Ontario revealed its online gambling plan. The announcement came as the federal government revived the sports betting bill. Ontario’s Conservative government published its 2020-2021 budget that showed a lower forecast from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.
OLG has a monopoly on the province’s land-based casinos. It contributed C$2.3 billion to the budget last year. However, its forecast for 2020-2021 was only C$200 million. The OLG employs private operators to handle the daily management of the casinos.
Casinos closed last spring due to the coronavirus. Although they recently resumed their operations, they had to operate in limited capacity to prevent the virus’s spread. Thus, OLG required a C$500 million financial assistance from Ontario for its operational expenses.
Ontario Online Gambling Plan
According to bookie pay per head reports, OLG delayed the release of its 2019-2020 yearly summary. Thus, there’s no telling how the PlayOLG online gambling website benefited from the closure of land-based casinos.
In 2018-2019, the online gambling platform earned C$92 million that was 25 percent better than the previous year. However, its revenue is below that of Quebec and British Columbia. The 2019-2020 budget promised that PlayOLG would have some competition by allowing private operators in the province.
The government didn’t act on the promise based on bookie pay per head sources. However, the new budget showed some progress to the pledge. The province will introduce legislation that would give the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario the responsibility to oversee igaming in Ontario. Once approved, people can start learning how to be a bookie in the province.
The AGCO will act as the bridge between the government and the private online gambling operators. However, the government didn’t give out any timeline for their plan. The government said that they would continue to consult with stakeholders on opening the market to private operators.