Don’t think this took too many by surprise, but at least it’s official…Ontario is going to follow the British Columbian government’s lead and get an online casino of their own up and running.
On Tuesday, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Chairman Paul Godfrey made the announcement that most in the media had speculated on since the launch of BCLC’s PlayNow casino – the OLG will launch an online casino available to Ontario adults by 2012.
“Across Canada and around the world, online commerce is part of our everyday lives and OLG is excited to start the consultation process for online gaming and growing its marketplace in the future. OLG’s Internet gaming program will stress responsible gaming while providing an enjoyable experience for Ontario players.” Godfrey told the Star’s Toronto edition.
As was the case in British Columbia, the Ontario government’s decision is largely motivated by the need to reduce a growing budget deficit – in their case $19.7 billion, as well as the realization that residents are playing online anyway so they may as well try and get a piece of the action. They’re expecting up to $400 million a year in additional tax revenue to be generated from the casino.
Hopefully they do a better job of the launch than BCLC did with PlayNow and they pick a platform that has live dealers!