GGPoker players in Ontario are receiving notice that they will soon have to migrate to WSOP.ca as the site prepares to go live on September 30.
WSOP.ca will be the sixth site to launch in Ontario since officials in the Canadian province decided to tax and regulate the online gambling market, which opened for business in April. The site is a little late to this market, as 888poker, BetMGM (and its skins, partypoker, and bwin) all launched in April, with PokerStars joining in late June.
It may sound like players in Ontario are lucky its government decided to tax and relate the online gambling space, but it’s terrible for its online poker consumers for a number of reasons.
Legalized online poker comes with fewer choices
Before Canada allowed its provinces to decide whether or not to stop its residents from accessing global gambling sites, including poker, players in Ontario had dozens of online poker sites to choose from.
But, since Ontario decided to geofence its residents by passing restrictive gaming regulations, players there have lost access to the global online poker rooms and their global player pools that allow for tournament prizes to climb into the stratosphere.
Ontario law dictates that players must be located within the province’s borders, and the sites only provide access to those players. That smaller pool of eligible players limits the amount of money that can be won through tournaments.
GGPoker, whose software will run WSOP.ca, continues to allow players in Ontario to access the global market as it prepares for launch. That, however, will end soon.
What happens to current GGPoker players’ accounts?
Since it’s essentially the same GGPoker software, current accounts will automatically be transferred over to WSOP.ca, but some steps will have to be taken before playing for real money on the site.
Players began receiving their “pre-onboarding” notices when they opened up their poker app on Monday, with instructions on how to comply with Ontario’s regulations.
Existing verified players will have to give the site additional personal details, and players who haven’t gone through GGPoker’s verification process will be required to provide a valid photo ID. But because it’s a brand-new site, current players will have access to the same welcoming bonuses that will be available for all new players.
Also, Ontario players will be allowed to have two accounts: One to play on WSOP.ca in Ontario, and one to play on GGPoker in the other Canadian provinces and elsewhere.
What about current account balances and earned promotions?
Cash and tournament ticket values will be changed from US to Canadian dollars using the exchange rate at the time of migration. Today, the Canadian dollar is worth .75 US cents.
Promotions earned through GGPoker will be erased, but according the FAQ provided, “all players migrating to WSOP.ca will be able to take advantage of all of the new player promotions being offered.” Also, all requested cash-outs will be processed before WSOP.ca goes live.
The stable of GGPoker ambassadors, including Ontario’s own Daniel Negreanu, will represent WSOP.ca.