The long wait is finally over, as Ontario has now published its first official fiscal report on its new online gambling and sports betting market. For its first three months of operations, the private market has managed to accumulate a wagering handle of over CA4 billion, but only CA$162 million in revenue. However, those numbers are less than the province’s projections.
Ontario’s private market for digital gambling and sports betting officially opened on April 4, 2022. The new iGaming model is overseen by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and its subsidiary iGaming Ontario. And as of now, the two have given regulatory permission to 18 operators and 31 betting sites to legally operate in the province.
First Market Numbers
According to iGaming Ontario, the numbers for the first three months of operations since launch are CA$4.076 billion in total handle and only CA$162 million in revenue for the province. In its report, the province also said that for the quarter the market had 492,000 active player accounts and an average monthly spend of CA$113. But this does not include wagered promotional bonuses.
As mentioned, in Q1 gaming revenue reached just CA$162 million, which is slightly less than the initially projected numbers by experts. The hold for the quarter was 3.9%, however, has raised concerns as it is substantially below the one in other similar markets. For instance, for its first quarter of operations, New York reported a hold of 6.63%.
However, it should be clarified that the report for the first quarter does not include many popular and former grey-market operators who debuted only after the conclusion of the said quarter. And despite the lower-than-expected numbers in revenue, iGaming Ontario is still pleased with the initial performance of the private market in Ontario.
In the new release, Dave Forestell, Board Chair of iGaming Ontario, said that the organization’s objective is to transform into the best gaming jurisdiction in the world. And in his opinion, the first results of the market are quite promising. He continued by saying that with a competitive revenue share rate and low barrier to entry, Ontario is among the most desirable iGaming locations around.
Latest Market News
The financial performance of the market should only improve as more and more gaming brands have joined the province as licensed operators. The latest operator to gain AGCO approval was Sports Interaction and the company is quite popular in the region, as it operates in the country since the early 2000s. It is run by Mohawk Online, which is a socio-economic initiative wholly owned by the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake.
Meanwhile, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is keeping a close eye on the iGaming model and whether operators abide by the rules. Most recently, Unibet was fined by the regulator and it was imposed a fine of CA$48,000. According to the commission, the operator broke the rules for promoting ads stating that offer generous welcome offers.
Source: Hochman, Jared “Ontario Sports Betting: Initial iGO Report Shows Over $4B in Wagers, Revenue Lower Than Expected” Covers, August 30, 2022