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Former Grey Market Brands to Lead Ontario Market, Predict Experts

After the recent launch of Ontario’s iGaming and mobile sports betting market for private operators, Wall Street analysts have given their early predictions on the sector. The experts anticipate the start of the market will be dominated by former grey operators, who have been present in the region since the early 2000s and are now licensed by the province.

Ontario’s online gambling market opened up on April 4, 2022, and its objective was to stop local gamblers from pouring millions of Canadian dollars into offshore and illegal gaming sites. The province has offered internet operators a penalty-free business-like transition, and it is expected that the operators which are already popular among gamblers, will thrive in the new regime.

Early Forecasts

The market is overseen and managed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, and the grey market operators need its approval. Once licensed these sportsbooks and iCasinos are allowed to legally offer their product in the province. The province is yet to issue its first financial report on the new market but VIXIO GamblingCompliance predicts that the market could be worth CA$2.36 billion by next year.

One of the brands that are already quite popular in the province and is anticipated to do well in the regulated market is Bet365. The sportsbook has been operating in the province for years, and it is now licensed to join the province by the AGCO. It even launched on the first day of the market in April, and now its app is up and running in the jurisdiction.

Macquarie Group analyst Chad Beynon predicts that grey market brands such as Bet365, Betway, Bodog, and several other will have a head start in the market, due to their popularity. Another reason for that is that the local government has practically allowed them to transfer their player bases to a provincially regulated app, which Mr. Beynon finds strange.

The Boston-headquartered DraftKings which is a dominant name in the U.S. markets has also gained approval to join Ontario’s market. However, recently its CEO, Jason Robins claimed that the company does not expect a major share of the market. He also pointed at the grey market operators as according to him there’s a lot of continuity between the grey and regulated markets.

Other Sportsbooks Will Struggle Too

Mr. Beynon believes that in addition to DraftKings, other already established operators from the industry such as FanDuel, BetMGM, and others will also struggle in the new market. However, he predicts that the competitive scene of the market will most likely change since former grey market brands will now have to get used to paying taxes in the province, thus leaving them with less money for customer bonuses.

The expert continued by saying that technology-oriented companies such as Score Media and Gaming will be able to attract many customers. This will be due to the fact that such companies always work on bolstering player experience. But for now, the provincial market is still waiting for AGCO and its iGaming Ontario to release the first numbers on the market.

Source: Lagerquist, Jeff “‘Cleansed’ grey market bookies to dominate Ontario’s legal betting market: analysts”, Yahoo, August 16, 2022