After having operated for a year in Ontario, we will stop offering our services to all the cool people of Ontario after April 3. Coolbet, a European operator frequently mentioned as a future addition to the Ontario online poker market, is instead making plans to cease its online casino and sports betting operations in the province early next month.
Last week, the operator posted a statement on its website announcing its departure and outlining its steps to exit the market completely by April 3.
“We regret to inform you that after having operated for a year in Ontario, we will stop offering our services to all the cool people of Ontario after April 3,” the operator, headquartered in Estonia, said on March 15.
“Although Coolbet will no longer be available in Ontario, the show must go on. We highly recommend you check out the amazing product that our friends from Wildz are offering.” Wildz is a title owned and operated by Malta’s Rootz Limited.
Coolbet holds global gaming licenses in Estonia, Malta, and Sweden. It previously offered an online sportsbook in Ontario through its Malta license. The operator exited the grey market to launch in Ontario’s regulated space — along with four other European operators — last April. The operator ceased offering online poker when it made the switch.
Speculation on how Ontario’s poker market could grow usually includes a mention of Playtech launching its iPoker platform in Ontario as a potential future development. Coolbet was often included in such discussions, as the operator is active on iPoker platforms in several European jurisdictions. Two other European brands, bet365 and Betsafe, are also mentioned as possible iPoker partners.
Deposits Will Be Turned Off Tuesday
Operations will start winding down this week.
Coolbet said it would turn off all deposit options on Tuesday, March 21. The operator said players with a low balance have two choices — they can either “enjoy a few more bets or casino spins” to exhaust any remaining funds, or they can top off their existing balances to withdraw all of their funds.
The operator said the minimum withdrawal amount through the Interac banking network is $1 CDN (73 cents USD), while on the Trustly banking network, the minimum is one cent CDN.
“We strongly encourage you to withdraw your funds as soon as possible,” Coolbet said. “In case you have not made any withdrawals before, we would require you to verify your bank account that will be used to pay out your remaining balance.”
The Ontario online casino and sportsbook will be closed by the end of the day on Wednesday, March 22. Bets that cannot be settled by that time because the outcome is unknown will be voided and refunded. Coolbet said that includes futures and parlay bets, adding that if any of the outcomes are unknown, that part of the parlay “will be voided and odds set to 1.00.”
“If you have an active bonus with remaining wagering requirements, please ensure that you complete the wagering requirements by [March 22]. If you don’t manage to do it in time, no need to worry! Any bonus funds will be fully unlocked from wagering requirements on March 23.”
April 3 will see Coolbet’s Ontario website and mobile app shut down by the end of the day.
“Thank you for all the good times, and always remember … Stay Cool. Bet Responsibly,” the operator said in closing.
Could More Small Operators Quit Ontario?
Coolbet was one of the many operators to launch on opening day in Ontario — April 4, 2022 — but it wasn’t the only operator to be issued a one-year license by the provincial regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
There is concern that the operator’s departure after one year could be a harbinger of things to come. Smaller operators issued a one-year license by AGCO — and whose licenses are therefore up for renewal with the regulator — include Buddybet, Fitzdares, PointsBet, and eight brands owned by TWHG Incorporated (Casigo, Casimba, Dream Vegas, FireVegas, Gate 777, Hello Casino, Jackpot Casino, and Playzee).
GAN powered Coolbet’s online casino and sports betting platforms in Ontario.