Many would agree that slots are the heart and soul of every gambling establishment on the planet, both online and offline. The same holds true for Ontario-based casinos, which run a gamut of slot games from leading software providers.
In the online realm, Ontarians can try out these entertaining games at Ontario Lottery and Gaming’s OLG.ca — the only internet-based casino approved by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the province’s gambling regulatory body. However, the government released a discussion paper in 2020 that provides a model to open up online gambling in Ontario, allowing more online casinos to enter the scene.
This guide will walk you through all the essentials you need to know to get started with online slots. We’ll go over the best slots to play in the Heartland Province and help you find the juiciest bonuses to enhance your spinning experience.
All Online Slot Games
Types of online slots you can play in Ontario
OLG.ca, the online arm of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., features a rich slots library with 150+ titles in a variety of shapes and sizes. The selection is diverse, but we can break it down into three main categories: design, gameplay complexity and underlying mechanics. Let’s tackle each type separately:
- Classic slots: Classic slots are reminiscent of vintage Vegas slot machines that reigned supreme in land-based casino floors in the ’90s. They offer straightforward gameplay and minimalistic design, usually containing three reels and one or five paylines at the most. These timeless classics are typically themed around fruits and rarely have bonus extras. Due to their simplicity and ease of play, classic slots are probably best suited for beginners and casual players. There are plenty of options from this niche for Ontario players — Twenty Seven, Triple Diamond, Red Hot Tamales and Red White & Blue, to name a few.
- Video slots: Video slots are modern incarnations of classic slots and represent the driving force of the online gambling industry. Present in every theme imaginable, video slots boast engaging gameplay, advanced sound effects and gripping graphics that give reels an immersive experience. What’s more, video slots use interactive bonus elements, namely free spins, wilds and multipliers. Must-try releases from this niche include Road to Riches Free Spins, Foxin’ Wins, Raging Storms and Spartacus Megaways.
- Progressives: The appeal of progressive slots has grown over the last few years, mainly due to the monster payout potential these games offer. With a single spin, you can win prizes that can measure in the millions of dollars. Progressives feature a jackpot that accumulates over time, increasing each time someone places a real money wager. Once someone hits the grand prize, the jackpot meter resets to the base amount and grows progressively. If you want to chase the big bucks in Ontario, check out IGT’s collection of progressives from the Powerbucks series — Powerbucks Arctic Gems, Powerbucks Wheel of Fortune Exotic Far East and Powerbucks Wheel of Fortune Hawaiian Getaway.
High-profile online slot providers in Ontario
The online gambling sector in Ontario is still in its infancy, with OLG.ca being the only legal online casino available. That will change soon, as the provincial government has announced its commitment to establish a new online casino market in Ontario. Several big-name brands could end up entering the market, including BetMGM and DraftKings.
The expansion of the internet gambling market could also spur elite software providers to follow suit. This, in turn, would give slot fans from Ontario an even wider range of spinning possibilities. Here’s a list of upper-echelon slot manufacturers you’ll come across in Ontario online casinos:
- IGT slots: The legendary Las Vegas-based slot machine maker has a presence in Ontario and will provide many classic and video slots to online casinos in the province. IGT slot machines have wonderful graphics and rewarding bonuses, including massive jackpots. Among the popular releases are Da Vinci Diamonds, Solar Disc, Wolf Run and the MegaJackpots.
- Konami slots: Konami is a Japanese slot specialist that has created dozens of games, primarily focusing on Asian themes. The company’s online slot machines offer visually stunning graphics and thrilling gameplay. The five-reel, 30-payline China Shores is Konami’s flagship product, although Castlevania, Arabian Gold and Norse Warrior are also worth checking out.
- Barcrest slots: The brand started as a gambling terminal provider over 50 years ago and became one of the most high-quality providers in the industry. Since 2011, Barcrest has been operating as a subsidiary of Scientific Games. It pioneered the cascade reels feature that many of the biggest names in the business have adopted. Rainbow Riches and Monty’s Millions were Barcrest breakthrough releases, both of which have earned a cult status among slot buffs across the globe.
- WMS slots: Williams Interactive is an American powerhouse with a pedigree that stretches back to 1943. Scientific Games purchased it in 2013. Since then, it has operated under SG Digital’s umbrella. Montezuma Megaways is one of WMS’ crown jewels. Other gems include Zeus, Bruce Lee, Raging Rhino and Friends.
- SG slots: SG Digital is a division of Scientific Games, an online gambling juggernaut. It operates as a conglomerate that comprises several studios, including Bally, WMS and Shuffle Master. Its slots catalogue includes hits like Volts and Bolts, 88 Fortunes, Monopoly and The Wizard of Oz, brought together by its third-party suppliers and in-house developer team.
- NetEnt slots: Based in Sweden, NetEnt is an award-winning provider of first-class games that appear at some of the industry’s most elite casinos. NetEnt’s slots showcase captivating visuals and cool bonuses to keep players entertained for hours. Most NetEnt games boast a return-to-player rate of over 96%. Top-rated blockbusters include Blood Suckers, Immortal Romance, Starburst and Jimi Hendrix.
Where to play slots in Ontario
Canada’s most populous province is home to over 20 gambling facilities, most of which offer a full slate of real money slots. Therefore, if you’re looking for the authentic ambience of a land-based casino to spin the reels on your favourite slots in Ontario, here are a few suggestions:
- Gateway Casinos Sarnia — 1730 London Line, Sarnia. Owned by one of the largest entertainment companies in Canada, Gateway Casinos Sarnia features a gambling lounge with over 100 slots. You can try classics like Wheel of Fortune, Quick Hits, Dancing Drums and Lightning Link. Phone: 519-383-3732.
- Caesars Windsor Casino — 377 Riverside Drive E, Windsor. Caesars Windsor is owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment and Ontario Lottery and Gaming. Players will find over 2,600 slot machines at the venue, including a couple of fan-favourites like Sherlock Holmes, Triple Diamond Deluxe and Lock It Link. Phone: 800-991-7777.
- Casino Rama Resort — 5899 Rama Road, Orillia. Casino Rama Resort is an upscale gambling complex that is home to over 2,500 slot machines. Phone: 800-832-7529.
Important parameters when choosing an online slot
If you want to increase your chances of winning, you should get familiar with a few common slot terms. It’s important to learn the inner workings of these games. Moreover, you’ll want to learn what indicates how much and how frequently an online slot pays out. Let’s dive in:
- RTP — Stands for “return to player” and represents a measure of how much a slot will pay back to players in the long run, expressed as a percentage. RTP is the direct opposite of the house edge, which is the portion of players’ bets the casino keeps as profit. With high-paying online slots, the RTP should sit at around 96%.
- Hit frequency — This figure indicates the frequency at which a player can expect to hit a payout combination on a given slot. On average, hit frequency hovers around 20% to 30%.
- Volatility — Volatility or “variance” expresses the degree of risk inherent to a specific slot. It basically shows the risk-reward ratio. Highly volatile slots can dish out bigger prizes, but they can go through long dry spells, as well. On the other side of the spectrum are low volatility slots, which pay out more frequently, but with lower rewards.
Claim online slot bonuses in Ontario
Online casinos have several advantages over their land-based counterparts, one of which is bonuses and promotions. These incentives can stretch your bankroll and extend your playing time, thus offering more chances to win.
The exact promotional lineup will vary from one online casino to another. Whichever you decide to sign up with, though, you’ll likely receive a welcome bonus that may include a deposit matching bonus and possibly even a free spins package.
Deposit matching bonuses mainly are for newcomers. With them, the casino will match a percentage of your deposit up to a certain amount.
You can use the free spins on selected slots from a specific provider. Online casinos typically require players to use their online slots free spins within a certain length of time. They’ll also impose a cap on free spin winnings.
Once you use up the welcome bonus, you’ll be able to reap other benefits down the road that may take the form of reload bonuses, rebates or prize contests.
Top-tier casino brands also run loyalty programs, which give you access to more significant benefits and perks.
Always read the terms and conditions
As amazing as these bonuses can be, they come with a few strings. These are rules you must comply with to convert bonus cash into withdrawable money successfully. While shopping for the best bonuses in Ontario, it’s essential to become familiar with the casino’s bonus policy.
Wagering requirements are the most important part of those rulebooks. They determine how much of the bonus money you need to spend to gain withdrawal approval. The good news is that online slots for real money generally have a 100% contribution toward completing the playthrough. The same isn’t true for table and card games.
Playing slots for free in Ontario
As a registered member of an online casino in Ontario, you’ll be able to take your favourite slots for a test drive without having to pay a dime. In addition, playing free online slots in demo mode is a great way to get the feel of a game. And once you get the hang of the fundamentals, you can put that knowledge to test in real money mode.
Closing thoughts: Ontario slots
Once the online casino market in Ontario reaches its full potential, slots aficionados in the province will have a variety of choices. Some of the biggest industry names will compete for a share of the market with robust slot libraries. Moreover, these online casinos will provide bonuses to attract new players and retain existing ones. And now that you are more familiar with online casino slots, you’ll be able to put those offers to good use and make the spinning experience even more enjoyable.