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TonyBet gains Ontario license from AGCO

December 5, 2022

In 2021, TonyBet entered the Canadian "grey market" in a significant manner, with sizeable media buys across the country.  These traditional media ads drove traffic to their free-to-play site, TonyBet.net, while their for-money site, TonyBet-dot-com gained the most important brand recognition, though it was of course never named in the ads.

Today, TonyBet received their AGCO license to operate one of the province's many legal Ontario betting sites and online casinos.  Given the investment they made in 2021, and how relatively inexpensive it is to join and operate in the legal Ontario market, this was always a possibility for TonyBet, though we had no firm expectations.  Since they operate their main brand from Estonia, as opposed to Malta or Gibraltar, whose gaming regulators would look to respect Ontario's new jurisdiction, questions remained over how an Estonian-based and regulated gaming brand would treat Ontario.  Would they respect the Ontario rules or would they essentially become a "black market" operator?

Once the AGCO stated its October 31/22 deadline for exiting the Ontario "grey market" for those without a license, TonyBet made their site inaccessbile to Ontario players in order to comply.  It appears that any Ontario players that wanted access to their "grey market" accounts have had to contact TonyBet via email in order to withdraw funds. 

Will TonyBet offer a compelling gaming and betting proposition in the Ontario market?  TonyBet Canada's platform essentially saw no difference from their European version.  Convenience links were all very Euro-centric, and few if any of the most popular leagues for Canadians ever entered into these spots on their platforms, so anyone looking to bet on the NFL or MLB would have to navigate deeper into the site compared to those sportsbooks that properly tailored themselves to Canadian tastes.  Beyond this, since they are so European-focused, the odds margin charged on markets like NFL or NBA point spreads was near 7%, when most operators are at 5% or better.  Will any of this change at TonyBet Ontario?  Time will tell. 


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