Progressive Conservative Ontario Premier Doug Ford tabled his first budget since getting elected last year and it is going to “establish a competitive market for online legal gambling,” allowing Ontarians to be able to gamble using their smartphone.
Ontario Budget 2019 says by legalizing single event sports wagering it will help Ontarians “have access to safe and legal gambling options.”
The provincial government plans to consult with stakeholders to create the right framework and foster “an exciting gaming experience.”
Along with that, the budget indicated that Ontarians spend about $500 million CAD a year gambling online at illegal websites and now the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is going to take steps to improve access to its services and create more jobs and protect Canadians when purchasing tickets online.
These initiatives will include partnering with the private sector to “leverage billions of dollars of new investments” to expand current casinos, “enhance the retail experience” for those purchasing tickets at grocery stores or retail locations, updating lottery terminals and partnering with professional sports leagues.
The OLG also intends to offer consumers “the ability to purchase products such as Pro-Line and Lotto 6/49 using their smartphones.”
A press release from the provincial government said it has reduced the deficit by $3.3 billion, going from $15 billion to a “projected” $11.7 billion for the 2018-19 fiscal year.
“The government is planning to further reduce the deficit by $1.4 billion in the 2019-20 fiscal year, lowering it to $10.3 billion,” it said.
“We are restoring sustainability to government finances in order to protect what matters most,” said Ontario’s Finance Minister Vic Fedeli.
“The previous government was spending about $40 million a day more than it was collecting in revenue. Our plan will make every dollar count so we can continue to invest in the critical programs like health care, education, and other services that the people of Ontario rely upon each and every day while protecting frontline workers.”
Source: Government of Ontario