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Cybercrime Warning As Sports Betting in Ontario is Legalized


The history of Canadians enjoying legal sports gambling with parlay and pari-mutuel betting since 1985 is no surprise. Ontario has become the first province to broaden its sports betting market to include ‘single-event’ betting. 

The backstory

Before the passing of Bill C-218 - the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act last June, the only legal type of sports betting in Canada was allowed through parlays and horse racing. However, with the federal ban on single-game sports betting in Canada officially lifted as of August 27, 2021, the legalizing of single-game wagering has introduced an entirely new dimension to sports gambling.

April 4, 2022, marked the first time a provincial government welcomed third-party online gaming operators into the fold, with Ontario launching its new iGaming market. iGaming Ontario (IGO), a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), introduced standards for registered private gaming operators - a total of 17 sportsbooks and 28 gaming operators were allowed to be operational in the province with nearly 30 online sportsbooks and betting sites in the pipeline.

Sports betting in Ontario

Ontario is touted as the next highly-coveted sports betting market. With a population of approximately 14.57 million, the expected gross revenue from sports betting is estimated to touch $800 million this year. This means that Ontarians can now wager on casino games, sporting, and other gaming events to generate many opportunities for online gambling companies.

Partner and co-chair of the National Sports and Gaming Law Practice Group at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Cameron Macdonald, believes that introducing the new legal regime is likely to boost consumer engagement and related capital market activities. He says, “It is the birth of a whole new sector and will drive a lot of jobs. For the first time in Canadian history, private companies can enter Ontario and a competitive gaming marketplace to offer similar services to Ontarians.”

Data Leaks in Online Gambling Apps

While online gambling apps have been a source of great entertainment and revenue, they have also proved to be a potential threat to user data. In the past few years, there have been many instances where online gambling apps have leaked user data.

In 2020, a massive data leak was discovered on the popular casino gambling app Cubillion. The data leak affected over 1.5 million users and included sensitive information such as their full names, home addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and gender. 

The report showed that a record was logged into an unprotected database at every instance of account creation, game entry, and game status changes, such as wins or losses. Over 200 million records per day (50GB) were created, including details of global activities of Android and iOS users and other forms of PII such as IP and email addresses and private messages. The data leak that impacted Canada revealed the average user activity of approximately 7700 users.

In 2021, it was alleged that a hacker forum thread had a seller claiming to leak the details of 500,000 Betway customers based in the UK. The threat actor posted a partial dump of 10,000 Betway customer records that could be used in high-end spear phishing attacks.


The leaders who recognize the significant financial benefit for Ontario as a path to innovation and a regulated market may assist the province in modernizing and keeping competitive. However, there are some compliance issues to consider when looking at the influx of billions of dollars of additional revenue:

  • Gaming businesses looking to get inducted must first register through the AGCO portal with assistance from compliance guides

  • Businesses seeking legal counsel to navigate registration must ensure that their platforms are compliant with the AGCO and IGO standards

  • Certifications and testing may become a mandate for providing services

  • Regulatory compliance must be ensured through control matrices certified by third parties

It is understood that free online gambling and gaming sites are potential areas for attacks and hacking from cybercriminals. Packetlabs can help secure your application by conducting a thorough security application test. Contact the Packetlabs team today for a free, no-obligation consultation.