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Ontario to Open Its Market to Competition
- April 16, 2019 By Riley Wilson -
According to the latest news, the Canadian largest province plans to put an end to its online gambling monopoly.
Last week, Ontario’s new government made a promise to end the monopoly and open up the market with nearly 15 million residents.
Ending the Monopoly
At this moment, there’s only one option available for online gambling – PlayOLG.ca website, operated by Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation (OLG).
The new Tory government intends to establish a competitive market for online legal gambling by allowing private operators to apply for a license. A similar play was announced in Quebec a couple of years ago, but no concrete steps were made.
Residents of Ontario will soon be able to buy OLG lottery products using their smartphone. Up until now, they were able to play casino games via a mobile application for Android and iOS devices but could purchase lottery tickets only through the operator’s website.
Although the PlayOLG website went live more than four years ago, it only generates a small portion of the company’s revenue – $54.6 million in fiscal 2017-18. On the other hand, sites operated by crown corporations in British Columbia and Quebec bring much more money even though these provinces have smaller populations.
Plenty of Changes Ahead
The authorities in Ontario also plan to push the federal government to allow single-game sports betting. There was an attempt to lift this restriction back in 2016, but the initiative failed to gain the necessary support.
If all goes as planned, the government will allow OLG’s lottery terminals to provide more interactive gaming experiences, although there is no detailed information regarding this move. In addition to this, land-based casinos in Ontario will be able to promote the fact they offer complimentary drinks to their customers, which should enable these facilities to be more competitive.
Alcohol consumption will be allowed in public areas, while convenience stores will be able to sell beer and wine. The officials will also permit tailgating – which is an activity involving drinking large quantities of alcohol in a vehicle parked outside a sports venue.
The opposition parties in Ontario are strongly against these measures.
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