Sports betting fans in Canada will have been interested to see one part of the Canadian government’s 2020 budget as it includes new legislation to open up the country’s betting market.
The government of the province of Ontario is set to introduce new laws that will open up the province’s gambling market to private operators. As thing stand currently, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is the only license holder in the province. Only they can offer betting options to punters via their olg.ca website.
The new changes to the law will see the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) become the body that manages and operates online gambling activities in the province. The AGCO will also act as the regulator for the gambling market in Ontario, which includes the city of Toronto.
A subsidiary part of the AGCO will also have another important role – that of managing the relationship between private licensed betting operators and the government. While the final shape of the gambling market in the province is yet to be finally determined, AGCO and government officials are set to continue to liaise with stakeholders to come up with a plan for how the industry might eventually look in Ontario.
Taking account of consumer preferences is seen as key to that process. Additionally, the provincial government of Ontario is looking to influence the federal government of Canada’s new direction in gambling policy.
They want to encourage the federal government to change single event sports betting laws in the whole country, as this would help with the development of the new gambling market in their province. Legislation to this effect is set to be brought before the Canadian Parliament soon.
This process has met with the approval of the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), who are very pleased that all bettors in Ontario will now have access to legal and safe gambling options.
“As we grapple with the economic recovery from novel coronavirus (Covid-19), it will be helpful for Ontario to generate revenue from the licensing and taxation of offshore online operators who qualify to operate in Ontario,” said Paul Burns, the president of the CGA.
Burns is pleased that the legislation would also allow land-based casinos to access online gaming markets, allowing them to diversify their products and services in order to better cater to contemporary sports betting fans in Canada.
The news has also pleased other operators in the Canadian betting scene. John Levy, the executive, and founder of Score Media and Gaming (theScore) was delighted with the opportunities that the new legislation would allow Canadian punters to enjoy.
He said: “Canada is theScore’s home turf and we are eager to bring our award-winning sportsbook, theScore Bet, to our highly engaged fans across Ontario, a huge market with a population larger than all but four US states.
“We’re also encouraged by the province’s commitment to continue to work with the federal government in their effort to legalise single-event sports wagering in Canada.”