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Ana Gomes de Almeida
Before joining the team three years ago, Ana worked for five years behind the scenes for household brands like Betway and Betsson. She knows the ins and outs of casinos and sports betting sites. Having witnessed both the positive and negative aspects of the industry, she’s eager to share her expertise with fellow bettors.
Jelena Kabic is a sports betting writer that focusses on responsible gambling. A psychologist by vocation, Jelena volunteered in a rehab facility, where she worked with gambling addicts. She now reviews all our content to ensure it discusses betting in a socially responsible way.
2 months ago
Can You Access Ontario Sportsbooks From Quebec?
Can You Access Ontario Sportsbooks From Quebec?
In this guide, you’ll get the full understanding of whether you can access Ontario-only sportsbooks from Quebec, under which circumstances, and why the whole process is quite complicated.
To learn all about problems & solutions regarding geolocation at Ontario sportsbooks, go here.
Betting at Ontario Sportsbooks From Quebec
There is a world of difference in the availability of different sportsbooks in Ontario and Quebec.
While many renowned sportsbooks choose to offer their services all across Canada, some are more restricted and opt to only work in markets where their business can be fully regulated.
For context, Ontario is the only Canadian province in which international betting operators have a regulated status.
This means that as long as they adhere to the standards set by the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario) and, more specifically, its subsidiary iGaming Ontario, they’re eligible for an iGaming Ontario license and can regulate their status in Ontario.
Meanwhile, Quebec allows online betting but has no regulatory framework for international operators.
This is why some big brands like Betano, FanDuel, BetMGM, or Caesars choose to keep their business in the fully regulated market only.
The full list of these brands includes:
- Royal Panda
- Northstar Bets
So what happens if you try to access these Ontario-only brands from Quebec?
To answer that, first, you need to be familiar with geolocation tools such as GeoComply, XPoint, or sportsbooks’ proprietary tech (like bet365’s Authenticator).
Geolocation tools are used by sportsbooks to determine where their visitors are coming from, and Quebec has recently demonstrated just how dedicated they are to keeping up with the latest developments in the area.
Let’s take as an example Bet99, a brand available both in Ontario and Quebec.
Depending on where you’re coming from, the brand will show you different websites depending on what’s legal in the province, each with region-specific offerings.
For example, horse race betting won’t be available to Ontarians (as it’s not regulated by the AGCO), but it will be to Quebecers.
Alternatively, if the brands, via geolocation tools, detect you’re coming from a location where their services aren’t offered, they’ll make sure to block you from accessing their platform.
This is what will happen if you try to access any of the Ontario-only brands from Quebec.
Can You Access Ontario Sportsbooks From Quebec Using a VPN?
While a VPN sounds like a logical solution, and many companies will claim their VPN is strong enough to bypass these geolocation tools, unfortunately, this isn’t possible.
I used one of the strongest VPNs on the market to try it out myself, and this was the result.
As you can see, Betano recognized I don’t come from Ontario and immediately sent me to the other website.
That said, Betano has since become an ON-only brand, so you wouldn’t get the option of the rest-of-Canada website anymore.
Now, hypothetically, what happens if your VPN does manage to get through the geofencing?
You’ll be able to create an account, but you still won’t pass the verification check.
KYC (know your customer) protocols are mandatory for every sportsbook as a final step to protecting their customers’ identities, as well as themselves, by making sure they’re not breaking any rules of the market they’re operating in.
This is why the final step of account creation will require you to confirm your identity (along with the personal information you provided), including your address.
You will have to provide a photo of one of your personal documents, be it your driver’s license, ID, or passport.
These will make it clear if you are truly living in the province you claimed to be living in while creating your account, and once the sportsbook sees you’re actually trying to create an account from Quebec, they will block you from doing it.
Can You Sign Up Without an Ontario Address?
Those who live in Quebec but spend a lot of time across the border due to work often wonder if the fact that they are physically present in Ontario for the bigger part of the week means they can create an account in the province.
However, unless you have an address in Ontario, you won’t be able to verify you’re a citizen and, therefore, cannot create an account with Ontario sportsbooks.
What to Do if You Have an Ontario Account and Move to Quebec
If you happen to already have an account with an Ontario-only sportsbook (assuming you lived there for a while), what happens if you try to access it from Quebec?
Unfortunately, in order to play at Ontario-only sportsbooks, you need to be physically located in Ontario, too.
Even if you’re just away for the weekend, you won’t be able to play until you’re back in Ontario.
Once again, the geolocation tools will detect you’re visiting the platform from elsewhere and won’t want to risk being non-compliant with Ontario’s online betting rules and regulations.
You have two options depending on how long you’re away from Ontario.
If you’re only in Quebec for, say, a weekend, there isn’t much you can do about it.
You’ll simply have to wait for a few days (or make sure you place some of the bets before leaving the province!)
However, if you’re moving to Quebec permanently, there simply isn’t a way for you to keep accessing Ontario sportsbooks unless when you’re physically in Ontario.
That means you’ll have to create a new account in Quebec in order to keep playing, as long as your chosen sportsbook is available in the province.
This is something Bet99 customer support confirmed to us.
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