Regulations on the iGaming market in Ontario, Canada

Canada’s iGaming market is fully opening up after the legalization of single-game betting in the country. Certain rules and regulations are handled on a province basis, with Ontario leading the way in Canada and looking to fully embrace iGaming, causing it to be a key new market.

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Ontario’s iGaming market is trending fur numerous reasons.

Why Ontario’s iGaming market is trending.

Ontario’s iGaming market has been in the spotlight for some time. Operators and players alike are excited to fully enter the market, which will now see single-event sports betting, casinos, poker, and much more be legalized and offered by gaming operators.

Prior to the legalization of single-game betting, it was already estimated that Ontarians spend close to $1bn a year on online gambling, and with more options than ever coming due to changes in regulation, that number is forecast to increase.

Overall, Ontario’s iGaming market is forecasted to generate a revenue of $1.5bn by 2026 – making it potentially one of the largest online gambling markets in North America.

Additionally, updated regulations put the market in a very competitive state, with an annual tax rate of just 20%, which is one of the lowest in the world and makes Ontario attractive to online gambling operators.



How Ontario’s gambling market fits into the Canadian iGaming landscape. 

With single-game betting no longer being prohibited, online gambling in Canada is set to evolve and rapidly expand. While certain laws apply country-wide, regulation largely comes down to each province, with Ontario being the first to fully embrace the changes and build an open iGaming market.

Regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and aided by iGaming Ontario, the province’s market follows traditional standards of Canada’s iGaming landscape.

It features Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC) standards. These include strict know your customer (KYC) policies and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) standards.

iGaming and Online gambling are on the rise in Ontario,Canada.

How does Ontario differ from established iGaming markets? 

Ontario has established a unique iGaming market. Rather than simply granting licenses to operators, the Ontario government created iGaming Ontario, which grants access to the market in a unique way.

Through iGaming Ontario, operators are granted a way into Ontario’s iGaming market as private contractors, working on behalf of the government body. This means every operator works in tandem with iGO, which allows both parties to have input on the future of the iGaming market.

Additionally, Ontario has a wide range of varying rules and regulations, both regional-specific, as well as from overarching Canadian laws. This includes things like the PCMLTFA and FINTRAC standards, as well as existing and evolving regulations set out by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

The difference between iGaming in the UK vs Ontario.

A key difference between Ontario and some of the biggest markets like the United Kingdom are KYC requirements. In Ontario’s market, operators will need to build a thorough verification process, which includes requiring users to submit official government documents, recent photos, and liveness (i.e. a live video to prove identity).

Meanwhile, in the UK current regulations only require verification of customer names, addresses, and dates of birth – meaning only submission of official government documents is required.

Overall, Ontario’s iGaming market is shaping out to be heavily regulated and quite complex compared to many established markets.

Read more in our blog: iGaming Ontario – a promising market for European operators?



How to become compliant with Ontario’s iGaming regulations.

Many operators are now looking to enter Ontario’s market, but, as with any new market, there will be challenges. Learn what you can do.
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How to become compliant in Ontario’s iGaming market

Becoming compliant in Ontario’s iGaming market may prove to be a challenge for many operators. The region has some strict rules and regulations, many of which go beyond the standards of other markets.

First, operators will need to consider the overarching PCMLTFA and FINTRAC standards, which apply to the whole of Canada. Then, there are Ontario-specific requirements, including the ACGO’s and iGO’s standards, some of which go beyond the standards laid out by FINTRAC.

These rules and regulations cover a wide range of topics, including Anti-Money Laundering and data storage standards, KYC requirements, and strict underage gambling prevention guidelines.

In order to be compliant in Ontario’s market, operators will need to adhere to the rules and regulations set out by the aforementioned parties, as well as Canadian laws, while working closely with iGaming Ontario in order to gain access to the market.

Common questions about Ontario’s iGaming market.

Who regulates online gambling in Canada? 

Online gambling in Canada is regulated primarily by province-based governments. There are overarching regulations like the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC) standards. However, it is also regulated beyond this in individual provinces by bodies such as the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

Is sports betting legal in Canada? 

Sports betting is legal in Canada and has been for many years, although in a limited basis. With the passing of bill C-218, single-game sports betting is now legal, giving players a wide range of betting options. 

Is gambling legal in Canada? 

Gambling is legal in Canada, however, it is regulated by provincial bodies, meaning there are different rules in different areas of the country.  

When did gambling become legal in Ontario?

The legalization of gambling in Ontario can be traced back to the year 2003. That was when Bill C-218 was introduced in the Canadian Parliament, setting in motion a series of events that would ultimately result in online gambling being made legal throughout Ontario. This bill received widespread support from both provincial and federal lawmakers, and it eventually passed into law after a lengthy legislative process.

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How IDnow can ease the compliance process for Ontario’s iGaming market

A key way to reach compliance is with IDnow AutoIdent – our AI-powered identity verification solution which is fully compliant in Ontario’s market. It supports the standards set out by the ACGO and FINTRAC, allowing operators to quickly verify users with official documents, selfies, and liveness detection.

AutoIdent is quick and easy, requiring just a smartphone or a computer with a camera to verify users within minutes. Users simply need to follow step-by-step instructions, which include uploading relevant documents and media, then AutoIdent takes care of the rest.

With AutoIdent, not only will operators be able to offer a quick and easy onboarding process, but will also be able to easily meet KYC and AML compliance requirements.

Of course, there’s more to compliance than just that. We also offer seamless AML screening & monitoring, as well as identification archiving in high-security data centers, and years of experience in the iGaming industry.

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How can we help?

IDnow is well equipped to help operators reach compliance in Ontario’s iGaming market. With years of experience and global operation within the iGaming industry, we’re experts at streamlining and creating compliant onboarding processes and meeting market standards as well as KYC and AML requirements.

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