For months now there has been speculation across Ontario that the provincial government wants to get in on internet gaming, and those murmurs have only gotten louder since the BC lottery corporation launched its site last month. The speculation has grown over the past weeks, but it is now official. The Ontario Lottery Corporation (OLG) will officially expand its services to internet gaming as of 2012, with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission in charge of regulating the program.
By seeing other jurisdictions across Canada and in Europe already allowing online gaming, Ontario and its huge population, does not want to be left out in the cold of this potential huge cash cow. OLG Chairman, Paul Godfrey said that “Across Canada and around the world, online commerce is part of our everyday lives and OLG is excited to start the consultation process for online gaming and growing its marketplace in the future.” By waiting until 2012 to launch this operation, the Ontario government and the OLG can use this time to thoroughly work out potential problems, analyzing certain practices and consulting with experts to ensure they launch a high quality product.
We all know what happened last month when BC launched their online gaming site so soon after much hype. They just dove right in and within hours of launching it, officials were forced to shut it down based on unforeseen traffic issues and players being able to access others accounts. The OLG is ensuring that secure transaction methods and data privacy will be of the upmost importance when constructing their site to ensure that problems like the BCLC faced do not occur again. With Ontario’s population almost three times the size of British Columbia, traffic problems could not be afforded at all in OLG’s case.
With 18 months to decide on how to operate and run the site, OLG officials are not sure yet on exactly what types of games and gambling their offer, but they do know that poker is near the top of the list and will almost for sure be a part of the OLG site. As poker is taking off these days in Canada, the demand is there for the OLG to offer a card room, and they will easily get players.
Come 2012 expect the OLG to have a poker room giving Canadians another place to hone their poker skills on the virtual felt.