In 2012, Canada will be launching an online casino. This is an attempt to help relieve an annual deficit of around $19 billion, states lottery officials in Ontario. This decision comes after a long year of debating over whether or not this was something that they would agree to do. This new casino is going to be ran by the Ontario Lottery And Gaming (OLG) Corporation and regulated by the province’s Alcohol And Gaming Commission. This information was released at a news conference that was held recently.
Recently, the western province of British Columbia launched PlayNow.com which is the first North America's first government-run online casino. However, it is believed that the Atlantic jurisdictions of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland And Labrador are going to do something similar very soon.
The Ontario Lottery And Gaming (OLG) was founded when the Ontario Lottery Corporation joined forces with the Ontario Casino Corporation back in 2000. The primary responsibility of this group is to manage the province's lotteries and casinos. It is estimated that the Ontarians gamble some estimated $380 million annually but they currently do it on non-Canadian sites and Crown Corporation wants to recoup some of that money. It plans to do so by launching a new online offering following a ‘thorough consultation and implementation process over the next 18 months’.
Paul Godfrey, Chairman for the OLG stated that, “Across Canada and around the world, online commerce is part of our everyday lives and OLG is excited to start the consultation process for online gaming and growing its marketplace in the future.” The OLG has every intention of putting a strong emphasis on responsible gaming but also wants to make sure that Ontarians have a good time too.
Finally, the OLG plans to see what everyone else is doing to get an idea of the best practices and security procedures that are being used in Canada and in Europe prior to the program going live. They want to focus on responsible gaming, increased player protection, data privacy, and secure transactions.