As the Online Gaming markets open in Ontario, we have worked hard to find partners who aligned with both our vision for innovation and our values including a shared commitment to responsible gaming. The province of Ontario, Canada is now offering players the chance to partake in legal, safe, and regulated online poker, casino gaming, and sports betting — thanks to the market relaunching on April 4, 2022.
PokerStars has not gone live in Ontario just yet, but the operator has said that it is “getting closer” to launching and we expect it will get the necessary licenses needed to offer regulated casino games and online poker to players in the province.
Last week, PokerStars and sister-brand FanDuel (which are both owned by Flutter Entertainment) signed a deal with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) that will position FanDuel Sportsbook Ontario as the brand’s official sports betting partner while PokerStars and Stars Casino will become the official iGaming partners.
MLSE is the parent company of some of the biggest sports teams in Ontario, including:
- The NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs
- The NBA’s Toronto Raptors
- Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC
- The Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts
The partnership will allow PokerStars & FanDuel branding to be seen rink side and on-court and will allow the gambling brands to integrate into the marketing efforts already underway at each sports team. This partnership will increase the visibility of the gambling brand to Ontarian sports fans and, as such, measures need to be in place so that would-be gamblers understand the risks involved.
Ontario’s Stringent Responsible Gambling Requirements
Luckily, in order to launch a sportsbook, poker room, or online casino in Ontario, a stringent list of responsible gambling measures must be met. For instance, the regulator in Ontario, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), states that there must be “easy and obvious ways to set gaming limits” at every licensed operator’s platform.
At a base level, in order to launch every operator in the province must offer players:
- The opportunity to set loss and deposit limits during registration.
- Deposit Limits: This limits how much money can be deposited on a site during a selected period of time.
- Loss limits: A threshold for how much a player is prepared to lose. Once this figure is hit, the player will be forced to sit out of the action until the predetermined amount of time has passed.
- Time Limits: These control how much time a player can spend logged into the site or app.
- Gaming Limits: This limits how many games can be played.
“As the Online Gaming markets open in Ontario, we have worked hard to find partners who aligned with both our vision for innovation and our values including a shared commitment to responsible gaming,” said Jordan Vader, Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships, MLSE.
With this in mind, it is safe to say that PokerStars Casino Ontario will come with all these tools baked into the software, as it is a prerequisite for any licensed operator before going live.
Responsible Gambling Tools at PokerStars Casino Ontario
Looking at the PokerStars Casino responsible gambling page, there are a few more ways that players can stay safe when logged onto the online gambling site.
- Self-Exclusion: PokerStars Casino offers players the means to ban themselves from being able to play on the site. This can be between 1 year, 5 years, or a lifetime ban.
- Guidance on Problem Gambling: PokerStars provides links to external resources and assistance that players can receive if struggling with problem gambling behaviors, such as compulsive gambling or gambling beyond their means.
- Risk Identification: This is an inbuilt system that monitors if a player is exhibiting problem gambling behavior and, if red flags go off, PokerStars will intervene before allowing the player to continue to gamble.
- Player Verification: This helps ensure a player is who they say they are and confirms that they are legally allowed to play on the site. Age verification checks and identity checks will also be carried out in some cases.