Obtaining licenses for gambling activities, tax consultancy & planning, legal strategy, consultancy, legal opinions & reports, and incorporating companies in European jurisdictions without requiring the licensing of related activities.
Ontario Gambling License
Gambling online in Ontario has always been seen as a grey area in Canadian law when it comes to its legality. Especially so when considering the diverse opinions from around the world surrounding legal gambling.
With a gambling history that dates back to the 14ht century and is linked to the Canadian Criminal Code, which declared a ban on most gambling activities in 1892. The only exception to such a law was gambling in horse racing.
Canada has a rich history in gaming and Canadians enjoy the sport as much as any other country. In Fact, statistics show that 8 out of 10 Ontarian residents enjoy gambling on a regular basis.
Ontario is one of the provinces that has had its own regulations and rules in place since 1975. In May, the Ontario Lottery Corporation was created, with the first game legally offered being known as, Wintario. The Ontario Lottery Corporation would then be replaced by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) in April 2000.
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Gambling in Ontario only really took off when their first casino was built in 1993. It was named the Casino Windsor and brought with it the promise of many jobs and between $120 to $180 million in provincial revenue per year. Despite some nay-sayers, the casino was a roaring success which led to the opening of many more, including Casino Rama and Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort.
Six years later, the prohibition on dice games would be erased from legislation by the federal government in Ottawa, and by the year 2001, Canadian provinces as a whole would play host to over 38,500 video lottery terminals, over 31,500 slot machines, and over 1,800 bingo hall permit. As 2010 rolled around, the OLG announced its move into the online gaming business, with a real-money gaming site, PlayOLG opening its doors in 2013.
What sets our service apart from others?
Szilaghi Consulting stands as the leading option when it comes to launching your gambling enterprise in any jurisdiction. Leveraging their vast understanding of the local gambling industry and regulatory framework, they offer unmatched expertise and support at every step of the way. Their seasoned team guarantees adherence to all legal obligations, simplifying the process of incorporation and licensing. Szilaghi Consulting takes pride in delivering tailor-made solutions that cater to your specific requirements, enabling you to overcome intricate obstacles and optimize your prospects of triumph. With a steadfast commitment to trustworthiness, reliability, and client satisfaction, Szilaghi Consulting emerges as the foremost choice to steer you towards establishing your thriving gambling venture.
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Szilaghi Consulting is a leading provider of corporate and gambling licensing services
Gambling and Licensing in Ontario
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is the regulatory agency responsible for overseeing and regulating gambling in Ontario. The AGCO operates under the authority of the Ministry of the Attorney General and was established through the Alcohol, Cannabis, and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act of 1996. Its mandate includes the regulation of the alcohol, gaming, horse racing, and cannabis retail sectors within the province.
The AGCO has jurisdiction over various aspects of gambling in Ontario, including casino gaming, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) lotteries, charitable gaming, internet gaming, and horse racing. To ensure the proper functioning and integrity of these sectors, the AGCO categorizes registrations into six classes:
- Commercial Gaming Site Operators: This class includes operators of commercial gaming sites, such as casinos and for-profit establishments.
- Gaming Related Suppliers: Suppliers involved in providing goods or services directly related to the operation and functioning of gaming sites fall under this class. It includes suppliers of gaming equipment, software, and related services.
- Non-Gaming Related Suppliers: This class encompasses suppliers involved in activities such as construction, furnishing, maintenance, and repair that are not directly related to the playing or operating of the gaming site.
- Category 1 Gaming Assistants: Category 1 gaming assistants are individuals employed in the conduct, management, or operation of a lottery scheme or gaming site, and who exercise a significant level of decision-making authority.
- Category 2 Gaming Assistants: Category 2 gaming assistants are similar to Category 1, but they do not have decision-making authority in their roles.
- Trade Unions Licenses: Trade unions can obtain licenses to represent registered gaming assistants employed in or at a gaming site.
Most registrations, including renewals, can be done online through the iAGCO portal. Individuals or businesses must create an account and follow the provided steps to complete the registration process. This online platform streamlines the application process and facilitates efficient communication between the AGCO and applicants.
For horse racing-related registrations, there are alternative methods available:
- In-person: Applicants can visit an AGCO Racetrack Licensing office to apply for horse racing licenses.
- Mail: Applicants can download the relevant licensing forms, complete them, and send them to the AGCO head office along with the required licensing fee.
- Fax or Email: Applicants can download the applicable licensing forms, complete them, and submit them to the AGCO head office via fax or email. Fees can be paid over the phone (using Visa or Mastercard) by contacting the AGCO head office.
These alternative methods allow individuals involved in horse racing to apply for licenses without solely relying on the online iAGCO portal.
By following the appropriate registration procedures outlined by the AGCO, individuals and businesses can ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements and operate legally within the gambling industry in Ontario.
How to Obtain the Ontario Gambling License
Obtaining a gambling license in Ontario is a crucial step for individuals and businesses seeking to operate legally in the province’s gambling industry. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is responsible for regulating and issuing gambling licenses in the region. To successfully obtain and maintain an Ontario Gambling License, it is important to understand the requirements and comply with the laws and regulations set forth by the AGCO.
While the specific requirements may vary depending on the license type, the general process of obtaining a gambling license in Ontario typically involves the following steps:
- Determine the License Type: Identify the type of gambling license that aligns with your business model and intended operations. Evaluate the suitability of your business for the chosen license category.
- Conduct Due Diligence: Before applying for a gambling license, conduct thorough due diligence to ensure that you meet all eligibility criteria and understand the regulatory obligations associated with operating a gambling business in Ontario. This includes reviewing the relevant legislation, regulations, and licensing guidelines provided by the AGCO.
- Develop a Business Plan: Craft a comprehensive business plan that outlines your proposed gambling operation, including the types of games or services you plan to offer, target market analysis, marketing strategies, financial projections, and plans for responsible gambling practices.
- Incorporate Your Business: Register your business entity with the appropriate authorities, such as the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, and obtain all necessary business licenses and permits.
- Prepare Documentation: Gather all required documentation as specified by the AGCO. This may include financial statements, business references, criminal record checks for key personnel, security and integrity measures, responsible gambling policies, and proof of compliance with anti-money laundering regulations.
- Submit the Application: Prepare and submit your application for a gambling license to the AGCO. Ensure that your application is complete, accurate, and accompanied by all the required documentation. Pay any applicable application fees.
- Background Checks and Investigations: The AGCO will conduct thorough background checks and investigations on key personnel, business associates, and shareholders to ensure their suitability for holding a gambling license. This may involve interviews, reference checks, and financial background checks.
- Compliance Assessment: The AGCO will assess your proposed gambling operation’s compliance with relevant laws, regulations, and responsible gambling practices. This includes evaluating your internal controls, player protection measures, and security protocols.
- Site Inspection: Depending on the license type, the AGCO may conduct an on-site inspection of your physical premises to verify compliance with operational standards and requirements.
- License Issuance: If your application meets all the requirements and successfully passes the evaluation process, the AGCO will issue your gambling license. The license will specify the authorized activities, duration, and any additional conditions or restrictions.
One of the key aspects of obtaining a gambling license is paying the annual licensing fee. The fees vary depending on the type of gaming service provided and the operator category. Let’s take a closer look at the fees associated with different operators:
- Charitable Gaming Site:
- For charitable gaming sites that host four or more events per week, the licensing fee is $12,000 per site.
- For charitable gaming sites that host three or fewer events per week, the fee is $700 per site.
- Commercial Gaming Site:
- Commercial gaming sites, which include casinos and other for-profit establishments, are required to pay a licensing fee of $100,000 per site.
In addition to operators, gaming assistants are also required to pay fees based on their category:
- Category 1 Gaming Assistant:
- Gaming assistants in this category hold significant supervisory or decision-making roles. Examples of positions included in this category are Table Game Managers, Slot Managers, Food and Beverage Supervisors, Cage and Coin Supervisors, Security and Surveillance Managers and Supervisors, Casino Executives, Bingo Hall Managers, and Lottery Retail Managers. The annual fee for Category 1 Gaming Assistants is $300.
- Category 2 Gaming Assistant:
- Category 2 Gaming Assistants are employees without significant supervisory or decision-making responsibility. This category includes Croupiers, Dealers, Cashiers, Bingo Callers, Slot Technicians & Attendants, and Security Guards. The annual fee for Category 2 Gaming Assistants is $165.
Suppliers related to the gaming industry are also required to pay fees based on their specific category:
- Manufacturers who create hardware for casinos are subject to an annual fee of $15,000.
- Services Suppliers:
- Services suppliers, such as those involved in distributing gaming-related equipment or facilitating lottery schemes on behalf of charities, are required to pay an annual fee of $3,000.
- Non-Gaming-Related Suppliers:
- Non-gaming-related suppliers are subject to an annual fee of $2,000. However, they may be exempt from holding a license if the value of the goods supplied within a 12-month period is $750,000 or less. In such cases, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) must conduct a due diligence investigation of the business. Additionally, if the business is already regulated by the Government of Ontario or Canada, it may be exempt from registering.
For trade unions intending to represent registered gaming assistants, an annual fee of $2,000 is applicable. Gaming assistants must be registered with the AGCO if they work in a casino or slot machine facility and have specific responsibilities as part of their regular work duties. Some examples of such responsibilities include facilitating gameplay, accessing, repairing, or modifying gaming-related equipment or systems, monitoring, handling, or protecting gaming-related assets or money, working primarily in sensitive areas like surveillance, controlling or supervising access to the property, accessing the gaming floor as part of regular work duties, and establishing the policy or strategic direction of the organization or gaming site.
To ensure a successful license application, it is essential to thoroughly understand the licensing requirements, comply with applicable laws and regulations, and pay the appropriate fees. By adhering to these guidelines, individuals and businesses can obtain and maintain an Ontario Gambling License and operate their gaming activities within the legal framework
Registration fees must be submitted alongside the application for licensing.
If a licensee does not comply with the laws and regulations there are penalties such as warnings, fines, and even imprisonment. For example, if an individual is convicted, they will be liable for a fine of $50,000 or imprisonment for no more than one year, or both. If a corporation is convicted then it will be issued with a fine of no more than $500,000. Each person has the right to a hearing and may request one in writing to be served to the Registrar and the Tribunal within fifteen days of the notice. The Registrar may also issue an immediate order for compliance.
Contact Szilaghi Consulting to Get Your Ontario Gambling License
Since 2004, Szilaghi Consulting has been working with startups, entrepreneurs, and companies already established for online gambling. We have worked all over the world, but we have a special and extensive practice in Ontario, Canada. During this time, we gained a deep knowledge of the requirements and general obligations of the process of incorporating the company and obtaining a license for gambling in Ontario. We have established relationships with industry stakeholders, including authorities, service providers, and other gaming companies. This positions us as market leaders in assisting our customers with Ontario licensing goals.
Through our extensive and carefully verified network of contacts in the country, we can ensure that you move efficiently through the entire setup process. We know everything you need to know about requirements, criteria, nuances, and possible obstacles and can help you prevent and navigate whatever comes your way.
To incorporate the company and apply for a gambling license in Ontario or just to discuss your plan, vision or options, contact Szilaghi Consulting today.