Legality of cross border gambling under the lens in Ontario

The legality of cross-border gambling and wagering has become a contentious issue in Ontario, with the government seeking clarity from the Court of Appeal. The matter pertains to the possible repercussions of players in Ontario taking part in online games and betting with players beyond Canadian jurisdiction. This issue has the support of the Attorney General, the question being whether it falls under the criminal code or not.

It was in 2022 when the iGaming and sports wagering arena in Ontario began to flourish. Following this, daily fantasy sports and sports wagering businesses like DraftKings and FanDuel shut down their DFS wing in the province. This was because there was no real clarity regarding its legality and the factor of cross-border liquidity related to prize pools.

DFS operators must make a similar $100,000 payment towards the yearly license fee as in the case of sportsbooks, as per the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). Based on online Canadian gambling news, there is also a 20% taxation amount on the total revenue collected to the province.

Having put a closure on DFS, DraftKings, and Fanduel remain providing online sports wagering in Ontario. There is a possibility of engaging in DFS and betting, provided the AGCO gives its consent.

In February, the AGCO updated its regulatory structure about iGaming.

The commission consented to the amendments made to the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming to ascertain transparency factors in all promotional activities. The amendments came into effect on the 28th of February. This involved the usage of cartoon characters and social media influencers, celebrities, and athletes from endorsing anything to do with the online gambling and betting space in Ontario.

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