The biggest development in the gambling industry in the 21st century has been the rise of online casinos. Online casinos have made classic casino games more accessible to players and opened the gambling world to new audiences.
More people than ever have discovered that playing at online casinos can be just as entertaining as the real thing. Maybe even more so! Without the floorspace constraints of traditional land-based casinos, online casinos can offer a vast number of games in every theme and style. In fact, not being limited by floorspace means that online casinos can offer their players more niche and unique games as they don’t have to worry about them occasionally sitting empty and eating into their profits.
The rise of online gambling has resulted in governments scrambling to figure out how to regulate this new facet of the industry. Some countries have chosen to be incredibly restrictive, while others have tried to delay the decision-making process as long as possible. Canada took the time to research the industry and discuss options. They have now passed the ability to legalise and license online casinos to each of the provinces.
Before we explain how to find licensed Ontario online casinos, we’ll give a quick explanation of how Canadian online gambling laws work.
Canadian online gambling laws
For decades the Canadian government has allowed the provinces to determine their own gambling laws for traditional forms of gambling. Initially, online gambling was a grey area. It wasn’t illegal for Canadians to gamble online, but it was illegal for online casinos to operate in the country. This left Canadians free to gamble at offshore casinos, but they didn’t have any legal protections if something went wrong.
In 2020, the Canadian government decided that each province should have the ability to license online casinos, just as they could license traditional land-based casinos. This meant that more conservative provinces or those without a gambling culture couldn’t delay the process for provinces whose citizens wanted access to safe and controlled online gambling.
Ontario was the first province to begin the process of legalising online gambling. This is no surprise since Ontario has long been a leader when it comes to loosening gambling laws and encouraging more liberal regulations. By September of 2021, Ontario had established their safe gambling standards and by the start of 2022 the market had opened and the first licenses had been granted.
Safe and legal gambling is a huge moneymaker for governments, earning revenue from both resident players and visitors. Canada has long been a popular tourist destination for people looking to explore the great outdoors. In fact, it’s one of the top road trip locations in the world! Now that online gambling is legalised in Ontario and many other provinces, travelers have one more reason to visit.
In order to gamble safely, it’s essential to only play at online casinos that are fully licensed. Below are our top tips for identifying and finding a licensed Ontario online casino in 2024:
Check their license status
The first step is so basic that it is easy to overlook. All you need to do is check the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) website. The AGCO is the regulatory body that oversees online casino licensing in the province. The AGCO maintains an up-to-date list of all the online casinos that are currently licensed through them. If you look a bit more carefully, you can also determine which online casinos are currently in the process of applying for a license.
Look for the icon
Another step you can take is to check for the iGaming Ontario logo on an online casino’s site. iGaming Ontario is the organisation working with the AGCO to provide people in Ontario with access to safe and reputable online gambling options.
They have a distinctive icon that will immediately let you know that the online casino site you’re visiting has been checked and approved. The logo is three stylised dice overlapping. The dice are green, blue and yellow and have two white pips.
The iGaming Ontario website also has a lot of valuable information for players looking to find the right online casino. It is worth making a visit when trying to make that decision.
Once you’ve checked with the official licensing bodies, the next step is narrowing down which of these reputable online casinos best meets your needs. Every online casino does a great job of advertising themselves as the perfect site and offers attractive welcome bonuses so it can seem like they’re all the same, but this isn’t the case.
The best way to find the right licensed online casino is to read independent reviews. The online casino boom has also sparked a healthy casino guide industry. These guides review online casinos and provide a thorough breakdown of everything from the games they offer and the payment methods they accept to the average wait times for customer support and the types of security measures they employ.
In the comments sections of these guides, you can also find personal experiences and testimonies that create a complete picture of the online casino. Reading and comparing reviews is the last step in finding the right online casino and getting started in the world of online gambling.