Paul Burns: Ontario will be the main market in Canada

The opening of the Canadian gaming market last month was one of the biggest events in the gambling industry this year, and Ontario is widely regarded as a province that will lead to further growth.

Speaking to podcast Big Betting Balagan , Paul Burns , president and CEO Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), explained why Ontario is so important and what can be expected from the province.

“The province of Ontario is in the process of establishing an online gaming regulatory regime,” he began. “It will be an open licensing system, which means anyone can apply for a license. If you meet a bar, you can join the market.

“Ontario is really going to be the main market in Canada. It has almost 15 million people, it's the fifth largest market in North America - that's why it's getting a lot of attention - and it's likely to be the only open licensing system in North America. It gives a lot of opportunities.”

While the provincial government has yet to release any regulatory or licensing standards, an announcement is expected within the next 30 days, Burns said.

However, while the province will be the most profitable of the Canadian jurisdictions, the market is not expected to open until 2021 at the earliest.

“I know from casino operators in Ontario that they want to open their betting shops by Labor Day if they can in their territory,” Burns continued. "There's still some work to be done."

Moving on to other jurisdictions, Burns singled out Alberta, which plans to potentially offer limited sports betting opportunities through casino partnerships in both the retail and mobile verticals.

Meanwhile, other provinces intend to stick with the current state lottery system as they watch the Canadian market grow. Among other things, Burns stressed that Ontario "will become a competitive market."

Outside of Canada, another big story of the week involved the announcement of an Irish bookmaker Boyle Sports about that it is interested in acquiring non-US assets William Hill after the acquisition Caesars Entertainment .

"We know Entain threw their hat in the ring," said Lee Richardson , co-host of Big Betting Balagan. "We obviously know about 888 , who talked about the desire to get both sides - retail and non-retail - and, of course, , Apollo management .

“I think with so many people offering these assets, they will clearly be in demand. One thing you should know about people like John Boyle and Fred Dawn is that they are not going to overpay for anything - they are very well versed in this business.

“While I think they will certainly throw their hat into the ring, but I strongly suspect that it will go to the highest buck and I think it will be an interesting battle to see.

“Caesars have made it clear that they are out of their books by the end of the year, so the next five or six months will be significant to launch this auction. It will be interesting to see where John, Fred and others actually fit in.”

Source - YouTube channel The BIg Betting Balagan.

Paul Burns' message: "Ontario will be the top market in Canada" first appeared on