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Best Online Casinos in Ontario: The Complete Guide and FAQ

For a long time, online gambling has been a gray zone in all of Canada, with local online casinos not allowed to operate in the majority of the country, even though players were free to play at international casino sites that would accept their registrations.

For the first time in history, players in Ontario will have a chance to play at fully regulated and safe Ontario online casinos, with the first gaming licenses already issued and the operators preparing for launch on April 4, 2022.

Operators who have applied for a gaming license will also have the option to operate while waiting for their licenses to be approved, which means there should be plenty of options open starting in April.

The gaming licenses for all new online casinos in Ontario will be issued by iGaming Ontario, a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which was created specifically to oversee the online gaming operations in the province.

Keep reading to find out all you need to know about the legal online casinos in Ontario and the options that will be available to you at launch.

Online Casino Operators in Ontario

The newly regulated online gaming market in Canada is huge and as expected it has attracted many of the biggest names in the iGaming industry of North America.

DraftKings was one of the first operators interested in the Ontario online casino market, with the operator ready to offer the full scope of daily fantasy sports, sports betting, and online casino services to players in the province. DraftKings Ontario offers a generous welcome bonus and plenty of casino games for all newly joined players.

BetMGM Casino Ontario is the next platform you can count on as a Canadian player, with the brand already well-established throughout the USA. The BetMGM Casino platform was created in partnership between MHM International and Entain, and is one of the best products of its type. Players at BetMGM Casino Ontario will have full access to the prestigious M life Rewards program, offering some of the best loyalty rewards in the industry.

888 is a major online gambling brand catering to Ontario casino players as well. With a stellar reputation and a great selection of games, the company was quick to get licensed by the AGCO and open its virtual doors to all Ontario residents.

BetRivers Casino Ontario is another brand that joined the budding CA market early on. Players can expect a full scope of video slots, popular table games, video poker machines, and other attractive options to keep them entertained.

Another major fantasy sports provider, FanDuel has been delving into the online casino market since the legalization of online casinos started in the US. Now, FanDuel Ontario is also available to players, offering the full scope of services, games, and promotions that the operator has become famous for.

International giant Unibet Casino is also in the mix, with Unibet Casino Ontario set to be one of the most versatile and colorful operators in the province. With decades of experience, the folks at Unibet Casino are guaranteed to bring a premium experience to Canadian casino players.

Caesars Casino Ontario is another brand powered by a major US casino company, with Caesars already offering services in several regulated iGaming markets throughout the US. Now, Caesars joins the ranks of regulated online casinos in Ontario.

Ontario Online Casino Laws and Regulations

The regulation of iGaming in Ontario has been in the works for quite some time, following many years of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation holding a complete monopoly over this market and other online gaming markets.

That all changed in April 2019, when discussions started on creating a regulated iGaming market that would allow private companies to get a piece of the cake in the Ontario online casino, poker, and sports betting markets.

The plan moved forward in November 2020, and by 2021 legislation was passed that would allow for the licensing and operation of such companies.

In September 2021, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario passed its final regulatory standards for sports betting and iGaming and iGaming Ontario was set up as a subsidiary which would oversee the operation of all online gambling operators in the province.

The final version of the rules and standards for operators were included in the AGCO’s Standards of Internet Gaming and published on July 14, 2021. Everything was set for the launch of regulated iGaming in Ontario, with April 4, 2022, set as the date for these new standards to come into effect.

Ontario Online Casino Taxes

Regulation of online gambling markets in most parts of the world really comes down to the money and taxation, as governments recognize that it is a huge market that can bring in millions of dollars in tax money.

Things are no different in Ontario, where the government set up a separate regulatory body just to oversee and shape up the industry, including any taxes related to it.

iGaming Ontario has been very secretive about the tax rates that online casinos in Ontario will have to pay, but it appears that a revenue share model will be in place instead of proper taxation. All private companies operating online casinos in Ontario will have to pay about 20% revenue share, which will be allotted to the public sector.

This means that, for all intents and purposes, Ontario online casinos will be paying about 20% of their revenue as tax to the state, even though it will technically be called a revenue share.

Compared to the various US gambling markets, the Ontario taxes will be significantly lower than those in places like Pennsylvania and Delaware, and slightly higher than New Jersey or Connecticut, approximately on par with the state of Michigan.

Start Playing Online Casinos in Ontario

The official launch date for new online casinos in Ontario is April 4, and we can expect at least some of the operators to launch that very day, with more launching in the days and weeks to come.

Given the fact that all the operators who have applied for a license in Ontario are already operating in plenty of other markets, the casino platforms will be ready to launch.

Online casinos in Ontario will be available for desktop computers, but also for various mobile devices, with instant-play platforms available through mobile internet browsers and downloadable versions available for both iOS and Android devices.

Downloading gambling apps won’t always be possible through the official App Store and Google Play platforms, which is why you may need to visit the operator’s website and follow the links there to get the versions of the apps that can be downloaded and installed on your phone.

Online Casino Ontario Sites: Safety and Fairness

Player safety and game fairness are some of the top issues that players in Ontario have been dealing with over the years. With private companies not allowed to operate online casinos in Ontario, players would often play on various off-shore online casinos which were not regulated by any Canadian agency.

Now, for the first time, Ontario players will be able to play at online casinos fully regulated by a government agency, which means they will be sure that they are playing in a safe environment.

All Ontario online casino sites will be licensed by iGaming Ontario, a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which will not only audit the operators before licensing them, but also oversee their operations and make sure everything is running in accordance with the law.

Players who have any issue with a regulated online casino in Ontario will have the ability to file their complaints with iGaming Ontario and have their cases heard, which was not an option previously, with offshore casinos not within the jurisdiction of any Canadian courts or agencies.

What’s even more, iGaming Ontario will ensure that every operator adheres to the standards of game fairness and only offers casino games that are random, fair, and 100% safe to play.

Banking Options for Ontario Online Casinos

Another question that all potential online casino players in Ontario are surely asking is, how will I fund my casino accounts and what payment methods will be available at launch?

As expected, the iGaming operators that are coming into the Ontario market already have plenty of experience with this, which is why they will be offering many different payment options from the first day, with others likely to be added as time goes by.

At this time, we expect the following payment options to be offered by the best online casinos in Ontario:

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • ACH/e-check
  • Online Banking
  • PayPal
  • Skrill
  • NETELLER

Land Based Casinos in Ontario

As previously mentioned, the gambling market in Ontario was long dominated by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, which is the owner of many of the live casinos in the province, alongside the likes of Gateway Casinos.

The OLGC has been running a number of brick and mortar casino properties for a while now, and while there is no indication of new private casinos launching soon, this may be in the cards in the future as well.

At this time, people living or visiting Ontario can look at the following major venues for some live casino entertainment:

  • Casino Niagara: The first of the major Ontario casinos owned by the OLGC, Casino Niagara is operated by Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment and is one of the oldest in the province.
  • Caesars Casino & Hotel Windsor: Operated by the world-renowned Caesars Entertainment, Caesars is also owned by the OLGC and offers over 2,300 slot machines, dozens of gaming tables, and plenty of other entertainment in Windsor, Ontario.
  • Casino Rama Resort: Co-owned by the OLGC and the Chippewas Rama First Nation, the Casino Rama Resort is located in Rama and features 10 different eateries, more than 2,200 slot machines, over 60 gaming tables, and more.
  • Casino Woodbine Toronto: Located some 20 miles west of Toronto, Casino Woodbine is one of the best options close to the actual city. Casino games, video slots, and all sorts of food and entertainment await at this spectacular venue.
  • Fallsview Casino Resort: Niagara Falls, Ontario, hosts one of the biggest live casinos in the entire province with 3,000 slot machines, 130 gaming tables, and more than 370 rooms to accommodate its guests, along with its popular Avalon Theater for live entertainment away from the tables.

FAQ

Is online gambling legal in Ontario?

Yes! Online gambling is legal in Ontario and always was. Earlier, the OLGC held monopoly over online gambling of all types, but now private companies can apply for licenses and operate legally within Ontario.

Who regulates the Ontario iGaming market?

iGaming Ontario, a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario regulates all online gambling in the province and issues operating licenses to private companies who wish to run such an operation there.

When are online casinos launching in Ontario?

The official date for the launch of the private online gambling operators in Ontario is April 4, 2022, although not all operators will be launching their platforms on that date.

Where can I play online casino games in Ontario?

A number of highly renowned international gaming operators applied for a gaming license with iGaming Ontario, including the likes of 888casino, DraftKings, Caesars, FanDuel, BetMGM, Unibet, and others.

What types of casino games can I play?

The best Ontario online casinos offer all types of casino games, ranging from video slots and video poker machines to casino table games such as roulette, blackjack, baccarat, craps, poker, and many others.

How can I fund my account and withdraw my winnings?

Multiple payment methods are available with Ontario online casinos, including major debit and credit cards like Visa and MasterCard, as well as PayPal, Skrill, and direct banking transfers.

What kind of taxes do Ontario online casinos pay?

While the exact number is still not announced, Ontario online casinos will be paying a revenue share to the government and it is expected that about 20% of all revenues will be withheld as part of this deal, which will be used to fund various public projects.