Play' n Go and LeoVegas secure licenses for Ontario's iGaming Market
March 16, 2022
The supplier licenses to Ontario for Swedish games developer, Play' n Go, and LeoVegas have been approved by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario or AGCO.
Expected to debut on April 4, Play'n Go and LeoVegas will be able to work with operators in Ontario's newly regulated gaming market.
Simultaneously, other AGCO's registered gaming operators that have signed an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario (iGO), the commission's subsidiary, can also begin selling their games to players in the Canadian province.
"Regulated markets are vital not just to Play'n Go's business strategy, but to the industry as a whole; they ensure a safe gaming environment for players, and operators can focus on providing a fun and entertaining experience that is truly sustainable," said Magnus Olsson, chief commercial officer for Play'n Go.
"Ontario is an important province representing some 40% of the population of Canada, and we look forward to players there enjoying our games."
"Over recent years, the LeoVegas brand has become the third most well-known casino brand in the Canadian market, and Royal Panda has shown strong growth – a clear sign that the mobile gaming experience we offer is appreciated by North American customers," said Gustaf Hagman, CEO of LeoVegas Group.
The next and final step for LeoVegas is to reach an operating deal with iGO. It will offer casino, live casino, and betting under the LeoVegas and Royal Panda brands once this is accomplished.
New regulated market
The regulator has now released a handbook "to assist internet gaming companies in submitting registration applications". This document lays out plans to "take decisive action in collaboration with law enforcement to address any remaining uncontrolled Ontario market activity".
Furthermore, after they have completed their registration, these enterprises must "terminate any association they may have with another company that operates in the unregulated market in Ontario".
Any operator who registers after April 4 but continues to operate in Ontario without a license beyond the deadline or has a business relationship with one who does, faces the possibility of their registration application being denied.
“The opening of Ontario’s regulated market is exciting and an important milestone in Play’n GO’s North America journey. We look forward to supporting our partners in Ontario from 4 April onwards,” said Sissel Weitzhandler, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer for Play’n GO.
Regulations behind the licensed iGaming
Ontario has followed the lead of the Netherlands to ask operators to leave the unregulated market in order to get a license. Several providers, including 888, Kindred, Entertain, Casumo, Betsson, and LeoVegas, withdrew after the Dutch government declared its position.
After the provincial government announced plans to break the lottery's online gambling monopoly in April 2019, the introduction of licensed iGaming in Ontario came after almost three years of development. The government filed laws in 2020 to establish a licensing system.
The province published its final online betting and gaming regulations in September 2021. Under this regulation, auto-play is prohibited in online gambling, and slot machines must spin at a minimum speed of 2.5 seconds.