Wager Watch: Ontario Government Publishes Discussion Paper on iGaming Market

“Leveraging Private Sector Expertise, Reducing Red Tape, and Enhancing Entertainment Choices” amongst Province’s underlying objectives

Today the Province of Ontario released a discussion paper that outlines the government’s preliminary thinking on key aspects of Ontario’s new internet gaming (“iGaming”) model that will be regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (“AGCO”) and conducted and managed by a new subsidiary of the AGCO.

The discussion paper reflects the next phase of the Ontario government’s commitment to assign the conducting and managing of iGaming to the AGCO, a function currently performed by the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation (“OLG”), that was previously announced in the Ontario 2020 Budget.

The Province is asking the public and gaming stakeholders for input on how to establish a legal iGaming market in Ontario that, among other things, reflects consumer preferences, creates competitiveness, ensures market integrity, protects consumers, and helps erode the “grey-market”.

More specifically, the province is seeking feedback on:

  1. potential approaches to iGaming revenue sharing;
  2. key components of iGaming commercial agreements;
  3. types of games to be included in the new iGaming model; and
  4. interactions between the new iGaming framework and exiting land-based and charitable gaming in Ontario

Currently, the OLG is the only legal provider and operator of internet gaming in Ontario, and operates its own iGaming website, at OLG.ca. According to the province, following the establishment of Ontario's iGaming framework, the OLG will continue to conduct and manage lottery schemes including its own online gaming operations, while the AGCO's subsidiary will be responsible for the conduct and management of all other iGaming.

The full text of the discussion paper can be accessed here.

We will continue to monitor any developments in the coming weeks as they relate to internet gaming opportunities, updates, or initiatives, and will keep industry stakeholders appraised of the key information they need to know.

McCarthy Tétrault’s Gaming, Lottery, and eSports Group is a national, multi-disciplinary team focused on navigating the opportunities and challenges of Canada’s gaming sector. For more information on our group, please contact the authors or see our group page here.

 

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