Aug 31

Live sports betting now available at these authorized websites.

Live Sports Betting Now Available in Canada at These Authorized Websites

The wait is finally over. Locally authorized single-game and live betting on sports is not just a dream anymore. It’s not a piece of legislation moving through Parliament. It’s real, and its here, and its available right now at most provincial iGaming websites.

We’ll tell you which Canadian online sportsbooks are offering the newly regulated form of sports betting, and which types of wagers they’re offering. We’ll also offer some alternative options for those of you residing in a province or territory where legal live betting and single-game wagers are not (yet) available.

Single & Live Sports Betting in Canada

Let’s cut right to the chase. The following is an alphabetical chart that details which provinces and territories offer which types of online sports betting, if any. Note that live betting and single-game betting are Canada’s newly authorized ways to bet on sports. Parlay wagers refer to the old, multi-pick style of betting that’s been around for decades.

Continue below the chart to learn more about the individual sports gambling opportunities in each location.

LocationLive BettingSingle-GameParlay Bets
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland & Labrador
Northwest Territories
Nova Scotia
Nunavut
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Yukon

Please note that the information in the above chart is current as of writing (Aug 31, 2021). Some locations were not able to launch an expanded sports betting platform on opening day (August 27, 2021). Alberta, for example, has made clear its intentions to launch single-game and live betting options in the fall.

Alberta

All gambling activities are regulated by Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC), which operates the online gambling portal, PlayAlberta.ca. The website is not yet equipped with any form of sports betting. However, the regulators stated in early August that a full sports betting regiment would come to the website sometime this fall.

British Columbia

The British Columbia Gaming Corp (BCLC) is responsible for all gaming in the province. BCLC operates the online gambling portal, PlayNow.com. Through this website, sports fans can participate in all major forms of sports betting, including single-game bets, live bets and classic parlays. The website is also available to legal-age residents of Manitoba.

Manitoba

The Manitoba Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority (LGCA) signed an agreement with BCLC years ago to share use of its website, PlayNow.com. The shared player contract gives Manitobans access to the same single-game, live, and parlay betting options as BC residents.

New Brunswick

Part of Atlantic Canada, all gaming in New Brunswick is regulated by the Atlantic Lottery Corp (ALC). Through its website, ALC.ca, sports bettors can access everything from parlays, props, and futures, to single-game and fantasy betting. However, there is no live betting available at this time.

This information also applies to the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.

Newfoundland & Labrador

See New Brunswick.

Northwest Territories

None. While the Northwest Territories offers retail lottery and Sports Select wagering through the Western Canada Lottery Corp (WCLC), there is no option to bet online. According to the WCLC, its Sports Select platform will soon include single-game betting, but again, it appears it’s going to be retail (in-person) only.

The exact same information applies to the territories of Nunavut and Yukon.

Nova Scotia

None. Although Nova Scotia is a part of Atlantic Canada, the province does not authorize access to the region’s ALC.ca online gambling portal. All sports betting must be done in person through a retail outlet.

Nunavut

See Northwest Territories.

Ontario

All gambling activities are regulated by the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corp (OLG), which offers internet gambling options through its website, PlayOLG.ca. Last week, the Crown Corporation launched what it calls “Pro-Line+”, a new version of the original parlay-only Pro-Line platform that now offers single-game betting, as well as live betting.

Prince Edward Island

See New Brunswick.

Quebec

Loto-Quebec, regulator of all gaming activities in the province, dove head-first into the expansion of sports betting laws with the launch of in-store, online and mobile “mise-o-jeu”. You can participate in classic parlays, singles and live wagering, with a convenient mise-o-jeu mobile app for betting on the go. If you prefer to place your bets in person, you can fill out a slip on your mobile device, generating a barcode that you can scan in-store.

Saskatchewan

None. Saskatchewan has yet to prescribe to the online gambling industry. All gaming activities, including sports betting, must be conducted in person at a casino or authorized ticket retail location.

Yukon

See Northwest Territories.

Betting on Sports Outside Canada’s Regulatory Border

While other sportsbooks like theScore Bet and PointsBet are working diligently to get licensed and operational here in Canada, none have done so yet. If your home province or territory does not offer the type of online sports betting you’re looking for, you still have options.

Online gambling with offshore, internationally regulated websites is not illegal. They just aren’t regulated by any Canadian authority. So long as you’re access highly reputable, responsibly regulated sportsbooks, you have nothing to worry about.

The key to enjoying a safe and secure experience in single and live sports betting with overseas websites is to do your homework. First and foremost, identify the regulatory authority. The most reputable are the European jurisdictions of Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Malta and the UK. Anything licensed in Central America (Costa Rica, Curacao, Panama, etc.) may be circumspect.

Reputation also goes a very long way. Look for a website that has been up and running for at least a few years. Check out watchdog websites like Casinomeister to confirm there are no ongoing reports of customer abuse or payment issues. All it takes is a few minutes of your time to ensure you’re signing up and depositing with a reliable sportsbook.

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

Apr 28

Burlington Poker Lotto Winner Cashes in for $100k

Burlington Poker Lotto Winner Cashes in Cards for $100,000

Ontario’s lottery program has expanded a lot over the last few decades. Since the debut of ‘Wintario’ in 1975, the ON Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG) has brought a series of new number draws to the province. Lotto Max, Lotto 6/49 and the Daily Grand are by far the most famous among them, but there are many more you can play – ten of them in all. One that doesn’t get nearly as much coverage is the Ontario Poker Lotto. Even the game’s latest winner, David Haynes, wasn’t a regular player before he cashed in his lucky cards for a cool hundred grand last month.

$100k Payday for Burlington Poker Lotto Winner

Haynes, an auto industry worker from Burlington, is a regular lottery player. In his daily travels, he makes sure to purchase tickets for all the big drawings. The Poker Lotto isn’t usually on that list, but when he saw the jackpot growing quite a bit higher, he decided it was time to play. That decision turned out to be one of the best choices of his life.

On March 4, 2021, 56 year old Haynes matched all five cards on his Poker Lott ticket perfectly. He didn’t know it yet, but when went back to the store the next day to check his tickets, his surprise was catching.

“I was shocked when I used the Ticket Checker to check my ticket,” said the Burlington lotto winner. “The store clerk was just as shocked as I was!”

In his requisite interview with the OLG Claims Centre, Haynes said his regular ticket purchases include the Pick 3, Pick 4, Daily Keno, Lotto Max and Lotto 6/49. He couldn’t be happier that on that fateful day, while buying his usual stack of tickets at the Petro Canada on the Guelph Line in Burlington, he chose to invest a few extra dollars on a Poker Lotto ticket.

What’s Next for Latest $100k Winner?

Immediately after finding out he’d won a 6-figure prize, David went straight to his mother’s house to share the good news. She was just as shocked and excited as he was. But Haynes said it still hadn’t sunk in that he had won all that money, even when he received the payout from the claims centre.

Haynes is turning that disbelief – as well as the current lockdown – to his advantage.

“I plan to sit and look at the cheque to let it sink in before taking it to the bank,” he said. Then, he’ll take some extra time to decide the best way to spend that money, but not until the country begins to reopen.

“I will treat myself more once lockdown is over,” said the Burlington Poker Lotto winner. “Until then, I’ll be the one around town with a permanent smile.”

How to Play & Win Poker Lotto

Ontario Poker Lotto Pays $100k Jackpot

The Poker Lotto is a unique $2 lottery draw that takes place every day. Instead of the usual numbers, tickets depict five playing cards, randomly selected from a 52-card deck. Each ticket has two chances to win a prize.

The first happens instantly, the moment the ticket is purchased. The ticket’s five cards are assessed, and if they make a winning poker hand, the player can instantly win up to $5,000. For an additional $1, players can activate the “All In” feature, increasing the prizes for the top five poker hands.

The second chance to win comes with the nightly drawing, held at 10:30 p.m. you’ll need to match at least two cards to win a prize. Matching all five cards unleashes the progressive jackpot. The jackpot starts at $10,000 and keeps growing until its won.

Learn more about the Ontario Poker Lotto.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , ,

Jan 06

TheScore Eyes Future in Canada Mobile Sports Betting Market

TheScore Eyes Lucrative Future in Canada Mobile Sports Betting Market

It’s virtually guaranteed that single-event betting is on its way into Canadian law books. With it will come a massive new market for sports gambling. Every casino will be looking to install a sportsbook. Assuming federal laws will closely mimic those in the United States, opening the doors to competition between operators, provincial regulators will be racing to authorize and license as many online and mobile sports betting brands as are willing to pay the no-doubt-exorbitant fee.

Our southerly neighbors have already legalized sports betting in 20 states and the District of Columbia (a.k.a. Washington, D.C.) Competition is fierce down south, with big names like DraftKings, FanDuel, WilliamHill, and BetRivers dominating the region’s industry. Those same brands are expected to flock northward when the time comes, but they may find a more formidable foe in Toronto-based Score Media.

TheScore Eyes Canada Mobile Sports Betting Market

Score Media & Gaming, owner of the sports news mobile app and media giant, theScore, and the sports wagering app, theScore Bet, may be flagging against major competitor brands on US soil, but in Canada, its popularity is unrivaled. On Wednesdays, the free sports mobile app jumped into the #1 position on the CA Google Play Store.

According to a report in Bloomberg, Score Media says it currently caters to around 4 million active users, with over 1.4 million logging in from Ontario alone.

Bear in mind, Canadian users are not (yet) able to place bets via theScore’s mobile applications. For now, they are privy only to the popular sports news network. The good news for Score Media is that, being so adored by local sports fans, if and when its Canadian mobile betting app goes live here, it could easily jump into the number one spot, surpassing the biggest companies operating in the U.S. market.

Plans Underway to Launch theScore Bet Canada

Score Media CEO John Levy and his son, COO Benjie Levy, are already making plans to launch theScore’s real money sports betting app in their home country of Canada. For now, the mobile sportsbook app is available only in three US states – Colorado, Indiana, and New Jersey.

The Toronto firm saw its stocks rise 111% on the year. Most of that came in the final weeks of 2020, following the late-November introduction of the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act by Federal Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada, David T. Lametti. That bill introduce the one thing Canadians have never had legal, local access to, straight-up, single-event sports wagers.

According to analysts with Credit Suisse, “Assuming full legalization in Canada, we think this could be a $4 billion revenue opportunity.” The bill, which is being hailed as a sure-thing by political experts, will be a major topic of discussion when Parliament reconvenes later this month.

MP Irek Kusmierczyk (Windsor-Tecumseh) is optimistic that the legislation will move quickly, and with an affirmative response. “We’re hopeful that we can actually move this process along quickly,” he said in a statement. There’s always the possibility of opposition, but Kusmierczyk added, “it does feel as though there’s support among all three parties.”

If and when the Canada mobile sports betting market opens, Score Media CEO John Levy says his company will introduce “the best damn sports media company in the betting space.”

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

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: , , , , , , , , ,

Feb 26

Are nay-sayers right to label new Canada sports gambling bill DOA?

Nay-Sayers Label New Canada Sports Gambling Bill DOA

On Tuesday, Ontario’s Windsor-West MP Brian Masse got his wish. For the third time, his CA betting bill, aimed at legalizing single-event sports bets, will be viewed and voted upon in the House of Commons; not because he introduced it himself, but because Conservative MP Kevin Waugh of Saskatoon-Grasswood did it for him. But are the countless sports-loving Canadians who are cheering on their efforts doing so in vain?

As they collectively chant, “Third time’s the charm!”, a larger, arguably more educated group (in the ways of politics, at least) are far from optimistic. In their view, the new Bill C-218, Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, may have a prayer, but not a hope, destined to suffer yet another unceremonious death.

Is New Canada Sports Gambling Bill DOA?

The nay-sayers are certain Masse’s latest shot at a single-event betting law will miss the target, and they do make an awfully convincing argument. It’s not that the government doesn’t support the issue. It’s not that they are unaware of the many benefits it would bring to Canada. Their lack of interest is 100% politically fueled.

The Liberals are not going to support a rival party bill – certainly not while the Tories are right behind them, with hyperbolic jousting sticks and pitch forks, poking and prodding them out of office. You’ll remember, the Liberals lost majority control in the October elections. The Tories are beyond confident that majority rule awaits them, and all it could take is a non-confidence motion such as this to put them their.

Forget that single-event sports betting is what the people want; forget that our neighbor states to the south are legalizing sports gambling as I write this; forget that it would generate taxes, create jobs, and staunch the outflow of $10-$40 billion to criminal bookies and offshore internet sportsbooks. This is about nothing more than government officials grasping at the remnants of political power.

Two Bills Down, One to Go

Masse knows all too well that a rival’s private member bill stands against ridiculous odds. He’s experienced it twice before. He watched former NDP MP Joe Comartin’s 2012 sports betting bill go up in flames in the Senate, despite starting out with a solid, unanimous passing in the House. In 2016, his own attempt – born of the ashes of Comartin’s bill – was looked upon as a mange-ridden hound scampering into the wrong camp.

After eight years of repeated failures, the Windsor-West representative realized his only hope was bipartisan support. That’s exactly what MP Waugh brought to the table when he won an early spot in the PMB lottery, giving him the option to submit a bill from a rival camp that the House must consider.

The fact that Waugh accepted a direct transfer of Masse’s Bill C-218, introducing it to the House of Commons Tuesday morning, gives it the bipartisan favor of NDP and Conservative camps; “a bipartisan effort from the start,” as Masse so confidently put it.

But alas, the boasting of a proud parent is undoubtedly biased. Masse has to know just how long this shot is. If the Liberals lose a confidence motion, every last measure on their docket will suffer a quick and regretful demise. In the eyes of the Canadian public, Liberals are already teetering on the edge of a hot water boiling pot. Masse’s campaign to push a new Canada sports gambling bill might be better served by rubbing elbows in the camps of the future’s more productive political parties.

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: , , , , , , ,

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: , , , , , , , ,