Ontario’s online gaming field is preparing for its opening for more casino companies offering their products. In the meantime, HLT Advisory Inc.’s report titled Ontario Gaming Market Assessment and prepared for Great Canadian Gaming Corporation revealed that the following five years could bring more than $2.8 billion in lost gaming revenue and it all stems from players’ heightened interest in online gambling.
In 2021, Ontario announced its plans for launching an open iGaming market for private operators. In the summer, the country enacted Bill C-218, which officially legalized betting on single sporting events, which drew even more interest to the province from industry-leading gambling brands. But first, they would need to undergo an application process.
The government of Premier Doug Ford is preparing for the official launch of the refreshed and enhanced online gambling market Ontario players have wanted to experience for years now. The first new players on the local field have already been revealed and they are bracing for the first day of operation with Canadian enthusiasts. However, concerning predictions begin to surface in the weeks ahead of the greenlighting.
Ontario’s leading casino operator Great Canadian Gaming Corporation requested a report researching the impact this launch would have on gaming revenue. An open Ontario gaming market in the virtual space was expected to be just what the doctor ordered for the provincial coffers, as a new revenue source. However, the tax rate imposed is projected to be lower than what brick-and-mortar casinos are subjected to.
According to the report, within the first year of iGaming operation, Ontario will see $550 million slip away. Within five years, this amount would swell to $2.8 billion. Jeffrey Haas, Senior Vice-President of DraftKings Inc., begged to differ, as he said that players would retain their gaming habits and continue frequenting online or land-based casinos like they did ahead of the launch. The only difference would be that virtual gaming would now happen at onshore online casinos.
What Is to Come
Great Canadian Gaming Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer Tony Rodio said that the report has taken into account the experience other Canadian provinces have had once online gaming was legalized. The results showed that new casino operators and platforms made it hard for brick-and-mortar casinos to retain patrons down the road. Ontario’s government is yet to showcase its position on the subject.
theScore Bet announced that it received a boost for its initiative of becoming a licensed sports betting operator in Ontario. The announcement was made on December 20, 2021, and the company was later on awarded a Gaming Laboratories International GLI-33 certification for its sports betting and iGaming app. The gaming leader on a global scale was one of the first companies to receive a green light.
The market should commence operation sometime in early 2022. The two responsible regulators for the launch are the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and iGaming Ontario, which will be responsible for awarding licenses. Meanwhile, free-to-play gaming operators such as Bet99, Odds Shark, PokerStars, Jackpot City, and Party Casino already promote their offerings.
Source: Crawley, Mike. “Ford government could lose $2.8B over 5 years in online gambling bet, confidential report warns“, CBC, January 17, 2022