OLG customer ‘previews’ begin for online gambling website

WATCH: The new PlayOLG website will feature blackjack, slots and the ability to buy lottery tickets. Alan Carter reports.

TORONTO – The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is launching its online gambling website, but not before it is tested with a “soft launch.”

The OLG has selected a group of players from its winner’s circle rewards program to provide feedback on the gambling site prior to its official release sometime early next year.

The first 500 invitations were issued to eligible loyalty members who expressed interest in participating in this preview.

Additionally, another 17,000 members will be issued invitations in the coming weeks.

The PlayOLG site will feature casino-style games including slots, blackjack, baccarat and roulette, as well as the ability to buy lottery tickets.

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Some of the OLG’s “Responsible Gambling Features” include management tools to set financial or time limits on game plays and support services to assess a players gambling behaviour.

The agency says approximately half a million Ontarians spend up to $500-million a year in out-of-province sites not regulated by the government.

The OLG will now join British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec and all of the Atlantic Canada in offering a provincially regulated Internet gambling option.

The province hopes to bring in $375 million in additional profits in its first five years of operation.

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