But while the rollout of Ontario’s newly regulated iGaming and sports betting market is just two weeks away, not everyone in the province is looking forward to it. Land-based casino operators and local First Nations, for example, are still opposed to the new regime, arguing that its growth could have serious implications for their businesses and communities.
Previously, the province informed the public that the long-awaited launch of iGaming Market for private operators will take place on April 4, 2022. Once the market goes live, game brands approved by Ontario’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission will be able to legally offer their digital sportswear and gaming products to players in the province.
Most recently, Kelly La Rocca, chief of the Mississaugas at Skugog Island First Nation, expressed her country’s concerns about Ontario’s game expansion. She said the local government should put the game on hold. According to her, the country has never been consulted by the government about the online game market and how it will affect them.
Mr. LaRocca described the state’s move as a slap on the wrist and said iGaming Mayor would cost First Nations millions of dollars for host communities it relies on to build its economy. In other words, this money is essential to the country because it funds clean drinking water, health care, housing, and other provision.
Casino operators operating in states such as the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation are also unhappy with the new regime. Recently, Tony Rodio, the company’s CEO, shared that he wants the land-based gaming industry to be able to participate and compete, but he wants to be able to compete on a flat field. He said, allowing online operators in this state to work under a fairly low tax rate is unfair to offline operators.
Ian Reeve, shift manager at Pickering Casino Resort, said the new market will bring tremendous competition to operators and players. He worries that expansion can affect many people’s jobs. According to industry estimates, the new market will contribute to more than 2,000 jobs in the land-based sector and the loss of more than C$200 million in funding for local aid.
Meanwhile, Ontario has not indicated that First Nation’s request will be considered as AGCO continues to provide licenses to more and more operators. Most recently, Inspired Entertainment announced that it had received regulatory approval to become a licensed gaming provider in the state’s new market. The company said it has 25 games ready for its April release.
In addition, Play’n GO, a well-known game supplier, said it would join the local iGaming regime. The company will be able to provide an excellent portfolio of iGaming products to other AGCO-approved game companies in the market.