Restrictions lifted, calls for control of online casinos

As Ontario reveals its plan to lift Covid restrictions, the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, which operates 12 casinos in the province, is pushing for casinos to be allowed to take control of legal online betting.

The Ontario government has announced its plan to reopen casinos and revise sports venue capacity limits. According to a statement, casinos are allowed to reopen at 50% capacity on January 31, while sports venues can increase capacity to 50% on February 21.

The final plan is to remove all capacity limits for casinos and sports venues by March 14.

Proof of Covid vaccination and masks will be mandatory at the entrance to casinos and sports venues in the province, and no end date has been announced for these measures.

It’s also unclear whether customers will be allowed to enjoy food and drink while attending games once the doors open to the public again.

At the same time, the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation is lobbying against the launch of Ontario’s private market for online gambling and sports betting, and urging the province to allow casinos to take control of online betting. legal line.

According to Great Canadian Gaming, online sites are “cannibalizing” the profits of land-based casinos. The company released a report that predicted about 2,600 lost casino jobs and C$2.8 billion (US$2.23 billion) less in tax revenue over five years – if Ontario is to open up markets as expected.

At the same time, other Canadian players in the iGaming space consider the Great Canadian report to be based on a false argument, as the market is already invaded by foreign-owned gray market gaming companies.

Benjie Levy, president and chief operating officer of theScore, now owned by Penn National, said, “We’re not seeing job losses and we’re seeing the market as a whole growing.”