Ontario Gambling Laws in 2024

The True North’s bustling province has taken significant steps in Ontario gambling regulation. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and iGaming Ontario are crucial in overseeing online and offline gambling activities. Recently, Ontario became the first Canadian province to legalize online gambling, spurring substantial industry growth. This article explores the legal landscape of online gambling laws in Ontario, highlighting key regulations, historical milestones, and the differences between land-based and online gambling.

Gambling Regulations in Ontario as of July 2024

In June 2021, the Canadian Parliament passed Bill C-218, allowing each province to regulate sports betting and casino markets. On April 4, 2022, Ontario became the first province to launch legal online gambling.

Any operator wanting to start in Ontario ought to get a license from the AGCO and pass tests by iGaming Ontario (iGO). iGO ensures operators have security measures, provide fair games, and promote responsible gambling.

Before the market was regulated, Ontario gambling was limited to land-based casinos and pari-mutuel horse racing betting. People could also place parlay sports bets with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).

Ontario’s regulations are strict to protect the public. Gambling operators can’t advertise inducements, bonuses, or credits known as ‘free spins’ and must avoid misleading claims. Players must follow these online gambling laws in Ontario:

  • You must be 19 to bet on sports and play online casino games.
  • You ought to be 18 to play the lottery and bingo.
  • You must be within Ontario’s borders and allow your gambling site to access your geolocation to play on regulated sites.

Legal Age to Gamble in Ontario

In Ontario, Canada, you must be 19 years old to gamble at online and land-based casinos. This age requirement covers all casino fun, including slots, table games, poker, and live dealer thrill. The AGCO and Canada’s Criminal Code enforce these age restrictions. The AGCO sets the legal age for casino operators during licensing and compliance checks, and they investigate any potential violations. The Criminal Code, which is Canada’s federal law, prohibits underage gambling across the country, including in Ontario. So, what is the legal casino age for gambling in Ontario?

Gambling Laws in Ontario, Canada:

Types of Gambling ActivityLegal Gambling Age in Ontario
Casino titles19+, AGCO
Online casino games19+, AGCO
Poker19+, AGCO
Sports betting19+, AGCO
Lottery18+, OLG
Bingo18+, AGCO
Horse racing19+, AGCO
Daily Fantasy Sports19+, AGCO

History of Ontario’s Gambling Laws

Gambling has been part of Canadian culture for centuries, with evidence of betting on foot races as far back as the 1400s. In modern times, Ontario became the first province to legalize online gambling in 2022 and is now one of North America’s largest iGaming markets. Here’s a timeline of how online gambling laws in Ontario developed:

December 1985

The Canadian Parliament passed C-46, giving provinces control over lottery draws, betting pools, and casino gambling. Previously, the federal government handled everything.

May 1994

Ontario opened its first casino in Windsor, later known as Caesars Windsor. The casino draws millions of visitors from the US and Canada.

July 1996

Ontario’s first First Nations casino, Casino Rama, opened. The revenue supports Ontario First Nations Limited Partnership communities.

June 2021

Canada passed Bill C-218, the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, legalizing single-game sports betting in Ontario and online casino gambling. Before this, only parlay betting was allowed. This bill lets provinces welcome third-party sportsbooks and casinos.

On April 4, 2022

Ontario became the first province in Canada to regulate online gambling casinos. Operators approved by AGCO and iGO can launch, including big names such as BetMGM, bet365, theScore Bet, and others.

Sports Gambling in Ontario

Sports gambling is a popular and safe pastime in Ontario, offering a variety of sportsbooks for customers. Here’s a look at some of the top sports to place bets in the Canadian province:

  • Hockey is Canada’s beloved sport, and betting on it is well-known in Ontario. Fans often place bets on their favorite teams, like the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators. Whether it’s the regular season or the Stanley Cup playoffs, hockey betting adds excitement for many Canucks.

  • Basketball betting has become popular thanks to the Toronto Raptors. Fans have many betting options, from predicting game outcomes to individual player performances. The Raptors’ success has boosted interest in basketball gambling across Ontario.

  • Betting on baseball, especially on the Toronto Blue Jays, offers fans thrilling scopes to wager on their favorite sport. Whether it’s placing bets on game results or specific player triumphs, baseball is a hit among Ontario’s sports fans.

  • Soccer betting is growing in Ontario. Major leagues like the English Premier League and international tournaments such as the World Cup attract many soccer lovers. Fans enjoy placing bets on their favorite teams and players, adding to the excitement of the matches.

  • Football betting, particularly on NFL games, is in vogue in Ontario. Many Prairie People enjoy wagering on football, making game days more thrilling. From regular season games to the Super Bowl, football stakes have a strong following.

  • Golf betting offers a unique experience. Major tournaments like the Masters and PGA Tour events provide numerous betting opportunities. Fans can place bets on who will win the tournament or how their favorite golfers will perform, making golf a popular choice for bettors.

Overall, Ontario sports gambling covers a wide range of sports, offering unique excitement and opportunities for customers.

Lottery in Ontario

Ontario lottery players can participate in various titles, including Lotto 6/49, Lotto Max, and Daily Grand. These lotteries offer substantial jackpots and are a common form of gambling across the province.

Land-Based vs. Online Gambling in Ontario

Land-based casinos are physical places where you can play different casino titles, while online casinos are entirely virtual, allowing you to play games online. Each type has its benefits and drawbacks, and your choice depends on personal preference. Here are some pros and cons of both types of gambling:

Online Casinos:

  • Accessible from anywhere, including from home or on the go.
  • No travel expenses to reach the Canadian casino.
  • Quick and easy to start playing, ideal for those with limited time.
  • Instant access to the latest titles from top software developers.
  • A peaceful environment for uninterrupted gameplay and increased focus.

Offline Casinos:

  • Ways to interact with others and make friends on the lively casino floor.
  • Fun environments may include restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, and shopping centers.
  • Immediate cash-out of winnings with no waiting time.
  • Direct access to various forms of entertainment, unlike online casinos.
  • Fewer games available compared to Ontario’s online casinos.

Ontario Gambling Laws FAQs

What is the legal gambling age in Ontario, Canada?

The legal age to gamble in Ontario is 19 for casinos and most online platforms and 18 for lotteries and horse racing.

Is it legal to gamble in Ontario?

Yes, gambling is legal in Ontario, Canada, provided it is conducted through regulated casino sites and licensed operators.

Are gambling winnings taxable in Ontario?

No, gambling online casino winnings are not subject to tax in Ontario.