Best Ontario Online Casinos – Ontario Casino Reviews
Since the decriminalization of gambling in Canada, punters in Ontario have had to play at offshore online casinos for shots at online gambling. Fortunately, with recent revisions to Ontario’s gaming policy, local gamblers now have access to online casinos regulated by local authorities. The foremost regulatory body from the province is the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
Though AGCO’s regulatory duties mainly cover land-based casinos, it’s been allowed to oversee the conduct of online casinos, through its iGaming Ontario subsidiary, in recent times. In the remainder of this piece, we’ve gone into detail on every last bit of info you might require to make up your mind about playing at online casinos in Ontario.
🏆 Top Online Casinos 2023 in Ontario
19+. Ontario Only. Please play responsibly. If you have questions or concerns about your gambling or someone close to you, please contact ConnexOntario at 1-866-531-2600
Legal Online Casinos Ontario 2023 with License
Though AGCO and iGaming Ontario are, by default, local regulatory bodies in Ontario, it’s not uncommon for best online casinos Ontario allowed to operate in Ontario to hold licenses from other international regulatory agencies such as the UK Gambling Commission, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and others. Here’s a brief overview of the status of legal gambling sites in Ontario in 2023.
|Current Status||Legal in 2023|
|Official Launch Date||April 2022|
|Casino Game Options||Slots, Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Video Poker, Progressive Jackpots, Live Dealer Games|
|Wagering Requirements||Set by Casino|
|Legal Gambling Age||19+|
|Payment Methods to be Available||Credit/Debit Cards, Interac, INSTADEBIT, Online Bank Transfer, E-wallets, Voucher|
|Gambling Regulator||Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) / iGaming Ontario|
Online Casino Gambling in Ontario: What Has Changed in 2023?
Residents are generally prohibited from gambling at unregulated sites in Canada. Exceptions to this rule are if a gambling operator is authorized and registered by a province. In April 2022, the Ontario Government legislated that all online casinos interested in operating legally within the Ontario province must register with the recently created Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and secure an agreement with its subsidiary, iGaming Ontario.
The agreement entails revenue-sharing arrangements with the Ontario government. To operate an online casino in any province in Canada and not just Ontario, it’s important to keep abreast of local laws as they vary from province to province.
Latest News and Updates on Ontario Casino Launch
- June 22, 2021 – The Canadian Government passed Bill C-218, the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act. The intentions were to allow provinces to decide how to manage gambling activities within their borders.
- April 4, 2022 – Ontario iGaming market officially launches on this date. 19 gaming operators, including FanDuel, PointsBet, Party Casino and more, registered with Ontario before this point.
Regulated and Offshore Casino Sites in Ontario
Here’s a quick overview of how regulated online casinos differ from offshore casinos.
The provincial Government of Ontario operates government-owned casinos. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario generally regulates them.
Privately owned casinos are owned and managed by private franchises and corporations. Such sites must all be registered with AGCO before operating in Ontario.
Offshore online casinos are domiciled outside Canada and don’t necessarily adhere to Canadian provincial laws. Other regulatory agencies sometimes license such casinos, but only sometimes.
Pros and Cons of Regulated Ontario Online Casinos
For the most part, AGCO’s regulatory duties are welcome and laudable. However, radical and unchallenged policymaking (for instance, the restrictions placed by the body on advertisements) may be damaging and counterproductive.
|Better chances of reducing the incidences of underage gambling.||Uncontested policies may be hurtful to the online gaming market in Ontario.|
|Greater anti-fraud monitoring and money laundering control.|
|Better targeted offers for residents of Ontario.|
Pros and Cons of Offshore Gaming Sites and Online Casinos
|Greater access to more competitive offers from a wider range of casinos.||Language Incompatibilities. Lesser chances of player protection in scenarios where the casino defaults.|
|Different taxation outlooks lead to improved incomes for punters.||Possibilities of paying extra in currency conversion fees and overall transaction fees. Also, Longer transaction periods.|
Requirements for Playing at an Ontario Online Casino
Frankly, the major requirement for playing at a best casino in Ontario Canada is that you are at least 19 years of age.
🔞 Who can play at Online Casino Ontario?
All legal residents of Ontario who are at least 19 years of age are allowed to play at Ontario online casinos under the law. Most casinos in Ontario Ca request some form of Identification to determine if you’re at least 19 years old and to ascertain that you reside in Ontario.
📃 What documentation will new players be asked to provide?
iGaming Ontario mandates that all casino sites must conduct KYC checks to affirm customers’ identities and keep abreast of all potential risks or fraudulence. All possible paperwork that’ll be requested of new players includes
- Identity Documents: Most sites would demand that you take pictures of the front/back of a government-issued ID and subsequently take a picture of you holding the ID.
- Proof of Address Document: Such could be your power/gas utility bill, bank statements, or insurance papers. Generally, any piece of document with your name on it.
- Credit File Check
Legitimate Ontario Online Casinos and Mobile Apps Officially Licensed in Canada
All gambling restrictions on all casino Ontario CA were officially lifted on April 4, 2022, with the establishment of Ontario’s iGaming market. Some casino operators had, however, registered with AGCO before then and were allowed to operate as online casinos right off April 4 legally. More sites are, however, expected to register with AGCO in the forthcoming months implying a greater number of brands for residents to pick from.
Virtually all these platforms have mobile apps you can gamble on. We’ve clearly outlined the casinos that do not hold mobile apps below.
|PointsBet||PointsBet Holdings Limited|
|Royal Panda||Leo Vegas International LTD|
|Coolbet||Game Account Network|
|theScore||Penn National Gaming|
|888 Casino||888 Holdings|
|BetMGM||MGM Resorts International|
|LeoVegas||MGM Resorts International|
|FanDuel Ontario||Flutter Entertainment|
|Delta Bingo||Ligtip Limited|
|TonyBet||Delta iGaming Inc|
Ontario Mobile Casinos vs Ontario Casino Apps
Mobile gambling is not restricted to playing via casino apps. You could log into the casino website via a mobile browser and play right on the Instant Play games and other mobile-compatible titles. You should note that not all games at casinos are mobile-compatible. In fact, of all 800+ games from Microgaming, only roughly half (about 350) are mobile-compatible. Here’s a table below contrasting mobile casinos with mobile apps:
|S/N||MOBILE CASINOS||MOBILE APPS|
|1||Accessible via mobile browsers.||Accessible only via installed apps.|
|2||Generally dependable, barring incidences of poor network connections.||Susceptible to lags and glitches.|
|3||The same gaming titles are available on mobile apps.||The same titles are available via mobile browsers.|
Comparison of the best online casino apps in Ontario
Every last casino outlined in the table below has great lagless mobile apps. They’re among the best mobile casinos globally.
|1||LeoVegas Casino||2028 Slots
55 Blackjack Titles
$20 Minimum Deposit
3 – 5 Business Days Payout Speed
|2||Party Casino||1445 Slots
42 Blackjack Games
$10 Minimum Deposit
1 – 7 Business Days Payout Speed
24 Blackjack Games
$10 Minimum Deposit
1 – 3 Business Days Payout Speed
|4||Royal Panda||2050 Slots
19 Blackjack Games
$15 Minimum Deposit
1 – 3 Business Days Payout Speed
|5||Pokerstars Casino||1036 Slots
11 Blackjack Titles
$10 Minimum Deposits
3 – 10 Business Days Payout Speeds
Will there be new online casinos in Ontario?
Yes, there’ll continually be new online casinos in Ontario. For a casino brand to qualify for listing in Ontario’s iGaming market, it must’ve registered with AGCO. So, as long as an operator has obtained a gambling license from AGCO, it’ll be allowed to operate in Ontario, implying a never-ending supply of new casinos to the Ontario Gaming market.
As of December 2022, TonyBet casino, owned and operated by Ligtip Limited, obtained approval from the Regulatory body to commence operations in Ontario. The same goes for Delta iGaming Inc, which obtained a license for Delta Bingo Brand in 2022.
How do we choose the best online casinos in Ontario?
Top on the list of considerations we make when picking the best online casinos in Ontario for your review is to check whether or not they are registered with AGCO. AGCO’s responsibilities include preventing money laundering, safeguarding players’ private details and ensuring only mature players can access online casinos. That’s not all; however, other equally important salient factors to put in mind include:
Fair and fun game
There’d be little point to gambling if you couldn’t enjoy or trust the payout mechanisms on your games. Generally, we only recommend sites whose activities and gaming categories are periodically audited by eCOGRA and other third-party firms like iTech Labs. iTech Labs tests for fairness while eCOGRA ascertains payout rates on games that live up to advertised parameters. This way, you wouldn’t need to worry whether you’d swindled out of your money, as a positive check from eCOGRA would affirm the gaming titles as trustworthy.
Variety of games and software quality
Gambling sites generally lease their onsite games from third-party software providers. Notable among these include Microgaming, Playtech, IGT, NetEnt, NextGen, Play’n GO, Yggdrasil, Quickspin, VIVO Gaming and more. A casino’s supplier’s quality could either make or break your gambling experience.
You’d want to play at casinos that partner with several providers. Such a diversity of games guarantees that you’d never have to worry about getting bored playing a title. Most casinos update their gaming libraries monthly, meaning you’d have newer and newer titles to play monthly.
Microgaming is by far the most prolific of all casino suppliers, with over 800+ titles spanning slots and table games. Roughly half (about 350+) of its games are mobile-compatible. Its progressive jackpot slot, the Mega Moolah, is about one of the highest-paying slots on the planet. The company paid out $15 million, as recently as 2015, to a lucky winner at slot. In short, the inclusion of Microgaming into a casino’s gaming provider should attest to you the facts of a good time ahead.
Evolution Gaming is another notable giant of the gaming development industry. They pioneered the live dealer gaming options segment. Though Microgaming had a live dealer department, it got acquired by Playtech in 2014, and they’re currently left with none. Consider looking out for this provider also.
Progressive Jackpots are often available on different gaming types; all the same, it’s more likely to find them attached to slots. Progressive Jackpot games are just that: games whose jackpots are not fixed but increase steadily until they run into totals of thousands of dollars or even millions! These game types build up until a player wins them and ultimately returns to a pre-designed level, only to start rising again. Progressive Jackpots games make you a millionaire in a go! We heartily recommend playing at casinos that offer this gaming type.
Ability to play with a live dealer
Not all sites offer players the chances of playing live dealer games which is why any opportunity to play live dealer games should be infinitely cherished. Live dealer games are streamed over video channels with gameplay controls provided by specially designed user interfaces. Live dealer games generally encompass live baccarat, live blackjack and live roulette. At times, some gambling sites may also host live poker games. These gaming types offer a remarkable blend of modern and traditional gambling that’d be quite too nostalgic and entertaining to miss.
Compatible with all devices
Mobile casinos afford you the flexibility and convenience to gamble anywhere and whenever you want. They may be in the form of mobile apps or mobile browsers. Not all casinos ultimately decide to create their dedicated mobile apps, yet they’re often cross-platform compatible when they do. This means they’d be available for iOS and Android devices.
Ideally, navigation across mobile apps should be sleek enough to rid you of getting frustrated. However, some apps need to be better developed and would suffer from frustrating lags and glitches. It would be best to read up on other people’s experiences with mobile casinos before settling out to gamble for real money.
Mobile apps are great, but there are other ways to access a casino site on a smartphone. You may find them discomfiting as they could be just one more app cluttering your device’s memory space. Fortunately, you can gamble with as much ease and simplicity as offered by mobile apps as with mobile browsers. Head over to the casino site on your smartphone – doesn’t really matter whether it’s an Android or Apple device – and gamble away.
Reliable banking methods
Gambling for real money at casino sites would be pointless if you couldn’t deposit or withdraw your money. Sites generally list many payment methods to cater to clients’ diverse needs. This is usually because some payment methods are only available to patrons from certain geolocations, say Europe, which would be unsuitable for Ontario residents. So, the greater the number of supported payment methods, the lesser the chances of you not finding an option that suits you.
Supported payment services are generally cut across: e-wallets, credit/debit cards, prepaid vouchers, bank transfers, online banking systems and even cryptocurrencies. In picking a casino to gamble at, it’s always a great idea to check whether or not the payment systems of InstaDebit, Interac and iDebit are offered. These are specially developed for Canadians and would provide you with the flexibility and low transaction fees you wouldn’t find with other payment methods.
Other popular payment methods you can consider making your transactions with at casino sites include PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, EcoPayz, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Solana, Paysafecard and more.
Security and trust
Casinos licensed by AGCO are generally above reproach. You can gamble at these sites without worrying about being scammed or conned out of your stash. In fact, in scenarios where you feel your basic rights have been violated, iGaming Ontario provides the option of having you get directly in touch with an agent to log your complaints, have your issue resolved and have punitive steps taken against the casino.
Checking for licenses from other global regulatory authorities is also a good idea. Dependable regulatory bodies include UK Gambling Commission, the Casino Kahnawake Gaming Commission, the Malta Gaming Authority and more.
The average payout rate of all gaming genres at the casino and the overall casino rate should be a prime mover in your considerations. As a rule of thumb, only gamble at sites that guarantee at least a payout rate of 95%. The average payout rate is audited by eCOGRA and would be available for perusal via the eCOGRA’s report unique to that casino.
Prospective casino patrons often leave out this consideration when deciding a casino to play at. For some, it’s not until the eve of a pending withdrawal, when some hold gets placed on their account, that they realize the responsiveness of a customer support team is just as important as whether or not it’s safe to gamble at.
How responsive and easily accessible the customer support personnel at a casino is a top consideration to keep in mind. Ideally, a casino should have support channels covering at least two: phone numbers, live chat support and email assistance. Live Chat channels must be available on a 24/7 basis as well as offer multilingual support.
A casino with poor customer service should be avoided. Generally, though, support at licensed gambling sites is often top-shelf. This is major because you reserve the exclusive rights, as a paying casino customer, to report any incidents of misconduct to a licensing body. Fortunately, the refusal of a casino to attend to your enquiries falls under this consideration. The next time you feel you’ve been sidelined or not been attended satisfactorily, report the casino ASAP to its licensing authority.
How do we decide which casino is blacklisted?
First, you must be aware that listings of blacklisted sites will differ across websites. Rating methodologies typically differ across websites. We’ve outlined how we decide whether a casino deserves to be blacklisted below:
- Unfair Games:
- Predatory Terms
- Slow Pay
How to register and play at an online casino in Ontario
Registering at online gambling sites follows the same steps you’d encounter at non-gambling websites. Some basic personal details such as your name, address, date of birth and more would be requested of you. We’ve outlined these in detail below:
✍ Sign up in a few steps
Signing up at an online casino can be broken down into generic steps. These are
- Tap on the “Sign-up,” “Register,” or “Join Now” buttons. These buttons are typically found on the right hand of the header section or footer component.
- Select your country of residence.
- Pick a username and a password.
- Fill-in in your details and your billing address.
- Check all applicable boxes (ensure you familiarize yourself with the T & C’s of the casino) and tap on “Register.”
💳 Deposit money into your account
Exactly what steps you’d have to take to fund your casino account depends largely on the payment method you’ve picked. Additionally, depositing money can be broken into a finite set of generic steps. These are:
- Head over to the “Cashier” or “Payments” section of the casino and then tap on “Deposit.”
- Pick your preferred payment method at this point. This could include any form of e-wallets, credit/debit cards, vouchers, cryptocurrencies or bank transfers.
- Vouchers and credit cards generally demand that you fill out 16-digit vouchers/card details and expiry dates as applicable. Other forms of payment would take you to a secure third-party payment gateway where you could complete your deposits.
- Fill out the amount you intend to deposit.
- Deposits generally reflect instantly as long as you’ve got enough funds in your funding account. You’d be able to play your favourite games as soon as you like.
Online Casino Playing Ontario – What Games Can You Play?
Games at online casinos in Ontario span the usual slots, table games and live dealer games. Gambling sites available to Ontario residents generally have years of operational experience in other climes and are licensed by AGCO. As such, you can depend on them to have the choicest titles from reputable gaming providers.
Software providers typically affiliated with such sites include Microgaming, NetEnt, IGT, NetEnt, Play’n GO, Yggdrasil, Quickspin, VIVO Gaming, Playtech, Novomatic, NYX Interactive and others. We’ve discussed in detail the popular gaming categories you’d come across at such sites below:
Slots are purely games of chance. Unlike table games like blackjack or poker, where your chances of netting a win can largely be influenced by how skillful you are, the chances of you landing enough qualifying symbols on a reel are largely determined by how lucky you are.
On conventional physical reels, electromechanical elements play a great deal in the mechanisms of operations. Nowadays, how your spins turn out is determined by Random Number Generating algorithms. Unlike conventional machines that were mostly 3 reels, it’s more common to find 5 by 3 reel layout slots or even 5 by 5 layouts on digital slots.
Slots generally have in-game multipliers that’d increase the potential payouts of your current holdings should you get lucky to land them. Some slots also come with progressive jackpots; grants from several players generally fund the possible payout from these types.
Live dealer games generally span live blackjack, live poker, live roulette and live baccarat. Such games feature live dealers conveniently housed in a physical location whose gameplay actions are streamed to your mobile or desktop client via a custom-designed interface.
You make your gameplay moves via this interface, and it’s transmitted to the dealer via the private stream. Evolution Gaming pioneered the live dealer gaming industry and has about the most prolific titles.
Table games refer to all game types that are traditionally played on tables. This includes blackjack, roulette, baccarat, keno, craps and poker. Blackjack, Roulette and Baccarat are by far the most popular table games.
In blackjack, the objective is to rack a total of 21 points in cards without tipping over, and preferably before the dealer racks up 17. There are different variants of blackjack with their own unique rules for how the games are played. The same goes with roulette, baccarat and even poker. It’s always a great idea to familiarize yourself with the basic principles of gameplay before gambling.
Online poker is nothing but traditional poker played over the internet. There are several online poker variants, including Texas Hold’em, Omaha 7-Card Draw, Chinese Poker, 5-card Draw, and more. There are also live poker games you can play alongside other players from the comfort of your room.
Bingo, much like slots, is purely based on chance. The game host, also tagged the caller, decides what the winning numbers would be and marks them with tiles. Whenever a player chanced upon the marked numbers in a row on their cards, they’d yell out ‘Bingo’, pretty much the origin of the game’s name. Upon a winner getting declared, new marked numbers get selected and a new gaming round begins all over again.
In lotteries, you’d have to draw a series of numbers from a large pool to stand a shot at winning a prize. Fortunately, Ontario doesn’t outlaw lottery and you could always draw digital lotteries at gambling sites with the functionality built in. Minors are barred from participating in lotteries, with severe penalties for defaulting operators. Lottery winners are selected randomly, and obtaining all the winning numbers will net you a jackpot.
Play the best online slots in Ontario
With the incursion of newer and newer casinos into the Ontario Gaming scene, you can be sure that you’ll have several amazing slots titles to pick from. These platforms, including FanDuel, PointsBet, TonyBet, Party Casino and more all partner with top software providers such as Microgaming, Playtech, IGT, Play’n GO, Yggdrasil, Quickspin, VIVO Gaming and others.
You can expect to come across slot titles, including Lion Strike, Trojan Kingdom, Joker Fortunes, 9 Gifts of Christmas, Big Santa Fortune, Boat Bonanza, 15 Lanterns, The Walking Dead, Release the Kraken, Wild Falls and more.
Top 5 Ontario Online Slots with High RTP
The Highest RTP slots you can find at Ontario casinos are Ugga Bugga and Book of 99, with insane RTPs at 99%. Not all sites will host many, even if any, of the top five slots we’ve outlined below, which is why it’s best you conduct a check on hosted games right before making your first deposits at any chosen casino. The top 5 slots with high RTPs you can find at Ontario online casinos are:
|1||Ugga Bugga||Playtech||Released in 2013
10 Paylines, 3 by 10 reel layout
Max Multiplier – 1,000x
Min/Max Bet Sizes – $0.10/$250
No Free Spins Round
|2||Starmania||NextGen||Released in 2015
10 Paylines, 5 reels
Available Free Spins Round
Min/Max Bet Sizes – $0.10/$500
|3||White Rabbit Megaways||Big Time Gaming||97.24% – 97.77% RTP (variable)
Medium to High Volatility
16,807 Paylines, 5 Reels, 2 – 7 rows
No Free Spins Round
Min/Max Coin Sizes – $0.10/$20
Max Jackpot – 13,000x
|4||Book of 99||Relax Gaming||99% RTP
10 Paylines, 3 rows, 5 reels
$500,000 Max Jackpot
Available Free Spins Round
Min/Max Bet Sizes – $0.10/$100
Ancient Greek Theme
|5||Golden Tour||Playtech||Released in 2012
Available Free Spins Round
Max Win – 2000x
Min/Max Bet Sizes – $0.05/$25
Mobile Online Casinos in Ontario
You can rest assured you’d have sufficient chances at gambling via your smartphone if you prefer mobile gambling to desktop-based clients. More than two-thirds of the 50+ casinos registered with AGCO in Ontario have mobile apps and mobile-optimized websites you can gamble right from.
Most casinos generally design apps to ensure cross-compatibility across iOS and Android devices. As such, you can be sure knowing that you’d be able to gamble as easily and as often as you want from your smartphone.
Downloading a casino app
As you’d expect, downloadable casino apps are about as good as mobile gambling gets. Fortunately, most casinos offer cross-platform support for their mobile apps, meaning you can play right from your Android or iOS device.
Casino App for iOS
The Apple App Store has historically supported real money gambling apps for way longer than the Google Play Store. As expected, these apps are cross-compatible on both iPads and iPhones. Apps offer the convenience and flexibility of real-time gambling you wouldn’t enjoy from a desktop-based client.
Casino App for Android
There was once a time when real money gambling apps were prohibited from featuring on the Google Play Store. Fortunately, those dark ages are over, and you can find any casino app from any brand you want on the Google Play Store. These apps are dependable, with little incidences of lags or glitches. Nonetheless, it’s always a great idea to check out reviews and ratings from other users to determine whether or not it’s wholly dependable.
Best land-based casinos in Ontario
Ontario has permitted land-based casinos to operate within its province, way since the 1990s. Though 29 licensed physical casinos are currently in the province, only 24 offer live dealer games. The best among these are:
- Caesars Windsor: Caesars Windsor was the first ever land-based casino in Ontario, established in 1996. Patrons can play at any of the table games, slots or also in the poker room. In addition to a gambling parlor, a world-class concert venue can host up to 4,100 attendees at a time.
- Gateway Casino Thunder Bay: Gateway Casino’s gambling space sprawls over 14,000 square feet. The facility, however, only opens from Thursday – Sunday, and that’s at a 24/7 period. Patrons can dine at the Getaway restaurant while on the premises. The casino has 450 electromechanical slots, with 14 table games. Gateway is a notable participant in the My Club Rewards program. In the program, customers can earn points which they can later redeem at other businesses across Ontario.
- Casino Rama: With 2,500+ slots, and more than 100+ table games, Casino Rama is by far one of the grandest physical casinos you’d find in Ontario. The casino also offers a 5,000-seater exquisite hall.
- Fallsview Casino Resort: With over 200,000 square feet of gambling hall space and a stunning view overlooking Horseshoe Falls, Fallsview Casino is rightfully acclaimed as one of the most exquisite and largest casino resorts in Ontario. Patrons can gamble at any of the available 3,000 slots and 130 table games. Fallsview also offers a 1,500 world-class seater hall.
Comparison of online casinos with land-based casinos in Ontario
First, online casinos are way more convenient to gamble at than land-based casinos. With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can play your favourite casino game as often as you like. In contrast, gambling at land-based casinos may require a cross-country trip to have a shot.
Pros and Cons of Online Casinos in Ontario
|1||Round-the-clock access to games.||Increased chances of getting addicted to gambling.|
|2||Flexible smartphone gambling||Slow payouts|
|3||Targeted bonuses and loyalty programs are unlike land-based casinos.||A running chance of being scammed by crooked online sites.|
|4||A chance to gamble from wherever you want.||Increased susceptibility to boredom.|
|5||Availability of demo games for practice.|
Legal online gambling in Ontario: how does it work?
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is saddled with the responsibility of enacting gambling legislation in Ontario and ensuring casino operators keep in line with the enacted statutes. To complete its obligations, there are several tools it employs. These include:
Geolocation refers to all digital techniques employed in determining a user’s physical location. Geolocation is vital to the operational practices of online casinos as it helps in effectively blocking out users who need to be cleared to gamble at that casino. This is primarily the tool Ontario online sites bank on to decide whether or not a prospective punter resides within the confines of Ontario. Geolocation is indispensable if Ontario casino sites are to adhere to the provincial authority’s stipulations satisfactorily.
Whether or not you’d pay taxes on your winnings from online casino games depends on the type of game you played as well as whether you gamble for entertainment or as a way to make money. Generally, winnings from “games of chance” such as lotteries, bingo games and even slots are not taxable as they’re regarded as windfalls. Winnings from skill-based games such as blackjack and poker would be taxed as they’re regarded as ‘income.’
For any online casino to operate in Ontario and cater to the gambling needs of Ontarians, it must’ve initially registered with AGCO. Aside from obtaining a license from the commission, the casino is expected to pay a 20% tax on all inbound revenues and a $100,000 licensing fee. Ontario’s local government derives most of its revenue from these fees. The 20% taxation on all revenue is significantly lesser than the 50% taxes imposed on land-based casinos operating in the province.
A Brief History of Casinos in Ontario
Canadian federal laws permitted the self-regulation of the local gambling industry of each province in 1985. However, it wasn’t until 1994 that the first land-based casino – Caesars Windsor – would commence gambling operations in the Detroit Windsor Area of Ontario.
Even at that, there’s enough evidence to attest that gambling had been a core parcel of the Ontarian tradition since the fourteenth century. The timeline can be outlined below:
- 1892 – 1969: Introduction of the Criminal Code, which outlawed all forms of gambling.
- 1925: The statute prohibiting all forms of gambling was relaxed, and the first gambling site was authorized for construction.
- 1985 – now: Each province was empowered to regulate its gambling industry, effectively leading to the creation of casinos.
Online sports betting in Ontario
There’s good news for Ontarians, considering the state of online betting affairs in the province. Ever since legislation toward sports betting was relaxed by the Canadian Government in August 2021, with the subsequent establishment of the regulated sports market in April 2021, many operators (notably including FanDuel, PointsBet, TonyBet and others) have swooped in. They have started serving the sports betting interests of Ontarians.
Other Forms of Online Gambling in Ontario
Asides from online casinos, there are other forms of gambling you can indulge in in Ontario. These include:
- Sports Betting: In this type of online gambling, you wager on a sporting event’s outcomes. Online sportsbooks generally offer a wide variety of sports you can place your bets.
- eSports Betting: This type of bet is placed on organized video gaming. Here, you get to make your wagers on the possibilities of a video gaming outcome (such as your favourite team winning a tournament in DOTA 2 or even who the bottom feeders on the leaderboard would be) in this betting type.
About the Ontario Lotteries and Gaming Commission (OLG)
Established in 2000, the Ontario Lotteries and Gaming Commission (known simply as OLG) is responsible for overseeing the conduct of Ontario’s lotteries, land-based casinos, and horseracing gambling. OLG was a product of the merging of the Ontario Lottery Corporation (OLC) and the Ontario Casino Corporation (OCC) in April 2000.
Even though OLG’s influence extends to a variety of gaming services, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission primarily regulates every aspect of casino operations – both land-based types as well as online casinos (via its subsidiary iGaming Ontario). In 2007, the Ontarian government was restructured to report to the Minister of Finance, in contrast to the Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal.
Responsible Gambling in Ontario
Responsible Gambling programs are targeted towards preventing addictive and compulsive gambling behaviour from developing in casino patrons and minimizing destructive gambling consequences for addicted gamblers.
Healthy gambling behaviour advocates that gambling be regarded as a fun and entertainment mechanism. Trouble arises, however, for most addicts when it’s regarded as a source of income.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario regards responsible gambling as key to its central objectives of protecting Ontarians. The commission has measures to protect vulnerable punters from getting exploited by their baser urges. To review these policies, check out the links below:
- Limit Setting Features
- Supporting Informed Decision Making
- Game Design and Features
- Identifying and Assisting Individuals Who May Be Experiencing Harm
What to do if you feel you might have a problem
If you plan on changing your gambling habits, we recommend abiding by these suggestions:
- Take up another recreational activity to replace your gambling tendencies.
- Talk things out with a family member or a counsellor.
- Control your use of cash.
Some helpful resources might come in handy in mitigating compulsive gambling tendencies. These are:
The Future of Online Casinos in Ontario
There are enough reasons to suggest that the future of online gambling in Ontario is bright. Around December 2022, AGCO reported that at least 50 different casinos registered with it. This is a significant improvement against the 19 casinos it had before its launch on April 4, 2022.
Pundits estimate that even more operators will join the bandwagon before the 1st anniversary of the iGaming market launch. This undoubtedly improves competitiveness and shifts a greater portion of the power dynamics into the hands of the consumers.
Latest Online Casino News in Ontario
- June 22, 2021 – The Canadian Government passed Bill C-218, the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act. The intentions were to allow provinces to decide how to manage gambling activities within their borders.
- April 4, 2022 – Ontario iGaming market officially launches on this date. 16 gaming operators, including FanDuel, PointsBet, Party Casino and more, registered with Ontario before this point.
Are online casinos legal in Ontario?
All sites registered with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario are legal to play in the province of Ontario. The province of Ontario enacted relaxed legislation in April 2022, legalizing online gambling activities as long as the operators are registered with the government.
Are online casinos in Ontario safe?
As long as the online casino is registered with AGCO, it’s a safe spot to gamble at. AGCO’s responsibilities include preventing money laundering, safeguarding players’ private details and ensuring only mature players can access online casinos.
At what age is gambling allowed in Ontario?
The minimum age at which you can legally gamble in Ontario is 19 years. Online casinos are generally mandated by iGaming Ontario to conduct KYC checks on prospective patrons to minimize the possibility of underage gambling.
Do I have to pay taxes on winnings?
The Canadian Revenue Agency decides whether or not you get taxed based on whether you make a living from gambling or you gamble for recreational purposes. Generally, skill-based games like poker and blackjack are taxable meaning players would have to pay taxes on all profits made. Games of chance games like slots are not taxable as the incomes from these are regarded as “windfalls”.
Who regulates online casinos in Ontario?
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission is the main regulatory body for online sites in Ontario.
What are the most popular Ontario online casino games?
Ontario’s most popular online casino games span slots, table games and live dealer options.
Can I win real money at an online casino in Ontario?
Yes, you can win real money at online casinos in Ontario should you opt for the real money option. How much you can win is determined to a large extent by how skillful you’re (for skill-based games), how lucky you are, and the average payout rates on all gaming titles.
How do Ontario online casino sites know my whereabouts?
Such sites must employ geolocation techniques to determine the whereabouts of the everyday casino patron accurately.
Do I need to live in Ontario to play online casinos for real money?
If you intend to play at gambling platforms regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, you’d have to reside in Ontario to play those for real money. You can always play from other locations for real money, too, as long as the casino supports your region of residence.
Can I play online casino games in Ontario for free?
You’d have to fund your casino account with enough money to cover at least the minimum requirements to play and win on real money games. Free casino games are mainly obtainable with demo gameplay and wouldn’t require depositing any money. They’re great for learning how a game works, especially with skill-based games like blackjack and poker.
Why should I play at a legal Ontario online casino, not an offshore one?
Playing at a casino licensed by local Ontarian authorities affords you an extra layer of security and protection that may be hard to find at offshore casinos.