The Ontario Lottery Corporation’s own, home-grown online gambling solution, a website called PlayOLG, was officially launched in January 2015. Online gambling has been an activity involving lots of Ontario residents before the launch of the website, but due to lack of a local alternative, people did most of their online gambling at legitimate but otherwise unlicensed offshore operators like ca.platinumplaycasino.com. This meant no tax revenues and gambling profits from this pretty profitable branch of the gambling industry remained within the province’s not-for-profit lottery corporation. PlayOLG was – and still is – a viable alternative for locals with a taste for online gambling. Unfortunately, it was the subject of a lot of criticism (and rightly so) because of its shortcomings. But years have passed, and things have changed. The progress the portal made is impressive – but is it enough? Let’s take a look.
Bonuses and player benefits
Instead of trying to force local online gamblers to use its product, like Loto Quebec is trying to do for at least a year, PlayOLG chose to offer them a carrot instead of a stick: bonuses and player benefits similar to what its offshore competitors traditionally have. Currently, PlayOLG offers its new players a $15 bonus for their first deposit, up to $50 on their second, up to $100 on their third, and several others – more recently, ones that are linked to using its brand new mobile casino app. And players also get a special bonus on their birthdays.
PlayOLG promised its players a mobile version of its website ever since its launch – and it made good on this promise this year. Instead of emulating its offshore competitors that have chosen to offer a browser-based alternative to their mobile users (and avoiding any security-related issues), PlayOLG had gone with a native app. To install it, Android users have to trust “unknown sources” – which probably makes some of them uncomfortable.
PlayOLG has a game library provided by one software developer, which would not be an issue – but the variety of games available here is pretty limited. Which is bad for those playing casino games online for entertainment rather than for the win. Offshore online casinos have far more games in their offer, which makes them more attractive for players seeking fun. The above-mentioned Platinum Play, for example, has a game library provided by UK-based developer Microgaming, with a total of more than 700 titles in its downloadable library. Other online casinos have a much wider variety of games, some even exceeding 1000 (!) titles. Which means that their users can play a new game each day for almost three years.