Alcohol and Gaming Commissions of Ontario Gambling Law and Regulation

Last Updated on 03/11/2022

Last Updated on 03/11/2022

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Last Updated on 03/11/2022

All online Casinos with an Ontario License

Introduction to Alcohol and Gaming Commissions of Ontario

AGCO Alcohol and Gambling Commission Ontario

Online gambling in Ontario has become more popular than ever. Many new online casinos are coming into existence, recently.

On 4th April 2022, the Canadian province of Ontario launched its regulated and legal online gambling market.

It is home to a host of legal online casinos with licenses from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

In fact, Ontario is considered to be one of the busiest gambling markets in North America.

Here, we are going to take a closer look at the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and the province’s online gambling scenario. So, let’s proceed.

History of Gambling in Ontario

Ontario has historically been the industry leader when it comes to gambling. Elora race track was the first legal gambling establishment in Ontario. But in 1755, the province came up with its own lottery. Since then Ontario has been leading Canada, as well as the world with its interesting and innovative gaming solutions.

The province’s gambling history dates back to 1874 when it passed the Criminal Code. This includes all the games of chance that are prohibited. It has been brought into effect for discouraging unnecessary competition to make a monetary profit. According to the Criminal Code, gambling is a game of chance, including lotteries and card games.

It states that if anyone is caught taking part in the game of dice or cards, a tavern can be put in jail for up to three months. It isn’t legal to have gambling equipment in position and if the police want, they can seize anything they think comes under gambling.

But in 1892, the Ontario Jockey Club came up with a horse racing track for the first time in Toronto, at Woodbine Racetrack. Horse racing doesn’t come under gambling. As a matter of fact, it was one of the few sports that were legal in Ontario at the time. Soon betting on horses became a common thing at the racetracks.

Late 19th-century Gambling in Ontario

Gambling was illegal until the mid-19th century. Things began changing in 1868 after the Montreal Winter Carnival. In this event, money was being raised to construct a new hospital. The carnival had a lottery and became highly popular among the passes. After this, lotteries were being held across the country for similar projects, such as schools, churches, and hospitals.

The lottery was growing in popularity and in 1874; charities were raising money in Ottawa and Toronto through lotteries.

By 1879, almost all Canadian provinces, including Ontario were using lotteries for raising money for various projects. Even small rural towns began using them.

In 1975, the Ontario Lottery Corporation Act was introduced and a lottery corporation was established. The main aim of the corporation had been to raise money for public projects. But in 1999, The Online Lottery and Gaming Corporation took over the corporation. Presently, the authority is responsible for the casinos, lotteries, and slots operating in the province. It is a crown corporation under the government of Ontario.

But OLG operates far away from the provincial government and isn’t directly responsible for Ontario’s casinos, which are taken care of by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation went through a process of reformation for separating legal gambling and liquor distribution services. Now, the organization functions under the Ministry of Government Services and Ministry of Finance. So, OLG is responsible for anything that is in close association with gambling.

What is the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario?

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is a regulatory body overseeing Ontario and regulating horse racing, gaming, and alcohol sale and consumption in the province.

The authority reports to the Ministry of the Attorney General directly and keeps a check on iGaming Ontario, a division focusing on the brand-new iGaming market in the province.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario came into being in 1998 owing to the Alcohol, Cannabis, and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act. Since then, it has been the regulator of everything in the province since 2021. The regulatory body is also responsible for the new Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Act.

At present, a board of directors has six members and a chair is managing the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Also, there is a CEO who works in close association with the board and is responsible for the team handling operations.

Ontario has been making significant progress in terms of the privatization of online gambling. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is a big step in that aspect. It might not be a gaming license in the traditional sense but it will enable operators to take part in the regulated iGaming market.

What Are the Requirements of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to Apply for a License?

The Gaming Control Act of 1992 gives casinos a legal framework for commercial gambling and gaming within the province. All entities and individuals manufacturing, maintaining, providing, installing, or repairing gaming equipment that can change the casino game scene should get a license. Suppliers or manufacturers of the gaming management software or security system should be licensed as the Game-Related Supplier.

But things are a little different when it comes to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. It oversees and regulates 25 slots and casino locations in Ontario. These are managed or conducted by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s regulatory objective is to make sure that all casino gaming operates within the law and with complete integrity and honesty.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario conducts its own eligibility tests on those wanting to supply goods or services or work in the province’s gaming industry to decide if the applicants are ideal for registration.

When it comes to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, there are six registration classes for people working in Ontario’s supply chain sector.

  • Operators

There are several commercial gaming operators in Ontario.

  • Gaming-Related Suppliers

Those providing services directly related to playing a lottery scheme or running a gambling website, including supplying, installing, testing, maintaining, or repairing gaming equipment.

  • Non-Gaming Related Suppliers

Suppliers offering goods or services in relation to the furnishing, construction, maintenance, repair, and business, in the Registrar’s opinion, and isn’t directly in relation to playing a lottery scheme or operating a gaming site.

  • Trade Unions

Organization representing registered gaming assistants that are employed at or in the gaming site.

  • Category 1 Gaming Assistants

The category 1 gaming assistants are the persons with considerable training, supervision, or decision-making authority, in addition to someone with considerable training or supervisory responsibilities.

  • Category 2 Gaming Assistants

These category 2 gaming assistants are the employees not exercising considerable decision-making authority or have considerable training or supervisory responsibility.

What Does the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Do?

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario covers several topics including managing and regulating alcohol, horse racing, cannabis retail, and gaming in Ontario.

The body gives a detailed outline of the key activities. This includes,

  • Developing regulatory standards.
  • Registering independent testing labs for testing and certifying iGaming technology caters to the Registrar’s Standard for Internet Gaming.
  • Determining the register and eligibility iGaming operators and gaming suppliers to ascertain the sector participant’s integrity.
  • Monitor all iGaming operators, digital game offerings, and suppliers for compliance with all regulatory obligations, including the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming.
  • Work with iGaming suppliers and operators for increasing their understanding of regulatory obligations and improving overall compliance.
  • Where compliance concerns are identified, bringing suppliers and operators back into compliance by using progressive sanctions, including suspensions, warnings, monetary penalties, and serious cases.
  • Addressing regulatory inquiries and compliance, including the ones that are in relation to the game fairness and integrity, responsible gambling violation, misusing private information, and money laundering.

Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Follows a Mission Statement

To perform such activities, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario goes by a mission statement.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is committed to conducting business in a that,

  • Develops, enforces, and implements fair procedures and policies.
  • Be focused on clients in a way that the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario responds to and manages stakeholder and client needs.
  • Establish a critical regulatory control framework in the public interest, which are sensitive to horse racing, gaming, cannabis, and alcohol industry’s viability.
  • Creating a supportive environment, which values and respects Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario staff contribution and gives them the chance to grow and achieve more professionally.

So, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario mainly focuses on regulating, monitoring, and managing gaming, alcohol, horse racing, cannabis retail, and gaming licenses.

Changes in the Ontario’s Gambling Market

After almost three years of working after the provincial government came up with the plan to end the gambling monopoly in 2019, the government in 2020 came up with legislation to enable a licensing regime.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s subsidiary, iGaming Ontario will be responsible for regulating the new market and issuing licenses to suppliers and operators. Before the marketing opening, iGaming Ontario had already handed out a series of licenses to some major brands operating in the province.

With the market opening, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has given a warning to the operators who are securing a license to cease all activities or risk application failure.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario had issued a statement in this regard; it said that any internet gaming operator who is registering should keep in mind that the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario can take strong action for addressing any Ontario market activity that is not under proper regulation with the law enforcement.

New Gambling Laws

Any businesses applying for the registration prior to the 4th April 2022 launch had to cease their operation in Ontario from the time the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario gave approval to the registration.

One of the operators that went live during the opening day was PointsBet. They introduced their online sportsbook and iGaming operations. PointsBet was followed by FanDuel.

Until last year, legal sports betting were just restricted to parlays. However, with the passing of the bill to legalize single bet gaming, things are changing. Before the legislation, residents could still access some of the overseas sites, offering single-game betting, such as Bet365. However, Canada states that all gambling organizations operating in Canada have to be regulated by the government.

Many operators have gone live after the introduction of the new regulations. But this has helped in removing all the grey areas in the market. So, now, if any online casino operator has to operate legally in the province, they have to secure registration with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. They also have to get an operating agreement from iGaming Ontario.

Not all of the sites are going to be sports betting but many of the sites registered with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will be sports betting. It will be a big deal.

After the legalization, studies estimate that single-sports betting event revenue can grow to almost $28 billion within the next five years. In present times, most gaming activities taking place in Ontario over the internet are under the management and regulation of the government. With the new gaming regulations, consumers will enjoy better entertainment choices, legal markets, and support.

What Are the Requirements to Get a License from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario?

Gambling and gaming operators should satisfy a few requirements before offering, installing, and maintaining casino gaming equipment.

To apply for the license from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, an operator has to pay a fee of 15000 CAD. If they get the license, they will have to pay an annual fee of CAD15000.

A few documents and information the operators need to apply for the license are as follows,

  • Criminal history
  • Valid means of identification
  • Bankruptcy history
  • Civil proceeding history
  • Organizational chart
  • Expected annual volume of business with Ontario’s gaming facilities
  • Service description
  • Business name registration
  • Shareholder’s list
  • Tax returns
  • Financial statement
  • Names along with the address of the business partners
  • List of financial institutions and accounts handling them

Online Casino Groups With an Ontario Casino License

Casinos Operating under Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario

There are many online casinos and betting sites operating under the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. We are going to take a look at the top ones in this section. So, let’s proceed.

PointsBet

It is one of the first betting sites and casinos to have registered under the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. PointsBet is one of the best gambling operators in the United States. The best thing about the operator is it develops in-house games. Even though the selection is quite small, the games are of high quality and fully unique. On the site, you will find more than 100 slots, live table games, and a lot more. It also comes with an integrated sportsbook. So, customers can also bet on their favorite sport on this platform.

PointsBet makes sure that the bettors and players have a seamless gambling experience. This is the reason it offers many deposit and withdrawal options. Payouts are faster. Hence, you can get a hand on your wins within a short time.

If you have any trouble at the site, you can reach out to the responsive and helpful customer support team. There are different ways to get in touch with them.

Bet365

Bet365 is popular not just in Ontario but across the world. It is one of the top gambling brands in the world. The site is a combination of casino games and sports betting. What enthralls the users is they have a massive choice when it comes to casino games.

The legendary and all-inclusive sportsbook is sure to impress you. Since it offers both, you can easily move between your latest sports action and favorite casino games. Instead of just one of the companies offering cutting-edge software programs to the site, Bet365 uses many. The games that you will find on the site are provided by the top software developers in the market, including Betsoft, NetEnt, Microgaming, and more.

If you are traveling, you can use the Bet365 app to play the games on the go. Everything that is accessible on the mobile site is also accessible on the app.

You will find it convenient to fund your Bet365 account. There are many banking options at hand. Don’t worry about sharing your financial details. This is because the site is secured using SSL encryption technology. Nothing that you share is going to land up in the hands of hackers. There is a customer support team operating 24/7 to help you if you need it.

888 Casino

It is another popular casino operating in Ontario under the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. 888 Casino has won the 2021 EGR Awards. It has secured this award for the third time now. The site came into being in 1997. Apart from a license from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, it also has a license from the Malta Gaming Authority and the UK Gambling Commission.

On this site, you will find a wide array of games. Slot lovers will be in for a treat if they register into 888 Casino. There are more than 1500 slots on offer. Table game lovers can choose to play Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat, Poker, and Video Poker Games. 888 Casino brings the glamor and glitz of the casinos right to your desktop with the live casino games.

The casino offers the best deposit methods. In fact, there are an impressive number of ways to withdraw the money you have won while playing.

To make sure that you can play the games on the go, 888 Casino offers an app. Through this, you can play all games that are available on the website. But if you don’t want to download the app, you can access the mobile site on your mobile browser.

The Future of Online Gambling in Ontario

The future of online gambling in the province of Ontario appears to be bright enough. This is mainly due to recent legislation. It gives people more freedom and liberty to gamble over the internet.

The recent legal changes imply that Ontario is now going to have more options in terms of gambling. Players who love to gamble can choose from one of the sites. They can choose a site depending on what they are looking for. Hence, it becomes much easier for people who are searching for something specific, such as playing poker with friends or playing lotteries.

The Ontario government has also taken the required steps to make sure that gambling remains legal in the country by passing laws that will keep companies from operating within the province unless they cater to specific regulatory requirements. In order to operate legally, gambling websites need a license from the territorial or provincial government.

Ontario Licensed Casinos FAQ

The two most popular casinos under the Alcohol and Gaming Commissions of Ontario are PointsBet and Bet365.

Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario had been launched on 4th April 2022.