The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. will launch its PlayOLG online gaming site in the next few weeks. PlayOLG.ca is available to the 53,000 players of OLG’s Circle Rewards Program, who were emailed earlier and asked to offer feedback ahead of official launch.
PlayOLG has been in the works since 2010 but numerous delays pushed the launch much later than anticipated.
Once the site goes live, PlayOLG will be able to offer a host of online casino games, including slots, blackjack, roulette and baccarat, as well as providing Ontario residents with the means to purchase lottery tickets online, specifically for Lotto 6/49 and Lotto Max games.
According to OLG spokesman Tony Bitoni, PlayOLG will undergo a series of phase-in stages wherein other online gambling options such as poker and peer-to-peer poker, the ability to play with other people around Canada, will be available in the next phase.
Bingo and sports betting are also not available in the opening phase but according to Bitoni, “the doors are open on the possibility of seeing them included in the site in the future.”
Players will be required to verify their age and identities with payments being processed through credit cards. Players also have the option of setting their own limits, including excluding themselves from gambling in the event they need to “cool off.”
PlayOLG will also use data analysis to monitor high levels and contact players it considers being at high risk of gambling addiction. Self-assessment tests and risk profiling will also be made available to users to allow them to determine whether their gambling habits are healthy.
“Responsible gambling is for us a priority, and it is definitely a priority on PlayOLG,” Bitoni said in a statement.
The launch of the PlayOLG site will make Ontario the fifth Canadian province to launch a fully regulated online gambling platform. The Canadian government ceded the right to offer lotteries and games of chance to the provincial governments in the 1960s. Currently, British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba, and the four Atlantic provinces offer online gaming in some form.