Daily Fantasy Sports players are trying to revive competitions in Ontario

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Daily Fantasy Sports players are trying to revive competitions in Ontario

Daily Fantasy Sports fans are urged to send emails to lawmakers asking them to revive DFS competitions in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province.

On the Fantasy Sports For All website, Ontario users can type their own message to the authorities, or use the message that already exists and then click the red “Send Email” button to fire it. The website is created by a collaboration of DFS operators.

The preformatted message reads, “As your constituent, I am calling on you to help bring everyday fantasy sports back online in Ontario.”

“It makes no sense to me that Ontario residents should be barred from participating in daily fantasy sports competitions,” the statement said.

The push to revive everyday fantasy sports in Ontario comes at a popular time for DFS participants. The NFL regular season is in full swing, and the NHL and NBA regular seasons are scheduled to begin in October. Ice hockey is particularly popular in Canada, with NHL betting attracting interest throughout the season.

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Fees, taxes lead to the closure of DFS

About six months ago, New York-based FanDuel shut down its DFS operations in Ontario, citing “a change in state regulations.”

Other DFS operators have also pulled the plug on these Ontario competitions but continue to offer traditional sports betting and iGaming.

In a press release at the time, the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association said high fees and taxes made running paid fantasy sports competitions in Ontario “impossible for almost any operator.”

In Ontario, DFS operators must pay a registration fee of US$100,000 plus a 25% tax on revenue. Those rates are almost twice the rate of DFS operators in the US, the association said.

Ontario also requires that all players entering DFS competitions be physically resident in the province, limiting the size of player pools.

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DFS association for working with civil servants

Ontario officials have not indicated they are willing to make concessions to restore DFS competitions in the province beyond current offerings. One operator, OwnersBox, makes its SuperFlex DFS game available across Canada, including Ontario, according to its website.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission says on its website that the decision to offer pay-to-play fantasy sports “is an individual business decision resting with registered operators”.

The commission urges anyone seeking additional information to contact the provincial chief legal adviser.

“We understand that operators are not currently offering pay-to-play fantasy sports, primarily due to their inability to allow non-Ontario residents access to the regulated Ontario offering (i.e. pooled liquidity) to enable,” says the Commission’s website. “Questions on this subject should be directed to the Department of Attorney General.”

The Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association has said it will continue to work with Ontario officials to resolve the issue.

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Sports Betting, Online Casinos Remian Active in Ontario

The issues related to daily fantasy sports do not affect other online games in the province.

In April, mobile bookmakers were approved to offer sports betting and online casinos in Ontario.

FanDuel, DraftKing and BetMGM are among the online operators offering these games to bettors in the province.

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