Status Of Daily Fantasy Sports In Ontario Questioned

Status Of Daily Fantasy Sports In Ontario Questioned

Court Reference Filed

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) players in Ontario could be in for some excellent news. The Ontario government announced earlier this week that it had filed a reference with the Court of Appeal to examine the legal status of players from outside the province competing on online DFS games with those within the province. 

Current Status Of DFS In Ontario 

When the Ontario sports betting and casino market opened in April 2022, it was ruled that players would not be able to partake in games with those outside of the market. This effectively shut down fantasy sports in the region, with leading operator DraftKings and FanDuel both removing their DFS offerings from the market. 

The law states that DFS operators are required to pay the same $100,000 yearly licensing fees as sportsbooks, with a 20% tax on revenue also applied by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). This made fantasy sports in Ontario seem financially not viable for a lot of operators. 

Time Frame

While this discussion is undoubtedly exciting for DFS fans in Ontario, there is still some way to go before any changes are made. The question is worded as follows: 

Would legal online gaming and sports betting remain lawful under the Criminal Code if its users were permitted to participate in games and betting involving individuals outside of Canada as described in the attached Schedule? If not, to what extent?

This will be addressed by the Court of Appeal in Toronto between November 26th and 28th. No decisions are expected to be immediately made, but many believe that this recognition is a step in the right direction. 

As things stand, operators are still able to offer DFS in the province, but the fact that only players from Ontario are able to play and that taxes and licensing fees are so high, has meant no operator wants to do so. 


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