Online Gambling Legality challenged in Ontario

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) has scrutinized Ontario’s regulatory framework and determined it is unlawful. The forthcoming week will witness the hearing of the case, which is anticipated to significantly influence the online wagering industry in Canada.

This impasse is taking place in a province that legalized internet gambling in April 2022. Over three months in 2023, 72 privately run websites in the province saw wagers totaling $17.2 billion. In just the first year, the province generated about $1.6 billion for the local economy and over 12,000 FTE jobs through this market.

According to the statement issued by MCK, iGaming Ontario unveiled its iGaming strategies in April 2022. This would involve intermediary operators offering online wagering alternatives to the Ontario audience. The Canadian casino sites offer a variety of wagering options, including sports betting, poker, and casino games. It is worth noting that AGCO diligently lists all private players and withholds 80% of the gross profits generated by the respective sites.

This, in the opinion of MCK, indicates that iGaming Ontario (iGO) is acting as a regulator rather than a conductor of wagering, which is contrary to federal law.

iGO reiterates that it manages the critical parts of the iGaming market. Money, data, and promotional activities are all included. In addition, the agency’s January 19 factum states that it will have the final say on concerns of conduct and control. They are confident that all of their operations are completely legal and in accordance with the state’s laws.

Prior to the debut, Ontario’s auditor general expressed concerns about the province’s online gambling module. He believes that the current situation entails a number of different business risks.

Despite all of this, the Ontario government launched its igaming market alongside commercial operators like BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel. In December 2023, the auditor general’s office expressed its concerns again, including the MCK litigation.

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