Canada’s most populous province, Ontario, will launch regulated online poker, casino gaming, and sports betting on April 4. However, it has been confirmed that poker will initially start in the province under a segregated market and will have no access to shared global liquidity, according to Ontario regulators.
iGaming Ontario — a lottery subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario established last July to help facilitate the expansion of gambling in the province — said private operators that have already registered with AGCO and executed an operating agreement with iGO can launch on April 4.
“Consumers can be assured that companies who successfully enter the new Ontario market will have met rigorous standards of game and operator integrity, fairness, player protections, and social responsibility, allowing all players to play with confidence,” said iGO Executive Director Martha Otton.
The Canadian Gaming Association congratulated the province for setting an opening date. “This is another major milestone and achievement for Ontario’s gaming industry after sports betting,” said CGA President and CEO Paul Burns.
Doug Downey, MPP for Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte and Attorney General of Ontario, also expressed similar sentiments via Twitter calling the Ontario iGaming launch a “pivotal milestone in our work to ensure people have access to a safe/regulated online gaming market by end of [the] year.”
iGO officials confirmed to Poker Industry PRO that “pooled liquidity will not be allowed in the Ontario regulated market,” meaning online poker in Ontario will initially start as a ring-fenced market.