However you look at it, online casinos are popular in Canada. Having a wager seems to be part of Canadian DNA. Indigenous people played Slahal with sticks and bones way before the European colonizers arrived in the country. The game was played with sticks and bones and is thought to date back to before the Ice Age. Slahal seems to have been more than a game. It had spiritual, social and community significance and was used to determine territory rights, amongst other things. Dice games were illegal under British common law, but that does not appear to have stopped the interest in games of chance.
Ontario market is open for private operators
Today there are over 19.3 million active online gamblers in the country. In April 2022, Ontario opened the country’s first fully legal and regulated market open to commercial operators. This sets it apart from the other provinces that do not allow private companies to offer gambling services. The Ontario market was estimated to be worth around $1.6 billion in October 2022. This is expected to increase to $2.36 billion in gross gaming revenue in the year ahead.
Legacy brands or new online platforms?
With so much opportunity, the big international names have been quick to apply for iGaming Ontario licenses. Naturally, they will hope they get the first-mover advantage and attract and keep a broad customer base. However, plenty of new operators are also cutting their teeth in the market. So, which are proving to be the most popular with players in Ontario? The folk at the independent review site Time2Play have been taking a look at the various sites and ranking them according to a strict set of criteria. Here is a list of those they currently rate the highest.
- Play OJO
Now we will look at what makes these sites the most popular.
PlayOJO is praised for the best online gamified casino experience. The site features over 3,000 games. This online casino wants to be the best igaming platform offering players the most fun, and it is delivering on its promise. The Club OJO loyalty program and attractive rewards are there to keep players loyal. On the downside, there are no demo games and customer service are limited. However, there is no doubt that PlayOJO is highest ranked in the popularity stakes
BetMGM has a vast selection of games, many of which are exclusive to this online casino. MGM is a massive name in entertainment, and BetMGM came into being in 2018 specifically to service the North American market. As you might expect, they feature games from all the top software providers, including Microgaming, Quickfire, IGT, Relax Gaming, SG Digital, Pragmatic, Everi, Wizard Games, Red Tiger, NetEnt, Inspired, Lightning Box Games, High5Games and Win Studios. In addition, they are one of the few online casinos in Ontario that feature Playtech games.
The site is popular for slots but not so good for poker players, as the poker app can be somewhat glitchy. However, in desktop mode, it is fast and responsive, and for all other games, the app is easy to use on-the-go
LeoVegas is an online casino that prides itself in having come of age in the mobile era. It is popular because everything the developers do is from a mobile-first perspective. While this is commonplace now, not so long-ago online gambling needed a desktop PC. This means that some operators still prioritize browser gaming over mobile devices. Not so for LeoVegas.
This approach has won them titles like “Casino Operator of The Year’ and “Online Gaming Operator of The Year.’ They call themselves the ‘king of the casino,’ offering over 550 slot games and a good selection of live-dealer options. The website and app provide an easy-to-use interface which is easy to navigate.
BetVictor was established in the east end of London, UK, in 1946 as a bookmaker. They have continually embraced change and opportunity to provide a multi-award-winning online casino experience and sports book. While they have fewer slots titles than some of the others, BetVictor has several Ontario-exclusive games. They pride themselves on offering a safer gambling experience backed up with integrity and innovation. On the downside, their website does feel a little dated and could do with a refresh. On the upside, they have an excellent selection of live dealer games
Caesars Ontario and Bet Rivers Ontario 88/100
These two casinos tie for fifth place as both racked up an impressive 88/100 with the Time2Play review team.
Caesars is one of the giants of casino gambling. The name whispers, ‘established and reputable,’ and this is reflected in the online casino. They have partnerships with the top payment providers. In addition, you will find games from big software names. However, the interface is not as smooth as other online casinos, and they do not offer any jackpot games.
BetRivers is the two times winner of the Customer Service Operator of the Year award for North America. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to find praise for its loyalty rewards and speedy withdrawal times. There are over 500 games for players to choose from, and deposits can be made using PayPal and Play+, amongst other payment options. In addition, PayPal allows for rapid deposits and payouts.