Mar 10

All new Pickering Casino Resort to open in GTA next month.

Pickering Casino Resort Opens in Toronto Area April 2020

A huge celebration will take place just four weeks from now. Great Canadian Gaming (GCG) has announced it will host the long-awaited grand opening of its newest casino next month. Situated just east of Toronto, the all new Pickering Casino is sure to attract a lot of attention from both locals and tourists.

Construction crews are still on site, working at full speed to complete the final stages of the build. GCG is confident that the project will be completed by the second week of April; so confident they’ve set an official date for the grand opening. It’s a launch several years in the making, and one that comes with additional phases in the months ahead.

Pickering Casino Resort Grand Opening April 8, 2020

GCG has scheduled a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Wednesday, April 8, 2020. The mid-week party date was intentional, no doubt, as these events tend to come with door prizes for the first however-many guests. Hosting the celebration on a Wednesday should cut down on the number of tourists, making it more convenient for locals to enjoy the festivities.

The grand opening celebration is expected to draw a decent amount of attention as the city’s residents have been hearing about this project for the last few years. No doubt thousands of locals will be eager to explore the property and see what GCG has spent so much time, money and effort putting together.

It was initially believed that the opening of Pickering Casino would spell the end of Ajax Casino at Ajax Down. After all, the new Pickering site is only a 10-12 minute drive from the Ajax gambling destination, also managed by GCG. However, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG) decided to keep the Slots at Ajax Downs, thereby preserving racing venue, as well as the jobs of many of that location’s employees. The attraction to Pickering’s new casino will be a) its proximity to Toronto, and b) the availability of live dealer table games.

According to the official website, the Phase One launch will include “over 2,000 Slot Machines, 100 Live Table Games, and 167 Live Dealer Stadium Gaming terminals.” Restaurant menus are said to offer fine dining, pub fare, an “upscale buffet”, and more.

Opposition Still Wary of Market Saturation

The Grater Toronto Area (GTA) is already home to several gambling facilities. Many did – and still do – argue over the need for new gambling property in the Durham region. GCG may have dibs on most of the area’s gambling revenue, but the owners of Casino Rama aren’t so pleased with the situation.

Casino Rama, located 115km north of Toronto, was opened in 1996 by the Chippewa of Rama First Nation. For more than two decades, it was the area’s largest and most visited casino; among the most famous in all of Ontario, outside of the Niagara Falls region. Now, its owners fear the property will eventually be unable to sustain operations as they lose patrons from Ajax, Markham and Pickering. Additional expansions at GCG’s Casino Woodbine and Great Blue Heron Casino in western GTA don’t bode well for them, either. And no doubt it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Hotel and Arena to Open by End of 2020

Before the year is out, construction on Phase Two of the Pickering Casino Resort should be complete as well. When it is, the property will be welcoming the first guests to its 275-room luxury hotel tower. Adjacent to that will be a 2,500 seat arena, promising to host year-round concerts, theatre performances, and other live events.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Dec 12

Is PlayOLG the safe secure online casino Ontario players should trust, or are there better options out there?

Is PlayOLG a Safe Secure Online Casino Ontario Players can Trust?

For more than two decades, Canadians have had access to a seemingly unlimited supply of online gambling websites. It’s not really unlimited, of course. There are nearly 5,000 known iGaming websites in existence. About 25% of them welcome Canadian players and CA$ deposits. How do you know if you’re choosing the right one, when there are 1,000+ sites beckoning?

As of 2015, a lot of Ontario’s internet gamblers have made the easy choice, signing up an account with PlayOLG.com, the official online gaming destination of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG). Being mandated, regulated, and operated by our own government certainly offers some assurances, but is it the best option? Let’s take a look at the most reasons to sign up for local iGaming.

PlayOLG is a Safe Secure Online Casino

By far the most advantageous feature of PlayOLG is the fact that it’s run by the same government that is responsible for enforcing the gambling laws of Ontario, and Canada as a whole. OLG is going to do everything in its power to ensure players are protected, just as they aim to protect the players of their walk-in casinos on land. The regulatory body invokes the highest standard security measures to keep player information safe, secure, and out of the hands of those who might use it for harmful purposes.

This is the exact same protocol undertaken by the world’s most distinguished, internationally regulated online casinos. The difference is, we don’t always know which offshore casino is distinguished, and which ones aren’t. We can do a little research to find out, or, we can take the quickest route to safety and join PlayOLG.

It’s a perfect short-term solution for those of us leading busy lives; a classification that covers 99.9% of Ontario’s population, aged 19-60. But is it the best decision in the long-term?

Are There Better Options for Ontarians?

This is a relative question with a relative answer. If PlayOLG offers everything you desire out of an online casino, by all means, take full advantage of its fast-track to supreme security. There’s a lot to be enjoyed by members of the home-grown iGaming website.

PlayOLG has (at time of writing) 110 casino games to choose from, including 90 traditional slots, 5 progressive jackpot slots, 11 table games and 4 video pokers. As an added perk, you can purchase all of your number-draw lottery and instant win tickets directly from the website or mobile app. If these features satisfy all your iGaming needs, there’s no reason to go anywhere else.

You’ll even have access to a rather generous welcome bonus worth up to $300 in bonus credits. Furthermore, no offshore website is going to match PlayOLG’s astonishingly-low wagering requirements of 10x WR on the bonus amount only. (Learn more about the PlayOLG Welcome Bonus here.)

With all these perks you may be wondering, what do internationally regulated gambling sites offer that PlayOLG doesn’t?

Benefits of Taking Your iGaming Overseas

There are a few good reasons why so many Ontario players have continued doing their iGaming with offshore operators. At one time, it was the promotions that drew players overseas more than anything else, but now that Ontario offers the same level of generosity – if not more – there are only to notable perks for outsourcing your online gambling.

The first is game variety. International online casinos offer anywhere from a few hundred to over one thousand games. It all depends on the software brand(s) they employ. Royal Vegas Canada, for instance, only licenses software from two companies; Microgaming for its RNG-based games, and Evolution Gaming for its live casino content. This may not sound like much, but Microgaming has more than 900 games in its ever-growing portfolio, and Evolution is has been number-one supplier of live dealer casino games for 10 years running.

It’s hard to beat that kind of content, but LeoVegas Mobile Casino does. LeoVegas operates under the philosophy that more is always better. They employ more than 50 different software brands – including Microgaming and Evolution Gaming, as well as the IGT and Scientific Games brands licensed to PlayOLG – to deliver thousands upon thousands of games to their customers.

The second benefit is access to different forms of gambling you can’t find on PlayOLG. Offshore online casinos are not restricted to following the letter of Canadian federal law. They can supply everything, from online poker and sports betting on single events, to international lottery drawings, to skill-based arcade games.

Conclusion

As I said, the correct choice is a relative one. If you’re looking for minimal gaming in a guaranteed safe secure online casino environment, PlayOLG is a fantastic choice. If you want more out of your gaming experience, and don’t mind doing a little research to find the most trusted offshore casino brands, you’ll find the international iGaming landscape to be incomparably well endowed.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dec 06

Ontario is raising the stakes w/ a PlayOLG welcome bonus package worth up to $300 in free casino credits.

PlayOLG Welcome Bonus: Ontario Raising the Stakes w/ New Player Incentives

I remember it wasn’t all that long ago that I was reporting on the lack of promotional offerings at any of Canada’s provincially regulated online casinos. The laws were defined in such a way that incentives were unlawful, making it impossible for these operator’s to compete with their internationally-regulated rivals overseas. That is clearly no longer the case.

Provincial governments soon discovered that, without a promotional package, their own citizens had no interest in partaking in the meager offerings of home-grown iGaming sites like Ontario’s PlayOLG. It wasn’t until amendments to the law gave these online casinos the option to promote welcome bonuses and other incentives that players began taking notice. Now, the promotions are so attractive, they easily rival those of offshore operations.

PlayOLG Welcome Bonus Package Worth $300

PlayOLG, the iGaming platform of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG), has a lofty newcomer bonus on its menu. First-time depositors are invited to take advantage of three consecutive deposit bonuses, each delivering a 100% match of up to $100.

Each offer may be redeemed by entering the corresponding bonus code:

  • First Deposit earns 100% up to $100 bonus match with promo code: first
  • Second Deposit earns 100% up to $100 bonus match with promo code: second
  • Third Deposit earns 100% up to $100 bonus match with promo code: third

Promotional Terms To Be Considered

As always there are certain conditions attached to the redemption of a bonus, and the fulfillment of wagering requirements before any winnings can be cashed out. In this case, PlayOLG has attached the following terms:

  • Minimum qualifying deposit to receive a bonus is $15.
  • Minimum deposit to receive the full $100 bonus is $100.
  • Only residents of Ontario who are 19 or older are eligible to redeem a welcome bonus at PlayOLG.
  • The player’s cash deposit will be credited to their “cash balance” account.
  • The player’s bonus will be credited to their “bonus balance” account.
  • The combined total of the “cash” and “bonus” balances shall be displayed as the “total balance” while playing eligible games (see Eligible Games and Wagering Requirements below).
  • The welcome package promotion detailed above expires on January 31, 2020.

Eligible Games and Wagering Requirements

PlayOLG’s new player bonuses come with some of the most generous wagering requirements (WR) the industry has ever seen. Players are only required to complete WR of 10x the bonus amount. If the full $100 bonus is claimed, 10x WR would require play through of $1,000 in bets.

That’s far more attractive than the average 40x play through of a deposit and bonus combined. However, there is a 30 day expiration period. WR must be completed within the 30 days or the entire bonus will be forfeit. The same forfeiture applies if the player attempts to request a cashout before completing WR.

Long story short, these are the easiest wagering requirements you’ll come across – don’t mess it up!

Eligible games, and their percentage-based contribution towards WR, are as follows:

PlayOLG Games WR %
Slot Machines 100%
Instant Win Games (Casino) 100%
Fast Poker 50%
Blackjack Games 10%
Texas Hold’em Games                           10%         
Let It Ride 10%
Sic Bo 10%
Three Card Poker 10%
War 10%
Baccarat Games* 0%
Roulette Games* 0%
Video Poker Games* 0%
Lottery Games* 0%

*Only funds available in the player’s “cash balance” will appear as their “total balance” when playing any game that counts 0% towards WR contribution.

For the complete PlayOLG welcome bonus rules, please visit the website directly.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Aug 20

Future looking bright for Canada’s largest casino firm.

Future Looks Bright for Canada's Largest Casino Firm, Great Canadian Gaming

The executive board members of Great Canadian Gaming (GCG) are putting on their shades after last week’s gleaming revenue report highlighted excellent second quarter results with a brilliant outlook for the next half of 2019. Revenues and shares were up, divestments and projects were completed, and new partnerships were forged.

GCG Chief Executive Officer Rod Baker is particularly pleased with the company’s performance over the last three months ending June 30, 2019, and is looking forward to a very bright future – especially in Ontario, where a powerful focus is resulting in the most growth. He believes its the company’s “disciplined approach” to fortifying GCG’s infrastructure with strategic expenditures that’s driving the firm ahead at such a phenomenal pace.

Revenues Soar for Canada’s Largest Casino Firm

In the financial highlights segment of last Tuesday’s GCG second quarter (Q2) 2019 earnings conference call, Baker noted a 20% increase in revenue, rising from $295.2 million in Q2-18 to $354.4 million in Q2-19. He attributed the boost in revenue to a variety of rationale:

  • One extra month of operations at properties in the company’s West GTA Gaming Bundle, compare to the same time period last year.
  • Additional revenue from newly introduced table games at Woodbine Casino.
  • Additional revenue from expanded gaming opportunities at Elements Casino Mohawk.
  • Heightened revenue from East Gaming Bundle following grand openings of Shorelines Casino Peterborough (Oct. 15, 2018) and Shorelines Slots at Kwartha Downs (Dec. 19, 2018).

GCG’s expenditure budget for the Ontario Gaming Bundle was nearly doubled year over year from $12.7 million to $23.6 million in Q2-19.

Revenue also rose in the British Columbia market, but the increase was attributed primarily to a single occurrence – a labour disruption at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver “that resulted in limited gaming and hospitality offerings for a portion of 2018.”

Shareholders earnings were a topic of much rejoicing during the conference call. GCG’s investors experienced net earnings of $48 million ($0.81 per common share) during the second quarter, an increase of $7.4 million ($0.15 per common share) YoY.

H2-19 Strategy: Spend Money to Make Money

“2019 is a year of significant capital expenditures as we build our infrastructure in Ontario to execute our strategic plan,” explained CEO Baker. “We have already accomplished several major milestones in the first half of the year including the new building addition at Great Blue Heron Casino and the gaming expansion at Elements Casino Mohawk. For the remainder of 2019, we continue to work towards completing several developments in Ontario, particularly at Elements Casino Flamboro and Elements Casino Grand River, which will include expanded gaming and new food and beverage offerings that we expect to complete by the end of 2019.”

Baker also spoke of the two-phase opening of Pickering Casino Resort, the first of which is scheduled to occur in Q1-20. The first phase will include gaming and dining venues. The timeline for the second phase has yet to be determined, but it will include “premium nongaming amenities”, like a hotel, retail stores, entertainment venue and additional dining options.

In closing, Baker credited the company’s recent and ongoing success to its “disciplined approach to use of capital opportunities and to explore opportunities that will improve our business and increase value to our shareholders.”

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , ,

May 13

OLG “closing the gender gap” in live, online gaming technology.

OLG “Closing the Gender Gap” in Live and Online Gaming Technology

Women have enjoyed a strong presence in the work force for more than half a century. Their roles, however, have yet to catch up to that of men, especially when it comes to higher positions of power, or more tech savvy roles. It’s a recognizable problem, and one that’s receiving more attention in the Canadian business world.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has been taking a closer look at gender equality in recent years. The province’s gambling regulator mapped a resolution, putting the plan into effect in 2018. Now, 12 months into the project, their efforts are proving fruitful.

Women in Live and Online Gaming Technology

In April 2018, OLG began a new movement they termed the Gender Strategy. Prior to the project, the corporation’s 2017 employee dockets revealed only 22% of their technology department was staffed by females. Over the next year, a strong focus was put on ensuring that women had equal employment opportunities within the field.

Slowly but surely, the the gender gap began visibly shrinking, and by April 2019, 29% of the technology department was staffed by female employees. An increase of 7% may not seem like a huge difference, but in the grand the scheme of things, it puts OLG’s tech staff 5% ahead of the national average in employing women.

Even more impressive is OLG’s managerial staff numbers. On the senior leadership level, the number of women in higher positions rose 14%. Having made such an impressive leap in gender equality, OLG was the obvious choice as presenting sponsor of the 2019 #movethedial stories event, held last month in Toronto.

Inspirational Commentary of OLG’s Executive Women

Two of OLG’s leading ladies, Wai Yu and Jessica Ylanko, spoke at the event. Both were enthusiastic about sharing their valuable experiences with the corporation over the years.

OLG Senior Vice President, and Chief Digital, Marketing and Customer Experience Wai Yu

Ms. Yu was promoted to Senior Vice President, and Chief Digital, Marketing and Customer Experience at OLG, in August of last year. It might be the Gender Strategy program that helped get her recognized, but it was her long-term expertise that earned her the position. She spent 6 years as Board Director of the Information Technology Association of Canada (2010-2016), and another as Chairman of that Board (2017), before moving into her current role at OLG.

As an industry facing shifting demographics and advances in technology, OLG is focused on transforming how it engages with customers… Transformation is hard, especially in tech, but we shouldn’t be afraid of the challenge. I’m excited to help OLG become the customer centric, digital enterprise it wants to be in the future.”

OLG Digital Marketing Manager Jessica Ylanko

Ms Ylanko, a self-described ‘strategic thinker in the digital space’, has spent more than two year’s as OLG’s Digital Marketing Manager. After receiving a B.A. In Communications and Media (2008-12) and a Post Graduate Degree in Advertising (2012-13), she began working for OLG as an Account Coordinator in 2014, Account Manager in 2015, and transitioned to Account and Project Manager in 2016, leading up to her current position.

Its been fantastic working at an organization where it’s not unusual for me to work on a project with an all-female team. The trust and support we get from our leaders have allowed us to innovate in ways that our customers are really responding to.”

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Apr 04

At last, Gateway pins down a location for Ontario’s newest casino in Wasaga Beach.

It’s been a full year since Gateway Casinos & Entertainment won the bid to operate the ‘Central Gaming Bundle‘ of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG). As the region’s commercial casino service provider, Gateway earned the day-to-day managerial rights of one of Ontario’s most popular gambling establishments, Casino Rama Resort, as well as the OLG Slots at Georgian Downs. Moreover, the company was awarded responsibility for constructing a new casino and entertainment complex in the community of either Collingwood or Wasaga Beach .

It wasn’t long before Gateway decided on Wasaga Beach as the host municipality for the upcoming facility. However, the debate over where to build the casino has been raging for months. Finally, in a press release issued just hours ago, Gateway has announced the location of its upcoming Wasaga Beach casino.

Ontario’s Newest Casino Coming to Wasaga Beach Roundabout

At Last, Gateway Pins Down Site for Ontario's Newest Casino in Wasaga Beach

Gateway Casinos has submitted a proposal requesting permission to build the new gaming and entertainment facility on a 7.5-acre parcel of land in Wasaga Beach’s west end, flanking the Mosley Street roundabout at Lyons Court and Beachwood Road. Local and provincial officials will be looking over the proposal this week.

There’s little doubt that the necessary approvals will come swiftly, at which point Gateway can complete the acquisition of the plot and begin hiring crews for the construction phase of the property. The proposed casino would feature a range of slot machines and table games, along with a host of other amenities and attractions for guests.

No specifics are being leaked just yet on what the site will look like. The overall size and scope of the development will be discussed in the coming weeks, detailing the range of new employment opportunities, plans for food and beverage amenities, and other local economic investments. No doubt Gateway will put its stamp on the community with its signature MATCH Eatery & Public House and The Buffet dining options.

Assuming provincial and municipal approvals are met in a timely fashion, construction of the new casino – likely to be named Gateway Wasaga Beach – is expected to begin sometime this spring.

Town Leader Praises Efforts for New Wasaga Beach Casino

None were more pleased by the announcement than Nina Bifolchi, Mayor of Wasaga Beach. On behalf of the community, she welcomed Gateway to the area with open arms and emphatic praise.

“We are thrilled that Gateway has settled on a site that will best meet its business needs and we look forward to the construction phase starting,” said Mayor Bifolchi. “We know that Gateway has a tremendous track record in its industry, they are truly leaders, and we look forward to a strong and positive relationship with them in Wasaga Beach.”

Keith Andrews is the Senior VP and Managing Director for Gateway Casinos Ontario. He offered the enthusiastic sentiments of his company in a brief statement.

“We are very pleased to announce that we expect to soon be able to move forward with our plans to build an exciting new casino and entertainment destination in the Town of Wasaga Beach,” he said. “We look forward to receiving all the necessary provincial and municipal approvals and concluding the land transaction so we can start construction as quickly as possible.”

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Mar 29

Victims file class action lawsuit in Casino Rama hack.

Victims file Class Action in Casino Rama Hack, up to 200,000 Impacted?

While British Columbia continues to deal with its never-ending casino money-laundering scandal, Ontarians are still reeling from a casino hacking incident that resulted in the sensitive personal and financial information of nearly 11,000 individuals being publicly posted on the world wide web for all duplicitous eyes to see. The incident occurred at one of Ontario’s most popular gambling establishments, leaving players, staff members and even vendors fearing for the security of their identities.

The hacking of Casino Rama took place back in November of 2016. Some perceived that Casino Rama was doing the right and ethical thing – being a “good corporate citizen” – by informing tens of thousands of people that their information may have been compromised. For many of the casino’s employees, patrons and vendors, however, sympathy was far from their mind. They immediately contacted the legal team of Charney Lawyers, who initiated a class action lawsuit just three days after the incident.

The Casino Rama Hack

On November 4, 2016, Casino Rama was informed that it had suffered a grievous breach in security. Its internal computer network had been hacked, compromising the names, addresses, income and employment information, credit files, gambling losses and other details of their customers, employees, and vendors.

The casino reported the incident to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Then, Casino Rama sent out a mass email to all customers, staff and vendors informing them of the situation; that their sensitive information may have been compromised, and that they’re working with the OPP, RCMP and OLG to rectify the matter.

On November 11, 2016, the hacker made good on his threat to post the sensitive information on a public website. Approximately 10,900 individuals were victimized in the cyberattack. The hacker posted a total of 4.5 gigabytes worth of data, and threatened to publish a further 150 gigabytes of data.

New Evidence Leads Request for Class Action Extension

The case had been trudging along ever-so-slowly up until late January 2019, when Ontario’s Privacy Commissioner released the findings of its investigation into the matter. The investigator’s report concluded that:

[Casino Rama] did not have reasonable security measures in place to prevent unauthorized access to records of personal information.”

In light of this new “evidence”, the plaintiff’s legal team is now seeking to expand the class action to as many as 200,000 victims, seeking $60 million in damages. Lead attorney, Ted Charney, was in court on Thursday pleading the case. He argued that the victims go far beyond those impacted by the publication of sensitive data; that past and present employees, vendors and patrons, including those in the voluntary self-exclusion program, should be included as well.

“Thank goodness we now have the commissioner’s report,” Charney told the court. “We have evidence now that a substantial number of patrons had data on the two servers. There’s some basis in fact that their information wasn’t adequately protected.”

Defense Paints Casino Rama as “Good Corporate Citizen”

Lead defense attorney Cathy Beagan-Flood contends that the plaintiff’s proposed extension to the class is far too broad; that only 10,000-11,000 were impacted, and therefore should be included. She also disputes the validity of the Ontario privacy commissioner’s report, stating:

The (privacy commissioner) did not have all of the information. The evidence is that the non-Windows servers would not have been vulnerable.”

Beagan-Flood contends that the information of many more patrons and employees were stored on non-Windows based systems that were not vulnerable to the cyberattack. She goes on to paint Casino Rama as a “good corporate citizen” that should not be punished for making the quick and ethical decision to send out emails to tens of thousands of people, warning them they may have been effected by the Casino Rama hack.

Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba expects to deliver a decision on the motion to extend the class action in May.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Mar 11

Ontario Lottery wins its second award for teaching players to gamble responsibly via PlaySmart.

OLG named Best Overall Responsible Gambling Program 2018Ontario’s provincial lottery and gaming authority, OLG, made history in November 2018, and no one even knew it until last week. Turns out, the regulatory body was recognized by the World Lottery Association (WLA) for its superior efforts towards responsible gambling. But no announcement was made until Thursday, nearly four months later, confirming that Ontario had won the WLA’s Best Overall Responsible Gambling Program Award.

Receiving an international award of this magnitude is huge for the provincial regulator, earmarking the OLG’s consistently growing efforts to protect players, employees and community business partners from the potentially adverse impacts of gambling. But this isn’t the OLG’s first trophy. This is actually the second time the Crown Corporation’s PlaySmart responsibility program has been named best-in-the-business; a milestone no other regulatory body in the world has achieved.

Ontario Lottery Encouraging Players to Gamble Responsibly

The awards were announced at the WLA’s biennial World Lottery Summit held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from November 18-22, 2018. The very first WLA Responsible Gaming Awards ceremony was held in 2008, making this the sixth time international lottery operators have been eligible to win the honor. The OLG was bestowed with the title of Best Overall Responsible Gambling Program for the first time in 2014, and now again in 2018.

According to the award’s criteria, WLA “aims to recognise excellence in Responsible Gaming and reward the best overall program at level 4, showcasing best practices and innovations across all program elements.” That description sums up OLG’s PlaySmart program perfectly.

As the lottery regulator’s President and CEO Stephen Rigby describes it, “OLG’s Responsible Gambling program is driven by a simple vision: to provide a healthy and positive gambling experience for all players.”

Rigby takes the corporation’s role in harm prevention very seriously. “We have a responsibility to our customers, employees, as well as our business and community partners,” he said. Rigby believes the PlaySmart initiative accomplishes that goal by providing, “the most effective programming that promotes positive play and mitigates harmful gambling.”

PlaySmart Responsible Gambling Program

Ontario Lottery wins 2nd Award for Teaching Players to Gamble Responsibly

PlaySmart isn’t just a catchy piece of advice for Ontario gamblers. It’s a complete, multi-faceted program that offers information and interactive tools to increase knowledge and awareness of how to gamble responsibly. Those who recognize that they have a problem can sign up for a time-restrictive voluntary self-exclusion program that enforces preventative control.

Ontario is especially diligent in getting the word out. Players will find a PlaySmart Lounge located in every casino in Ontario. Links to the program are on every page of the OLG’s online gaming website, PlayOLG. Information pamphlets are available at every Ontario Lottery retailer in the province. PlaySmart billboards can be seen on major highways all across the province.

The program helps customers by teaching them everything from how gambling really works, to providing a logical series of judgment-free steps to recover from compulsive behavior. To top it all off, the responsible gambling program is always expanding and evolving to better serve the community – one of the reasons it was chosen for the award in the first place.

“We work closely with government and independent agencies to find newer, better ways to support people who are concerned about their gambling,” explains the OLG. The regulator does so by focusing “on key areas like employee training, player education, game design, advertising, treatment, and community involvement.”

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Feb 11

New online gambling rules for the UK licensees in Spring 2019.

New Online Gambling Rules coming the UK iGaming Licensees this SpringIs your favorite online casino licensed in the UK? If you’re a Canadian iGamer who doesn’t conform to the less-favorable offerings of provincially-run gambling websites, the answer is probably yes. And if that’s the case, you can expect a few changes in the coming months.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has set forth new rules to take effect this Spring. Don’t worry, the changes that are coming will all be positive ones. The UKGC’s primary target is updating its consumer protection policies. Verifying customer identities and protecting minors have become the most critical components of all.

New Online Gambling Rules for UK Operators

Existing iGaming policies allow operators to take up to 72 hours to confirm the identity of a new player. This means that when a new member registers an account, they provide their name, address and date of birth. They are then obliged to provide proof of that identity (drivers license, passport, utility bill, etc) within 72 hours. In the meantime, they can deposit and gamble all they like.

No withdraws will receive approval, of course, until the verification process is complete. If the player’s info doesn’t match up, their wagers are void with a refund of deposits. The biggest problem here is that minors can gamble for three straight days unheeded. The UKGC’s new rules will ensure that doesn’t happen anymore.

Come March, operators will have to conduct identity verification before any gaming takes place. Deposits will be restricted. Players cannot wager with free bonus money prior to validation. Even the free play-money demo games will be off limits without proof of eligibility. Clearly, the UKGC is taking a zero-tolerance approach to protecting today’s youth.

Increasing Fairness for Eligible Players

It’s not just minors that the Commission is targeting with greater protections. Last year, 15% of all consumer complaints had to do with operators delaying cashouts. Players were being required to provide additional verification documents before a withdraw request could be approved. Customers will no longer have to put up with this.

According to the announcement from the UKGC…

The new rules require remote licensees to:

  • Verify, as a minimum, the name, address and date of birth of a customer before allowing them to gamble.
  • ask for any additional verification information promptly.
  • Inform customers, before they can deposit funds, of the types of identity documents or other information that might be required, the circumstances in which the information might be required, and how it should be supplied to the licensee.
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure that information on their customers’ identities remains accurate.

How Canadians Might Feel the Impact

New Year, New Rules in iGaming in UK and CanadaIf you’re an Ontarian who conducts all your iGaming at PlayOLG.com, you won’t feel the effects of this. Nor will BC or Manitoba residents who utilize PlayNow, or Quebecois who wager with EspaceJeux. But most Canadians who enjoy internet casino games, poker games and sports wagering do so with offshore, internationally regulated websites. Not just because they can, but because these sites have so much more to offer.

The majority of today’s most reputable iGaming operators are licensees of the UKGC. True, the UKGC only requires its licensees to follow their rules in acceptance of UK-resident players. However, these highly reputable operators tend to hold licenses elsewhere, too. And those respected jurisdictions tend to follow in the UK’s footsteps, sooner or later.

What I’m getting at is that if an operator is going to change its ways, why only do it with UK customers? It would benefit the operator to conduct static policies across the boards. It’s easier to manage, raises their reputation with customers, and prepares them to adjust to similar new online gambling rules in other jurisdictions, should need arise.

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Jan 30

Canadians appreciate the benefits of local casino gambling.

Is Gambling Good for CanadaWe Canadians can be a fickle bunch, but we know a good thing when we see it, and we aren’t afraid to express our gratitude when one comes along. Establishing casinos throughout sizable municipalities is one thing most of us have come to genuinely appreciate.

It’s not that most of us are gambling fanatics. In fact, the majority of Canadians spend very little time inside the walls of these casinos. Some never have, and never will, set foot inside one. But even most of the non-gamblers can agree that the benefits far outweigh any consequences.

CGA Shows Canadians Appreciate Local Casino Gambling

The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) is an organization dedicated to the healthy promotion of gaming operations in the Great White North. The CGA advocates for the tens of thousands of Canadians employed by the gaming industry, and the revenue it brings to provinces, municipalities and First Nations that host Canadian casinos.

Year after year, the CGA scours research and revenue reports to see how well the gaming industry is performing, where it’s succeeding, and where improvement is needed. It then published its own compilations in regards to its findings. According to a recent infograph comprised of data from HLT Advisory in 2015, the average approval rating from community leaders is about 76%.

76% of Canadians Appreciate the Benefits of Local Casino Gambling

Positive Impacts of Casino Gambling in Canada

Based on the information provided, Canadians saw extreme positives in 5 of the 6 categories. Only that one category—relating to casinos being a catalyst for the propagation of real estate development—received a negative response. About 40% believe real estate growth has been spurred by strategic casino placement.

In all other regards, however, local casino gambling is seen as a boon communities. The most notable of all is employment rates. A staggering 97% believe casinos have a positive impact on employment rates across their respective municipalities.

Coming in a close second is the tax benefit awarded to localities that host a casino in Canada. About 90% believe the millions of dollars gambling venues bring into their local tax coffers are ameliorating to the area, and to the individuals and families who live there.

Furthermore, 74% are impressed with the increasing rate of tourism. 75% have noticed a significant growth rate in the general economic development of their municipalities. And about 82% are pleased by the promenaded range of entertainment options in their community.

All of these advantages are what the CGA refers to as the “ripple effect”; one that goes well beyond what we see with the naked eye. The employment of slot machine attendants is an obvious benefit, but what about the restaurant supply plant up the road, or the seat manufacturing factory across town?

Local casino gambling venues in Canada spent $4.1 billion in 2017 on the “direct purchase of goods and services” necessary to sustain their operations. As such, casinos promote flourishing businesses in sectors we may not even consider.

“Many of the products found at casinos require other businesses to design, manufacture and deliver them, thus spreading around the economic benefits of gaming,” explains the CGA.

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