Ontario recently started distributing online casino licenses, leading to a steady market growth of internet gaming (iGaming) providers. Although the government does its best to regulate operators, it’s ultimately up to players to mind their own online safety.
Keeping a regularly updated list of Ontario online casinos can help ensure everyone’s safety. The following guide will tell you everything you need to know!
Ontario’s new iGaming market is now live
On April 4, 2022, Ontario launched its iGaming market through iGaming Ontario. Partnered with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), iGaming Ontario issues the licenses needed to operate an online casino in the province. Both organizations ensure that operators run fair games while securely handling player information.
Registering an online casino involves seven steps each from iGaming Ontario and AGCO. Though it may seem tedious, these steps help ensure that operators are legitimate and that their offerings are not being used for anything nefarious.
A year after inception, iGaming Ontario is still regularly issuing licenses to operators, proving that the iGaming market in the province is thriving.
How to start playing online casino games in Ontario
Playing online casino games in Ontario is easy, as long as you’re at least 19 years old and are willing to go through a few steps first. Doing so ensures your safety as a player and gives you government protection in case of any problems.
If you’re ready, here are the steps to start your iGaming journey in Ontario:
Select an online casino
The first step to playing online casino games is to pick a provider. Make sure you choose the one that suits you best and offers the games you love. Some sites offer more variety than others, so be sure to check which games they have available.
Next, make sure the casino site you select displays the iGaming Ontario logo. Regulated online casinos will have the iGaming Ontario logo on their front page, indicating that they abide by AGCO’s online safety and fairness regulations. The government cannot protect you as a player if you sign up with an unregulated operator.
The best way to ensure you’re playing in a regulated online casino is to pick a provider from this regularly updated list of Ontario online casinos. If your preferred site is not on the list, you can wait until they get their license or pick a different one.
Once you select a regulated iGaming site, it’s time to open your account. You will have to provide some personal information when registering for a new account, which includes:
- Your legal name.
- Date of birth.
- Residence address.
- Contact information, such as your phone number.
AGCO requires all registered iGaming operators to collect this information from all prospective players, so don’t be alarmed. You’ll also have to create a username and password, which you’ll use to log in to your account.
If you want to play across multiple iGaming sites, you must provide your personal information and make separate accounts for each site. Once registered, you can start preparing to play any of their games.
The next step is to deposit some funds. Simply navigate to the deposit page and add your desired deposit amount. Most Ontario online casinos accept the following:
- Credit or debit cards.
- Bank transfer.
Keep in mind that different online casinos may also accept other funding methods not listed above, but not all of them will take the same payment methods as other operators.
However, be wary if the online operator asks you to wire money to a foreign bank account instead of accepting any of the standard methods. To protect players, iGaming Ontario regulates how registered online casinos accept funds, and a foreign bank transfer is not one of the approved methods.
Also, pay attention to each operator’s minimum deposit amounts. While most have low minimum deposits, a few require a higher deposit. Consider whether the online casino you choose fits your budget.
Lastly, it might be worth checking out your preferred online casino’s reward programs and bonuses. Some grant you bonus funds just for signing up, while others reward you after depositing money. A few even have a referral program that could give you cash in your account.
Choose a Casino Game
Now that you have available funds in your account, it’s time to choose a casino game. Most online casinos have hundreds or even thousands of games on offer, so it’s up to you to pick and choose the one that feels right.
Some operators offer demo mode for some or all of their games, so that might be worth exploring if you’re unsure where to start. Keep an eye out for casinos that offer free spins – if you’re lucky enough, you could win without spending any of your funds.
You’ve created a new account, provided your personal information, deposited some money and spent some time browsing the available games. After all of that, it’s finally time to start playing!
As you play, remember that the most important thing is to have fun. With thousands of different games on offer, you’ll surely find one to enjoy.
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However, don’t be surprised if the online casino stops you from making bets that would result in a negative balance. Part of iGaming Ontario’s regulations requires operators to ensure the player doesn’t get into “debt” with the casino. If this happens, you won’t be able to access any games until you resolve your negative balance with a new deposit.
With win rates of over 97 percent, it’s only a matter of time before you accumulate your winnings. When you’re ready to withdraw funds, follow the “cashier” instructions on the website.
Depending on how you funded your account, online casino operators should be able to return your funds to the same method. If not, you should get the option to set something up for withdrawals. And remember: you can only withdraw to accounts that you own or are authorized to manage.
Ontario Online Casinos
Despite only launching in 2022, Ontario’s online casinos and the province’s iGaming market in general are steadily growing. And even though AGCO and iGaming Ontario have strict rules for applicants, companies are still clamoring to establish their brands in the burgeoning market. But why Ontario, specifically?
That’s because a large chunk of Canada’s population lives in Ontario, and most online casino and betting companies haven’t been able to penetrate the Canadian market yet. Most of them have been spending their time and efforts in the United States, with its increasing number of states opening their iGaming markets. Canada, on the other hand, is an untapped goldmine.
It also helps that Ontario residents are tuned in to popular sports franchises from both Canada and the United States. Players can bet online on their favorite hockey teams while also cheering on their preferred university to win the NCAA tournament during March Madness.
Lastly, iGaming Ontario’s advertising restrictions put everyone on a level playing field, regardless of whether the operator is Canadian or not. That means every operator, as long as they’re on the regularly updated list of Ontario online casinos, has an equal chance of being someone’s casino of choice. They don’t have to rely on heavy advertising just to get noticed.
Who can play Online Casino Games in Ontario?
AGCO laid out explicit instructions on who can play online casino games in Ontario.
First, a prospective player must be at least 19 years old in order to gamble. The only time anyone under 19 can access the site is to purchase a lottery ticket; that user must be at least 18 years old.
Next, the player must reside within Ontario. AGCO requires operators to perform periodic location checks to ensure that players are accessing the site from within the province and to block anyone else from trying to use the online casino. Operators must also be able to detect those who use programs such as virtual private networks (VPNs) to spoof their location.
Lastly, the player may not be related to the online casino operator in any way. This restriction includes employees of the operator, union representatives for the operator’s employees, and vendors who service the operator’s equipment. Anyone with a court order prohibiting them from gambling or using a casino is also included in this restriction.
You’re good to go if you meet all of these requirements. You can sign up with one or more of the registered iGaming Ontario casinos and start playing!
iGaming Ontario sets up regulations for playing that are meant to protect the players. This does create a few more hurdles in some cases, but overall it is beneficial and is now allowing players from all over the province to play online casino games whenever they want.
This means that if you live in Ontario, you can log in to an online casino website from your phone, from anywhere. So if you’re in the back of a taxi, for example, you can even play while on your way to or from work!
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