Ontario Online Poker: Everything You Need to Know (Promos, Guide, & More)

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Ontario Online Poker January Update

If you prefer Ontario online poker games to physical casinos, you’re in luck. Currently, you’re able to play online poker in Ontario through a number of different methods. The Canadian government isn’t terribly preoccupied with online poker, as the topic of gambling is usually left up to individual provinces rather than the country as a whole. Because current regulations are lax on online poker in Ontario, there are plenty of opportunities to play in the province. Platforms such as PokerStars, BetMGM Poker, and World Series of Poker all give Canadian players in Ontario the opportunity to play different styles of poker online.
It’s not surprising that Ontario, and Canada as a whole, has become such a major country for poker, both online and in casinos. The area has housed such pro poker players as Jonathan Duhamel, Kristen Bicknell, Mike McDonald, and more. Additionally, Ontario is home to a large number of popular physical casinos, such as Casino Niagara, Caesars Windsor Hotel and Casino, Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort, and Casino Rama Resort.

Ontario Online Poker Sites

If you enjoy playing online poker in Ontario, you’ve got some options. While there are already some solid choices, some of the better-known platforms out there should be attempting to make the move to Ontario sooner rather than later. Here are some of the poker operators for Canadian customers.

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PokerStars

Easily one of the biggest online poker operators out there, PokerStars has been around since 2001. The site, one of the biggest international operators out there, was built with competitive play in mind, with action available on numerous types of poker games. Currently, PokerStars offers all the most popular forms of poker, such as Texas Hold ‘em, Omaha, Badugi, and seven-card stud, along with a few others such as 8-Game Mix and HORSE.

Pokerstars app preview display

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WSOP

WSOP (World Series of Poker) is known for its major presence in the U.S., where it reigns as the top online poker platform. But American poker players aren’t the only ones that can play on the platform. WSOP is also available in Canada, where it has partnered with other available platforms in the area, such as GGPoker and 888poker.

WSOP App preview display

BetMGM Poker

BetMGM Poker Logo 3MGM is one of the most respected names in gambling, with casinos and an extremely popular sportsbook in the form of BetMGM Sportsbook. MGM and Entain have teamed up to launch a poker-focused platform in BetMGM Poker. You can play all your favorite styles of poker games with BetMGM Poker, such as no-limit hold’em, pot-limit Omaha, and fixed-limit hold’em. While BetMGM Poker Ontario hasn’t officially launched yet, expect the platform to make the move to poker-friendly Ontario in time.
BetMGM Poker App display

Unibet

Unibet Logo white300Another poker site plenty of Canadians like to play on is Unibet, a U.K.-based platform that also has a background in sports betting. Aimed at more casual players, Unibet offers a variety of different bankrolls for poker tournaments. Two of the biggest poker games on the platform are Texas Hold’em and Omaha.

Ontario Online Poker Legal History

While online poker playing in Ontario isn’t officially legal, it’s not officially illegal either. Currently, Canada’s regulations on gambling don’t have much effect on poker websites that operate in the country. Further regulations or even a full crackdown from regulatory bodies isn’t expected, as politicians in the area have shown little interest in imposing any further restrictions on online poker playing in the area. Therefore, you’re able to play on available sites within any of the 10 different provinces within Canada, including Ontario. Keep in mind that the legal gambling age in Ontario is 19 years or older.
Interestingly, some of the only restrictions when it comes to Ontario online gaming is for advertising. In 2006, Ontario banned any ads related to gambling of any kind. However, this remains the strictest rules on betting at the moment, as Canada outshines numerous other countries when it comes to online poker. These lax restrictions, combined with the legalization of single-game sports betting in the country, are making Canada more and more open to the world of wagering. And those aren’t the only two forms of gambling that have gained acceptance in Canada, as full online casino gaming could possibly get a launch sometime in 2022.

The Future of Legal Online Gambling in Ontario

online pokerThe legal grey area on Ontario online poker means you can still play whenever you’d like, although an official ruling could mean more poker platforms opening up in the province. While there’s no official word on the legalization of online poker in Ontario, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. The biggest bright spot is the legalization and impending launch of single-game sports betting in Canada. Because of that, the red carpet will soon roll out for all the big sportsbooks, like DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, BetMGM, and many more who will want an immediate presence in the province.
The same goes for online casino gaming in Ontario, which hasn’t been officially legalized, but the change of heart on sports gambling could be the difference. If legislation is introduced for online casino gaming, some of the biggest platforms such as Unibet Casino, DraftKings Casino, FanDuel Casino, and Golden Nugget Casino could make a debut in Ontario. Interestingly, Ontario is also making moves to fully privatize online gambling in the area, which could make for an interesting future for gaming in the province. Once sports betting makes its official debut in Ontario, the floodgates could very well open for online casinos and online poker next.

Ontario Online Poker Games

  • Hold’em – Classic Texas Hold’em is one of the most popular types of poker games out there, so it’s safe to say you have options when it comes to Hold’em games in Ontario.
  • Omaha – Omaha plays very similarly to Texas Hold’em, although with more playable cards and a few different rules when it comes to community cards.
  • Stud – Both 5-card and 7-card stud have gained plenty of fans in the poker community, with both available on numerous online platforms.
  • Mixed Games – If you’re looking for a combination of numerous different types of poker in one game, mixed poker is the format for you.
  • Pot Limit vs. No Limit – You also have the option to choose between having a pot-limit (allowing maximum bets equal to the current pot) and no limit (players can bet all their chips, even if it’s pre-flop).
  • Ontario Cash Poker

    If you want to play poker with some real stakes, you’ll be happy to know that real money online poker is available in Ontario. While the U.S. has seen sharper legislation over the years, Ontario remains fairly relaxed when it comes to online poker, meaning you can take your poker winnings.
    Cash poker games are very popular in Canada, thanks in part to its massive population nearing 38 million people. With plenty of different Canadian players on any given day, playing an online poker game in Ontario is fun, fast-paced, and competitive, especially given the opportunity to finish a game with real money online.

    Ontario Tournament Poker

    Fans of online poker tournaments should have no issue playing in Ontario. The major online poker operators in the area offer poker tournament play for bigger pots and more diverse competition. Like with standard cash poker in Ontario, there aren’t any explicit rules against tournament play in the area.

    Ontario Online Poker Bonuses

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    PokerStars

    Right now, PokerStars Ontario users can take advantage of an enticing welcome bonus. New users can currently have their first deposit matched 100% up to $600. Keep in mind that a number of redemption points are needed before you can fully unlock this bonus.

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    Unibet

    If it’s your first time playing Unibet Poker, you’re in luck. The platform’s welcome bonus gives new users a $548 welcome bonus (when adjusted to Canadian currency) and an additional bonus of around $17. Starting off with a free $565 is a great way to start playing poker with Unibet Ontario.

    WSOP

    wsopIf you’re planning on joining WSOP in Ontario, there are some different options when it comes to signup bonuses. One that we’ve seen in the past is a significant 100% deposit match up to $1,000 as well as a $50 free play. WSOP has also offered seven $100 free rolls to new users.

    BetMGM Poker

    BetMGM Poker Logo 3One of the best bonuses around, BetMGM Poker generally offers a $625 bonus for new signups. In addition to a 100% deposit match up to $600, players new to BetMGM Poker can get $25 in free credits.

    Future of Online Poker in Ontario

    While it doesn’t appear any Canadian politicians are going out of their way to make online poker in Ontario fully legal, no one’s attempting to make it fully illegal either. Additionally, the legalization of single-game betting in the area likely signals an overall relaxed attitude on gaming in the area; meaningfully endorsed legalization could very well happen in the future. As it stands, you don’t need to head to the physical casinos in the area and can simply play directly from home.

    Ontario Online Casinos FAQ

    Is online poker legal in Ontario?

    Ontario online poker is in an interesting spot right now, as Canadian law doesn’t strictly forbid or allow playing online poker in the country. Because no politicians currently seem set on outright banning online poker, combined with legalized single-game sports betting, it means that legalized online poker isn’t out of reach.

    Have online poker sites launched in Ontario?

    Most of the major poker platforms are currently available to play in Ontario. The biggest names in online poker, such as PokerStars, WSOP, and Unibet, are all available to play in Ontario right now as long as you’re of legal gambling age and provide the proper signup information.

    What types of poker can I play online?

    If there’s one style of poker you enjoy playing, you should be able to find it on an online poker platform. For example, you’ll easily be able to find Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Stud poker, mixed games, pot limit, and no-limit games.

    What information do I need to provide to play Ontario online poker?

    The info needed to sign up for an Ontario online poker platform depends on which site you use. Generally, you should expect to submit basic information such as name, address, phone number, and email. Additionally, you’ll need to create a username and password.

    Is it possible to win real money with online poker in the area?

    Online poker Canadian players should be happy to know that they have the option to play real money poker games in the province. Unless there is a total crackdown or a sharp change in legislation, don’t expect this to change anytime soon.

    How can I pay for online poker in Ontario?

    You’ve got numerous payment options when it comes to depositing into your Ontario online poker account. Some of these methods include payment with a basic credit and debit card, a wire transfer, bank transfer, prepaid card, and even online methods like PayPal and Skrill. You’ll also find various withdrawal options.

    What online poker sites are available in Ontario?

    If there’s a poker site you enjoy playing on, there’s a good chance you’ll find it in Ontario. PokerStars, one of the biggest names in online poker, is fully available in the province, along with Unibet, WSOP, and many more.

    Are other forms of online gambling legal in Ontario?

    In 2021, Canada officially gave the green light to legal single-match sports betting. This paves the way for sportsbooks to begin partnering with casinos and entering the Canadian market. Additionally, it’s likely that full online casinos will begin launching soon.

    What is the tax situation for Ontario online poker?

    Currently, there aren’t any specific taxes revolving around betting-related companies in Canada, as long as gambling platforms cooperate with any local and federal laws around taxes. Unlike recreational players, professional poker players do need to pay income tax if it’s their main income source.

    What do I need to play online poker in Ontario?

    Most commonly, online poker is played through a desktop computer. However, certain poker platforms out there also give you the option to play games directly from your smartphone, giving you the choice to play at home or on the go.

    Anthony Elio is a CU Boulder graduate with a degree in creative writing and advertising. He’s spent the past few years diving into the world of sports betting, focusing on everything from NFL to NHL and beyond.