Internet-enabled computers and smartphones are routinely used to safely and securely send and receive email messages, make financial transactions, map driving routes and engage in social media. And, as of next summer, Ontarians will also be able to participate in online gaming in a secure environment through the OLG.
The OLG’s iGaming program will “offer Ontarians a safe, regulated and fun option for playing games of skill and chance online,” said OLG chair, Paul Godfrey.
The fact is, Ontarians are already seeking out online sites for gaming, spending an estimated $400 million each year at unregulated offshore websites that don’t benefit the province through taxation or fees.
“In its current form, Internet gaming in Ontario does not return proceeds to this province,” Godfrey said. “It does not create jobs here. It does not offer ways to protect minors or ensure they’re not gambling online. It doesn’t offer tools to support players to control and limit their play.”
The OLG’s iGaming program will change that. The site, which is scheduled to launch in the summer of 2013 and will be regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission, will require players to register in order to participate. The registration process will verify the age and identity of players, thereby protecting minors from accessing the website.
The site will also feature a comprehensive Responsible Gambling program, increased player protection, secure transactions and data privacy software.
The iGaming site will offer a full range of online gaming options, including online lottery tickets, slots, casino games and bingo played against the house, peer-to-peer poker, sports betting and other skill-based games.
Best of all, the iGaming program is estimated to deliver a $100 million increase in net profit to the province annually. So, while Ontarians are having fun online, either alone or with others, at home or on the go, they’ll benefit from the knowledge that the revenues generated will be invested in communities across the province.
Proceeds from casinos and lotteries support hospitals, athletes and more
Over its 37-year history as a provincial crown corporation, OLG has returned more than $36 billion to Ontario and Ontarians. In fact, by contributing nearly $2 billion per year in recent years, OLG has become the biggest source of non-tax revenue for the province.
Here’s a breakdown of how the funds generated in the year ending March 2012 were used:
The financial contributions of a casino in a city such as Brantford “exceeded expectations,” according to mayor Chris Friel.
“I don’t think anybody had any idea how much money we were going to be able to realize,” said Friel, noting that proceeds from the casino have been used to revitalize the city’s downtown core and build post-secondary institutions.