Ontario Seeking to Allow International iGaming Players

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The Ontario iGaming market, which includes online casino and poker sites, is making a push to expand outside of the province’s borders. There is a Court of Appeal hearing scheduled for November to determine whether is legal to allow international players to sign up at Ontario online poker sites.

The move, if approved, would allow online poker sites (where you can win real money) including GGPoker and PokerStars to share its liquidity with international markets. What’s interesting is that this move could also play a factor in Quebec and Alberta overhauling their current iGaming setups.

The Key Takeaways

Ontario broke ground when it became the first (and only) province in Canada with a regulated online casino gaming and sports betting marketplace. Now, it is looking to expand its reach but not within Canada.

A hearing in November will determine whether online poker sites in Ontario will be allowed to accept registered users from around the world. The move would appeal to licensed online poker sites in Ontario, but there is one interesting note.

Sites would need to be legally recognized in any country in which it accepts players. For international sites like PokerStars, that will be less of an issue. For others, its international reach will be severely limited.

The goal is to grow the player pool and drive revenues (and taxes) for both operators and the province. Perhaps the most interesting part of this is the potential future impact it could have. It has been speculated that Quebec and Alberta could completely overhaul their iGaming setups, especially if this measure passes.

Hearing Scheduled for November

Ontario AG Doug Downey initially filed an Order in Council on February 2. His goal is to have the courts to decide whether it will be legal for Ontario iGaming to allow bettors outside of Canada to join poker sites.

A hearing on the matter has been scheduled, but it is not until November 26, ending November 28. Interested parties will have until April 8 to submit all legal materials as it relates to the case. Sites would be able to lawfully pool their Ontario player pool together with players from all around the world, though only in places where the site’s international license is enough to operate in a legal way.


There is still quite some time until the hearing to determine the legality of this move. It could potentially open up even larger doors for revenue into the province, while also creating larger prize pools for the players themselves. It could also set a legal precedent on the matter for other provinces and territories in Canada.

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Sport Bettors Still Waiting for OLG to Pay Out the Winnings

Sport Bettors Still Waiting for OLG to Pay Out the Winnings

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is going through an affair related to its sports betting platform, Proline. As per Carl Zhou, one of the bettors, he hasn’t been able to claim any of his winnings for four weeks now. 

Win without reward:

Zhou registered on the platform in November when the company was running a promotion. According to the residents of Mississauga, he was betting on basketball, hockey, and football games, and his bets were successful. After he tried to claim his winnings, it was unsuccessful, despite all of the paperwork and chats with customer service he submitted. 

He commented: “I’m a little bit disappointed at the lack of response that I’ve been getting. Usually … if you have a problem with this type of issue, you report it to some like, government entity. But in this case, this is the government.”

Zhou isn’t the only customer who hasn’t received its rewards yet. Since February, a lot of players haven’t received their winnings. OLG commented on this, saying that the issue occurred because of the huge number of players that registered and the platform hasn’t been able to verify their accounts, since the interest prior to the Super Bowl was enormously increased. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is supposed to verify the bank accounts of potential players, and the Commission is running late.

However, according to an industry expert, the company hasn’t been able to adapt and compete with other operators.

As CBC News reports, OLG didn’t want to share the number of people who were affected by the crisis, as well as the number of people who registered before the Super Bowl.

An issue with verification:

Tony Bitonti, OLG’s spokesperson, said: “We appreciate the patience and understanding of our customers while we work diligently to review and subsequently verify bank accounts as quickly as possible. OLG prides itself on always paying its winners and also carefully complying with regulatory standards.”

The company was running various deals in the previous few months, and one of them invited the players to register because they could potentially win more than $500 in bonuses if they placed a bet worth $50.

Val Strambu from Waterloo, decided to make a Super Bowl bet after the promotion was announced. He won more than $1.000, but he still hasn’t received the money. He claimed that the company hasn’t had any issues with taking his money, and added: “You took my money. You should be able to pay me back the same way.” 

According to Michael Naraine, a sports management professor at Brock University, the verification of banking information is required in order to prevent the funds being used to supply organized crime and criminals. He explains that the verification isn’t required when the deposits are placed, since there’s no concern that the money would be used for anything besides placing the bets.

He added: “The probability is the consumer’s going to lose that money and the money’s going to stay within the ecosystem. It’s once they’re trying to withdraw that money out of the ecosystem … the operators have to dot their I’s and cross their T’s as it relates to where’s this money going.”

It is known that OGL, a Crown’s corporation, has fewer resources than other private operators. However, this move will affect the image of the brand and might drive customers away

Naraine thinks that OLG can’t keep up with the current market, despite its profit going back to funding the community.

While waiting for his money, Zhou hopes to see a more transparent approach and regular updates on the issue. He claims that he won’t be using any of the OLG’s services until he receives what he won.

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US Gambling Legislation Roundup: Alabama, Minnesota, Maryland

Politician signing legislation

Lawmakers in multiple states have been considering gambling expansion bills over the past couple weeks and though sports betting tends to be the flavor du jour, the bills span an array of activities. No need for further rambling, let’s just get right into it.


There is quite the gulf between the two chambers of the Alabama legislature. In February, the House passed a pair of bills – and passed them quite easily – that would legalize the lottery, online and retail sports betting, and commercial casinos.

shadows of what the House passed

The Senate passed the bills, as well, but decimated them in the process. Gone are sports betting and commercial casinos, leaving only a state lottery. The bills still permit pari-mutuel wagering on horse and dog racing and historical horse racing machines at seven venues as well as the chance for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians to negotiate a compact with the governor for up to three casinos, but overall, they are shadows of what the House passed.

So now it’s back to the House for the legislation. If the House does not vote in favor of the new versions of the bills – and it sounds like they won’t – the legislation will go to a conference committee comprised of three members of each chamber, who will try to bang out a compromise.


Senate Bill 1949, which aims to legalize sports betting, got through the Senate Taxes Committee, which amended it to increase the tax rate from 10% to 20%. Senators also strengthen its problem gambling provisions.

The biggest sticking point coming out of the committee was the banning of in-game betting. Citing customer safety, Sen. Jordan Rasmusson, the man who introduced the amendment, said it is “one common sense thing for us to adopt.”

On the other hand, Rep. Pat Garofalo, one of the leading proponents of sports betting legalization in the Minnesota Senate, believes prohibiting in-game better would kill the industry before it starts.

“It’s a poison pill— well-intentioned, I’m sure, by the advocates, but it would really be prohibitive,” he told the committee.


The Maryland House needs to work fast if it wants to keep the possibility of legalizing online casino gaming alive. On March 13, HB 1319 made it through the Ways and Means Committee, but for the bill to make it to the Senate, the House needs to pass it by Monday, March 18.

The committee increased the number of online casino licenses from 12 to 30 and banned the use of credit cards for deposits.

pledge 5% of the online gaming revenue to a “social equity” partner

Also added was a tiered licensing system in which the six casinos in the state could have up to three online gaming skins apiece. To get their first license, though, casinos would have to pledge 5% of the online gaming revenue to a “social equity” partner. Upping that pledge to 33% would make the second and third skins available.

The post US Gambling Legislation Roundup: Alabama, Minnesota, Maryland appeared first on Vegas Slots Online News.

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Nagasaki Ends Plans for Japan Integrated Resort

Person throwing paper into the trash

End of the road

It looks like Nagasaki will no longer be pursuing an integrated resort (IR) project. The prefectural government said in an assembly committee session on Wednesday that it won’t submit an administrative compliant review ahead of the March 27 deadline.

Japan’s central government rejected in December

It was pursuing an ambitious plan that Japan’s central government rejected in December largely due to doubts about some of the investors and uncertainty about the financing.

Lawmakers in the region said that making a second application would be “extremely difficult” as it would need to start from the beginning of the process to select a different IR operator and location. The plan was to work with Casinos Austria to develop land beside an existing theme park in Sasebo.

No coming back

Explaining its decision to reject the application, Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism questioned the certainty of the funding of the project as the potential investors did not provide “objective materials supporting the certainty of financing.” Credit Suisse was supposed to provide the funds before it fell into financial difficulty was acquired by UBS in March 2023 for US$3.2bn.

Nagasaki chose Casinos Austria over Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment and the France-based Groupe Partouche.

The ministry highlighted how the investors had changed significantly since the submission of the application in September and that it wasn’t comfortable proceeding with the original plan as a result. It also had concerns about the minimal plans for preventing rising rates of gambling addiction, as well as the viability of the location.

Nagasaki lawmakers estimated that the IR would attract 8.4 million visitors and generate ¥330bn (US$2.2bn) worth of economic benefit for the area each year. It invested about ¥1.1bn (US$7.4m) in putting together the proposal between fiscal year 2019 and 2023. Following the rejection at the end of last year, lawmakers in Nagasaki intended to review the plan and make the appropriate corrections.

Last prefecture standing

As a result of Nagasaki ending its pursuit of an IR project, Osaka will be the only city in Japan getting a casino. MGM Resorts International is heading up this project, which it hopes to open by the fall of 2030.

The central government in Japan legalized IRs in 2018, making three casino licenses are up for grabs.

It will be built on an artificial island and the expectation is that 20 million people will visit annually. The projected cost of the project is around ¥1.27trn (US$8.5bn). The central government approved the plan in April 2023 and said at the time that it would need additional time to consider Nagasaki’s proposal.

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