"Yours to Discover": Ontario's iGaming market is now "A Place to Grow"

4 minute read
08 August 2023


Ontario's iGaming market is not just a new market to be discovered, it's a fertile ground for growth and opportunity. The Province's iGaming market continues to reveal its potential while experiencing exponential growth.

Ontario's online casino games have swiftly ascended to prominence since they became legal in the Province in April 2022. These games have dwarfed their sport-betting counterparts even in the face of heavy sports-related advertising.

iGaming Ontario (iGO) financial statistics back this up: online casino games in Q1 of 2023 have drawn an impressive $11.6 billion in wagers ($392 million in gaming revenue), significantly surpassing the $2 billion in sports-related betting ($138 million in gaming revenue) in that same time.

​These healthy figures are indicative of the sector's sustainability and potential for growth. Deloitte's April 2023 report on the "Economic Contribution of Ontario's Regulated iGaming Market" projects that Ontario's total economic contribution, currently estimated at $1.58 billion, could potentially triple in just a decade.

Gowling WLG helps guide new entrants in navigating Ontario's distinctive regulatory framework. This framework diverges from traditional licensing procedures, presenting operators with the opportunity to secure licensing through the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and concurrently establish commercial arrangements with iGO. Such a framework enables private operators to offer their games to Ontario's consumers within the Province's structured framework at a predetermined revenue share.

Though rewarding, the route to market launch is layered; it requires operators to successfully navigate through fourteen comprehensive steps with both iGO and the AGCO:

iGO Steps:

  1. Execute a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
  2. Execute a Letter of Agreement.
  3. Set up and configure access to iGO's secure data and information communication channels.
  4. Complete iGO's anti-money laundering information submissions.
  5. Complete iGO's financial information submissions.
  6. Participate in operator systems & data readiness cycle.
  7. Execute the Operating Agreement.

AGCO Steps:

  1. Ensure games and critical gaming systems are Independent Testing Laboratory certified.
  2. Register with the AGCO.
  3. Implement control activities to comply with AGCO Registrar's Standards for Internet Gaming.
  4. Participate in internet gaming notification matrix training.
  5. Set up regulatory reporting.
  6. Set up and configure access to AGCO's secure data and information communication channels.
  7. Provide technology compliance confirmation to AGCO.

It is also worth noting that the Province has voiced a commitment to upholding "integrity and accountability" and any discrepancies in a new entrant's licensing could cause roadblocks on the path to market. Once the various prerequisites are met, a new entrant will still need to have the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) documents verified (e.g., the End User Licensing Agreement, Privacy Policy, Responsible Gaming Policies, game rules, contests, promotions, and marketing materials) to ensure that they comply with Canadian laws and iGaming Standards. On average, the timeline from filing your AGCO license application to signing the commercial agreement with iGO, culminating in the market launch, spans approximately six months.

While financial indicators and projections indeed point towards significant economic potential, entering and navigating Ontario's iGaming market requires considerable time, resources and expertise. With our guidance, we can simplify this complex landscape and turn potential challenges into opportunities for growth.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. Information made available on this website in any form is for information purposes only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. You should not rely on, or take or fail to take any action based upon this information. Never disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking legal advice because of something you have read on this website. Gowling WLG professionals will be pleased to discuss resolutions to specific legal concerns you may have.