888 has secured a new igaming licence in Ontario ahead of the Canadian province opening its legal online gambling market next month.
Issued by Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), the licence will enable 888 to offer online casino, sport betting and poker products to players in the province.
The licence means 888 now holds licenses in 19 locally regulated markets, including seven states in the US.
“As a group, our focus is on strengthening our presence and offer to customers across key regulated markets,” 888 chief executive Itai Pazner said. “To that end, Ontario represents an attractive long-term growth opportunity for 888 and this is an extremely strategically important milestone for us.
“As we prepare for launch in the coming weeks, we are excited to bring all of 888’s leading products and games to new audiences across the province, providing our unique and differentiated experiences to players.”
iGaming Ontario (iGO) the subsidiary of AGCO that will oversee the market, announced in January that the province’s legal igaming market would launch on April 4.
This will conclude a process that dates back to April 2019, when the province’s government announced plans to end Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s monopoly on igaming, opening up the market to private operators.
It then moved forward with these plans in November 2020, with legislation introduced and passed in 2021.
AGCO released its final igaming sports and event betting regulatory standards in September of last year, including changes to advertising standards and integrity rules.
Single-event sports betting officially launched in Canada on August 27, but is currently only offered by provincial lotteries.
Penn National Gaming and theScore Bet venture could also launch in Ontario next month, having secured the Responsible Gambling Check iGaming Accreditation from the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) ahead of the market opening.