Regulators have issued another pair of Ontario internet gaming operator licenses, bringing the total number of operators to 31 less than four weeks after the market’s launch on April 4.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) issued licenses last week for the Betway and ComeOn brands to launch in the province. A license for Betway was issued through the firm Cadway Limited on April 19, while Bunchberry Limited acted as the facilitator for the ComeOn license, issued on April 21.
Operators must be licensed with the AGCO and execute an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario (iGO) before offering online poker, casino gaming, or sports betting in Ontario.
Betway Already a Familiar Name in Ontario
Although Betway and ComeOn both received licenses within days of each other, Betway has an advantage over its rival because it has previously been available to customers in Ontario through the grey market.
The AGCO wants all operators and their third-party suppliers to exit the grey market before entering the regulated space, but will allow operators that have started the licensing process, but have yet to execute their iGO operating agreements, to temporarily continue their existing activities in the grey market.
Betway’s parent, Super Group (SGHC) Limited, was still in the process of securing a license on April 13 when it held an earnings call to discuss Q1 2022. During the call, CEO Neal Menashe said the company was working with Ontario regulators on compliance.
“We’re bullish on the effects of regulation in the Ontario market,” Menashe said. “We expect that the pie will grow in the medium- to long-term, and we’re coming at it with a significant headstart over most of the competition. We also expect this regulation to open up additional marketing opportunities in Ontario and bring with it term cost efficiencies to offset the gaming duties.
“We think that this market still has some solid potential upsides for us in terms of both revenues and profits.”
ComeOn to Offer Online Casino Streamer Service
Sweden’s ComeOn Group said its successful application for a license through the AGCO represented “an exciting phase” for the company and predicted that Ontario would be among the largest regulated markets in North America. The company, headquartered in Malta, said it would deploy its flagship ComeOn online casino platform in the province.
ComeOn Group also said it would launch WeSpin, an online casino streamer service, in Ontario.
“We will bring WeSpin and other casino innovations to the market as we have done in so many locally regulated markets before,” said ComeOn Group CEO Juergen Reutter. “This licensing process has showcased once more the strength of our teams coming together to make this happen in a timely fashion.”
Several Operators Yet to Launch
Betway and ComeOn were among a list of 13 operators with pending applications that briefly surfaced on an iGO website on April 5. Of those 13, seven have yet to launch — the two biggest ones, by far, are DraftKings and GGPoker, the latter of which is expected to power WSOP when it launches in Ontario.
An exact launch date for GGPoker is unclear. The operator has said it will delay launching WSOP in the province.
Additional operators, including PokerStars, are also expected to launch.