April Launch for Ontario Online Gambling Market

Posted on 2022-02-04 by Sean Williamson

April Launch for Ontario Online Gambling MarketNot everyone is happy about the latest legal development in Canada. The top free and real money online casinos list for players from this country is set to lengthen as of April 4, 2022. This is the date that the Ontarian online gambling market is set to launch. Would-be local operators are celebrating the news. But Great Canadian Gaming has been asking the government to delay the start. And Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation plans to take the matter to court.

Private gambling websites that have a license can accept real money bets as of the 4th of April this year. iGaming Ontario will be in charge of the market, which may become one of the largest in North America. The Province of Opportunity will be the first in Canada to take this kind of action, and many expect others to follow suit soon.

GCG Asks for Two-Year Window

Last-minute lobbying by GCG asks that the government delay the start of the private online gambling market. They want land-based operators to get an exclusive two-month window instead. They’re arguing that the policy as it stands will result in thousands of lost jobs and almost $3 billion in tax revenue going down the drain over the next five years.

Ontarian First Nations Outraged

The Canadian Constitution protects the rights of aboriginal peoples in Section 35. This includes First Nations social, political, and cultural practices - of which gambling is one. This means that the online casino Ontario market update is not welcome everywhere. Unless it's being managed by provincial or territorial authorities, gambling in Canada has been illegal for many years. Numerous First Nations now run not only major brick-and-mortar casino operations and Lottery services but online options for players as well.

Kelly LaRocca, Chief of Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation is not happy about the upcoming change in legislation. LaRocca has stated that the Premiership of Doug Ford has completely ignored concerns expressed by First Nations and has provided no strategies to offset the negative impact the planned legal change will have on this section of the community. LaRocca has promised to force the government to address the issues she’s raised and has sworn to hold them accountable.

Rivalry Corp. however, is supportive of the decision. This Isle of Man-licensed sports betting and media company is already operational in several jurisdictions and is one of those who have applied for a permit to operate in Ontario. Chief Executive Officer Steven Salz spoke of his excitement about Ontarians being able to access safe, secure, regulated real money entertainment online.

It’s clear that there are two very strong views on the changing laws, and only time will tell how the situation unfolds across Ontario and the whole of Canada.