Have DFS been banned in Ontario since regulation changes?

DFS or daily fantasy sports has become an extremely popular pastime in Ontario, and its legal stance in this region has evolved particularly with the regulatory changes in April 2022. It has affected daily fantasy sports betting in Ontario and online gambling, making the legal status of DFS more nuanced. This means that various platforms must adapt to these changes, as they differ from traditional sportsbook wagering.


The question on many online bettors’ minds – particularly those based in Ontario – is whether DFS has been banned in Ontario since regulation changes. Well, the answer is no, and it’s not illegal. However, the lawmakers in the province have tightened up and made the legislation stricter, with higher taxation and other rules imposed by the government. More specifically, the iGaming operators must have licenses – if they don’t, they cannot accept bettors from Ontario, moreover, it is required that the player pool only be within the province.

Understanding the legality of DFS in Ontario

Let me start off by stressing that DFS has not been banned in Ontario – it’s perfectly legal and offered by sportsbooks that have complied with the new regulations.

Currently, Ontario is home to over two million fantasy players. Fantasy sports is deemed a form of gambling as opposed to its definition of it being a game of skill, leading to many restrictions being imposed by the regulators in Ontario. Thus, it has become a lot harder for operators to offer their services and DFS, as the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission) requires a C$100 000 registration fee, plus they levied a 25% tax on the DFS operator revenue – double the amount any US state imposes.

Further to this, Ontarians are not allowed liquidity share with players from other states or provinces, meaning DFS had to be geo-fenced, leading to smaller prize pools and fewer players. Two operators decided to discontinue operating their DFS operations in Ontario, citing the fees imposed by the AGCO as being far too high.

Is DFS deemed to be gambling?

This is a contentious topic because one could class daily fantasy sports or DFS as a game of skill rather than a game based on chance. Breaking it down further, gambling is defined as placing a bet on a pre-empted outcome for money or property, which could define DFS as gambling. It’s a way for people to combine their enjoyment for the love of sport with their drive for competition, however, legally, it’s not classed as gambling.

Sportsbooks that offer DFS in Ontario

There are two major online sports betting sites in Ontario that continue to offer DFS. This reinforces the fact that it has not been banned in this region. Instead, various DFS operators that were previously offering DFS, including DraftKings and FanDuel, and were given the option of building separate Ontario-only platforms to continue, decided to opt out.

Two well-known and non-offshore reputable sportsbooks open for adrenalin junkies are Drafters and Owners Box, which offer DFS games under a specific legal framework to players based in Ontario.


Based in Ontario, OwnersBox is one of the few remaining options for local daily fantasy sports enthusiasts. Despite its availability across Canada and in 36 US states, the platform remains relatively small. OwnersBox offers a betting app for both iOS and Android, currently serving over 40,000 users.

What sets OwnersBox apart is its ongoing collaboration with regulators, allowing it to continue operations for now. This partnership demonstrates a commitment to responsibility from both the operator and Canadian authorities, sending a positive message.

While OwnersBox isn’t officially regulated and circumstances may change, it continues to provide a local option for Ontario daily fantasy sports players.

OwnersBox DFS pros and cons


  • Local presence: As an Ontario-based company, OwnersBox provides peace of mind for local players.
  • Diverse offerings: Great DFS options catering to players of all backgrounds and experience levels.
  • Regulatory efforts: Actively working with Ontario legislators to become officially regulated, similar to sports betting and online casinos.


  • Smaller user base when compared to bigger industry names, which can result in some contests not filling up.
  • Regulatory uncertainty: If Ontario decides to disallow OwnersBox from running DFS contests, users may need to find alternatives.


Drafters is a legal daily fantasy sports site where players get to place bets. It is based in Toronto and continues to offer local players a variety of sports options through its snake drafts and daily and weekly competitions.

Drafters offer real-money live fantasy sports drafting, with over a million entries placed on the site to date. Players have won more than $15 million in prizes so far.

While Drafters may not have the same recognition as FanDuel or DraftKings, it provides a safe and enjoyable platform for daily fantasy sports contests. One of its main features is the pick option, where players predict if a competitor will exceed or fall short of the target number. This is just one of several unique features Drafters offers.

Drafters DFS pros and cons


  • Pick ’em feature: A unique option different from most traditional daily fantasy sports formats.
  • User-friendly interface: The website and app are easy to navigate, even for those who aren’t tech-savvy.
  • Reputable and accessible: One of the few non-offshore DFS sites in Ontario.


  • Smaller player pools: Typically not as large as some other daily fantasy sports sites previously available in Ontario.
  • Limited banking methods: While somewhat restrictive, it doesn’t prevent players from participating.


The future of DFS in Ontario

Is there a future for daily fantasy sports in Ontario? There certainly is, however, it all hinges on finding a regulatory middle ground whereby DFS’s uniqueness can be recognized when compared to the paradigms of conventional gambling.

The AGCO will need to consider finding a more harmonized approach to their regulatory procedures throughout the provinces, making it a more favourable option in a new era of innovation and substantial growth in the daily fantasy sports sphere, especially across the entire country, which includes Ontario. In doing so, they are sure to draw back operators and players alike.

Currently, the new regulations have stifled a once thriving hub for daily fantasy sports that once numbered in the millions, while the regulated sports betting market in Ontario is raking in a good profit positioning themselves as a driving force in iGaming around the province.

To sum up, DFS is not banned or strictly forbidden in terms of Ontario or Canadian laws. Instead, there have been significant issues surrounding, licensing fees, the tax rate, liquidity and the prize pool. OwnersBox and Drafters continue to operate in Ontario and will continue to work to ensure they remain an ever-present name when it comes to offering DFS to Ontarians. Going forward, any legal changes to get DFS back up and running at its previous capacity will have to be submitted to the Ministry of the Attorney General, not the AGCO, Ontario’s regulator.

Our source of information

We have sourced most of the above information from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario which is also known as the AGCO. The AGCO serves as a regulatory body with the primary purpose of ensuring that the industries it oversees operate with integrity, honesty and in the public interest.

The AGCO’s responsibilities include licensing and regulating individuals and businesses in these sectors, enforcing legislation, conducting inspections and investigations, and implementing policies to promote responsible operations. Its ultimate goal is to protect the public.