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 Post subject: Ontario to launch regulated online gaming in 2012
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:30 am 
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Ontario to launch regulated online gaming in 2012
Wednesday, 11 August 2010 07:10
Following in the footsteps of fellow Canadian provincial states British Columbia and Loto-Quebec, Ontario has announced that it will allow its residents access to a regulated online gambling offering through the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), as the state seeks to stem the estimated CAD$400m lost to unregulated online gambling sites every year.

At a news conference at Queen’s Park yesterday, Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan and OLG chairman Paul Godfrey said that the province would launch an expanded online gambling offering in 2012, with players able to purchase lottery tickets online as well as take part in casino-style games and online poker.

“Across Canada and around the world, online commerce is part of our everyday lives and OLG is excited to start the consultation process for online gaming and growing its marketplace in the future,” said OLG Chairman Paul Godfrey. “OLG’s internet gaming program will stress responsible gaming while providing an enjoyable experience for Ontario players.”

According to the OLG, up to 500,000 residents of Ontario have registered accounts with unregulated offshore online gambling websites, spending approximately $400 million per year which could be used to benefit Ontario communities.

OLG said that within five years of operation, online gambling could potentially generate $100m or more in net profit to the province, with a similar amount generated in spin-off commercial activity.

OLG will begin a thorough consultation and implementation process over the next 18 months, with the expanded online gambling offering set to launch in 2012. OLG said it will look to benefit from analyzing and enhancing best practices and security procedures adopted in other jurisdictions across Canada and in Europe.

In particular, OLG will implement a strong online responsible gaming program and offer increased player protections, secure transactions and data privacy.

OLG will choose from a full range of online gaming offerings including online lottery ticket sales, instant tickets, interactive casino-style games and a cross-Canada platform for peer-to-peer games such as poker with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) and Loto-Québec.

OLG said that it will prepare a fully transparent and competitive Request for Information (RFI) to inform the development of a Request for Proposals (RFP). The competitive RFP process will identify potential service providers that will capture the maximum benefit for the province, create local jobs and economic activity, protection of player information, and adhere to strict codes of responsible gaming conduct.

Likely bids are expected to come from OpenBet, platform provider for the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s (BCLC) expanded online gaming site, as well as GTECH G2, who will be providing the cross-Canada online poker platform.

OLG’s online gaming programme will be regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

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