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: , , , , , , ,

Sep 18

The palpable link between Canada casinos online and on land.

Does any Palpable Link Exist Between Canada Casinos Online and On Land?

In Canada, there are essentially three types of casinos for adult-aged residents to enjoy. First and most obvious are the land-based casinos that dot the map from Vancouver, BC to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Next up are provincially run and regulated online casinos, like Ontario’s PlayOLG, and Quebec’s Espacejeux. Last are internationally regulated online casinos – operations that have no connection to Canada aside from accepting players from this region of the world.

There are clear and perceptible differences between the online and on-land versions. At terrestrial gaming establishments, players must travel to get there, and play physical gaming machines or table games when they do. Internet-based casinos can be played anytime, from anywhere, via desktop or mobile.

While most casino enthusiasts understand these obvious differences, there are other, less perceptible links between them that are harder to distinguish. The most common question I hear is this…

Is there any relationship between Canada casinos online and on land?

There’s a common misconception that live and online gambling operations are two sides of the same coin. This type of direct-link relationship does exist between certain operations in some parts of the world, where an online casino website is an internet-based reflection of the land-based operator that runs it. But not in Canada.

In certain US states like New Jersey, an online casino cannot exist without the direct backing of a land-based operator. Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget casino resort, for instance, is the proud parent of New Jersey’s online casino of the same name (GoldenNugget.com). At the same time, New Jersey residents are not permitted to gamble online at any site that is not licensed and regulated – and directly linked to a land-based casino – within the state.

This is not necessarily the case in Canada, though. Each province has the right to authorize land-based and/or online casino gambling, and thus far, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec have chosen to compliment their land-based gambling establishments with an internet gambling market. However, it’s not the land-based casinos that operate them. It is the local gaming regulator within each province that’s responsible for it.

In this way, provincially run iGaming sites are linked to land-based casinos, but only by the thin thread of equality in regulatory oversight.

There is no link whatsoever to overseas online casinos.

As for offshore gambling websites, they have no connection to any land-based casino or jurisdiction within Canada. They are not regulated by any Canadian authority, but at the same time, are not expressly legal or illegal. It’s kind of a ‘play at your own risk‘ type of situation. Many Canadians do take that risk – particularly those who are educated in the ways of offshore iGaming.

Our government loves to condemn the lack of regulation at international gaming sites, but that’s not exactly true. They are not regulated in Canada, but most of them are regulated elsewhere – some in far more respected iGaming jurisdictions than Canada has to offer.

The UK, for example, is the world’s strictest regulator of online gambling. Player protection is of utmost importance, and compliance with the law is mandatory. The UK Gambling Commission accepts no excuses for violating the law, dropping an expensive hammer on any operator that fails to comply. Suffice it to say, if an online casino holds a current UK license and accepts Canadians, it’s already undergone extensive audits and fairness certification.

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: , , , , ,

Aug 16

Court of Appeals decides GotSkill’s skill-based games are gambling, therefore illegal in Ontario.

Games of skill versus games of chance – is there really that much of a difference? Ontario Superior Court Justice Andras Schreck thought so last year. Turns out, he was wrong. The Court of Appeals overturned his decision this week regarding a collection of popular skill-based gaming cabinets from the company GotSkill.

The new decision is not being taken lightly – not by the executives at GotSkill, nor the owners of more than two hundred local bars and clubs where the games were installed. Despite their outrage, there’s absolutely nothing that can be done, except for removing the now illegal games, of course. According tot he appellate court’s decision, GotSkill has no grounds to appeal this decision, making it unquestionably final.

GotSkill’s Skill-Based Games are Gambling in Ontario

Ontario Appellate Court says GotSkill's Skill-Based Games are Gambling, Illegal

If you’re one of the countless fans of GotSkill’s gaming cabinets, present throughout locations all over the province, don’t be surprised if these games are missing from your favorite bar or restaurant the next time you visit. Following a legal battle that’s been ongoing for more than a year now, the machines have been declared to be in violation of Ontario’s gaming laws.

According to the Court of Appeals, Justice Schrek made one critical error in his evaluation of the company’s SkillBet cabinets last year. He had determined that players of superior skill would be capable of beating the game, winning more money from the games then they paid to play them. Based on this assumption, he decided that they did not fall under the definition of a game of chance, therefore were not illegal.

The Appellate Court disagreed with this theory based on the fact that only those of exceptional skill could consistently beat the games. The average player, on the other hand, would be reliant more on chance than skill to win, thus losing more than they win. Therefore, the amusements could only be defined as games of chance.

When the appeal was filed earlier this year, GotSkill was confident that another ruling would go in their favor. They weren’t the only ones, either. Many more bars chose to install the skill-based gaming cabinets, while some retailers who already offered the games upped their number of installments by 2-3 times. You can imagine their disappointment now, following an unimagined outcome.

Despite its former confidence, GotSkill did state months ago that if the appeal did not return a decision in their favor, it would result in an abundance of job losses for the company. So far, there’s been no word from corporate as their heads are surely still reeling from the news.

Furthermore, the courts have not issued a timeline for removal of the skill-based games from local area bars and clubs. It’s safe to assume the machines will be made inoperable before the month is out.

AGCO Won’t Tolerate Illegal Gambling in Ontario

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), which filed the appeal back in January, is pleased with this latest turn of events. They feel that their rules in regards to gambling in Ontario are very strict, and must not be violated lest the public well-being be put at risk.

AGCO regulations expressly prohibit gambling in bars and restaurants. Gambling is confined to commercial casinos and charitable gaming venues, all of which must obtain authorization from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG). Only First Nations casinos may operate without an OLG license, and even they must abide by certain restrictions.

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

Jul 10

Canada iGaming firm The Stars Group is teaming with New York’s Akwesane Mohawk Casino for live and online sports betting; online poker to follow?

Stars Group Signs w/ Mohawk for New York iGaming

The legalization of sports betting in New York has caused quite a stir, not just in the Empire State, but across the border into Ontario and Quebec, Canada. New York happens to have a few tribal casinos near its borders, granting rather convenient access for Canadian sports fans to enter the country and place all the wagers their hearts desire.

Here in Canada, it’s not illegal to bet on sports, but it is highly restrictive. We are forced to make bets with long odds – parlays, they’re called. Multiple picks, and they must all win, or the bet is lost. For years, many Canadians have trusted offshore gambling websites to place the bets they really want. But now – or rather, very soon – New York will present the same single event betting opportunities we crave, live and in person.

Oddly enough, it’s one of our own who will operate the first sportsbook across the St. Lawrence River. The Stars Group (TSG, formerly Amaya Inc.) of Toronto have inked a deal with the Akwesane Mohawk Casino Resort to run the property’s upcoming sports betting business.

Canada iGaming Firm TSG Signs with NY’s Akwesane Mohawk Casino

Canada's TSG to supply Sportsbook for NY's Mohawk Casino, Poker to Follow?

TSG’s benchmark contract gives the Canadian firm a foothold in the budding iGaming business of New York. The group’s contract gives them operational rights over an online sportsbook for the property, and will also see them performing support services for the casino’s retail sportsbook.

TSG’s newly appointed CEO, Robin Chhabra, comments:

“We are excited to announce this agreement with Mohawk, which further strengthens our market access as we work to build our Fox Bet business into one of the leaders in the emerging U.S. online betting and gaming market.”

The terms of the agreements are extensive, giving Stars Group the right to launch its online poker and online casino offerings as well, if and when New York takes the next step to legalize those iGaming activities. TSG is, of course, the owner of PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker room. And if more casinos sign sportsbook contracts with major operators like TSG, maybe it will help motivate New York legislators to move in that direction, based on the success in neighboring New Jersey, if nothing else.

At this point, it’s been widely speculated that New York will become the fifth US state to regulate online poker. No doubt Stars Group is banking on it, hoping to tap into yet another lucrative market on US soil. For the time being, their focusing on the growth of their US sports offers via another recent partnership with Fox Sports, which has the two brands collaborating on the production of Fox Bet.

PokerStars Events Getting Closer to Home?

It’s worth noting that single-event bets aren’t the only thing off limits to Canadian players. PokerStars is another area of legal contention in the Great White North. While the operator claims to accept Canadian customers, it’s no secret that their doing so teeters of the border of unlawful internet gambling.

Canada’s iGaming laws are known to be far less restrictive than our neighbors to the south. The only thing we must abide by is the law that states no entity with a physical presence in Canada may provide gambling services without a provincial license to do so.

With Toronto being home to TSG headquarters, and having no license from any provincial regulator in the country, Canadian players would be wise to keep their distance from the online poker room. But what about PokerStars Live? If the New York casino were to open a live branded poker room so close to the border, it could open the flood gates for Canadian poker pros to hit up new PokerStars sponsored events a lot closer to home. It’s all speculation for now, but I have no doubt the gears are turning in the minds of TSG executives.

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 24

Sports wagering lobbyist to give Canada’s politicians an earful.

Sports Wagering Lobbyist to give Canadian Politicians an Earful

The push to legalize sports betting in Canada rages on this week as the region’s premier sports news authority, theScore, is taking matters into their own hands. The Toronto-based company has hired a professional government relations expert to lobby on behalf of its company and countless sports fans across the nation.

Making the rounds at federal and provincial government hearings is one way to get your message out. Hiring a professional lobbyist who’s spent years navigating that complex environment is the better way. Such experts know how to find a champion for the cause, capable of finding ways to root the issues in their political priorities.

theScore Hires Professional Sports Wagering Lobbyist

Executive members of sports media firm didn’t have to go far to find the best man for the job. Also nestled in the heart of Toronto is Pathway Group, headed by co-founder and President Peter Curtis. He has decades of experience working with and within all levels of government, and is beyond qualified for the role.

Mr. Curtis’s experience in politics speaks for itself, from his teenage years when he walked into a campaign office in Dundas for the first time, to his current position of Executive Vice President of the Ontario Liberal Party.

Last week, Mr. Curtis made his latest mission quite clear. On behalf of theScore, the government relations aficionado filed a registration with the federal Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying. The brief filing declares his intention of “lobbying (to) legalize sports betting”, and pin-points his political targets as Members of Parliament and the Prime Minister’s office.

Capitalizing on NA’s Love for Pro Sports Betting

theScore has spent the last year attempting to capitalize on North America’s desire to bet on sports in a legal capacity. Months from now, the company plans to become the first media brand to launch its own online sportsbook, based out of New Jersey, USA. No doubt the firm would like to be able to follow that same path in its home base of Canada.

Originally founded in 1994 as Scorescope, the company started out as an alphanumeric scrolling ticker that displayed sports scores during regularly scheduled television shows, even during commercials. It was an enormously successful brand that evolved into the national, 24-hour Headline Sports channel in 1997, and theScore Television Network in 2000. Then in 2012, Rogers bought out the parent company, rebranding it Sportsnet 360.

That same year, John S. Levy founded theScore Inc., essentially relaunching the brand under its own representation. It’s since become a primary source of sports media in Canada, and a prime candidate for capitalizing on what is sure to become an extremely lucrative market, if and when Canada legalizes sports wagering.

Last month, Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli wrote a now-famous letter to his federal counterpart, Bill Morneau. Within, he called “single event sports wagering…one of the fastest growing categories of gambling entertainment.” adding a glaring statistic that “90 per cent of the sports dollars wagered in Nevada sportsbooks are on single events.”

This gave Ontario yet another nudge, leading to its decision to “establish a competitive market for online gambling” within the 2019 budget proposal; one that includes hopes for legal single-event betting. The response from theScore came swift and adamant.

“theScore has always embraced the fact that sports betting is part of the overall fan experience,” said founder and CEO John Levy. “It is finally time for jurisdictions across Canada to adopt common sense sports betting regulation.”

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.

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