It’s something operators and online gaming enthusiasts had been pushing for, for months. On April 4 this year, legalized online gaming was finally launched in Ontario, Canada as part of a private sector.
While many are excited about the potential that such a market holds, local unions are worried. The implications for land-based casinos and their employees are troublesome.
Unions are fearing that a booming online gambling market could eventually lead to the loss of thousands of jobs.
Two Opposing Arguments
A recent independent study underscores these fears.
According to the study, the launch of an iGaming sector in Ontario could see the land-based casino industry lose up to 25% of its employees. With industries and households still reeling from the effects of the global health crisis, a further increase in unemployment could spell disaster.
Even though some analysts have described the conclusions in the study as extreme, others are anticipating the worst-case scenario.
A voice falling into the latter category is that of Jerry Dias, National President of one of Canada’s largest labor unions, Unifor. Dias believes the launch of a privatized iGaming sector in Ontario will almost certainly result in major job losses. He used Caesars Windsor as an example. He explained that such an establishment will have to cut as many as 100 jobs from a total of 500.
Dias said in his opinion, that regulated iGaming in the province will create an unfair playing field in the local gambling sector. Land-based casinos are now about to draw the shortest straw.
Many Voice Strong Concern
Also expressing similar concerns to those voiced by Dias had been Rocco Rossi, President of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. Rossi went as far as sending official correspondence to the office of the Attorney General.
In his letter, Rossi highlighted the possible consequences of what could happen to the job market because of the launch of the iGaming market. Rossi explained that the more the online gaming market grows, the more the land-based sector will suffer losses.
A plight was recently made by local MPP Percy Hatfield. He requested some form of assurance from the government that no job losses would be suffered as a result of a newly launched iGaming industry.
In his request to the government, Hatfield asked for special attention to be paid to the protection of land-based casino workers. He furthermore drew the government’s attention to the fact that the land-based casino industry is a major monetary contributor, especially in sectors like education and public health.