We’re thrilled to be licensed…and can’t wait to hit the market when it officially opens.Global online gaming giant 888 Assets – the parent company of 888poker, casino and sports – will be be ready with a full list of online games in Ontario next monthincluding online pokerrevealed the company.
In a press release on Thursday, the company said it was “among the first operators” to obtain an iGaming license from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) which, in parallel with iGames Ontario (iGO), supervises new regulated online gaming market in Ontario.
This is the first confirmation from any operator that they hope to launch regulated online poker in Ontario next month.
“The newly regulated market is expected to launch on April 4, with 888 ready to offer its leading, innovative and content-rich casino, sports and poker products to players located across the province, all powered by its proprietary technology,” the company said.
Learn more about Ontario online poker in our complete guide for players »
888poker Ontario could be ready on April 4
Although there were few additional details, the press release certainly suggests that he plans to launch 888poker Quebec on the regulated market when it opens in a month.
Ontario represents an attractive long-term growth opportunity for 888 and this is an extremely important strategic step for us.“We are delighted to have obtained a [license] speak AGCO and I can’t wait to launch it in the market when it officially opens,” said 888 CEO Itai Pazner. “As a group, we are focused on strengthening our presence and offering to clients in the main regulated markets. To that end, Ontario represents an attractive long-term growth opportunity for 888 and this is an extremely important strategic step for us.
This would represent the fifth such network for 888 worldwide — He operates a global online poker room on 888poker.com, a European network with players in Spain and Portugal, and a separate Italian poker room. In the United States, its platform powers the various WSOP PA in addition it runs on the 888/WSOP network across New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware.
Its software should also be used for launching a WSOP Michigan soon, with the hope that she and the WSOP Pennsylvania room will be able to combine with the larger US network in due course.
Existing and upcoming online poker networks powered by 888
|888poker Europe||Spain and Portugal||active|
|888/WSOP United States||Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware||active|
|WSOP MID||Michigan||Coming soon|
|888 Ontario||Ontario||Coming soon|
Other poker operators expected in the Ontario online gaming market
Although the first to officially announce plans to launch online poker in Ontario next month, 888 Holdings is not the first company to confirm receipt of a license. Earlier in February, USGR reported that there were 30 license applicants. BetMGM said it set to go live in Canada in April. Based in Toronto the score bet noted he had received approval in February. Another local business, Rivalry Corpand Australian bookmaker Pointsbetalso confirmed their approval.
While no other online poker operators have confirmed they have received a license, PokerStars has indicated that it is also actively seeking a PokerStars Ontario license, although launch timelines are unclear.
Entertainment Caesars has mentioned in the past that it expects it “to be among the best positioned operators in Ontario”. Although the company didn’t specifically mention poker, as the parent company of the dominant company World Series of Poker mark, this could definitely be on the cards.
In effect, the idea of a WSOP Ontario is only strengthened by today’s news of the 888 demand. As noted, the pair have a longstanding partnership in the United States that could certainly be extended north of the border.
Other potential candidates include GGPoker and partypokerthough the two currently remain tight-lipped about their plans.
Possible timeline for the launch of regulated online poker in Ontario
The go-live date is fast approaching — April 4th is only a month away. Much is still unknown about online gambling in Ontario. It is well understood that regulations are still being developed — the operators’ tax rate has not even been disclosed, at least not publicly.
However, assuming these 11-hour attempts to disrupt the timeline fail, the Ontario regulators seem determined to move forward with an April 4 launch – but the good news is that the regulator has made it clear that it wants to avoid any sort of “blackout” period in the market.
As discussed in detail in pokerfuse’s exclusive guide to online poker in Ontario, operators who applied for a license before April 4, should be able to continue operating in the market while their applications are being considered. Once their licenses are granted, the regulator wants to work with the operators to ensure a smooth transition from offshore online poker sites to Ontario licensed online poker sites.