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Top online casinos coming to Ontario's legal market


Legal Ontario Casino Sites in 2022: Licensed Online Casinos

When Canadian Parliament passed Bill C-218 in June of 2021, everyone's focus was on single-event sports betting. Passage of this important piece of legislation ensured that the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) would be able to offer proper online sports betting as part of a full suite of iGaming verticals within the new market they planned to develop through iGaming Ontario.

However, iGaming is much more than sports betting, it also includes online poker and bingo, but perhaps the most significant iGaming vertical in terms of playing volume is actually that of online casino & live casino games.  We discuss all you need to know about this iGaming vertical within the province, along with our recommendations for best legal Ontario online casinos to come.  We only recommend a tight list of operators.  We do not list every casino brand like most every other 'review site'. 

Lastly, know that although the legal Ontario iGaming market has officially opened on April 4, 2022 and a some top casino brands are now licensed, we at SNBET know that many current 'offshore' brands have applied for and will gain their Ontario licenses. Once these operators are licensed, all their Ontario players will automatically be shifted to the new, legal iGaming Ontario system - so you need not wait for several top brands.

 

SNBET's top legal Ontario online casinos: how we made our list

How do we come up with this list of recommended providers? We are not afraid to say that SNBET is about sports betting first and foremost.  If a given Ontario iGaming operator has a substandard sportsbook offering in our opinion for one reason or another, we don't even look at their casino offering for review.  If they can't get sports betting right, why bother reviewing their casino?  Thus, when you see our list of top licensed Ontario online casinos, you know that this comes on top of an excellent legal Ontario sports betting offering from the same company. However, our casino list is different than our sportsbook list, as some providers like Casumo have a stepped-up game when it comes to their online casino offering.

 

Betsafe legal Ontario casino site

In our opinion, Betsafe will have the best Ontario licensed online casino.  We believe this for a few reasons. First of all, we find that they have the best user interface and layout.  While this might sound boring, online casinos can have 2,000+ available games, so it is important that you can find your games of choice quickly.  Betsafe makes this super easy with helpful navigation categories that let you find popular games in key categories, like 'Slots', 'Table Games', 'Exclusive' games, or games by various suppliers like 'Megaways' or 'Microgaming'.  Once you have signed up you can also save your games to 'My Betsafe' so all your favourites can stay pinned to a list for easy access.

We also think that players will enjoy the fact that so many Betsafe online casino games can be played for free, without even having to sign up - so you can test most games risk free.  This is important since Betsafe has so many games.  Pretty much no matter your preferred game, Betsafe has it and likely has many variations of it.  Some providers might not have more obscure online casino games, but Betsafe essentially has everything you might want to play. Simply find the 'Search Games' field to see if your preferred games are available.  Betsafe will be licensed soon after the Ontario market opens and all existing players will move to the new market system. For now, they serve all of Canada from their Malta iGaming jurisdiction.  Learn more about them in our main Betsafe Ontario sportsbook review.

 

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Casumo legal Ontario casino site

Casumo has over 2,000 online & live casino games games.  They cover even the more obscure online casino games with several variations.  So no matter your game, you can be confident that Casumo offers it.  After all, Casumo was an online casino brand first and foremost, then moved to add sports betting more recently with an excellent implementation of the Kambi sportsbook platform.  Rather than provide you with a lot of categories to browse, Casumo looks to provide you with a prominent 'search' tool so that you may easily find any particular game that you like.  Casumo also allows you to try most of their online games for free, without even having to sign up. So you can test out your preferred games, risk free.  Casumo will be a licensed iGaming provider in Ontario once the market opens and all existing players will be moved automatically to that system. Until then, they serve players in Canada from their Malta iGaming jurisdiction. Learn more about them in our main Casumo Ontario sportsbook review.

 

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bet365 legal Ontario online casino

bet365 is now a licensed Ontario iGaming provider, and has one of the most transparent online casino designs we have ever seen. Every game across the site is represented by a tile. At the bottom right of each tile there is a circle with an 'i' which represents 'information'. When you click or tap this circle, you will be shown all the RTP & volatility information about the game, along with a description or game category.

bet365 has a huge array of games, whether you are a lover of slots, table games or progressive jackpots.  They use an immersive layout which allows for smooth scrolling and large game tiles so you can really see if a game might interest you.  If you prefer to search for a particular game by name, find the 'magnifying glass' symbol near the top of each page.  They also continue to serve the rest of Canada from their Gibraltar iGaming jurisdiction. Learn more about them in our main bet365 Ontario sportsbook review.

 

                    

Betway legal Ontario casino site

Betway offers an excellent array of casino games.  No matter your game, you will likely find it at Betway.  They offer many categories under which you may browse, like 'Slots', 'Table Games', 'Jackpots', 'Must Win Jackpots', 'Exclusives', then the popular 'Blackjack', 'Roulette' and 'Baccarat' for easy navigation, but they of course also provide a search tool.

While we really like this layout and navigation, the 'i' icon on each game tile does not work as we'd like it.  Rather than just display RTP and game info on the same page, it takes users to a page that is really about maximizing search engine optimization for Betway. Thus they are not really helpful in the way the same icon is used at bet365 for example. The only other drawback to Betway's casino design was the lack of free-to-play games.  Betsafe and Casumo both offer the ability to try games for free without sign-up, but this is only important if you feel you'd really like to test your games before playing.  Betway is so quick and well laid out, we know you will enjoy the experience. Know that Betway puts 'Real & Live' games together.  Betway will be a licensed iGaming provider in Ontario likely by May. At that time, all existing Ontario players will be automatically moved to the new system. Until that time, Betway serves all of Canada from their gaming jurisdiction in Malta.  Learn more about them in our main Betway Ontario sportsbook review.

 

 

 

ComeOn! legal Ontario online casino

ComeOn! not only offers an excellent sports betting experience, but an excellent online casino experience as well.  Crucially for some, most of their online games, be they table games or slots are available to play for free, without even having to sign up.  Simply click or tap on the 'three-dot' icon associated with your game of choice, then find the 'Play for Fun' button, so you may try nearly any game, risk-free. Once you have signed up, you can simply click or tap the 'heart' icon to save the game as one of your favourites. 

Some online casino brands use a lot of categories for players to browse.  ComeOn! does not use too many category segments for the purposes of browsing games, hence the 'search' tool is key to find your particular games of interest. Overall ComeOn! has a nice online casino experience, the only thing that might make it better is if like bet365, it showed us the RTP for each game.  (But bet365 does not have free-to-play games, so you can't get it all.)  ComeOn! will be a licensed Ontario iGaming provider once the new market opens, and all existing players will automatically be moved to the new platform. Until then, they continue to serve Canadians from their jurisdiction in Malta.  Learn more about them in our ComeOn! Ontario sportsbook review.

 

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Legal Ontario online casino quick comparison guide

With so many great gaming brands that will be licensed for Ontario, we can understand how it might feel a little overwhelming to make a choice.  Know that we have only recommended those sites that in our opinion have the best iGaming offerings for Ontario. Don't see a brand here? We've likely reviewed it, and discounted it and thus do not mention them here. 

Any of our recommended licensed Ontario casino sites will provide you with a top-tier gaming experience, but if you have a particular preference in mind, we have organized a list of popular casino attributes that might help you narrow things down and help you find the right fit for your needs.

Free-to-play games with no sign up: Betsafe, Casumo & ComeOn!

Best layout for play from computer: 1) Betsafe 2) bet365 3) Betway

Best mobile casino: 1) Betsafe 2) bet365 3) Betway

Best RTP transparency by game: bet365

Most RNG Blackjack variations: Betway

Most Live Blackjack variations: Betsafe

Most RNG Roulette variations: Betsafe & Casumo

Most Live Roulette variations: Betsafe & Casumo

Most RBG Baccarat variations: Betsafe & Casumo

Most Live Baccarat variations: Betsafe & Casumo

Most progressive jackpots: bet365 has 80+, Betsafe has 60+

Most video poker variations: Casumo

 

How Ontario legal online casinos payout: RTP & volatility explained

'RTP' is 'Return to Player'. This metric is expressed as a percentage. It represents how much money will be returned to the player over a period of time.  However, it is important to understand that the % RTP as shown for a given game is an average achieved over a significant number of game plays and not each time the game is played.  The average % RTP is typically measured over one million games played or greater by game testing agencies.

For example, if a game displays an 95% RTP, it is not expected the player would win an average of $0.95 for every $1 staked during a playing session.  The RTP can vary widely in either direction due to statistical variance and differs from game to game.

Volatility, often called variance or dispersion, is a figure provided by the Game Suppliers. This is used to let players know how often they can expect the slot to pay out, and how big they can expect that payout might be. A slot game with low volatility will award players with frequent wins for low to mid-sized amounts, while a slot game with high volatility will provide players with much larger wins at a more irregular pace.

 

Ontario online casinos explained: RNG vs live casino

When it comes to the iGaming casino vertical, we can actually separate things even further, into two categories. 1) Online casino games that are rooted in RNG or Random Number Generation and 2) Live Casino games that are real games as run by a live dealer or croupier on-camera from a gaming studio.  The AGCO and iGaming Ontario has their own set of iGaming standards and testing requirements. These guidelines govern all the games and gaming suppliers that may take part in Ontario's iGaming market.  As such, some suppliers or some games may not make the grade in terms of compliance. Or, some suppliers may simply not wish to become licensed. 

The good news is that since the iGaming Ontario market is very interested in encouraging competition, many top gaming operators, like those we recommend, want to operate their online and live casino offerings in Ontario.  This means that the operators will be encouraging their iCasino gaming suppliers to get licensed in the province.  By the time the market opens in Q2 of 2022, there will be a wide array of popular iCasino suppliers that are licensed.

 

Legal Ontario Online Casinos: 'Live' vs 'Real'

'Live' casino games actually involve a real person that is running your game in real-time from a the casino game supplier's studio. 'Real' games involve recorded video of a real person running a game that is integrated within an RNG-based casino game.  'Real' games are sort of a middle ground between pure RNG games that just use computer graphics and 'live' games where there is no RNG element at all.  At some Ontario casino sites, 'Live' and 'Real' games are organized together.  Others may keep the 'Real' games alongside the other main RNG online casino games, keeping the 'Live' games in their own separate vertical.  In the end, understand that there is a distinction between 'Real' and 'Live' online casino games.

 

Ontario Online Casino Bonuses: how do they work?

We now know that the AGCO will not allow us to display casino bonus offers once the market opens on April 4, 2022. We do know that all the companies that we list here are going to get there license. The bonuses will likely exist for them all, but we won't be able to display them here beyond the legal launch date.

Even if we can't show them to you here past the market launch date, they will be available at the operator sites, so there are things you should know about them. SNBET is mainly about sports betting, but we understand online casinos too, and bonuses are a key part of both iGaming verticals, but online casino bonus offers are more complicated than sportsbook bonus offers. 

When it comes to casino bonuses, you will be presented with a headline offer like '100% bonus up to $1,000'.  The complication comes in that there are so many different types of casino games. How you go about 'earning' that bonus through your play will be different depending on the games that you play.  For example, online slots tend to be a type of casino game where 100% of your gameplay will be applied dollar-for-dollar toward your wagering or play-through requirements for the bonus. 

However, if you play various types of jackpots, card games or table games, the play-through requirements on your part will go up considerably, perhaps 5 times as much, perhaps 10 or even 20 times as much, depending on the game.  Sometimes, playing certain casino games or even live casino games may not apply to the bonus offer at all.  So be sure to read the terms & conditions at your chosen Ontario online casino to see ensure your preferred game types will apply to the bonus on offer.  

 

Find obscure games at legal Ontario casino sites

Every one of our recommended soon-to-be licensed Ontario online casinos offers hundreds of online slots games, plus usually double-digit variations of blackjack, roulette and baccarat games, whether RNG or live.  If your favourite casino games is outside this main group, we help you find which Ontario providers offer them below:

Caribbean Stud Poker: bet365, Betsafe, Casumo

Casino Hold'em: bet365, Betsafe, Betway, Casumo & ComeOn!

Craps: Betsafe (RNG). Betway (Live), Casumo (Live & RNG)

Sicbo: bet365 (live), Betsafe (live). Betway (RNG & Live), Casumo (RNG & Live), ComeOn! (RNG). Note that when searching the games, try 'Sicbo' and 'Sic bo' with a space.

Video Poker: bet365, Betsafe, Casumo, Betway

 

Legal Ontario casino site payment methods

Licensed Ontario casino sites will be able to offer a wider variety of payment methods as compared to the previous 'grey market' environment.  For example, once the Ontario market is fully legal in early 2022, PayPal will likely become available as a payment method at many operators.  PayPal is currently not available anywhere in Canada with regard to gaming, except at PlayNow.com in BC, as PayPal only wants to facilitate gaming payments where fully legal for both the operator and player. 'Grey market' gaming payments are not facilitated by PayPal.

Methods like Interac Online (supported for TD & RBC customers) and Interac e-transfers (for all others) are both widely offered by many iCasino operators that will be entering the legal Ontario market.   Other e-wallet platforms like MuchBetter and EcoPayz will likely continue to be available at many Ontario casino sites. Bank debit solutions like Instadebit, iDebit,Citadel & Trustly will continue allow Ontarians to debit their bank account securely with payments toward online casinos.  Prepaid solutions like paysafecard, Neosurf and Flexepin will also likely be available in Ontario. For the available banking and payment methods available at your Ontario casino site of interest, simply read our various Ontario betting site reviews

 

History of legal Ontario online casino play: a review of OLG.ca online casino

Prior to the opening of the iGaming Ontario market in 2022, the only place on the web that Ontarians could legally play online casino games was at the Ontario Lottery Corporation website, olg.ca.  Unfortunately the olg.ca online casino leaves a lot to be desired. First, they are limited in payment methods. They list 'Interac Online' as an available payment method.  Only TD and RBC are set up to allow for Interac Online payments. This means that if you bank with CIBC, BMO, National Bank, Scotiabank or any other bank or credit union, you won't be able to deposit or withdraw via Interac as e-transfers are not available at olg.ca. 

Furthermore, many of the RNG and live casino games that are available at leading iGaming sites are not available at olg.ca.  This really shows up in terms of their available jackpots, table games and live casino games. 

When we last visited olg.ca casino, there were 3 progressive jackpots, 5 'Megabucks' jackpots and 5 'Powerbucks' jackpots. For 'Table Games'. For table games, olg.ca casino only had eight kinds of blackjack games and four kinds of roulette games.  There was one baccarat game, only one Pai Gow game and no Sic Bo games at all.  For live dealer casino games, they only had seven in total, with blackjack, roulette, baccarat and a few other card games.  Most top online casino brands in the new Ontario iCasino market will have a considerably larger selection in casino games, whether RNG or live dealer.

On the positive side of things, if you are only really an online slots player, olg.ca does provide a significant list of slots games.  While we did not see some of the major brands of slots like the Marvel Universe, and some others, we did notice, 'Wheel of Fortune', 'the Price is Right', 'Anchorman', 'Baywatch' and 'Monopoly' branded slots games.  While this would not be the widest array of games, there is plenty to keep online slot fans happy. We also liked that the Returned To Player, or RTP percentages were shown in the 'information' section for each game, and of what we saw, the percentages were competitive.

 

Ontario Brick & Mortar Casinos

Newly legal and licensed Ontario online casinos merely provide a convenient stay-at-home or on-the-go casino option for those that have a computer, tablet or mobile and wish to have an array of casino gaming options at their finger tips. 

It does not mean that real world, brick and mortar casinos in Ontario are at risk.  There are still over 20 casino locations across Ontario, as far south and west as Windsor, as far north as Sudbury and as far east as the Ottawa region.  Most locations of course are within the Golden Horseshoe.  Here are some of the largest Ontario casinos, in alphabetical order.

Caesars Windsor

Cascades Casino Chatham

Casino Ajax

Casino Niagara

Casino Rama

Casino Woodbine (Toronto)

Elements Casino Brantford

Elements Casino Flamboro

Elements Casino Grand River

Elements Casino Mohawk

Fallsview Casino (Niagara)

Gateway Casinos Clinton

Gateway Casinos Innisfil (Georgian Downs)

Gateway Casinos London

Gateway Casinos Sarnia

Gateway Casinos Sudbury

Gateway Casinos Woodstock

Great Blue Heron Casino

Hiawatha Racetrack Slots

Pickering Casino Resort

Playtime Casino Hanover

Rideau Carleton Casino (Ottawa)

Shorelines Casino Peterborough

Shorelines Slots at Kawartha Downs

Starlight Casino Point Edward (Sarnia)