Fantasy Sports Operators Leave Ontario, But Sports Betting, iGaming Remain
FanDuel pulled the plug Friday on its paid and free daily fantasy sports contests in Ontario.
However, FanDuel will offer its mobile sports betting and casino games after Ontario launches commercial gaming today.
Taxes, Fee Scare Off Fantasy Operators
Because of high fees and taxes, other fantasy sports operators are expected to join FanDuel in shutting down their fantasy sports operations in the Canada’s largest province.
On its website, FanDuel said it closed its fantasy operations in Ontario on April 1 because of “a change in government regulations.”
The closure in Ontario does not prevent FanDuel customers elsewhere from participating in its fantasy sports games.
“Ontario residents can participate in daily fantasy contests while physically located in other provinces and within U.S. states where daily fantasy is permitted,” according to the FanDuel website. “Additionally, Ontario residents will be able to utilize the FanDuel Sportsbook and Casino products launching in Ontario beginning April 4."
Also in its website, FanDuel lets Ontario players know that their “winnings are fully eligible for withdrawal.”
Participants wanting to withdraw their fantasy account balance, can go to https://www.fanduel.com/withdrawals, according to the company.
Other Fantasy Operators Closing Up Shop In Ontario
The National Fantasy Baseball Championship also let its users know it is shutting down operations in Ontario.
“This is another form of government regulations that could prevent sports fans from playing legal fantasy games, but the NFBC and SportsHub Games Network will obviously have to comply until a change is made,” the company’s founder, Greg Ambrosius, wrote on an online message board.
Association Objects to Tax Rate
Earlier this week, Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association said in a news release that high fees and taxes have made operating paid fantasy sports contests in Ontario “impossible for almost every operator.”
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has imposed a registration fee of $100,000, plus a 25% tax on revenue, on fantasy sports operators, according to the news release.
These rates are almost double what fantasy sports operators pay in the U.S., according to the association.
The association said it will work with Ontario officials to find a way for fantasy sports companies to operate there.
Monday’s Online Sports Betting Launch Sill On Track
While some fantasy sports operators are shutting down in the province, at least temporarily, more than a dozen companies, including FanDuel, have been approved to offer online sports betting and casino games in Ontario.
Mobile sports betting in Ontario launched today. Casino games, or iGaming, also launched today.
For the first time, single-game sports betting will be allowed in the province on commercial smartphone apps.
Bettors also will be allowed to download apps from commercial operators providing casino games such as slots and poker.
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