This partnership combines the best poker brand with the top poker software and we’re thrilled to launch this online poker room for Ontario players. Top online poker site GGPoker has confirmed that it plans to launch real money online poker in Ontario under partnership with the World Series of Poker to launch WSOP Ontario.
The pair say it will launch WSOP.CA “in early April,” following the “successful execution of an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario.”
pokerfuse first broke the story that GGPoker and WSOP were teaming up for an Ontario online poker launch earlier this month, revealing for the first time that GG’s parent company NSUS Labs had acquired an operating license in Ontario and would go live under the WSOP.CA domain.
Today’s press release confirms this partnership and pencils in a rough launch period — though it requires further authorization from the iGO (iGaming Ontario) before it can go live.
The operator also confirmed to pokerfuse that, as expected, the player pool will be segregated from the global player pool — at least for the time being.
WSOP Ontario: What We Now Know
- April launch: Ontario online gaming go-live date is April 4; WSOP Ontario is penciled in for “early April.”
- Steps remain: Launch is still contingent on an operating agreement with iGO.
- Big splash: Big launch promotions and online satellites to the live WSOP 2022 festival in Las Vegas promised.
- Segregated player pool: GG confirms to pokerfuse that the Ontario player pool will be segregated from the rest of the world.
- Automatic transfer: Ontarians with existing GG accounts will migrate seamlessly over to the WSOP Ontario platform.
- Caesars Rewards: WSOP Ontario will offer Caesars Rewards, though standard Fish Buffet could also be available.
GGPoker Teases WSOP Ontario Launch Promotions
You’ll be seeing exclusive WSOP rewards and tournaments, running on GGPoker’s amazing app — what’s not to love about that? There are also hints of “extensive” launch promotions and bonuses, and that the operator plans to offer online satellites to the live WSOP series this summer — though falls short of committing to official bracelets being offered on WSOP Ontario.
“As a proud Ontario native, I’m thrilled that poker’s two greatest brands have come together to launch WSOP.CA and offer the Ontario poker community the perfect place to play online,” Daniel Negreanu, GGPoker Global Ambassador, was quoted as saying in Thursday’s press release.
“You’ll be seeing exclusive WSOP rewards and tournaments, running on GGPoker’s amazing app — what’s not to love about that?” he added.
Another key detail in the press release is that the Caesars Rewards program will be integrated. This loyalty program has already been used for online casinos in the United States, seen on Caesars Casino in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It is a simple system of accruing Tier and Rewards Points through play to unlock perks and rewards either online or at retail locations. The company operates Caesars Windsor Hotel and Casino in Ontario.
However, pokerfuse also understands that the regular Fish Buffet rewards program will also be on offer.
“This partnership combines the best poker brand with the top poker software, and we’re thrilled to launch this online poker room for Ontario players,” WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart added, “We look forward to seeing Ontarians qualify for the live WSOP in Las Vegas this summer and challenge native son Daniel Negreanu for a gold bracelet.”
Multiple Operators Get Ready for Ontario Online Poker
More than a dozen brands have registered their intent to launch online gaming in Ontario when the doors open for fully legal and regulated online casino, sports and poker on April 4. Some of the largest igaming brands in the world are on the list, including BetRivers, FanDuel PointsBet and Unibet. Just this week, US gaming giant BetMGM — a joint venture between MGM Resorts and Entain — also received their approval.
Officially, GGPoker is the second operator to explicitly confirm that it plans to launch online poker in Ontario on or near the April 4 date and has the approval from the AGCO, Ontario’s regulator.
The first was 888, which put out a statement in early March saying that on April 4, it would be “ready to offer its leading, innovative and content-rich casino, sport, and poker products to players located across the province.” It also contacted Ontario customers to inform them of the imminent platform transition.
However, many other operators appear to be lining up for a poker launch. PokerStars was, in fact, first to go on the record with its clear intentions for online poker in Ontario. It has yet to be approved by the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario), but it is understood to be engaging with the regulators and plans to continue to offer online poker on its global platform in the province while awaiting approval.
Potential Online Poker Rooms in Ontario
|VHL Ontario Limited||888poker||High||Yes|
|NSUS Limited (GGPoker’s Parent Company)||WSOP||High||Yes|
|Unibet Ontario||Unibet||Very Low||Yes|
|Rush Street Interactive||BetRivers/Run It Once Poker||Very Low||Yes|
While Rush Street’s primary focus is on the US, provinces in Canada with regulated online poker, such as Ontario, will also be considered. partypoker is understood to be interested in offering poker, and Bet365 has a history of offering online poker in all its markets, wherever possible. Its long-time platform partner Playtech has stated that its poker software (which powers the iPoker network in the global pool) is Ontario-ready, so Bet365 could feasibly form part of an iPoker Ontario network.
Longer shots include Unibet, which has its own online poker platform in the global market and in France, though has shown no interest in offering it in North American markets to date. Rush Street Interactive — which recently acquired Run it Once Poker — might consider it. In a recent interview with PRO, Jason Senti, Head of RIO, said it was not a primary focus but was feasible.
“While our primary focus is on the US, provinces in Canada with regulated online poker, such as Ontario, will also be considered,” said Senti. “Rush Street Interactive has a great track record of entering and developing new global markets as they regulate. While it is very early in our integration process, there is no reason to rule out incorporating the RIO poker offering into their larger strategic global expansion plans if both commercially feasible and legal.”
Online gaming will go live in Ontario on April 4. Existing offshore operators will be able to continue to serve customers in Ontario while their applications are pending. Platforms will be expected to migrate players over to their new regulated Ontario sites in the subsequent days and weeks.