As of April 2022, Ontario has established new regulations allowing online casino gambling for residents aged 19 and older with registered operators. This means that players can now legally place real money bets. They can enjoy casino services in a regulated and safe environment online.
For years, online casinos in Ontario operated from outside the country. As such, their ability to serve Canadian customers was often limited. In the past, some brands were authorized by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. However, it was not until April 2022 that ON established its own legal framework for Internet gambling. Today, one can choose some of the best real money Ontario online casinos on CasinosHunter and rest assured they play in a safe environment. This all due to the AGCO efforts.
Prior to opening a legal market, the ON Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) had been responsible for regulating all types of gambling in the province. This included slot machines, table games, horse racing, sports betting, and local lotteries. OLG oversaw all local casinos in the province, ensuring that they followed the law.
While this seemed like a good thing, it wasn’t. The OLG was a monopolist and did not allow any other companies to enter the niche legally. Therefore, there was no reasonable competition. Users in Ontario could not choose for more quality experience in a legal and protected way. As a result, the majority of the niche operated in the gray zone because customers wanted their choice to be information-based and preference-based.
Today, players in the province can enjoy gambling legally and with full protection of their data and their customer rights due to AGCO and iGaming Ontario.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of ON (AGCO) is a regulatory agency established to ensure honesty and integrity in the alcohol, gaming, horse racing, and cannabis retail sectors. The AGCO is under the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Act, 2019. It reports to the Ministry of the Attorney General.
The agency’s role is to administer and regulate the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019, the Gaming Control Act, 1992, the Horse Racing Licence Act, 2015, and the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018. The AGCO ensures public safety and fair play by providing licenses, setting standards, and conducting inspections. With the new regulations, the AGCO is now responsible for overseeing and licensing Internet casino brands in the province.
In July 2021, iGaming Ontario (iGO), a subsidiary of AGCO, was established. It’s remit was to make online gaming safer for gamers in Ontario. With AGCO’s registration and iGO’s operating agreement, gaming companies can now legally offer their services to locals in the province.
By allowing Internet casinos to operate legally in Ontario, the government can share in the profits generated by these brands. Now, users can feel confident in the safety and reliability of the sites they use, knowing that they have met rigorous standards. With the opening of the regulated industry in April 2022, players now have access to a wide range of casino software products.
AGCO and iGO share the responsibilities of licensing and supervising online casino operators and their activities for players in ON. Here is the incomplete list of what these two authorities do to ensure high-quality safety and transparency standards of the niche in the province.
- verify that Internet casinos adhere to Canadian law and regulations
- ensure that casinos comply with consumer protection and revenue generation laws
- oversee contract obligations for casino services in Ontario’s regulated iGaming industry
- facilitate the integration of casino brands into the new market by providing industry insights
- implement responsible gaming requirements for casino brands to ensure that users are protected and gamble responsibly
- develop and supervise iGaming Ontario’s anti-money laundering program and policies
- manage a dispute resolution process to address customer concerns
- promote healthy competition among businesses to ensure player satisfaction
- ensure that sensitive personal data is kept confidential and prevent access by minors
Overall, iGO and the AGCO work tirelessly to ensure that players in the province have access to a safe and fair online gaming experience. By enforcing strict regulations and providing support for responsible gambling, they ensure that the industry operates with integrity and transparency.
At the time of writing this post, over 70 internationally recognized online casino companies have already been licensed by AGCO and supervised by iGO to provide high-quality services to players.
Regulated by the AGCO, these casinos undergo rigorous testing to ensure they meet the highest standards of compliance. This includes data privacy, fair gaming, and protection of minors and player funds. Additionally, ON-licensed casinos offer Responsible gaming features to help gamblers stay in control of their gaming habits.