How To Get A Gaming License In Ontario 2024
Author: Alyce Fabel Alyce Fabel, Head of Content at CasinoRIX

How To Get A Gaming License In Ontario 2024

The Canadian iGaming industry has grown exponentially over the past decade. From players and online casino operators to game providers, every stakeholder has played a critical role in ensuring the business of gambling remains entertaining and profitable. Behind this interwoven mechanism, however, is an essential component that makes it all come together.

Having an Ontario gambling license is crucial for the overall success of online casinos. Not only does it boost the reliability and reputation of a casino, but it also guarantees the safety and security of players in the iGaming industry. An Ontario gaming license is the official authorization granted to Ontario online casino operators who wish to operate legally and provide gambling services to residents within the province. In this article, we’ll discuss how to get a gaming license in Ontario, why operators need an Ontario gaming license, and the apparent benefits that stem from its acquisition.

History of Online Gambling in Ontario

In Canada, the introduction of online casino gambling dates back to the mid-90s when the Internet first began gaining widespread popularity. At the time, online casino operators who were based offshore were the only companies offering their services to Canadian players. On these digital platforms, casino gaming enthusiasts could enjoy a variety of casino games, ranging from classic table games and online slot machines to poker and several lotteries. The rapid popularity of online casino gaming was observable enough to prompt the federal government to address some regulatory gaps.

Online gambling across the country has always been governed by The Canadian Criminal Code. However, each province is allowed to regulate and administer all online gambling within its borders. The province of Ontario has historically been an industry leader in gambling, with a gambling history dating back to 1833 and the first official lottery launched in 1975. So by 1985, when the Canadian government granted provinces the power to license gambling, Ontario was already well-primed to take advantage of the development.

The Gaming Control Act, introduced in 1992, provides the legal framework for all commercial gambling in Ontario, while the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) regulates the industry by offering the gaming license Ontario framework. As part of the AGCO’s responsibilities, eligibility assessments are conducted on operators looking to offer goods and services within Ontario’s iGaming industry. By adopting a standards-based approach, AGCO established a subsidiary known as iGaming Ontario (iGO) to oversee the relationship between the private operators and the government.

Between 2021 and early 2022, consultations were initiated with industry stakeholders and offshore online casino operators to bring as many as possible within the iGO regulatory framework. By the time the online gambling market officially opened on April 4th, 2022, core standards were already in place, and all operators with an Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario license were permitted to offer their services to residents.

Why Should You Get a Gambling License in Ontario?

Why to get a license

Generally, gambling license requirements are put in place by various regulators to validate the reliability and reputation of an operator. Running an online casino in Ontario that holds an Ontario casino license is, therefore, the most crucial factor that can guarantee the success of your brand. Operators who circumvent iGO standards expose themselves and players to negative consequences, ranging from criminal attacks to strict penalties and legal action.

To avoid these possible outcomes, operators must prioritize the acquisition of an online gambling license Ontario as part of their business plan. Here, we’ll look at why you should get a valid Ontario gambling license before offering gaming services to Canadians in the province.

  • legit icon

    legit icon Legitimacy

    The iGaming industry in Ontario is very successful and has received a lot of positive accolades for how well-organized it is. Despite the regulations, some operators may want to bypass licensing for one reason or the other. However, only licensed online casinos in the province should be trusted, as an iGO license carries a stamp of legitimacy, making the casino more credible.

  • reputation icon

    reputation icon Partnerships

    One essential benefit of getting a casino dealer license Ontario approval is that it opens up your platform’s accessibility to key partners in the iGO market. Most well-known and reputable developers and payment services only make their products available to licensed online casino operators.

  • safe payments icon

    safe payments icon Customer Protection

    Having the Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario license guarantees the safety and security of players who use the platform. In the event of financial misconduct or dissatisfaction, players who gamble at an iGO-licensed casino can have a fair hearing that could lead to positive resolutions.

  • Accessibility icon

    Accessibility icon Accessibility

    As an online casino brand, one of your objectives is to provide entertainment to as many players as possible while making some profit. Getting an iGO license is the best way to do this because of its credibility. The iGaming industry in Ontario is regarded as one of the most difficult to penetrate because of the strict regulations in place, so acquiring a license gives your brand a positive outlook in other iGaming markets and jurisdictions.

What Happens If You Operate Without a License?

The regulation of online gambling in Ontario is necessary, considering how the industry contributes to the economy. Operating without an iGO license poses severe risks for operators, players, and market stability. These are some of the risks associated with operating your online casino without an Ontario casino license:

  • Financial Loss: An unlicensed online casino is at risk of losing its financial investment because players would be cautious about playing on such a site. Also, you’re at risk of being shut down by the regulatory body for not adhering to the registrar’s guidelines for operation.
  • Lack of Partnerships: Operating without an iGO casino license will make it challenging to open settlement accounts at financial institutions in Ontario. Most banks and e-payment providers will not offer their services to an online casino that is unregulated and unlicensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
  • Inaccessible Website: Sometimes, online casinos licensed offshore are accessible to players within Ontario. However, to ensure that your platform does not get blocked from offering services to players with an Ontario VPN, you need to obtain an iGO license.

Last update: July 18th, 2024, 09:33 am

Advantages and Disadvantages of Getting a License in Ontario

Obtaining a license from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is critical to your business. In addition to online casino licenses, the AGCO is also responsible for providing oversight on alcohol usage at private events. For such gatherings, customers or businesses are required to obtain the Stag and Doe Gaming License Ontario. To further highlight the importance of getting a license in Ontario, here are some key advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages Advantages
  • Players are more likely to play online casino games at a licensed casino as opposed to playing at an unlicensed brand.

  • Having an iGO license makes your brand more open to partnerships with advertisers and business sponsors which improves marketability.

  • If tax advantages and financial waivers are available from the government of Ontario, your online casino can benefit from these. This will help to boost the overall profitability of your brand.

  • Getting a license in Ontario will make your online gaming services well-received and legitimate. This will also exempt your business from being prosecuted for wrongdoing.

  • The best online casinos are those with as many game varieties as possible. Getting an iGO license lets you partner with top-rated vendors and suppliers, granting you access to the best online casino games in the industry.

  • As a fully licensed operator, you can partner with financial institutions in Ontario to open settlement accounts. You’ll also be able to work with other financial providers, like e-payment services, to process transactions from players.

Disadvantages Disadvantages
  • The risk of being blacklisted by players, reviewers, and the regulatory authority.

  • Financial disputes and business conflicts cannot be resolved legally.

  • Operating without a license implies you will have no access to responsible gambling tools offered by AGCO.

  • As an unlicensed online casino, you will have no credibility and integrity in the eyes of customers and the industry generally.

How Do You Get An Ontario Gaming License?

The Procedure of Obtaining Ontario Licenses for New Operators Online casino gaming in Ontario is regulated solely by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). The legal framework for the provision of this regulatory oversight is covered by the Gaming Control Act of 1992. As part of its functions, AGCO has put in place strict administrative rules and regulations per the ‘Act’. Highlighted below is a general guide on how to get an Ontario gaming license.
  • docs submit icon

    Submit your licensing application to the commission.

  • creation icon

    After review and if your application is approved, you’re to collect your certificate of registration from the commission.

  • review icon

    Before the license is issued to you, notify the commission in writing of any changes in the information contained in your submitted application within five days of the change.

  • fintest icon

    After receiving your license, you must adhere to all standards put forth by the commission. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring that all financial information gets recorded in a timely, accurate, and auditable manner.

Who Issues Ontario Sublicenses?

The government of Ontario, in association with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), is responsible for issuing all gaming-related licenses in the province. A subsidiary known as iGaming Ontario (iGO) works with AGCO to issue all sublicenses to operators and suppliers as part of Ontario’s new iGaming market.

Types of Ontario Gambling Licenses

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is responsible for conducting eligibility assessments on those looking to work in or supply goods or services in the iGaming industry. Six types of licenses apply in Ontario’s iGaming market, and they include:

  • Operators License – For operators of commercial online gaming websites in Ontario
  • Gaming-related Suppliers License – For suppliers that provide consulting or similar services directly related to the operation of an online gaming website or the playing of a lottery scheme
  • Non-gaming Related Suppliers License – For suppliers that provide goods/services related to the construction, furnishing, repair, and maintenance of an online gaming website but that, in the opinion of the Registrar, are not directly related to the operation of the website or playing of a lottery scheme
  • Category 1 Gaming Assistants License – For employees who exercise a significant level of decision-making authority or who have significant supervisory or training responsibility
  • Category 2 Gaming Assistants License – For employees who do not exercise a significant level of decision-making authority or have significant supervisory or training responsibilities
  • Trade Unions License – For organizations that represent registered gaming assistants employed in or at an online gaming website

The Procedure for Obtaining Ontario Licenses for New Operators

As a new operator, before rolling with the big dogs in the iGaming Ontario market, you must obtain a license by registering with AGCO and iGO. Please note that the step-by-step guide we have provided at CasinoRIX is a general procedure. New operators can complete multiple steps simultaneously, and the order of completion may differ from operator to operator.

iGO Procedure

  • docs submit icon

    Step 1

    Obtain and sign a copy of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with iGO

  • letter icon

    Step 2

    Execute a Letter of Agreement with iGO, which is available on iGO Connect to operators who have executed the NDA

  • configuration icon

    Step 3

    Set Up and Configure Access to iGO’s Secure Data and Information Communication Channels. You’ll be provided with instructions on how to go about this after executing the Letter of Agreement

  • AML icon

    Step 4

    Compete and submit iGO’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Information Forms

  • IFO icon

    Step 5

    Complete and submit iGO’s Financial Information Forms. This involves participating in bank due diligence processes and the end-to-end testing of Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) data and funds transfers

  • cycle icon

    Step 6

    Take part in an Operator Systems & Data Readiness Cycle with iGO to ensure that all systems are performing as expected before executing your Operating Agreement

  • agreement icon

    Step 7

    In this final step, you’ll be invited to sign the Operating Agreement with iGO and coordinate activities related to your entry into the regulated market

AGCO Procedure

  • testing icon

    Step 1

    Ensure that all your games and gaming systems have been certified by the Independent Testing Laboratory (ITL)

  • coins icon

    Step 2

    Apply to the AGCO and register as an internet gaming operator

  • settings icon

    Step 3

    Establish and implement the required control activities in compliance with the AGCO Registrar’s standards for internet gaming

  • training icon

    Step 4

    Your team members will be invited to participate in the Internet Gaming Notification Matrix Training. This exercise covers training on how to make regulatory submissions and notifications using the iAGCO online portal

  • accounts icon

    Step 5

    Configure and set up your Online Authorized Accounts for regulatory reporting in the iAGCO

  • security accounts icon

    Step 6

    Set up and configure access to AGCO’s secure data and information communication channels

  • approve icon

    Step 7

    In this final step, operators are required to provide Technology Compliance Confirmation as part of AGCO’s standards

Requirements To Get An Ontario Gaming License in 2024

Before going through the motions of registering with the AGCO and iGO to obtain an online gambling license in Ontario, there are specific requirements you should have. These requirements, as set forth by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario include:

  • registration icon

    registration icon Business Registration

    Your online casino must be registered and legally recognized as a business entity (corporation or partnership) under Canadian or Ontario laws.

  • fin-assets icon

    fin-assets icon Financial Assets

    To be eligible for a gaming license in Ontario, you must demonstrate financial stability by providing financial/bank statements, evidence of funding sources, and proof of sufficient working capital to sustain operations.

  • integrity icon

    integrity icon Integrity and Good Character

    All officers, directors, partners, and other key individuals associated with the online casino must pass rigorous background checks. These include disclosing any criminal records, affiliations with organized crime, or activities that may compromise the integrity of Ontario’s regulated iGaming industry.

  • tech icon

    tech icon Technical Capacity

    As an iGaming operator, you must demonstrate the technical ability to provide a safe, secure, fair, and reliable online gambling platform in Ontario. This includes the incorporation of state-of-the-art security protocols, utilizing RNG and auditing standards, partnerships with certified software providers, and protection of player information.

  • policies icon

    policies icon Compliance Policies

    Operations must develop and be able to fully implement a robust compliance program in adherence to AGCO’s standards. This involves the availability of anti-money laundering (AML) protocols, responsible gambling (RG) tools, and know-your-customer (KYC) procedures.

Documents That Are Necessary For Company Registration

For the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to begin processing your application for an Ontario gambling license, you should provide these supporting documents:

  • Online Casino Name Registration
  • Constituting Document(s)
  • Certificate or Articles of Incorporation: These may include –
    • Charter/By-Laws
    • Partnership Agreement
    • Limited Partnership Agreement
    • Limited Partnership Declaration
    • Shareholder’s Agreement
    • Trust Agreement
    • Any other constituting documentation relevant to the entity
  • Details of Shares
  • Extra-Provincial Power of Attorney (for Limited Partnerships)
  • Financial Statements
  • Government-Issued Identification
  • Personal History – Gaming
  • Schematic Diagram:
    • For a Partnership & Limited Partnership – showing the relationship between partners, affiliates or subsidiary entities, and any entity with at least 5% interest in the partnership.
    • For a Corporation – showing the relationship between the operator and all shareholders (including parent or holding corporations) owning at least 5% of any shares of the corporation and any affiliated or subsidiary corporations.
    • For a Joint Venture – showing the relationship between the joint venture partners, any affiliates or subsidiary entities, and any individual or entity with at least a 5% interest in the joint venture.
    • For an Association – showing the relationship between the applicant and any entities forming the association, affiliates or subsidiary entities, and any individual or entity with at least a 5% interest in the association.
  • Signature of Applicant or Partner(s) as applicable
  • Tax Return and Tax Assessment
  • Criminal Background Check (if Canada is not the primary residence of an individual)
  • List of Suppliers
  • Gaming Site Diagram
  • Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming Gap Analysis

Taxes, Fees, and Cost of Ontario Gambling License

The applicable fees and cost of obtaining the Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario license are presented in the table below:

Type of License Good and Services Supplied Annual Fee
Operator Commercial Gaming Site C$100,000 per site
Gaming-related Supplier Supplier of gaming services/equipment C$3,000
Gaming-related Supplier Manufacturer of gaming equipment C$15,000
Non-gaming Related Suppliers All types C$2,000
Trade Union All types C$2,000
Category 1 Gaming Assistant An employee with significant supervisory or decision-making responsibility C$300
Category 2 Gaming Assistant An employee without significant supervisory or decision-making responsibility C$165


  • All payments under C$30,000 should be made using Visa, MasterCard, Visa Debit or MasterCard Debit.
  • Payments of C$30,000 or more should be made using a money wire transfer or electronic funds transfer.
  • Cheques and cash are not accepted as a payment option when using iAGCO online services.
  • Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) does not apply to these fees.
  • Service fees payable to the Minister of Finance include:
    • For replacement certificate of registration as a supplier – C$50.00
    • For replacement certificate of registration and photo identification card for a gaming assistant – C$50.00
  • All registration fees and gaming license Ontario costs are non-refundable.

How Long Does It Take To Get An Ontario Gambling License

The time it takes to get the gaming license Ontario approval differs from operator to operator. Our estimation below is the expected duration as provided by iGaming Ontario for each of the registration steps described in the procedure section above:

iGaming Ontario Registration

  • iGO step 1 – Approximately two business days
  • iGO step 2 – Approximately two business days
  • iGO step 3 – Approximately two business days
  • iGO step 4 – Approximately two weeks
  • iGO step 5 – Approximately 1-2 weeks
  • iGO step 6 – Approximately one week
  • iGO step 7 – Timing is variable and dependent on the circumstances of each operator

Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Registration

  • AGCO step 1 – Timing is variable and dependent on the capacity of your chosen ITL and the depth/scope of certification required
  • AGCO step 2 – Takes 2+ months from the time of submitting an application in iAGCO and paying the associated fees
  • AGCO step 3 – Timing is variable and dependent on the circumstances of each operator
  • AGCO step 4 – Approximately 90 minutes
  • AGCO step 5 – Approximately two business days
  • AGCO step 6 – Approximately two business days
  • AGCO step 7 – Timing is variable and dependent on the circumstances of each operator

Statistics and Facts About Ontario Gaming License

The iGaming industry in Ontario is expected to gross C$1.5 billion in revenue by 2026, making it one of the biggest iGaming markets in North America. With one of the lowest annual tax rates in the world at 20%, Ontario is an attractive destination for operators willing to undergo strict procedures for obtaining an online gambling license.

Below are the statistics for total revenue by category of operator from April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024:

Quarter Casino Betting Peer-to-peer (P2P) Poker
Q1 C$393 Million C$138 Million C$15 Million
Q2 C$407 Million C$118 Million C$16 Million
Q3 C$471 Million C$171 Million C$17 Million
Q4 C$510 Million C$161 Million C$19 Million

The Rules For Switching To New Licenses for Existing Operators

Operators who wish to modify or switch their licenses must inform the Registrar when a change occurs in their previous registration. The notification rule will vary based on the type of modification as highlighted below:

  • For a change in the officers, directors, or ownership: The existing operator must obtain the written consent of the Registrar, before any change in the officers, directors or shareholders of a corporation or any change in the membership of a partnership.
  • For a change of name: The registered operator must inform the Registrar via iAGCO of any change to the business or operating name with the proof of name change. Additional documentation may be requested by the Registrar.
  • For a change of address: The existing operator must inform the Registrar via iAGCO, within five days, of any change in business/service address. New addresses must include a street name and number or lot, city, postal code and telephone number. A post office box number or a rural route number alone is unacceptable.
  • For cancellation of registration: To cancel your operator registration, a request must be made via iAGCO to the Registrar. The effective date of the cancellation is the date that the request is received by the AGCO.
  • For replacement of certificate of registration: Make a request via iAGCO to the Registrar along with the appropriate fee.


Getting an online gambling license in Ontario is mandatory for operating an online casino within the province. Not only does it improve reputation, but it also guarantees the safety and security of all iGO stakeholders. As the iGaming market in Ontario continues to evolve and grow in profitability, all operators are advised to follow the licensing procedures necessary to obtain legal operating status.


Ontario Gaming License FAQ

  • How do I get an Ontario gambling license?

    To get your iGO license, you must submit an application, follow the review process, and adhere to all AGCO standards.

  • How much does it cost to get an Ontario gaming license?

    The commercial gaming license for operators of online casino websites costs C$100,000 annually for each site you wish to register.

  • How long will it take to get an online gambling license Ontario approval?

    The iGO and AGCO each require specific situations to complete their registration procedures. It takes an average of 3-4 months to complete all procedures.

  • Is it difficult to get an Ontario casino license?

    The registration procedure for entering the iGO market is one of the strictest in the gambling industry. However, having all the requirements handy makes the process as easy as possible.

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