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Ontarians Gamble Online over CA$13.9B in Q4

Ontario has just reported its results from Q4 of its legal iGaming market, and it was confirmed to be another record-setting quarter for the province. For the three months ending on March 31, 2023, local bettors placed over CA$13.9 billion in online sports wagers and casino play. This is a new quarterly handle surpassing the previous high of CA$11.5 billion from Q3.

The provincial market kicked off in April 2022 and it is the first one in Canada, allowing third-party operators and suppliers to acquire permission to join. The sector is overseen by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and iGaming Ontario. For its first full year of operations, it became one of the top 5 markets in North America with over CA$35 billion in handle.

Q4 in Numbers

On Thursday, April 20, 2023, iGaming Ontario revealed that for the three months concluding on March 31, 2023, the province recorded CA$13.9 billion in online gambling activity. During Q4, the total gaming revenue from sports betting and iGaming, excluding Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s share, hit CA$526 million. This was an increase over Q3’s CA$463 million.

In the report, iGO remarked that since the launch, the market has on average expanded by more than 50% in total wagers and gaming revenue each quarter. In addition to that, there were 44 operators and 75 websites up and running in the province’s iGaming sector in Q4. Also, there were 1.01 million active players with CA$174 in average monthly spending per account.

This month, the province marked its first full year of online gambling and released data from the first 12 months. In that time, the sector handled CA$35.6 billion in wagers and brought CA$1.4 billion in revenue. Basketball was the most wagered-on sport for the first year with 28% of the volume, followed by soccer with 15% football at 14% and hockey at 9%.

The AGCO study also discovered 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 online gambling 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.

Potential Ban on Pro Athletes in Ads

In light of the bombardment of sports betting ads in the province, AGCO has recently proposed banning sports stars from featuring in commercials. In its recent proposal, the regulator has also suggested prohibiting the use of cartoon characters, symbols, role models, social media influencers, celebrities or entertainers who usually appeal to younger audiences.

Also, the provincial watchdog informed that it will hear comments on its proposal until May 8, 2023. If and when the changes are made official, the regulator explained that it would take three months after the final standard is published on its official website. This way it would give operators and providers time to alter their marketing strategies accordingly.