This week, Ontario disclosed its numbers on the online gambling sector for the second quarter of the current 2023-2024 fiscal year. For the period of July 1, 2023, through September 30, 2023, iGaming operators in the province recorded a betting handle of CA$14.2 billion. This was an amazing 132% increase over the Q2 of last year but excludes promotional bonuses.
On April 4, 2022, Ontario became the first Canadian jurisdiction which opened its regulated online gambling sector to third-party operators. The notion behind the regulatory framework was to protect local players from offshore betting sites. It is overseen by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and its subsidiary iGaming Ontario.
Latest Numbers on the Sector
iGaming Ontario reported that in Q2 total gaming revenue reached CA$540 million or a 105% increase over Q2 of the previous FY. These figures include total cash bets, including rake fees, tournament fees, and other fees recorded by all licensed operators in the province from July 1, 2023, through September 30, 2023. It also excludes player winnings from cash wagers.
Furthermore, there were 47 operators and 71 gaming websites up and running during the quarter. These platforms clocked approximately 943,000 active player accounts with an average monthly spend of CA$191. However, cash and/or promotional wagering activity in that time and these numbers do not represent unique players as individuals may have set up multiple accounts with different brands.
To break the numbers even further down, in Q2, online casino games, such as live and computer-based table games, and peer-to-peer bingo, amounted to CA$11.9 billion or the total CA$14.2 billion. It translated to approximately CA$407 million in gaming revenue. Meanwhile, sports betting accounted for CA$1.9 billion, rendering CA$118 million in betting proceeds.
In addition to that, peer-to-peer or P2P poker delivered around CA$397 million or 3% of the total betting volume for the quarter. It generated CA$16 million of the revenue. In its statement, iGO said that as part of its commitment to providing aggregate revenue and market insight reports, the regulator plans on continuing to release such reports on a quarterly basis.
AGCO Makes Updates Internet Advertisements Rules
However, the popularity of iGaming in Ontario has caused a spike in betting advertisements from operators, leading to concerns among experts and parents. After a review process, AGCO decided to ban the use of active or retired athletes in gaming ads. Its decision aims to protect children who usually find such individuals appealing and watch sports games.
Still, private operators remain uncertain about what qualifies an athlete or a celebrity and some brands have called for clarity from AGCO. Kindred Group’s Amanda Brewer noted no operator wants to go back to the early days of the market launch when the inducement language was far from clear and operators got served fined for breaching the rules.
Source: “iGaming Ontario’s FY 2023-24 Q2 Market Performance Report” iGaming Ontario, October 11, 2023