Ontario Online Casinos
It is now three months since Ontario launched its regulated and legal online casino market and, already, gambling is booming in Canada’s most populous province.
On April 4, 2022, the province launched a long list of legal, regulated online casinos in Ontario. Today, 21 operators are live in the province, including BetMGM, PlayOJO, PartyCasino and Unibet. You can play online slots, table games and video poker on legal casino apps.
PlayOntario.com shares the latest info on online casino options, including the best bonuses from legal casino apps in Ontario.
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Ontario is the most populous province in Canada by a wide margin. Nearly 15 million residents call Ontario home, which makes the province more populous than all but four states in the US. Furthermore, prior to the April 4, 2022 launch, Ontarians already wagered on OLG.ca and gambled an estimated $500 million more on grey market sites every year, according to the province.
So far, 21 casinos are officially regulated by the province. However, 39 operators are registered with Ontario’s regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario including the legacy brand OLG.ca as well as BetRivers, BetMGM, theScore Bet, LottoGo, and more. The big questions now are “who else?” and “when?” Although the exact timeframe for each of the following apps to debut is not yet certain, each book has connections to the area or is simply waiting on the final iGaming Ontario agreement to be signed.
And, recently, iGO said, at its peak, Ontario’s online gambling market could number over 70 operators.
Launch status of Ontario online casinos
|Online casino||AGCO approval||iGO approval||Live?||Launch Date|
|888||Yes||Yes||Yes||April 4, 2022|
|bet365||Yes||Yes||Yes||April 4, 2022|
|BetMGM||Yes||Yes||Yes||April 4, 2022|
|BetRivers||Yes||Yes||Yes||April 4, 2022|
|bwin||Yes||Yes||Yes||April 12, 2022|
|Caesars||Yes||Yes||Yes||April 4, 2022|
|ComeOn!||Yes||Yes||Yes||June 13, 2022|
|CoolBet||Yes||Yes||Yes||April 4, 2022|
|DraftKings||Yes||Yes||Yes||May 18, 2022|
|FanDuel||Yes||Yes||Yes||April 4, 2022|
|Leo Vegas||Yes||Yes||Yes||April 4, 2022|
|NorthStar Bets||Yes||Yes||Yes||May 9, 2022|
|Party||Yes||Yes||Yes||April 12, 2022|
|PointsBet||Yes||Yes||Yes||April 4, 2022|
|PokerStars||Yes||Yes||Yes||June 28, 2022|
|Rivalry||Yes||Yes||Yes||April 4, 2022|
|Royal Panda||Yes||Yes||Yes||April 4, 2022|
|theScore||Yes||Yes||Yes||April 4, 2022|
|SkillOnNet (PlayOjo, SlotsMagic, SpinGenie sites)||Yes||Yes||Yes||June 13, 2022|
|Unibet||Yes||Yes||Yes||April 4, 2022|
|Cadtree (Jackpot City, Royal Vegas, Ruby Fortune, Spin Casino)||Yes||--||No||Unknown|
*We included the OLG.ca site as the legacy operator in this list. However, they are conducted and managed separately from iGO and therefore do not need to sign an agreement.
Below is a more detailed look at some of the top online casinos available (and some that are still anticipated) in Ontario:
BetMGM Casino Ontario is the online casino wing of one of the largest casino companies in the world, MGM Resorts International. As befitting a company of its size, BetMGM has hundreds of casino games on its site and well over 560 slot games, specifically. Notably, there are dozens of slot titles that are exclusive to BetMGM. And the company has already added its own branded live dealer games to an assortment provided by Evolution. Recently, BetMGM was voted Casino Operator of the Year at the EGR North American Awards in Jersey City, NJ.
- Top game: Exclusive slots
- Best for: Slots players
- App ratings: 4.7 (iOS), 4.4 (Android)
BetRivers Casino is a relatively new name to Ontario, but the app has gained a strong fan base in the US. Rush Street Interactive packs the app with slots, table games and live dealer casino play. It also seamlessly connects to the sportsbook. Of note is the BetRivers key loyalty program, iRush Rewards, which is considered one of the best in the business.
- Top game: Table games
- Best for: iRush Rewards
- App ratings: NA, BetRivers uses a separate app for each jurisdiction.
Caesars Casino is an online arm of the casino chain of the same name. Unsurprisingly, Caesars has a wide selection of games to play, both for slots and table games. One type of game that stands out in the Caesars lineup is its selection of Megaways games, which offer some spins with more than 100,000 ways to win. Caesars Casino customers can also take part in the Caesars Rewards program, which offers comps, free bets and other benefits on both the online casino and at Caesars locations.
- Top game: Megaways slots
- Best for: Caesars Rewards
- App ratings: 4.6 (iOS), 4.4 (Android)
PointsBet Casino Ontario won’t overwhelm anyone with its options. However, there are several quality features on the PointsBet Casino app, and each game is beautifully rendered. In particular, PointsBet is a dark horse choice for video poker fans, who will find more than half a dozen titles. You can also find an array of daily and weekly bonuses, some of which tie into sports betting.
- Top game: Video poker
- Best for: Daily bonuses
- App ratings: 4.7 (iOS), 3.0 (Android)
FanDuel Casino is an arm of the sports betting titan of the same name. FanDuel is a good place to start if you’re new to online casinos. You can get comfortable pretty easily here. An online craps game is new to FanDuel, making it one of the few sites to feature such an option. FanDuel is also a good choice if you are primarily a sports bettor but would like to cleanse your palate with some slots or table games once in a while.
- Top game: Craps
- Best for: Sports bettors
- App ratings: 4.7 (iOS), 4.6 (Android)
PartyCasino debuted in the late ’90s, making it one of the oldest online gambling platforms globally, with a sterling reputation in several countries. The online casino is fully licensed in Ontario and offers one of Canada’s best casino game collections.
- Top game: Melon Madness Deluxe
- Best for: Table Games
- App ratings: 4.5 (iOS), 4.4 (Android)
Although it might be a bit of a surprise that DraftKings has an online casino, the bigger shock is that the app is actually quite robust. DraftKings’ main niche within the landscape of online casino apps is its selection of table games. There are dozens of titles available, including nearly two dozen variants of blackjack. In addition, DraftKings Ontario has plenty of slots, and its welcome bonus is solid.
- Top game: Blackjack
- Best for: Table games
- App ratings: 4.7 (iOS), 4.3 (Android)
Ontario online casino bonuses
Most bonuses fall into one of only a few categories. Here’s a brief look at the types of bonuses you’ll see on Ontario online casinos:
- No deposit — When an online casino awards a no deposit bonus, it places site credits or free bet vouchers into your account. Usually, these are for new players in exchange for creating an account at the casino, allowing you to try the site without any risk.
- Deposit — The casino matches a portion of your deposit. The portion can be anywhere from a small percentage to a full dollar-for-dollar match.
- Leaderboards — Leaderboards, or races, allow you to compete against fellow users for cash prizes. For every dollar you wager, you receive points and climb a ranking chart. The top finishers on the board after a certain timeframe (usually a month) receive cash bonuses or prizes.
- Sweepstakes — Sweepstakes bonuses are similar to leaderboards, except a random drawing determines the winners. Completing specified actions can increase your chances of winning by generating more entries.
How to clear an online casino bonus
No matter the type of bonus you receive, it is unlikely that you will receive it as pure cash. Instead, online casinos in Ontario will generally issue bonus funds to you as free bets or as site credits.
Free bets are essentially coupons that allow you to make a wager of a certain amount. They might only be eligible to use on a limited selection of games, too. You cannot divide a free bet over multiple wagers.
Site credits are more like Canadian Tire money, where they behave like regular cash on the casino site but are worthless elsewhere. Site credits, or bonus money, are divisible, however, so you can spread them onto multiple wagers.
Neither free bets nor site credits are withdrawable for their cash value. In order to release the funds as cash into your account, you will have to satisfy the bonus’s playthrough requirement. The playthrough requirement is a certain multiple of the bonus amount that you have to bet before you release the bonus.
Say, for example, that you have $50 in site credits with a 10x playthrough requirement. You would need to wager $500 before that $50 could make its way into your pocket.
How to sign up at an Ontario online casino
Downloading and installing an online casino app in Ontario is similar to getting any other type of app on your mobile device. If you go to the casino website, you’ll generally find a link to take you to the correct app download page from there.
Once you have the app, you’ll have to register. Look for the registration button in the top right of the display to begin. You’ll need to provide your personal information to the site, and possibly verify it with a government-issued ID. Be sure to enter any promotional codes into the appropriate box exactly as they are written. The whole process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, and you should be ready to play with your new bonus money almost immediately after you submit your information.
Popular online casino games in Ontario
Since Ontarians have had access to online casino games via OLG.ca for years, you may already have a favourite game or two.
For instance, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. runs an online casino site with close to 150 games from some of the top software providers in the business, such as IGT, Bally, WMS and Konami. The majority of these games are digital representations of popular land-based slots, such as Cleopatra Gold, Triple Diamond and 88 Fortunes. The same goes for BetMGM, BetRivers and other online casinos available in the province.
There is a good selection of instant specialty games, table games, jackpot games, and video poker. Live dealer, meanwhile, has become a top game for many apps, with some offering 30 or more different games.
If you have always wondered what some of the above options are, here is a quick rundown:
Online real money slots behave identically to their in-person counterparts. Activating the game spins three to five reels with symbols on them. Lining up the symbols in certain combinations generates a payout for the player. Make sure to look for the return-to-player percentage to figure out which slots pay better. The higher the RTP, the more of your money you can expect to keep. Popular slot titles online include Cleopatra, Double Diamond, Cash Machine and Vegas Stacks.
Progressive jackpot slots
Progressive jackpot slots are either single machines or a group of machines that set aside a portion of each bet into a prize pool. You can win this pool if you manage to line up a special set of symbols correctly. Progressive jackpots are often large amounts, relative to the wager, and can be worth tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. However, they usually have a lower RTP than normal machines because of that portion of each bet they hold back. Some progressive jackpot slots in Ontario include multiple Wheel of Fortune variants and the Powerbuck$ games.
Video poker online is the last bastion of five-card draw poker in most casinos and blends skill and luck much more than slots. Players receive five cards to start and may exchange as many of them as they like a single time for new cards. Players’ hands that achieve a certain value receive payouts. Usually, the minimum payout requirement is that the player has a pair of Jacks or better. In fact, the most popular video poker game is Jacks or Better. There are also game options that include a joker in the deck or that deuces are wild, although these games usually require higher-ranked hands to pay. You can also find multi-hand options that allow you to increase your payout potential.
Online blackjack is the classic table game that pits the dealer against the player in a card-based race to 21. Players and dealers each receive two cards and try to get their cards to be as close to 21 as possible without going over. A two-card combination of an ace and a face card or 10 is called a blackjack and gives the game its name. Playing with proper strategy (“basic strategy”) can reduce the house advantage in blackjack to less than a single percentage point. Blackjack also offers many variants, including Spanish 21, Zappit Blackjack and Blackjack Switch.
Roulette is the iconic table game with a sectioned wheel and a ball randomly dropping into the slots. There are 37 or 38 slots on each wheel, numbered 1 through 36 plus a single zero and, in some cases, a double zero. A player who successfully chooses the number corresponding to where the ball lands receive a 35:1 payout, but there are myriad ways to bet on the outcome of the spin. European roulette wheels have just the single zero. American roulette has both zeroes and a higher house edge.
Players can bet on either the “Banker” or “Player” in online baccarat. The player receives two cards and is only concerned with the “ones” column of each card in their attempt to get as close to 9 as possible. Face cards and tens are worth zero, but an 8 or 9 on the first two cards is called a natural and is largely unbeatable.
Other table games
Depending on the site, there may be several different types of table games that you can try on Ontario online casinos. Some of these games include Let It Ride, Three Card Poker, Four Card Poker, Pai Gow Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold’em. By and large, these games come with a higher house edge than some of the other table games, but they can be quite fun to play and can lead to big wins for lucky players. Meanwhile, online poker in Ontario is available and offers a selection of cash tournaments and sit n gos.
Live dealer games
Live dealer games are different not because of their mechanics, but rather their presentation. Typical table games like blackjack, roulette and baccarat are available with their usual rules, but the games have flesh-and-blood dealers running them via a livestream from a dedicated studio. You can even chat with the dealers and other players as you play.
Instant win games are analogous to scratchers that you can receive through the provincial lottery. You pay a price upfront, then remove the game’s cover to reveal whether you’ve matched enough symbols to win the prize. Most winning tickets simply refund your money, but a select few come with big payouts. Instant win games include The Price Is Right: Come on Down, Ruby 7s and Derby Run.
One common game that did not appear on our list is craps. The dice game is harder to find on most online casinos than other games. Simply put, the complexity of wagers available for craps and the undeniable social aspect of the game makes it harder to implement online. There might be a few options for it, but those will be the exception, not the rule.
Retail casinos in Ontario
Land-based casinos in Ontario are not a rarity. There are 29 casino properties scattered across the province. Some of Canada’s largest gambling companies oversee many of their operations. Companies that own multiple venues in Ontario include the Great Canadian Gaming Corp., which owns 12 properties in the province, including the Elements and Shorelines casinos, and Gateway Casinos and Entertainment, which owns the eight Gateway casinos plus five others in Ontario.
Since the casinos in Ontario are too numerous to list, here are three of the largest options in the area:
- Casino Niagara — 5705 Falls Ave., Niagara Falls, Ontario. Close to the famous waterfalls. Ninety-five thousand square feet of space with 1,300 slots and 40 table games. A live poker room with close to 30 tables. Dial 1-888-325-5788 for more details.
- Casino Rama — 5899 Rama Road, Orillia, Ontario. Casino Rama Resort is owned by the Rama First Nation and Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. Open 24/7 and features 2,200 slots and over 110 table games. Daily cash poker games and tournaments are also available. Phone: 1-800-832-7529.
- Fallsview Casino Resort — 6380 Fallsview Blvd., Niagara Falls, Ontario. Massive 200,000 square feet of gambling space with 3,000-plus slots, 130-plus table games and electronic table games. Phone: 1-888-325-5788.
Ontario Online Casinos FAQ
Yes, online casinos are legal in Ontario. Prior to April 4, 2022, the OLG’s olg.ca was the only legal online casino operator in the province. Now, the province is home to a variety of online casinos, including BetMGM, PlayOJO and BetRivers.
Yes, Ontario online casinos offer apps to users of Android and iOS devices, in most cases. Check with the online casino to be sure an app is available.
You need to be 19 or older to participate in online casino gambling or online sports betting in Ontario.