888poker Becomes First Online Poker Site to Launch in Ontario
- 888poker opened Ontario’s regulated online poker market on April 4
- PokerStars, WSOP.CA, and partypoker are expected to launch soon
- 17 iGaming domains have gone live since April 4
Ontario has officially opened its regulated online gaming market on April 4 and among the first operators to go live in the province was 888 which has launched its operations in all three verticals – online poker, online casino, and sportsbook.
Foreign companies can now operate in Ontario under its own licensing regime, which is a first for Canada. Around 12 operators have officially launched their iGaming services in the province on Monday, with an initial 17 domains recognized by iGaming Ontario, a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGO).
The province is expected to attract more operators and it comes as no surprise, given its huge market size. Ontario is home to approximately 14 million people, making it the most populous province in Canada.
888poker Now Live in Ontario
888poker can now take pride in becoming the first regulated online poker site to launch in Ontario, bringing a full slate of offerings including multi-table tournaments (MTTs), BLAST tournaments and SNGs. To register, Ontarians may visit 888poker.ca. The site uses CAD currency.
As previously announced, Ontario will initially be a segregated market, meaning players will not be allowed to compete with those outside the province. 888poker.ca will solely cater to players based in Ontario, separate from the global pool.
Other Major Operators Launching Soon
Other major online poker sites such as PokerStars, GGPoker, and partypoker have already been serving Canadians, including those in Ontario, through their offshore poker licenses. Since they have already begun the licensing process in Ontario, their operations continue as is, meaning players in Ontario can still play on these sites as part of the global pool. However, once the licensing process is completed, Ontarians will be isolated from the rest of the world.
Over the past few weeks, there had been a lot of buzz about the possibility of PokerStars launching in Ontario on Day 1 but that did not happen as the operator has yet to be granted its license by AGCO. The delay could be intentional, as the site will be hosting its popular spring festival SCOOP which kicks off in May and concludes in June.
WSOP.CA, which will be using the GGPoker software, was also among the big sites anticipated to deal its first virtual cards on April 4, but just like PokerStars, its launch has also been postponed.
Meanwhile, BetMGM has already gone live with its casino and sportsbook, with online poker left out which is understandable as the operator could still be waiting for its sister site partypoker to also go live in the province. Both are expected to merge their online poker player pools in Ontario, running under one network.