- The Ontario online poker market could attract more operators in 2023
- Among those that could be eyeing a possible launch are iPoker and Unibet Poker
- Ontario may also join the Canada Poker Network alongside Saskatchewan
Less than a year after launching its online poker market, Ontario is now home to a total of six Canadian online poker rooms, and that number could grow further given the province’s strong online poker potential.
Apart from being home to the biggest population in Canada, Ontario is also currently the largest online poker market in North America, surpassing any regulated iGaming market in the US. 2023 could open up more opportunities for the province which would enable it to maintain its current status or even go beyond.
Below are possible scenarios in 2023 which could drive more growth for the Ontario online poker market.
iPoker Could Launch In 2023
iPoker, one of the world’s most prominent online poker networks, could enter Ontario. Its parent company Playtech already indicated in 2022 that iPoker would go live in the province by the end of the year. That did not happen mainly because operators were still hesitant to join the network.
But in 2023, iPoker could finally launch in Ontario with NorthStar Bets, bet365, Betsafe and Coolbet on board. All four have already launched online casino gaming in the province and there’s a high possibility they would also offer online poker. Bet365, Betsafe, and Coolbet are already part of the iPoker network in other jurisdictions.
Existing operators in Ontario which are currently offering sports betting and online casino gaming could very well expand their services to include online poker. Unibet Ontario is another potential operator which could also launch its own online poker platform in the province.
Ontario Becoming Part of the Canada Poker Network
Ontario currently operates as a ring-fenced market, meaning Ontarians cannot compete with other players outside the province. That could change this year as Ontario could join Quebec, Manitoba, and British Columbia as a member of the Canada Poker Network (CPN).
Ontario could become part of the compact via the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). Saskatchewan is also eyeing to join the network in early 2023 which means CPN would have five members covering a population of almost 24 million in 2023. This would give huge benefits to each member, including Ontario.
Other potential developments to watch for include the possibility of more World Series of Poker (WSOP) online bracelets being awarded, which will surely attract plenty of attention.