Ontarians will soon be able to safely gamble from the comfort of their homes after the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) announced today it had selected a vendor to run it's internet gambling program.
The OLG said the online program would be launched in phases towards the end of this year, with lottery and casino-style games available to legal-aged residents of the province.
"The move into internet gaming is an exciting step in OLG's modernization," said Rod Phillips, president and CEO of OLG.
As part of the Crown corporation's new online offerings, lottery enthusiasts will be able to purchase LOTTO 6/49, LOTTO MAX, and ENCORE tickets through the PlayOLG.ca website.
UK-based Spielo G2 won the bid through a "competitive" procurement process to provide the OLG with the casino games that will include slots, video poker games, and table games.
"Subsequent phases will include bingo, sports wagering, online poker and the introduction of other new products," the OLG said in its release.
Phillips called Spielo G2 an "experience company" that would "help OLG provide an interactive gaming experience that will be a secure option."
As part of the betting system, players will have the option to take breaks from games, and manage their online play with spending limits.
$375-million to province
Last year, then Ontario finance minister Dwight Duncan announced a massive overhaul to gambling in the province that promised to bring an estimated $1.3 billion in new revenue.
The OLG estimates its new internet gaming venture would likely contribute $375-million to the province over the first five years.
By comparison, the province estimates Ontarians are currently spending roughly $400-million annually on mostly-offshore websites.
Internet gambling is currently regulated in seven other provinces, including: British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, P.E.I., and Quebec.
Earlier this week Ontario’s auditor general was tasked with probing parts of the OLG’s controversial expansion, including online gaming.