Coolbet, the popular online sportsbook, has recently announced that it will be departing from the Ontario market in the coming weeks. The company had been offering its services in the Canadian province for a year, operating under an iGaming Ontario (iGO) license. Prior to that, Coolbet had only been available to Ontario residents through a license from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).
To prepare for its departure, Coolbet has initiated a transition process that will occur in several steps. On March 21st, the company will turn off all deposit options, and customers with low balances will be able to choose either remaining funds on bets or withdrawing all of their money. The minimum amount that can be withdrawn is $1 when using Interac and $0.01 when using Trustly.
Next, on March 22nd, Coolbet’s casino and sportsbook will close. Any unsettled bets, including futures and parlays, will be voided and refunded if the outcome is still unknown. If any part of a parlay has an unknown outcome, the odds will be set to 1.00.
Finally, on April 3rd, Coolbet will shut down its website and mobile app in Ontario. The company has stated that it will fully unlock any bonus funds from wagering requirements on March 23rd.
In a farewell statement, Coolbet expressed its gratitude to its customers in Ontario and encouraged them to continue betting responsibly.
Ontario’s online sports betting industry is facing uncertainty following the announcement of a major operator’s departure from the market. As a result, there are questions about who will be the next to exit this emerging and competitive iGaming market in Canada’s most populous province.
The Province of Ontario is one of the few territories in the Great White North that has opened up the online gambling market to private-sector operators. This experiment has attracted a multitude of operators, with the number of mobile apps and websites increasing from 17 to over 70 in just a year. However, Coolbet’s departure and the crowded market have led to speculation about further exits.
Although some operators may decide to leave, there are a few factors that could encourage them to stay. Ontario is unique in that it allows operators to offer both legal sports betting and online casino gambling, which typically has better profit margins. Operators can also deduct the value of free bets and other promotions they offer customers, giving them relief from the 20% revenue share with the government.
Despite these advantages, operators in Ontario’s iGaming market must pay a significant percentage of their revenue and regulatory fees. This could be challenging for smaller operators, and operators associated with publicly traded companies are under pressure to prove profitability. Furthermore, there was a thriving “grey market” for online gambling in Ontario before the regulated market opened, which means that some customers may be reluctant to switch to new operators.
While there are reasons that will keep iGaming companies in Ontario, there are reasons why they could leave as well. It remains to be seen whether more operators will exit this emerging and competitive market.