we’re just not making any tax dollars and players are less protected because it’s unregulated,” McNeil said.

Caesars Windsor representative Susanne Tompkins told CTV Windsor the casino chain welcomes iGaming in Ontario and will be announcing details of its own iGaming app in the near future.

Addictions specialists are watching closely hoping online casinos and sports-books don’t create a new wave of problem gamblers.

“With online gambling it gives access to gambling play 24/7,” said Gabriele. “It kind of highjacks people’s brains and make it so much more susceptible for them to become dependent on the gambling and gameplay.”

Diana Gabriele is an addictions specialist at Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare. According to Gabriele, the pandemic pushed many gamblers into the online gaming world and she’s hopeful that people will set personal limits and recognize the signs of problem gambling among family and friends.

“That money you dedicate to your gambling, just know it’s for entertainment and once it’s gone, it’s gone,” she said, noting it’s good to set a monthly budget, like you would for groceries or rent.

“Don’t go chasing that money.” Top Stories

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