PokerStars Is Planning Its Industry Debut In Ontario

Aware that Ontario will soon welcome the multi-billion dollar gaming sector, the largest gaming operators are making preparations to enter the market early in 2022. One such business is PokerStars, one of the biggest and most well-known rivals in the online poker room sector.

PokerStars plans to enter the newly regulated Ontario online gambling industry and provide its best-in-class offerings to the province in less than two months, according to a report from Pokerfuse.

Unexpected Growth in a Market


In a historic decision, the government of Ontario legalized iGaming in the province. Until this point, real money gaming activities in North America were heavily regulated to safeguard consumers.


Many eyes will be on Ontario in the coming months as it prepares to make history by becoming the first jurisdiction to run a private market for online betting and, according to some estimates, one of the largest gaming marketplaces in North America.


Since the early 1900s, gambling in Canada has been illegal unless it is regulated by the federal government or one of the provinces or territories. Several of these jurisdictions now run sizable lottery and casino operations and provide options for gambling over the internet.


Research suggests that the market share and control of these offshore companies in Canada are much larger and more extensive than expected, all because of a lack of specific provisions in the law allowing them to provide their services to gamblers in Canada with little, if any, repercussions.


In an effort to legally integrate and oversee these offshore gaming firms, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has opened an iGaming branch. Direct regulation would improve the effectiveness of responsible gambling measures to safeguard players, and licensing and taxation would allow the Ontario government to collect taxes from these previously untaxed “grey market” companies.


Market-Closing Fears

As the first jurisdiction in Canada to legalize online gambling, British Columbia will have to wait for the industry’s laws to catch up to the times. As a result, Pokerstars usually acknowledges the closed-market nature of the poker industry in Ontario for the time being.


While this may be cause for alarm in some circumstances, it is not an entirely novel phenomenon. The PokerStars network in Italy is restricted, but the company has successfully entered closed markets in other US states, including as Pennsylvania and New Jersey.


PokerStars decided that the closed network was a fair tradeoff, given that it would allow them to enter the Ontario market and become one of the first online poker sites to capture a sizeable portion of the province’s 15 million-person market.

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