Ontario will launch an online casino, but sports betting restrictions will limit profit potential.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission (OLG) is set to launch its online casino in Canada, PlayOLG. An official date has not been set, but observers expect it to be any moment. Last year Ontario announced that it would follow in the footsteps of British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec and offer a full casino offering online, converting its information-only site into a real betting operation.
OLG has hired Spielo G2 to power PlayOLG, which will first offer lottery, slots and table games before expanding to include bingo, online poker and sports betting. OLG officials predict that the site will generate $375 million in profit for the province over five years. Ontario is Canada’s most populous province, so opening the casino market there will have a major effect on the country.
Online casinos hampered by sports betting law
PlayOLG will offer sports betting. However, revenue will be limited by Canadian gambling laws which prohibit single-event bets. Bettor must make parlay wagers, putting money down on three or more events simultaneously. This generally dilutes the payout from a winning bet and discourages many from using Canadian bookmakers.
Unless bill C-290 is passed and single-event betting becomes legal, sites like PlayOLG will lose customers to overseas bookmakers. The launching of the new site will be good for Ontario’s budget, but not as good as it could have been.