Canada is slowly moving towards single-sports betting, and while it hasn’t yet arrived in Ontario it’s still a major event. “Buck-a-Head” is a $5 bet which can be placed on either individual sports or the overall total for a sporting event. At the time of writing, the Buck-a-Head is still being held by the bookmakers, but next year July 1st is a very real possibility.

Ontario is preparing for the day that single sports betting (runs on a national network) is offered in the province.  The provincial government is currently looking at how to regulate the new industry and is conducting a public consultation on whether the new market should be regulated by the province as a whole or by each of the territories.

On Tuesday, the Ontario provincial government announced that the legislature is developing a brand new authority to tackle online gambling. The new entity will be named iGaming Ontario and will be a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. The county hopes to have it operational by the end of the year.

The creation of a new gaming regulator is intended to oversee all federally regulated online betting services in the state. The news came shortly after Bill C-218 was passed by the Canadian Senate and received royal assent. The legislation would allow individuals to bet on one sporting event and is designed to boost the country’s gambling industry.

iGaming controller

Ontario’s attorney general Doug Downey said the emergence of iGaming Ontario will be an important step in the government’s practice because it will give people the opportunity to make bets in a safe and regulated marketplace. He went on to say that the province intends to continue working with gaming advocates and regulatory partners to ensure that Ontario becomes a world leader in online gaming.

The new AGCO subsidiary will operate independently, with its own staff and board members, but will remain under the control of the holding company. And the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation will continue to manage and deliver its various lottery and online gaming product solutions on its own platform.

Danish consultant Birgitte Sand will oversee and lead the project for Ontario’s new online regulator. The government stated that it will continue to consult with the electronic gaming sector, First Nations communities, social responsibility organizations and groups to discuss and finalize the details of the new structure.

The local government hopes to establish a new online gaming regulator, iGaming Ontario, by December of this year. However, details such as who will head this structure and how exactly it will function have not yet been disclosed. The province believes that the new online gaming market will provide new opportunities for local businesses and a better and safer gaming environment for fans.

Plan required

Shortly after the passage of Bill C-218, MP Wayne Gates of Niagara Falls, MP Lisa Gretzky of Windsor West and MP Percy Hatfield of Windsor-Tecumseh sent a letter to Premier Ford asking for an action plan for legislation. MEPs believe that the government must act quickly on this legislation as it could represent a huge growth opportunity for border casinos and create thousands of new jobs.

Royal Assertion

Last week, Bill C-218, also known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, officially became law in Canada after receiving royal assent. For the law to take effect, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet must set a date for council to make a decision. Once this is done, counties across the country will be able to offer the long-awaited betting on certain sporting events.

Source: Freeman, Joshua Ontario creates new structure to manage single game sports betting, CP24, 6. July 2021.

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