After its launch, Ontario’s open iGaming market opened for third-party operators has experienced significant growth. However, one operator’s recent departure caused quite a stir. In conjunction with this, the market’s regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, well-known as AGCO, emphasized that leaving operators must adhere to specific exit regulations.
One of the regulator’s requirements is that players’ funds must be handled appropriately. Also, players, subject to authorization, must be allowed to withdraw funds from their accounts in a timely manner and accurately. In addition, when player accounts are deactivated, users must be allowed to recover any balance owed to them.
However, settling wagers can be more subjective than refunding money to bettors. That can be especially challenging for users who hold a digital ticket for a potentially winning futures bet that will not be decided until after an operator has shut down.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the regulatory body for iGaming in the province, recently issued a reminder about the regulations that govern how operators should exit the market. This statement followed an announcement by Coolbet that it would be suspending its services in the province. The operator ceased its online casino and sportsbook platform in the province on Wednesday and plans to go completely offline by April 3, 2023. Ontario’s online gambling and sports betting market commenced operations on April 4, 2022, and has since attracted over seventy enterteining websites. It is worth mentioning that all of them are currently operational.
AGCO requires that all iGaming standards in the province be met when an operator terminates its relationship with a player. That includes scheduled shutdowns and business closures. The commission works closely with operators to ensure that their departure does not in any way undermine the integrity of the gaming sector in the province.
Luckily Coolbet’s case is the only one in the province. Other active operators in Ontario have reassured their commitment to renewing their agreements with AGCO and iGO and continuing their operations.