Ontarians have had to ring in the new year without being able to access the latest sports betting market and subsequent services. It has become clear that delays in finalising regulatory aspects of the new gambling market will lead to a launch later than expected – somewhere in February, if not later.
Initially, many were hopeful that the new market for gambling in Ontario would be set in motion before the new year swung round. However, various delays in early-December has meant the timeline has been pushed on. This has been a major letdown for industry players; including the private sector as well as those looking to frequent legal online platforms.
It was always expected that there would be a number of hurdles to overcome. The process that needs to be followed will always demand that various concerns are revisited, revised, and reworked. It’s not indicative of a flawed approach but rather one that is set on pleasing all stakeholders. Bipartisan support for the new market for gambling and online sports betting in Ontario will help – not onl get it off the ground – but maintain its functioning far into the future.
As of now, there are a number of policies that remain open-ended and undefined. These may well relate to data and security issues as well as what the tangible state of gaming should look like. This, and several other terms, will still need to be agreed upon before finalisations can be made.
With the Grey Cup and the Super Bowl coming up, there’s every chance that bettors will not be afforded the opportunity to use online operator sites to place bets. Both are set to take place in February and with the current discrepancies still weighing heavy on state entities, Ontarians will most likely need to use the lottery to place wagers. There has been a lot of hope that legal operators in Ontario would have been up and running before the end of 2021 (never mind a month or two into 2022). However, there is little that can be done at this point in time.
Fortunately, there are still many positives to be drawn from the current situation. First off, the state is making sure that a regulated market will oust any offshore sites and ensure secure and fun gambling for all involved. It’s a laudable approach that has left no stone unturned. When legal online gambling and sports betting does come to Ontario, it’ll be here to stay.
It will bring with it a vast number of compelling services and features. This extends to state revenue. Currently, the province of Ontario sees around $1 billion being spent on annual online gambling activities. Recent studies have shown that close to around three quarters of that goes to those operators that are not licensed to provide such services. The new market for online gambling will be sure to redirect gambling revenue – away from offshore sites – towards licensed operators who must adhere to state regulations. The end result leading to higher tax revenue and public goods and services for the general public. Mid-February may seem like some ways off but it’s a small price to pay for what is to come.
We’ll be sure to follow up as 2022 embraces us. We bring you all the latest news coming out of Canada. You heard it here first!
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
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