Home Online poker Could we see an Ontario online poker network on iPoker?

Could we see an Ontario online poker network on iPoker?


a blurred bokeh urban scene is seen with icons and lines of people added to illustrate a network, such as an online poker network where people play all over ontario.

The creation of a Ontario Provincial Online Poker Network Became More Likely This Week after regulators granted an internet gambling license to Bet365, a UK-based global gambling giant that offers poker across Europe.

the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) issued the license to the private company on Tuesday. The license shows that the operator has already secured 18 Internet domains for its gaming site – including one for poker – and four domains for its mobile application.

Bet365 is one of 14 operators currently licensed by AGCO to offer some form of online poker, casino games and sports betting in Ontario, but only three — 888, WSOPand now Bet365 – offers online poker in other markets and have registered domains indicating an intention to offer online poker.

PokerStars and partypoker would continue to work with the AGCO on obtaining the permit.


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Bet365: a major poker brand in Europe

Bet365 is not exactly a household name in the United States.

It does not offer poker in the United States and operates an online sportsbook in only one state: New Jersey. It has obtained a permit to operate in Colorado, but the permit is still in the first stage of the approval process and the operator has not yet launched. Last November, he was one of many contenders who were rejected for online sports betting licenses in new York.

Poker fans in Europe, however, know the brand very well.

Bet365 is licensed to operate many regulated markets in Europe. Although sports betting and casino games are its main product, it offer online poker in all major markets, where possibleincluding Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

It also offers international online poker via an offshore license in Gibraltar, which is used to serve Canada – including, currently, Ontario – as well as other markets around the world.

For all of its online poker rooms, the operator has partnered with Playtech to run a skin on the iPoker online poker network. It is considered one of the biggest brands on this network, which currently ranks third in gambling traffic, ahead of 888 and partypoker.

Bet365 also has skins in two additional marketplaces operated by Playtech – one in Spain, on iPoker Europe and another in Italy. This demonstrates the operator’s commitment to offering its customers online poker even in smaller, distinct markets – a strong signal that online poker in Ontario could also be in the cards.

Bet365 Online Poker Rooms

online poker room Marlet Network
Bet365.BG Bulgaria iPoker
bet365.com International (Gibraltar license) iPoker
Bet365.DK Denmark iPoker
bet365.GR Greece iPoker
Bet365.NL Netherlands iPoker
Bet365.SE Sweden iPoker
Bet365 United Kingdom UK iPoker
Bet365.ES Spain iPoker Europe
Bet365.IT Italy iPoker Italy

How Playtech fits into the equation

Playtech has a successful track record of launching on regulated markets. Accessible in virtually every market in the world, it is one of only two online poker options in Switzerland. It even managed to combine player pools in Austria and Finland, a one-of-a-kind operation that creates a fourth network of shared liquidity in Europe.

It has also already signaled its intention in Ontario. In January, Playtech announced that it had formed a partnership with NorthStar Game. The agreement calls for Playtech “to launch its SMI platform, casino, live casino, poker and bingo technology in Canada.

While the NorthStar deal is primarily focused on online casino gaming and sports betting, Playtech said it will also launch “poker and bingo software for the Canadian public.”

poker stars

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Playtech iPoker Networks

Network Markets Skins
iPoker International (Malta, Gibraltar), Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom Over 20 brands at over 50 poker rooms
iPoker Austria and Finland Austria, Finland Veikkaus, win2day.at
iPoker Europe Spain, France Bet365, Betclic, Betfair, Casino Barcelona, ​​Sportium
iPoker Italy Italy ~10 brands

Bet365 is expected to use the Playtech platform when it launches in Ontario. If another operator in Ontario were to deploy the Playtech software in the province, it could help Playtech establish a network there, perhaps under the name “iPoker Ontario”.

Another – albeit more remote – possibility would be that Playtech convinces government-run lotteries in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec to migrate from the GTECH-powered Canadian Power Network to Playtech software.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) hinted in 2014 and 2015 that would create a inter-provincial poker network with British Columbia and Quebecwhere poker is available under the PlayNow and Espace-Jeux brands, respectively.

the AGCO has already declared that Ontario will be a separate market for poker when it launches on April 4, but it does not have authority over the OLG.

No matter what happens, Bet365 will have to stop making its Gibraltar-based site available to players in Ontario because of a AGCO directive that operators leave the unregulated iGaming market in Ontario before entering the province’s new regulated market.