Ontario has just become the first province to open its legal gambling market to private internet gaming providers. As of April 4, 2022, Ontarians can play casino-style games online and place bets on sports, including single games, through sites regulated by iGaming Ontario. According to the provincial regulator, the launch of iGaming marks the triumph “of a legal internet gaming market” over “its previous grey market standing.” But as with all forms of gambling, this development has a dark side. It was only a matter of time before Ontario expanded its gambling market—not because of popular demand, but because the provincial government is addicted to gambling money and is eager to seize any opportunity to get more of it, regardless of the costs to the people it is supposed to protect.
This report provides the background of gambling in Ontario, outlines the new risks with iGaming and offers four policy options.