The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) issued the approval to PokerStars’ parent company TSG Interactive Canada; detailing that the licence is effective from 8 June 2022, expiring on 7 June 2024.
The decision will make PokerStars the latest business cleared to operate in the province following on from the launch of Ontario’s regulated online market on 4 April.
On the same day, the AGCO also issued a licence to Malta-based online casino and sports book Casumo through its parent company Pret Play – with the licence set to expire a year earlier than PokerStars’, on 7 June 2023.
The launch of the province’s regulated market was the culmination of three years of planning, after plans were set out for the abolition of Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s (OLG) legal monopoly on igaming in 2019.
Many operators secured licences before the launch day, such as Unibet, theScore, BetRivers, 888, PointsBet, LeoVegas, Bwin, Bet365, FanDuel, BetMGM and Caesars – while other brands such as DraftKings, Betway and BetVictor entered later.
AGCO published comprehensive final standards in September 2021: which included regulations on advertisements, minimum age requirements and outlines of integrity-related roles. The standards for igaming involved a number of game-design related rules, while those for betting require operators to join an integrity body.