Shortly after Ontario released its first private iGaming market numbers, Betting Hero released research on the province’s grey sports betting market. The subsidiary of the Vancouver-based, FansUnite, discovered that more than half of provincial sports bettors preferred grey market options before the launch of the regulated market on April 4, 2022.
Ontario’s provincially-run online gaming and sports betting market was introduced by the local government to privatize the market and eliminate grey market operations. This way revenue is set to stay within the province. And before the launch of the new market, the only legal online sports betting in the province was provided by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
Betting Hero’s latest study discovered that 51% of Ontario’s sports bettors used grey market online sportsbooks before the launch of the provincially regulated market. It has also found that 25% of local bettors are willing to try a new sport betting app due to promotions. The company noted that the percentage is almost half of New Jersey and New York where bettors claimed the same.
In addition to that, the study finds that 38% of local sports betting enthusiasts prefer to wager on bet365. The popularity of the app can be explained by the fact that it operated in the grey market for years. It has also been discovered that similar to many U.S. markets, Ontarians are most likely to wager on NFL football, NBA basketball, and NHL hockey.
However, the study found that payments can be an issue for gaming consumers, as 31% of the questioned said that they have experience withdrawal difficulties, saying that the withdrawal process could be slow at times. The percentage is more than double the one of New York which is 13%. These differences are explained by the fact that Ontario is still working out its new market.
Betting Hero’s President Jai Maw, commented that the study shows how Ontario is still dealing with its grey market past. He noted that Canadian sports bettors have slightly different behaviour than players, as in his words, Great White North player are often less attracted or less aware of the available promotions and are more loyal to their preferred sports wagering platform.
First Market Numbers
Just recently Ontario released its first financial report on its new iGaming and regulated market. However, the numbers are not quite the expected. For its first three months of operations, the market has managed to generate a handle of CA$4.076 billion but only CA$162 million in revenue. It should be clarified that for the said three months, not all licensed operators were up and running.
While Ontario’s gambling industry reflects on the first quarter fiscal results, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission continues to license operators. Lastly, sports betting and iGaming technology provider Altenar has gained access to the market. The operator offers an immense variety of sports wagering products which will be soon accessible for Ontarians on desktop and mobile devices.
Source: Warren, Greg “Northern Exposure: Revenue Report Reaction, Study On Gray Market” SportsHandle, September 1, 2022