From Land-based Casinos to Mobile Devices: Ontario's Journey through Digital Gambling Platforms

onkine gambling


Release Date

Monday, May 13, 2024


Ontario’s history with gambling can be traced back to the 1800s when the Criminal Code against games of chance was passed. By 1892, horse racing became one of the few legal sporting events in the province, with the opening of a race track at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. With the revision of the Criminal Code in the 80s, Ontario was well-positioned and opened its first licensed land-based casino at Ceasers Windsors in 1994.

Other casinos like Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino Resort later opened, but it wasn't long before the rise of internet technology paved the way for online gaming. Enthusiasts could now play casino games from their homes via Ontario's Favorite Mobile Casino Platforms with an even wider range of gaming options. This shift had to be met with stricter regulations which the provincial government, through the AGCO, implemented in the iGaming Ontario standards.

The Rise of Land-based Casinos in Ontario

Land-based casinos in Ontario are scattered across the province from Thunder Bay to Niagara Falls, but this wasn't always so. The province first considered the opening of casino spots at major fairs in 1978 but it wasn't easy, as there was opposition to the idea. Alderman Art Eggleton was one of those opponents who would later vote against the establishment of gaming spots later in 1984.

Casino advocates were not deterred, however, as they continued to push hard for the idea, stating that it would benefit the province. Followed by a couple of rejected CNE applications for casinos to serve as charities, casino fans organized a mass rally in 1991 in combination with almost 100 charities to express their displeasure. The City Council finally made a positive decision in June of the same year, allowing about 40 Toronto charities to co-found the first casino at Exhibition Stadium.

Things took a more impressive turn in 1994 as Caesars Windsor, publicly owned by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, was opened. Although it took another ten years for Fallsview Casino Resort to open, Caesars Windsor had created a pivotal shift in the gaming landscape of Ontario.

The Emergence of Mobile Gambling

The rise of online gambling in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario's tranquil city, is an interesting one that underlines how mobile gaming platforms became popular in Ontario. The Internet revolution brought with it many new ways of thinking and doing things. The first online gaming operators were based offshore but offered services to Canadian players. The federal and provincial authorities saw a need to address the regulatory gaps in this arrangement, which prompted the development of a more comprehensive legal framework for internet gambling.

A groundbreaking milestone in the rapidly expanding industry was achieved in April 2022, when the regulated iGaming market in Ontario officially went live. This move offered Ontario residents access to home-based online casinos and offshore venues licensed to operate within the province.

As of today, mobile gambling in Ontario continues to thrive due to the diverse and dynamic range of online casino experiences. In addition to its highly accessible nature, online casinos have proved convenient and offer diversity in the types of casino games available to players. The innovative technologies introduced in live dealer games have further enhanced the gaming experience, as players can now immerse themselves in real-life casino venues without ever leaving their homes.

Impact of Digital Platforms on Traditional Casinos

In the current age of digital gaming platforms, there has been a need for businesses to keep up by becoming more mobile-friendly. Many land-based casinos understand this shift and have expanded their operations to incorporate online gambling platforms. Innovations like the introduction of mobile casino apps are being intended to meet the needs of players who long for more convenient gaming experiences.

Traditional land-based casinos that are yet to include or make the transition brought by the digital age face many challenges. The most important issue faced by them is the reduced patronage. There's also the lack of variety in the casino games at land-based establishments. Brick-and-mortar casinos must now allocate resources toward innovating their services to remain relevant.

Regulation and Legalization

The regulatory framework for online gambling in Ontario covers many important aspects. In addition to being registered by the AGCO, operators must not advertise inducements like bonuses and free spins. On the other end of the spectrum, players must be 19 years old at least and located within Ontario to play on iGO-regulated sites. Despite these developments, digital gaming brings ethical risks, especially the increased potential for problem gambling. Policymakers also need to maintain a delicate balance between implementing stringent regulations and encouraging growth in the industry.

Future Trends and Opportunities

As Ontario continues to develop and navigate its iGaming market, the future shows promising signs. The industry is uniquely positioned for further growth and innovation through technological advancements and a dynamic regulatory framework. Combined, this will open the province to more brands and partnerships that will boost revenue and also create opportunities for more jobs.

Latest Stories