You Are Here: Home » Country » Canada » Ontario

Ontario Online Casinos

Ontario Online CasinosIf you’re a Canadian, there’s a good chance that you live in Ontario. About 40% of the country’s population lives in the province, thanks to the fact that it hosts two of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation: Toronto, which is the biggest city in the country, as well as Ottawa, the Canadian capital. Even within the province, the smaller area of Southern Ontario contains most of the residents, while the northern parts of the province are home to only smaller communities and dense forests.

A center of business, wealth, and commerce, Ontario is naturally a major target market for gambling operators. That has led to a rather diverse gaming industry in the province, with many casinos and other land-based options being available throughout the region. More recently, the government has also regulated online gambling here, giving consumers a locally-licensed option to compete against the overseas sites that have long targeted Canadian players.

Casinos, Slots, and More

While horse racing has taken place in Ontario for well over a century, and parimutuel wagering has been legal in Canada since the 1910, the modern era of gambling in the province only began in 1975. During the 1970s, many provinces moved to create lotteries, mirroring a trend that was taking place in many states in the USA at the same time. While there was a few years of confusion after the 1969 federal law that made this possible, eventually it became clear that lotteries would be held exclusively at the provincial level.

In this case, that led to the creation of the Ontario Lottery Corporation in 1975. Within a few months, the corporation was holding its first drawings (known as Wintario, a game that ran through 1996), and lottery games have been offered continuously ever since.

Today, the group is known as the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, or the OLG. The lottery is still a major part of the state-owned firm’s responsibilities, with a wide variety of games now offered to citizens 18 and older in the province. These include jackpot games like Ontario 49, daily drawings of many different kinds, and some sports betting options where players can bet on parlays of two or more games (single-game betting is currently illegal in Canada). OLG also provides access to Canada’s two national lotteries: Lotto 6/49 and Lotto Max.

The OLG is also responsible for overseeing the many casinos that have proliferated throughout Ontario. Casino gambling came to the province in 1993, when – after a contentious public debate – the Casino Windsor (now Caesars Windsor) was opened, becoming the first full commercial gambling resort in the province.

That facility may have been the first, but it was hardly the last. Over the years, more and more venues would be opened, and now there are ten full casinos running in the province, bringing in billions in revenue every year. While most of these are also operated by the OLG, some major gaming firms are also involved at some locations, including Penn National Gaming and Caesars Entertainment. Several of these resorts were formerly charity casinos, and two have been opened near Niagara Falls, operated by the Falls Management Group.

As in many places, the introduction of such widespread casino gambling threatened to damage the horse racing industry, which had been the major live betting destination in Ontario for most of the previous century. The solution is the same one that has been seen throughout much of North America: many tracks were allowed to add slot machines to their offerings, turning them into virtual “racinos.” The machines at these race tracks are operated by OLG, and are now available at 14 tracks. These include some of the most prestigious racing courses in the province, including Toronto’s Woodbine Racetrack, home to the Canadian International Stakes and several other Grade I races each year.

The 5 Sites Below are the Best Casinos for Players in Ontario

  • Rank
  • Casino
  • Bonus
  • Play
1
100% UP TO $1000
2
100% UP TO $500
3
200% UP TO $1000
4
100% UP TO $500
5
100% UP TO $300

The 5 Sites Below are the Best Casinos for Players in Ontario

1
Spin Palace Casino
100% UP TO $1000
Play Now
2
Casumo Casino
100% UP TO $500
Play Now
3
Leo Vegas Casino
200% UP TO $1000
Play Now
4
Guts Casino
100% UP TO $500
Play Now
5
Casino Room
100% UP TO $300
Play Now

OLG also Regulates Online Play

Unlike its neighbor to the south, which has seen Internet gambling regulation take hold in only a handful of states so far, eight of the ten provinces in Canada have launch regulated, state-operated gaming sites as an alternative to playing on overseas websites. While they were not the first to do so, Ontario is in this group, and unsurprisingly, OLG is in charge of this operation as well as the land-based betting venues throughout the province.

The web portal, known as PlayOLG.ca, was first launched in January 2015, and has offered players the opportunity to play real money casino games from their homes. The site has become a full hub for the OLG’s efforts, allowing players to participate in a number of different ways without having to travel to a brick-and-mortar location. The site is only open to Ontario residents, and requires a rather thorough registration to ensure that those from outside the provincial borders cannot take part.

Just about everything that OLG offers can be accessed from this website. For instance, you can purchase lottery tickets for most of the major drawings here, including the national jackpot games. Advantages for users include the fact that tickets purchased online are automatically registered, making it impossible for your tickets to be lost or stolen.

The big draw, however, is definitely the casino games. Provided by renowned developers including the internationally-known casino manufacturer IGT, the site presents a complete array of options for casino fans, ranging from slot machines to table games and video poker. The game selection is fairly strong compared to the general offerings seen throughout the online gambling industry, and new player promotions are also quite good, with free funds available to try games when you open a new account and large matching bonuses on your first few deposits.

The reasoning behind the government’s decision to launch PlayOLG was relatively simple: with so many players already betting at sites run by foreign operators, it only made sense to try to recoup some of that money and keep it for local government coffers by offering an alternative. That local regulation and oversight is a big reason why you might want to give this site a shot: there’s no doubt that the consumer protections you get from playing at PlayOLG are far better than with an overseas operator, and you might also like the fact that even if you lose, that money is going back into local services.

That said, many sites hosted worldwide still do offer their games to Canadians, including those in Ontario. That number has diminished somewhat over the years, as some operators have decided that the clear regulatory framework in place in many provinces make this less of a grey market – where they might operate – and more in the category of a black market, where they would clearly be skirting the law to do so. But some still take these risks, and with no laws targeting Canadians who play on these sites, it is perfectly legal to open accounts and play for real money on them if you wish to do so. There are even some advantages to these alternatives: they sometimes have better promotions and different game selections than the OLG site, which might appeal to you more than the “official” provincial option.

Minor Issues No Threat to Market

Ontario is a very stable gaming market, with few changes expected to come in the near future. The OLG has a firm hold on the gaming monopoly here, and at this point, the provincial government has no reason to change that situation. Profits are still very high, and almost all popular forms of betting are legal; only single-bet sports betting could obviously be added to the mix, and that would depend on federal legislation being passed to legalize the practice.

Perhaps the biggest issue facing OLG at the moment is a sharp decline in the sale of lottery tickets in recent years. Much like the similar dilemma facing many casinos that are struggling with declining interest in slot machines, the culprit appears to be Millennials, who aren’t showing an interest in these simple games, preferring strategic and skill-based options instead. While officials want to try and attract younger players back to the lottery, it remains to be seen how effective these efforts will be – and how they will be accomplished without also encouraging underage gambling.

There will also be more calls for new casinos, such as a proposed resort in North Bay that has received a a poor reaction from the local community. But, by and large, the overall picture in Ontario shouldn’t change much for gamblers over the next decade at the very least. This is good news for gamblers, who should continue to enjoy a broad menu of betting options indefinitely into the future.

You've Won a Free Spin

 
SPIN