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AGCO Releases a Draft of Regulations for Ontario Sports Betting Market

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has released a draft of sports betting regulations, seeking feedback from the public.

The story goes that Canada’s most populous province is working on making online sports betting legal and regulated by the end of the year. The governmental body in charge of the process is the AGCO, which has already prepared the basis for the new legislation.

However, it’s just the first draft – the commission will probably have to make loads of changes in the upcoming weeks.

How many of those will be made is something that depends on the feedback the AGCO receives. The commission has set the deadline to August 18. Until then, all Ontario residents can give their input through the AGCO iGaming portal.

Ontario Sports Betting Regulations in a Nutshell

Everything started with the introduction of Bill C-218, which the Canadian Senate passed on June 22. Canadian Senators voted 57-20 in favor of the bill, which will make single-game wagering possible in this country.

Another change the new bill brings to Canada’s gambling landscape is that each province will get to decide for itself whether to regulate sports betting. The first of the 13 provinces to start working on new sports betting laws in Ontario.

The province officials want to go with an open-market model for the Ontario sports betting legislation. What this practically means is that rather than having one state-owned sportsbook, the bettors from Ontario will be able to choose from a variety of operators.

Sportsbook Operators Hoping to Come to Ontario

With nearly 15 million people calling it home, Ontario is the most populous province in Canada. It shares its border with several US states, including New York, where online sports betting remains unregulated.

Ontario is a great market for sports betting, which is why it’s not surprising a number of sportsbook brands would love to get there. However, not everyone will get a pass from the Ontario officials. In order to get the operating license, an operator would have to fulfill a number of strict conditions.

This basically means that only the biggest sportsbook brands are likely to get licensed. Some of the sportsbooks that are already in the conversation include the following:

  • TheScore Bet Sportsbook – The Toronto-based company has its online sportsbook that’s currently operating in four US states. Those are namely, Colorado, Indiana, New Jersey, and Iowa.
  • BetMGM – The company has recently signed a partnership deal with hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, thus starting rumors BetMGM is looking to expand to Canada.
  • DraftKings Sportsbook – The company has been on the offense over the last couple of months, launching its sportsbook in several US states. The fact suggesting DraftKings is going to target Canada next is that the company has signed an NFL DFS partnership that includes this country as well.

In addition to the three aforementioned operators, there are a few other brands that are likely to get in the competition for an Ontario sportsbook license. Some of those include bet365, Unibet, Betway, FanDuel, Caesars, and so on.

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