Gambling in Ontario

As one of the most liberal states in Canada when it comes to gambling, Ontario has a lot to offer. In 1985, Canadian law made it possible for every province to control its gaming industry. As a result, the province soon became a hub for many land-based casinos. In addition to casinos, several other gambling options are available for players.

History of gambling in Ontario

Betting culture in Ontario started in 1985. This was an age before internet gaming and when there were few gambling options in the province. In 1989, the first casino in Canada opened in Winnipeg, and it wasn’t long before Ontario followed suit. Within a couple of years, Casino Windsor, the first commercial casino in Ontario, brought gambling culture to the province. The success of Casino Windsor resulted in many more casinos including Casino Rama and the Fallsview Casino.

However, with the increased popularity of the internet, people started playing at home instead of visiting casinos, and the land-based casino visitor numbers dropped. As a result of this, the Ontario government turned its attention to the world of online gambling. It is one of the few provinces that has launched a government-run online casino — In August 2021, it legalized more than fifteen sportsbooks to operate within the province.

Is gambling legal in Ontario?

After establishing an open market, the province now has multiple legal sportsbooks from which you can choose. The province only allowed those online bookmakers who registered and signed an agreement with iGaming Ontario. Only they can offer their products and services to the public. Ultimately, this means more safe and legal online options for players. Hence, providing customers with more choice and variety in addition to the OLG site. However, you have to be 19+ to gamble at any Ontario licensed casino.

Popular gambling games in Ontario

Players can try their luck at a variety of casino games. Slot machines are extremely popular, and most of Ontario’s online casinos cater to this demand. They provide a diverse selection of slot games, ranging from classic titles to more contemporary options.

Of course, if you prefer table games, you’ll have plenty of options. The following are some of the most popular casino games in the province:

  1. Blackjack
  2. Online Slots
  3. Roulette
  4. Texas Hold’em
  5. Video Poker

And if you love betting on sports, here are some of the most popular sports Ontarians love betting on:

  1. NHL Hockey
  2. NFL Football
  3. MLB Baseball
  4. NBA Basketball
  5. MLS Soccer

Is online gambling legal in Ontario?

In Canada, betting falls under the authority of the federal Criminal Code of Canada. And, as previously mentioned, each province and territory is responsible for its own gambling regulations. Hence, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLGC) is in charge of gaming operations in the province. These include provincial lottery games, charity, aboriginal casinos, slot machines at racetracks, and commercial casinos.

Benefits of gambling in Ontario

On the whole, gambling has created a net positive impact on the province and citizens of Ontario. Millions of dollars have been donated to government programs through the government-run online casino, In 2021, according to, they gave $23 million in charitable gaming proceeds to local charities and an additional $1 million in sponsorships. The donations also went towards helping the community. Hospital operations, gambling prevention and treatment, and amateur sports initiatives are beneficiaries. Another benefit is the creation of jobs with Ontario projecting 1,295 new jobs in the gambling sector in Q2 of 2022.

Drawbacks of gambling in Ontario

However, one has to bear in mind some negative aspects of gambling Ontario. The most common long-term consequences are financial, mental health issues, and bankruptcy due to gambling dependency. Moreover, mental health issues lead to depression and suicidal thoughts. In addition to this, the legalization of gambling makes it easy to launder money through casinos.

Always gamble responsibly

Ontario’s government has always taken the matter of responsible gambling seriously. This is why it has PlaySmart Centres located throughout the province. PlaySmart Centres can be found on-site at slot machines, casinos, and Charitable Bingo & Gaming Centre locations. Full-service or self-service areas are ideal for taking a break and learning more about how the games work. You can chat with the PlaySmart Centre’s friendly, professionally trained staff. If you’re experiencing gambling problems, you can get answers and talk with support professionals.


If you’re a player from Ontario, you have many online casino options you can try out. Also, with all of them being certified by the government’s regulatory body, you can rest assured that they are safe and legal. Plus, with many of them offering your favourite games and sports, you will enjoy your time betting. Moreover, keep in mind the benefits and drawbacks mentioned above before gambling. Overall, we hope that guide gave you a good understanding of gambling in Ontario.