Previously, some businesses in Ontario could be licensed to provide raffle and gaming services, such as in the town of Oakville. However, most of these licenses are given to offline, in-person gambling establishments and raffles. Some of those licensed businesses are also linked to PlayOLG itself.
Among Ontario's existent online gambling options, prior to the 2019 Tory budget, only PlayOLG, the province's officially-licensed online gambling website, operated at full capacity with the province's legal blessing. In other words, the online gaming market
The new Tory budget states candidly that, as part of its numbers, it will open the province to new online gaming websites. This will end the province's own monopoly on online gambling, allowing both new and existing gambling websites to operate in the province effectively.
If and when the budget is passed and the province's new online gaming scheme comes into effect, it is likely that other provinces will consider what to do with their own gambling laws. Many provinces do not have strict gambling laws, and many have few gambling laws at all, allowing online casinos to operate without official disapproval or approval.
Of course, this change in the gambling market is not without limitations. Though the licensing requirements are not clear as of the time of the budget, it is likely that they will be somewhat more stringent than the licensing requirements of regions and countries where online gambling is currently legal.
Businesses interested in entering the online gambling market in Canada should keep an eye on the situation as it develops, and be very careful to research details of the province's licensing scheme as it develops. Given the province's active investment in other activities adjacent to gambling, such as horse racing, it is possible that the province will be very permissive and generous in licensing entrants to the gambling market.
Individuals in Ontario interested in online gambling would be well-served to watch for new entrants into the province's online gambling market. New gambling websites may crop up, operated within the province, to take advantage of these relaxed laws. In terms of existing gambling options, every business from small mom-and-pop poker sites to the best online casino already in Canada will likely consider whether they should now operate in Ontario.
Individuals outside of Ontario, but within Canada, may already be able to gamble online, depending on their province's existing laws. Many online casinos already operate in other parts of Canada, as mentioned above, and there are no laws that explicitly forbid Canadians in ne province from accessing an online casino in another on the federal level. Thus, an interesting individual should first review their province's own laws, then, if legally allowed to gamble online, should look at all of the best casinos out there from across the country.
It is important to remember that online casinos hosted on servers outside of Canada cannot be legally accessed from within Canada, so businesses hoping to enter the Canadian market should work on establishing a Canadian presence now, while individuals hoping for more gambling options in their province should take a look at existing Canadian online casinos first.