Ontario authorities to respond strongly to illegal operators

    Sport betting and casino regulators in Ontario have decided to take more severe measures against illegal gambling sites. In addition to losing their ability to enter the market in a regulated manner, all unregulated operators that accept players from Ontario are at risk of facing big fines. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), released its annual report from April 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022, with the later date being only a few days before the province started a new online gambling market.

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    The report also included data from iGaming Ontario (iGO). The iGO is an agency responsible for agreements with brands entering the market. This is so they will be able to operate in the province, while they keep 20% of their profits as a cut.

    Cracking Down on Illegal Gambling Sites

    The chairman of iGO, Dave Forestell, outlined the strategy that they will follow in cooperation with the AGCO, to combat unregulated gambling sites. "We anticipate more [legal] operators joining the market in 2023, growing the economic benefit and revenue stream for Ontarians. We will also ensure that the investments made by legal operators are protected and valued by taking further efforts to crack down on the illegal market. Illegal operators do not share revenue with the province and are not governed by our strict rules around responsible gambling, anti-money laundering, or player protection.", he commented.

    Ontario's Gambling Industry Is Growing Stronger

    Since the province opened up to legal gambling websites in April 2022, more than 70 operators have acquired licenses to accept bets. According to the iGO's report, from October 1 to December 31, 2022, wagers totaled $11.5 billion, while revenue totaled $457 million. Active players surpassed the mark of 900.000.

    On a similar note, the iGO’s Executive Director, Martha Otton, added that "That market, in a few short months, has quickly become one of the world’s largest regulated igaming jurisdictions and is on track to deliver real revenue to the province. We expect these numbers, across the board, to continue to grow."

    Before the regulation of the Ontario gambling market, a huge grey area had emerged with many unlicensed casinos having thousands of players. That alone was an excellent reason, so the government passed the relevant legislation. After a transition period, now the AGCO and the iGO seem determined to put a stop to offshore betting.

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