Ontario’s online market, live since April 4, continues to see new arrivals with Entain’s bwin and “Party” brands - Party Casino, Partypoker and Party Sports - now operating in the jurisdiction, along more than a dozen online sportsbooks available within that regulatory framework.
The requirements to join Ontario’s iGaming market imply the registration of operators with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, and the signing of a commercial contract with iGaming Ontario, a government agency and AGCO subsidiary.
However, the addition of bwin and the “party”-related sites to the list of entities legally offering sports betting in Ontario is further proof of the competitive nature of the province’s new iGaming market.
Entain already had a presence in the Ontario iGaming market before bwin’s entry, as it partly owns BetMGM, which legally went live in the province during the market launch week.
In an official press release Tuesday, Managing Director of the Party brands at Entain, Vic Walia, spoke about this launch and said: “I am truly excited that all three of our Party brands are entering the Ontario market. Both recreational and professional players living in Ontario will be able to experience a world class gaming product across poker, casino and sports.”
Vic Walia, Entain's Managing Director for Party brands; and CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen.
Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen, also spoke during a conference call held on April 7, and said: “We are only four days in, but for sure that will be a very competitive environment we'll see in Ontario. But the good thing from our side is that we're also seeing that we are ramping up faster”.
Entain’s partypoker, however, is entering a regulatory environment that has proven hostile to other games that rely on pools of players, as the Ontario iGaming market requires players of its games to be located within Ontario, unless the games are also conducted with another provincial government. So much so, DraftKings and FanDuel have either shut down their contests or intend to stop offering in Ontario.
“Due to the new regulations in Ontario, players based in the province will be moved to the new on.partypoker.ca platform,” Tuesday’s press release read. “Poker tables at on.partypoker.ca will be ringfenced to players located in Ontario. The regulation from AGCO will ensure players are given the same level of service and consumer protection they are used to with Party Brands.”
A total of 28 brands have received their approval from the AGCO, with more launches expected soon.