ONTARIO BUDGET OPENS DOOR TO REGULATED ONLINE GAMBLING
Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government yesterday released its first budget, “A Plan for the People”, which contains several new gaming initiatives that will allow the government to take strong steps towards protecting consumers while expanding choice.
Legalization of Online Gaming in Ontario
The Ontario government recognizes that consumers’ gambling preferences continue to evolve, and with Ontarians spending over $500M annually gambling online using grey-market websites, the Progressive Conservatives will establish a competitive market for legal online gambling that will reflect consumer choice while protecting consumer who play on these sites. The government wants Ontario consumers to have access to “safe and legal gambling options”.
The next step is for the government to consult with stakeholders to “develop a market that reflects consumer preferences, fosters an exciting gaming experience and minimizes the burden on business while ensuring appropriate protections are in place.” The Ministry of Finance told CGA that it will be leading the consultations and they will be initiated shortly, however they have not yet determined timelines for implementation.
The CGA will keep its members updated on the progress.
Single-Event Sports Wagering
The Ontario government re-confirmed its support for legalization of single-event sports wagering, stating “it is time to usher Ontario out of the gambling prohibition era and treat the people of Ontario as adults by allowing them to bet on the outcome of a single sporting event”. The province will continue to press the federal government to make the change and stand up for Ontario consumers.