Ontario’s government is set to propose foundations for a liberalised iGaming market following the publication of their provincial budget. The establishment of an Ontario iGaming market will no doubt help to have a significant impact on how Canada as a wider country decides to regulate further styles of betting, including sports betting.
Following his 2018 election, Premier Doug Ford pledged to introduce a competitive gambling market to this province. This framework would be based on the measures introduced in New Jersey.
Ford claimed that the current gambling landscape offered by Ontario would not be able to match that of the USA. This is brought into focus by the changes currently ongoing in the states following the US Supreme Court’s overruling of the PASPA laws.
Paul Burns, Chief Executive of the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), has credited Ontario for taking the lead with these changes to the industry. Ontario, as the most populous province in Canada, could be the perfect appeal for foreign operators. This would then hopefully allow iGaming to be one of the economic drivers that would help the province recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is thought the Ontario residents had spent around C$500 million (approximately £292 million) at unlicensed sites in 2019. Changes to these laws could transform the market, not just for Ontario but for other provinces as well.
On a federal level, an introduction of single sports betting is becoming more and more popular. There is now cross-party support for the CGA, and it could see the introduction of sports betting in Canada soon, especially if there is a successful launch of an Ontario iGaming market.