Regulators in Ontario issued 11 additional internet gaming operator licenses on Friday, the last weekday before markets for online poker, casino gaming, and sports betting launch in the province on April 4.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has issued a total of 27 internet gaming operator licenses as of 8 p.m. ET Friday, April 1, according to a database for the regulator. Friday’s issuances were the largest in a single day to date. Before Friday, all but two of the licenses had been issued in March.
Operators added Friday were:
- Caesars Sportsbook
- Dream Vegas
- Gate 777
- Hello Casino
- Jackpot Village
The AGCO issued a license to American Wagering Incorporated for Caesars Sportsbook to operate in the province. It also issued licenses for eight online casino brands — CasiGO, Casimba, Dream Vegas, FireVegas, Gate 777, Hello Casino, Jackpot Village, and Playzee — which are each powered by Malta-based White Hat Gaming Limited.
ElectaWorks Maple Limited, an Entain subsidiary, was also issued licenses for its bwin and party brands. The party license shows that the operator has secured domains for three verticals — partysports Ontario, partycasino Ontario, and partypoker Ontario real money online poker.
We’re so thrilled to open our Canadian office and bring FanDuel’s world-class sportsbook and casino to Canada’s passionate sports fans. The appearance of partypoker on the list of licensed operators for poker means Ontario customers will likely have four choices in the regulated, segregated market on April 4 or in the following weeks — 888poker Ontario, WSOP Ontario, BetMGM Poker Ontario, and partypoker Ontario. PokerStars has said it is working toward obtaining a license but will be allowed to serve customers using its global license, at least initially.
The approvals by the AGCO increase the number of licensed online operators to 27, much closer to the 30 operators that iGaming Ontario (iGO) —- a lottery subsidiary of AGCO established last year to help facilitate the expansion of gambling in the province — told US Gaming Review had applied for licensure with the AGCO in February.
The licenses issued to bwin, party, and all eight of the online casinos using the White Hat Gaming platform expire in one year. The Caesars Sportsbook license is good for two years.
Additional Ontario iGaming Launch Details Come Into Focus
Several operators, some of whom were awarded licenses weeks ago, offered details over their launch plans.
“We’ll be launching in Ontario on Monday, April 4, with our sports and casino products,” BetMGM said Friday. Meanwhile, FanDuel said its sportsbook will begin taking bets in the province in April but didn’t announce a specific date for its launch.
“We’re so thrilled to open our Canadian office and bring FanDuel’s world-class sportsbook and casino to Canada’s passionate sports fans,” FanDuel Group CEO Amy Howe said Thursday. “This is a huge moment for the industry and we look forward to providing Canadians with entertaining and responsible sports experiences.”
London-based Fitzdares announced Wednesday that it will launch its sportsbook in Ontario “in the coming weeks” and will open a members-only club in Toronto in 2023. Canada will be the third country where the privately-held bookmaker operates — joining the UK and Ireland.
“There will be huge competition in this newly-regulated market, but we feel our more premium and customer-focused experience will be an ideal fit,” CEO William Woodhams said. “Work is very much underway to ensure that we deliver on our promise — in style.” The book was founded in 1882.
In a statement Wednesday welcoming Bruce Caughill as its new Managing Director for Canada, Rush Street Interactive (RSI) said it plans to launch its BetRivers brand for online casino and sports betting on April 4. Caughill previously served as Chief Legal Officer for the AGCO.