With three weeks to go before regulated online poker in Ontario, casino gaming, and sports betting in Ontario go live, provincial regulators added seven more iGaming operators to its list of licensees — including some that may be planning to offer online poker when the markets open on April 4.
While the province has yet to officially announce a tax rate, one of the operators to receive licensure this week said it expects Ontario will ultimately levy a 20% tax rate on gross gaming revenue (GGR).
As of 11 a.m. EST on Monday, March 14, the website for the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) lists 13 licensed operators. The seven that were added in the last few days include:
For poker enthusiasts, the addition of Unibet and BetRivers could be cause for excitement — the former because it already offers poker across Canada on a globally-licensed platform, and the latter for the recent acquisition of Run It Once Poker (RIO) by its parent company Rush Street Interactive (RSI). Neither operator has announced plans for online poker in the province.
RSI’s BetRivers brand offers online casino games and a sportsbook. RSI was issued its internet gaming operator license on Wednesday, six days after news broke that it had acquired the RIO platform and onboarded its development team in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $5.8 million.
RSI said it was working with the AGCO to satisfy any remaining regulatory requirements and plans to launch BetRivers in Ontario on April 4. In advance of their entry into the market, BetRivers created a pre-registration page for players to add their email address and receive updates on the launch of its online casino and sportsbook products.
Meanwhile, Unibet, a brand owned by the Kindred Group, has its existing Canada-facing website. A popup message to all visitors advises that registration for Ontario players will soon be disabled; when it goes live in the province, existing accounts will have the option of migrating over to the new site.
The operator was awarded its license by the AGCO last Thursday. In the US, players are more familiar with Unibet for its sportsbook, which operates in six states — Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
FanDuel received its license for online casino gaming and sports betting from the AGCO on Friday.
European Operators Also Receive Ontario iGaming License
Four European operators also received licenses late last week.
The AGCO awarded a license to LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group, a subsidiary of Sweden’s LeoVegas AB, for its LeoVegas and Royal Panda brands. The subsidiary said it had applied for both licenses in its Q4 2021 investor presentation on February 11.
The 13 Operators That Have Received Ontario iGaming Licenses, as of March 14, 2022
|Annexio Limited||LottoGo||March 1|
|Coolbear Ontario||Coolbet||March 11|
|FanDuel Canada||FanDuel||March 11|
|Fitzdares Canada Limited||Fitzdares||March 10|
|LeoVegas Gaming PLC||LeoVegas||March 10|
|NSUS Limited||WSOP||March 2|
|PointsBet Canada||PointsBet||February 3|
|Rivalry Ontario||Rivalry||March 8|
|Royal Panda Limited||Royal Panda||March 10|
|Rush Street Interactive||BetRivers||March 9|
|Score Digital||theScore Bet||February 4|
|Unibet Ontario||Unibet||March 10|
|VHL Ontario Limited||888||March 1|
In a legal update from its quarterly report for Q4 2021, LeoVegas said it was “one of several operators” to have participated in talks with provincial regulators on the structure of Ontario’s new gaming regimen.
“The tax rate is expected to end up at 20%, calculated by GGR,” LeoVegas said.
Although LeoVegas is not currently operating in the US, it has a market access agreement with Caesars to launch in New Jersey. It also plans to launch its Blue Guru gaming studio in the US in 2022. In its Q4 presentation, LeoVegas said it hoped to gain “valuable knowledge and experience from Canada when expanding into the US.”
Fitzdares and Coolbet were also issued licenses. Fitzdares is a privately-held bookmaker based in London, while Coolbet has its head office in Estonia. Coolbet is licensed to operate in Estonia, Malta, and Sweden and has products in the online poker, casino, and sports betting verticals.
Learn all the latest developments, newest welcome bonus info, and more in our Ontario Online Poker Reviews.