How Ontario Government-run Gambling Operators Can’t Stand the Competition


The Canadian online gambling situation is completely different from the many other countries. Even though the online gambling market is technically regulated, in reality, every province has its own online gambling laws with many of them having even their own online gambling products and state-owned websites. Unlike the more aggressive Quebec province that tried to impose the state monopoly on the local online gambling market (with those attempts luckily failed), Ontario policies are much more liberal.


While the Ontario allows its local residents to play in any foreign online casino they want as long as the casino is ready to accept the Canadian real money bets, it has also introduced the state-owned online casino PlayOLG. The website was open to the Ontario gamblers in 2015 with the aim of Canadian online gambling market modernization and attraction of the financial resources to the local budget instead of all the players’ money going to the offshore online casinos.

On the first glance, the PlayOLG seems to be a decent Ontario online casino not the most state-of-the-art one yet quite promising. It has a responsive customer support, it’s mobile-friendly and has its own online casino app available for iOS and Android devices, and it offers a sufficient choice of games including progressive jackpots, video slots, table games, various lotteries, and horse race betting options.

But if you look closer at the PlayOLG website and its product, it appears that the situation is not that optimistic and in reality, the state-owned online casino can’t really stand the competition with the much more up-to-date international online casinos having the wider selection of gambling games, the more lucrative bonuses, and, what’s even more important, the smoother technical performance.

According to the players’ reports on Reddit, the website doesn’t work as good as it should: some of them complained not to get the confirmation letters at all, some of them waited for the verification process to be completed much longer than they were ready to wait, some of them were dissatisfied with the possible payment options. At the same time, the international online gambling websites have tons of the positive reviews from the gamblers from all over the world making the choice of the online casino to play for real money quite obvious.

In fact, the figures for the PlayOLG revenues clearly show that it’s definitely not the most popular online casino in the area. In 2017, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (that’s what OLG stands for) had to cut its revenue forecasts by 75%, quite a lot for the local and ambitious online casinos. Lately, in 2018, the situation started to become more positive with the revenues rising up to 84% when compared with the previous year. Despite the significant increase in profits, the authorities still think that the international online casinos are negatively affecting the PlayOLG success so the time might come when the province would decide to follow in the Quebec footsteps towards the complete state monopoly over the local online gambling possibilities.

The Canadian players still believe that the best way to stand the competition with the offshore websites is to improve the conditions and the technical functionality of the PlayOLG online casino instead of censoring the Internet and creating the doubtful products like the Hit or Miss Lottery launched by the Ontario online casino early in 2018. The lottery was accused of deliberately attracting players having gambling-related issues as it showed the new winner being announced every five minutes. Though the game is still fair, it doesn’t look like the one that will increase the local online casino popularity or draw more online gambling funds to the province budget.

Until the situation changes significantly, the Ontario players will probably continue making their bets in many international online casinos having much alluring games and bonuses.