Ontario has only now just gone forward with legalizing online gambling, so it’s too soon to tell just how successful Ontario’s entry into the online gambling world will be. If reports and conjecture is correct it could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to a province that is in dire need of a cash influx.
Online gambling at the OLG (Ontario’s Lottery and Gaming Corporation) website won’t replace the feeling of the real thing, but for hardcore gamblers and growing cross-sections of new bettors, it doesn’t have to be. It can be an addition to an already active gambling habit for players. What the online gambling site has started to do, according to OLG’s reports, is add a level of trust that hadn’t existed before due to the excess of many “suspect” gambling websites.
Ontario’s provincial government thinks it has an opportunity to tap into another source of revenue which once tapped should continue to flow, as gambling is something gamblers rarely step away from permanently. It is estimated that there are as many as half-a-million gamblers in Ontario who spend their money online and so the province is looking to rake in about $375 million in profit over the next five years, from their activity.
Ontario joined the trend a lot later than the other provinces. They sat down at the table where British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces were already playing. They already offer online gaming with casino-style games such as slots, blackjack, baccarat, poker and roulette; the most popular games online.
If you visit the site, OLG has put tutorials in the help section so Ontarians can learn how to play the various games and be good at them.
“When it comes to games of chance, they don’t get much more famous than roulette. And now that you’re interested in learning its ropes, your first step is really deciding which kind you want to play first,” one tutorial writes.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is claiming their online site is safe, regulated and everyone’s privacy is protected. There are also pre-set limits on how much people can gamble each week and how much time they can spend doing it, which sets up preventative measures for gamblers that might get carried away.
But local critics are still saying that online gambling will put vulnerable people at risk, and will encourage the youth of Ontario to gamble and could cause gambling addictions.
But the government has made it’s decision. They need to address a provincial deficit of more than $10 billion and they need every potential revenue stream they can tap into. Online gambling looks like it could be the answer the province has been waiting for. Actually, they are betting on it.