In April 2022, Ontario became the first Canadian province to operate a fully legalised and licensed marketplace for iGaming and sports wagering, which is perfectly timed for Canada’s appearance at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. It was a landmark moment for Canadians, who have been seeking liberalisation of gaming laws for some time, not least since the neighbouring US have seen multiple states legalise and regulate their own iGaming markets.
Following the passing of Bill C-218, the province established iGaming Ontario – a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) – to oversee and regulate iGaming in the region. Within that remit, iGaming Ontario must provide safe, fair and responsible gaming, while ensuring licensed operators always maintain their compliance with the province’s regulatory framework.
If you’re new to iGaming in the ‘Heartland Province’, it can be hard to know which operators to trust as a novice to iGaming. Below, we’ve put together some pointers as to why you should only choose to play with sites licensed by iGaming Ontario.
Operators are obliged to take their responsibilities seriously
It should go without saying that any site licensed in Ontario will be meticulous in their operations, particularly as iGaming is still in its infancy here. Many leading brands go to great lengths to promote their Ontario licenses in order to demonstrate their expertise and reputability.
Most operators proudly display their licenses in the footer of their homepage. The Betano online casino section prominently displays its license with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) in its footer, including its license number. Betano’s license will run for 12 months from August 17 2022 to August 16 2023.
Gameplay is rigorously tested and verified by independent parties
One of the undisputable benefits of playing online games with a licensed casino in Ontario is the fairness. All licensed operators are required to have their games independently tested and verified on a periodic basis to ensure they are paying out in line with the return-to-player (RTP) percentages displayed on each game screen.
Organisations like eCOGRA make it their job to periodically check and sign-off games that are powered by decentralised random number generators (RNGs) within the data servers of jurisdictions like Ontario.
When you play at an unregulated online casino, there is no legal obligation for an operator to offer fair gameplay. You can never be certain that an unregulated site offers the RTP percentages and house edges that it promotes on-screen.
Your sensitive personal data is fully secure
As part of being a fully licensed operator in the province of Ontario, operators must also comply with a string of financial obligations. First and foremost, they must abide by anti-money laundering (AML) legislation. This ensures funds are always deposited and withdrawn for legitimate means.
Secondly, an operator must also comply with the relevant laws surrounding customer privacy and data protection. To do so, many newly licensed operators will have had to invest large sums improving their data storage.
It’s also incumbent for licensed operators to store customer funds in a totally separate bank account to the site’s operating funds. This protects players’ financial interests.
You will always have legal recourse to file a complaint against a licensed operator
One of the biggest pitfalls with playing casino games online at an unregulated site is the lack of legal recourse you have if you are wronged at the tables. Unregulated means that sites can essentially behave however they want, with no legal ramifications for conning customers out of their money.
On the flip side, sites licensed by iGaming Ontario are fully accountable for their actions. iGaming Ontario is a highly visible champion for safe and fair iGaming in the province and acts as an impartial ombudsman for customer complaints.
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