This week, the Canadian Gaming Summit found its way back to Toronto after an over 5-year hiatus from the city. The energy and optimism amoung the crowd of over 1,000 stakeholders could be compared to the dizzying early start-up days of digital advertising with palpable excitement and an upbeat outlook as Ontario hits the two-month mark since launching the regulated iGaming market in the province.
Three key themes stood out over the course of the Summit:
Momentum is Strong
With 16 operators/suppliers registered and live in Ontario and 40 in process, the industry is alive and well with no signs of slowing down. Organizations from all over the globe arrived with pen in hand to find out how they too can enter the market.
With the Auditor Generals’ latest claim that the competitive market for online casino and sports betting in Ontario is currently expected to generate around $75 million in revenue for the provincial government over the next three years, this horse has clearly left the stable.
Several speakers also predicted that other provinces will follow suit with national regulated iGaming expected in less than 5 years. IAB Canada is working with members to fully understand what the impact of this new vertical could have on the bottom line and is helping to support and navigate this new and potentially controversial territory for both publishers and the agencies who represent them.
Collaboration is Key
The relationships that have been built between regulators, operators, responsible gaming organizations, and other industry stakeholders is a case study in true teamwork. The non-prescriptive, principles based regulatory framework that the AGCO developed has been widely embraced and applauded for its allowance for flexibility. Conversations between regulators and operators are currently commonplace and representatives from AGCO even went so far as to accredit IAB Canada’s efforts to bring stakeholders together as the impetus for this incredible teamwork that exists today.
There have been many calls for more conversations like the ones we have hosted and, as such, we are working on assembling a series of discussions focused on this vertical in the coming weeks and months. If you have questions you would like answered please send them our way.
Grey is getting Washed Out
The transition period for operators to get themselves licensed is officially nearing its end. Across multiple panels and keynotes, regulators made it clear that the grey market will no longer be welcomed here and have encouraged those who are compliant to do their best to choose affiliate partners who only work with those who have followed the rules and for those who are not yet registered to either do so soon or leave the province. Fines are coming and we encourage any of our members who are still working with unregulated operators to do their part to support this responsible framework.
Our IAB Canada iGaming working group will be hosting the legal team from Osler on Thursday, June 16, 2022, as they take us through what has and hasn’t worked since launch and we would love to have you join us.