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Ontario’s iGaming market will hurt First Nations and others – IRPP

May 3, 2022

If Ontario is going to control gambling, it should prove it can do it in a way that respects the public interest. Its new plan doesn’t do that.

Despite growing concerns from stakeholders, Ontario recently launched its provincially regulated iGaming Ontario – a risky bet on a new online gaming market where digital gaming companies will win big, while yet again First Nations stand to be amongst some of the hardest-hit.

According to the province, iGaming allows Ontario to capture revenues from the unregulated digital gambling sector, which operates in a legal grey area. But despite the province’s claims, the current stakeholders who will be hurt have raised myriad concerns regarding the viability of the model and its impact on Ontarians. The government disregarded the requests of stakeholders to pause its implementation until existing gaming agreements were reviewed and constitutional obligations were met – creating legal risks for the province.

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