Online gaming in Ontario: Unibet, FanDuel and RSI, the new owner of Run It Once Poker, receive licenses



The Toronto skyline is seen at night.  The CN Tower and skyscrapers rise from the shore of Lake Ontario.  Bright and neon-lit Ontario, Canada's largest province, is set to launch its new regulated iGaming marketplace on April 4th.

James Wheeler / Pexels, Pexels

Three weeks away from regulated online poker, casino games and sports betting in Ontario commissioning, added provincial regulators seven other iGaming operators to its list of licensees – some of whom may be planning to offer online poker when markets open on April 4.

Although the province has yet to officially announce a tax rate, one of the operators who will receive a license this week said he expects Ontario to eventually levy a 20% tax rate on gross gaming revenue (GGR).

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Last check: March 2022

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From 11 a.m. East Monday, March 14, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario website (AGCO) lists 13 licensed operators. The seven that have been added in recent days include:

For poker enthusiasts, the addition of Unibet and BetRivers could be a source of excitement — the first because it already offers poker across Canada on a worldwide licensed platform, and the second for the recent acquisition of Roll it once in poker (Rio) by its parent company Rush Street Interactive (IRS). Neither operator has announced plans for online poker in the province.

betrivers online sports betting online casino ontario games pre-registration pageROI Bet Rivers The brand offers online casino games and a bookmaker. IRS received its Internet gaming operator’s license on Wednesday, six days after the announcement of the acquisition of the Rio platform and integrated its development team in $5.8 million cash and stock transaction.

IRS said he was working with the AGCO to meet all remaining regulatory requirements and plans to launch BetRivers in Ontario on April 4. Before entering the market, BetRivers created a pre-registration page for players to add their email address and receive updates on the launch of its online casino and sportsbook products.

Meanwhile, Unibeta brand owned by the Kindred group, has its current website for Canada. A pop-up message to all visitors advises that Ontario player registration will soon be deactivated; when it goes live in the province, existing accounts will have the option to migrate to the new site.

The operator was licensed by the AGCO last Thursday. In the United States, players know Unibet best for its sportsbook, which operates in six states — Arizona, Indiana, IowaNew Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

FanDuel received its license for online casino games and sports betting from the AGCO Friday.

European operators also receive iGaming license from Ontario

Four European operators also received licenses at the end of last week.

the AGCO granted a license to LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Groupa subsidiary of the Swedish LeoVegas AB, for its LionVegas and king panda brands. The subsidiary said it applied for both licenses during its Q4 2021 investor presentation on Feb. 11.

The 13 operators who have received Ontario iGaming licenses, as of March 14, 2022

Licensed Mark Date of issue
Limited Schedule LotoGo 1st of March
Cool Bear Ontario Coolbet March 11
FanDuel Canada FanDuel March 11
Fitzdares Canada Limited Fitzdares March 10
LeoVegas Gaming APIs LionVegas March 10
NSUS Limit WSOP March 2
PointsBet Canada PointsBet February 3
Rivalry Ontario Rivalry 8 March
Royal Panda Limited king panda March 10
Rush Street Interactive Bet Rivers March 9
Numerical score the score bet February 4
Unibet Quebec Unibet March 10
VHL Ontario Limited 888 1st of March

In one legal update of its quarterly report for the fourth quarter of 2021, LeoVegas said it was “one of many operators” to have participated in discussions with provincial regulators about the structure of Ontario’s new gaming regime.

“The tax rate should end at 20%, calculated by GGR“, said LeoVegas.

Although LeoVegas does not currently operate in the United States, it does have a launch of a market access agreement with Caesars in New Jersey. She also plans to launch her Blue Guru game studio in the United States in 2022. In its fourth quarter presentation, LeoVegas said it hopes to gain “valuable knowledge and experience from Canada as it expands into the United States.”

Fitzdares and Coolbet also received licenses. Fitzdares is a private bookmaker based in London, while Coolbet is headquartered in Estonia. Coolbet is licensed to operate in Estonia, Malta and Sweden and offers products in the online poker, casino and sports betting verticals.



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