The short answer to the big question is YES. But there are big changes coming. From April 4, 2022, PROLINE, Ontario’s lottery-run sportsbook will be joined by private companies. These brands, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, will be able to apply for mobile betting licenses and offer their online products to the Ontario public.
Sportsbooks such as PointsBet Ontario and theScore Bet Ontario have already signalled that they will be welcoming online bettors from that date. But there will be plenty more getting ready to launch in time.
But for people familiar with the way North American betting markets work, there are a few crucial differences in the way the Ontario privatized sports betting industry will be run.
Firstly, only those 19 years or older will be able to open mobile sportsbook accounts. Any 18-year-olds will have to make do with a retail betting option. Placing bets on minor leagues will also be prohibited.
One interesting new regulation concerning Ontario sports betting is that any operations mimicking financial products or markets are not allowed either. This is to combat the idea of betting being an investment rather than gambling.
Another big difference with other betting markets is that sportsbooks will not be allowed to use bonuses to advertise themselves. This is very popular in other regions, but it won’t be allowed in Ontario.
These restrictions will force the new Ontario privatized sports betting companies to build their customer bases in a completely different way to sportsbooks in other countries.
Retail sports betting has been legal in Ontario for years and is unlikely to drastically change in the short term. PROLINE is the only option available and will continue to offer sports betting in a retail setting.
The new regulations only relate to online operations in Ontario and it is not thought that any of the new sportsbooks will open retail operations. But Ontario should probably get ready for an influx of online betting firms looking for new customer account holders.