Canada’s Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has announced the long-awaited official launch of its GTECH-powered PlayOLG.ca online gaming offering, following a successful preview for members of its rewards programme last month.

PlayOLG.ca is now live and available to all Ontarians of gambling age, meaning players across the province can now register and gamble online. The site features a range of casino games including slots, blackjack, baccarat and roulette, as well as the sale of tickets for lottery games LOTTO 6/49, LOTTO MAX and ENCORE. Players will be aided by a dedicated customer service team based in Ontario.

New products such as online poker, bingo and sports betting will be added in the future.

The site is expected to generate around CAD$375m in profits over its first five years of operation, with the money to be used to fund hospitals, community infrastructure and other government projects in the province.

With the launch of PlayOLG as a new line of business, OLG said that it will provide more money to the government of Ontario for hospitals, community infrastructure and other government priorities.

“We are excited to launch PlayOLG, an important milestone in the modernization of gaming in Ontario,” OLG vice president of iGaming John Wisternoff said of the launch. “For Ontarians who love the excitement of gaming, PlayOLG offers a safe and regulated alternative to grey market websites.”

The site is powered by technology provided by GTECH, following a deal agreed in March 2012. Wisternoff praised GTECH’s software, which he said provided “a safe, secure, regulated and entertaining Internet gaming option in Ontario.”

Matteo Monteverdi, GTECH senior vice president of interactive for North America and iGaming, said his company’s solution would support OLG’s drive to become a more innovative and sustainable organisation without compromising its commitment to responsible gambling.

“Our flexible and innovation solutions will meet OLG’s goals, and will adhere to the highest standards of responsible gambling and player protection,” he explained.

Ontario becomes the latest Canadian province to launch an online gaming offering, after British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces. Currently around 500,000 spend between $400m and $500m gambling on grey market sites.

The long-awaited launch of the PlayOLG site comes more than four years after plans to enter the iGaming sector were first announced in August 2010. Having originally expected to go live in 2012, the project suffered a number of delays, centring around issues with product development.

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