Ontario Gambling and Casinos

Ontario’s online casino, sports betting and poker market is booming as it settles into its second month.

On April 4, a long list of legal, regulated gaming operators began taking bets in the province. And Ontario is already proving to be one of the most important gaming markets in North America.

The province is home to nearly 15 million people. Currently, 34 sites are registered with the gambling regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Of those, 18 are already live in Ontario after signing an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario.

This site is the prime resource for casino and sports players about Ontario’s gambling laws and betting options. We tell you what is legal to gamble on in Ontario, plus how and where you can do it. Also, we tell you where you can play the best games and score the best offers from online gambling sites.

This is your source for the latest information about the long list of legal online casinos and sports betting apps now open for business in Ontario.

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Latest Updates

Last updated: May 18, 2022

Ontario gamblers now have a long list of online options as the online casino, sportsbook and poker market reaches the seventh week of being open

And even more operators are on the way.

BetMGM, DraftKings, BetRivers, Caesars, PointsBet, bet365 and 12 others are now available for play in Ontario. The sports, casino and poker apps are part of the first wave of the new online gambling market in Ontario.

Already, 34 gambling sites are registered with Ontario’s regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Of those, 18 have signed agreements with the iGO, which is required before launch. That means many more apps are on the way.

Even so, the apps already available come equipped with an array of games, live dealer casino, and sports bets.

Ontario Casinos

Ontario currently has over 70 registered casino establishments scattered around the province, with more expected to open in the coming years. These casinos range from large resorts such as Fallsview Casino Resort, which features over 3,000 slots and more than 100 table games, to smaller casinos with just a few hundred games total. Land-based casino gambling is legal in Ontario and overseen by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Casino visitors must be at least 19 years old to enter any casino in the province. There are currently 29 major casino sites in the province covering all the major regions. The newest is the Cascades Casino in North Bay, ON that opened on March 9. Gateway casinos reports its gaming facility in Wasaga Beach is scheduled to open in the fall of 2022.

Poker Rooms

Community poker is another very popular form of gambling in Ontario. Casinos can offer a poker room on their premises. However, not every land-based casino in Ontario has one, and only the largest gambling venues have poker rooms with enough tables to play host to mid-to high-level tournaments. If you visit one of these casinos, you’ll find plenty of Texas Hold’em cash games. This is the most popular form of poker in Canada.

Sports Betting

Sports betting is legal in Ontario and now offered by a wide range of sites featuring expanded betting menus, with live betting joining moneyline, point spread, prop bets and over/under wagers for most games. Not all operators opened for business on April 4. More are on the way.

There are officially 18 sportsbook apps taking legal sports bets online in the province including BetMGM, DraftKings, Caesars, bet365 and FanDuel. You can also place sports wagers in-person through the OLG’s Proline service at more than 10,000 lottery retailers in the province.

Bingo Halls

Eligible organisations that work under a proper license can conduct real money bingo events, as bingo is considered a lottery game under AGCO rules as long as there is a money prize involved. There are dozens of bingo halls in Ontario, most notably Six Nations Bingo, a venue that plays host to sessions with hundreds of players. However, bingo is mainly considered a social pastime in the province and is primarily played among seniors and at charitable events. Charity gambling is another legal form of gambling in Ontario.

Horse Racing

Betting on horse racing was the first legal form of wagering in Canada. The Ontario Racing Commission was formed in 1950 to regulate and oversee horse racing activities in the province, including betting on horse races. Even before the establishment of ORC, the province allowed pari-mutuel wagering — meaning bettors compete against each other, not the house. Today, horse racing is regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). There are 15 racetracks in Ontario — 12 Standardbred tracks (harness racing), two Thoroughbred facilities and one Quarter Horse track —  where you can place bets. There are also numerous facilities where you can try off-track wagering. Wagers on horse racing can also be placed online and through mobile apps through the HorsePlayer Interactive (HPI) system, which also controls the physical off-track wagering sites through its 50 Champions network teletheatres in the province. Several racetracks in Ontario also feature attached casinos run by commercial operators. Most tracks have some form of additional gaming.


Ontario Lottery

Lottery games in Ontario began in 1975, making it the second legal form of gambling in the province after horse racing. For the first 25 years, the lottery was regulated by the Ontario Lottery Corporation. In 2000, the OLC and the Ontario Casino Corporation were combined to form the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). The OLG is a Crown Corporation owned by the province of Ontario. The provincial lottery offers national games such as Lotto 6/49 and Lotto Max, as well as several daily draw games, including Pick 2, Pick 3, Pick 4, Poker Lotto and Wheel of Fortune Lotto. OLG also operates several land-based casinos, slot machine facilities and bingo halls throughout Ontario. Its official website olg.ca introduced online gambling services with several options, including slots, table games, poker, bingo and sports wagering. Players can purchase lottery tickets online, as well.

Ontario gambling laws

Almost every form of gambling is legal in Ontario, but strictly controlled by regulation.

These regulations mainly concern online gambling, which is regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and its subsidiary iGaming Ontario. On April 4, 2022, Ontario’s online casino and sports betting market opened to major gaming operators giving consumers a plethora of choice.

Ontario residents spend nearly half a billion dollars on offshore gaming sites. That lost revenue is what has led the government of Ontario to move to legalizing online gambling in the province. The government has licensed private companies to run online casinos and sportsbooks through iGaming Ontario, a new agency created in the summer of 2021 to manage the market.

Opening the online gaming market is a historic leap for gambling in Ontario. While it doesn’t guarantee that players completely shun offshore sites, it will keep a large portion of their spending in the province to stimulate further growth.

When it comes to land-based gambling, things are pretty clear-cut. Commercial casinos with video slots, video poker and table games, and community poker games can operate with the proper license. So, too, can bingo halls and racetracks. OLG’s sports betting service, called Proline Plus, allows for in-person and online single-event and parlay bets.

Here are some of the major rules and facts regarding gambling in Ontario:

  • The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is in charge of regulating the gambling sector in the province. AGCO established iGaming Ontario to license the new online operators.
  • Gambling in Ontario is regulated under the 1992 Gaming Control Act and the 1999 Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation Act.
  • The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. is a government-owned Crown corporation tasked with running the province’s lottery and overseeing the operations of casinos, slot machines, horse racing and charitable gambling.
  • Horse racing venues with on-site and off-track betting, commercial and First Nations casinos, bingo halls and the lottery are all legal in Ontario.
  • Sports betting is legal and open to a long list of operators. Prior to April 4, 2022, it was limited to the Proline service via OLG which is available online and at some 10,000 OLG retail locations.
  • The minimum gambling age for casino visitors in Ontario is 19; the same age applies for online gambling. You need to be at least 18 to purchase lottery tickets.

Ontario Gambling FAQ

Yes. You can legally gamble online in Ontario through a long list of gambling sites regulated by the provincial government. The list of regulated sites can be found here.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario regulates all gambling in the province, both land-based and digital, and reports to the Ministry of the Attorney General. The AGCO’s subsidiary iGaming Ontario was created “to establish a new online gaming market that helps protect consumers gambling through private gaming companies.”

Yes, the OLG offers a self-exclusion program to people looking to restrict their access to gambling in the province. The program features three exclusion options: Charitable Gaming Self-Exclusion (applied to charitable bingo halls and other gaming centres), OLG Self-Exclusion (applied to online gambling through the OLG website), and Gaming Self-Exclusion (applied to all casinos and the OLG website). You can choose to self-exclude for six months, a year or indefinitely.

In general, no. The law only makes an exception if gambling constitutes a business venture, as is the case with professional poker. Lottery winnings are considered windfalls and are not taxable, either.

Responsible gambling resources

No matter how much fun you’re having, you should always practice gambling with a dose of caution. Gambling addiction is present in Ontario, as it is in other parts of Canada and the world. There are, however, plenty of services in Ontario that help problem gamblers, either through self-exclusion programs or support centres.