Ontario's transition to a fully regulated internet gaming ("iGaming") market is almost here.
All iGaming operators that host unregulated betting activities, including sports betting and casino games, must transition to the regulated market under the Gaming Control Act ("GCA") by Oct. 31, 2022. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario ("AGCO" or the "Regulator") has warned that it will take action against non-compliant operators and their eligibility to register for the regulated market may be jeopardized.
While iGaming only recently opened in Ontario in April 2022, Gowling WLG has assisted operators with their applications to the Regulator since registration opened in September 2021. This period was part of the AGCO's process to facilitate a smooth transition for operators to move from the unregulated to regulated markets. During this "transition period," operators could host betting activities in the grey market, while working toward compliance with the AGCO regulations.
The transition period ends on Oct. 31, 2022 and all unregulated iGaming activities in Ontario must end or become regulated activities. AGCO Standard 1.22 states:
1.22 Operators and gaming-related suppliers must cease all unregulated activities if, to carry out those same activities in iGaming Ontario's regulated online lottery scheme, it would require registration under the GCA.
Operators and gaming-related suppliers shall not enter into any agreements or arrangements with any unregistered person who is providing the operator or gaming-related supplier with any goods or services if, to provide those goods and services in iGaming Ontario's regulated online lottery scheme, it would require registration under the GCA.
We encourage all iGaming operators who still host unregulated iGaming activities—or those considering entering the Ontario market—to contact Gowling WLG's Gaming Group for assistance with hosting AGCO compliant betting activities.
AGCO's full Information Bulletin is available here.