This week is an important one for Ontario’s gambling industry, as the province marked its first-year anniversary of the introduction of its online gambling sector. In just 12 months, the first-of-its-kind market in the country handled CA$35.6 billion in wagers and brought CA$1.4 billion in revenue, making it one of the top iGaming jurisdictions on the continent.
The province’s online sector for gambling and sports betting was the first of this nature in Canada and is operated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and iGaming Ontario. Since its debut on April 4, 2022, the sector recorded more than 1.6 million active users on websites run by more than 40 operators who have been licensed by iGO to work legally in the province.
First Year in Numbers
For its first calendar year of operations, Ontario’s iGaming sector witnessed around CA$35.6 billion in total placed wagers, which brought in approximately CA$1.4 billion in total gaming revenue. And according to numbers from the regulator, active player accounts spend around CA$70 every month on iGaming via one of the many options.
Also, as found by an Ipsos survey from March 2023 and recently published by AGCO, approximately 85% of the participants who gambled online in the province over the last three months have done so on regulated sites. The most preferred sport to bet on for the first year was basketball with 28% of the bets, followed by soccer with 15% football at 14% and hockey at 9%.
In addition to that, the new survey found that in terms of the online casino portion of the market, almost half of all gamblers preferred slots, as they accounted for 48% of the iCasino volume. Meanwhile, nearly a third of the casino play or 32% was captured by table games with a live dealer. Then the remainder or the rest 19% went to computer-based table games.
Commenting on the anniversary, Attorney General Doug Downey, said the iGaming market has successfully replaced the pre-existing unregulated one and made the jurisdiction a leader in the industry. He added that government is pleased with the strong, responsible, and competitive model. He also thanked iGO’s executives for their tremendous effort and for making it a reality.
However, recently the news about Coolbet exiting the local iGaming market has been a cause of concern for some. The operator said that its departure was due to putting the maximizing of profitability first as well as the investment capital and resources into only the highest return regions. It said that it did not project near-term profitability in the market.
Meanwhile, shortly after the news about the shutdown, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario reminded that operators who exit the market should also abide by the departure regulations. The regulator said the province’s iGaming standards must be met for all instances where the relationship between the operator and a player is terminated
Source: “Ontario Emerges as One of North America’s Largest iGaming Markets in First Year” PR Newswire, April 4, 2023