Ontario’s Legal Online Gambling Market Makes CAD$1.4 Billion Revenue in First Year
Ontario’s legal online gambling market achieved a revenue figure of CAD$1,4 billion in its first year. How does this compare with predictions? Taking a closer look provides the answer.
The new era of online gambling in Ontario began on April 4, 2022, when the province introduced a legal, regulated market. This regulation meant that it was the first province in Canada to have an open market for online gambling, although it’s still governed by Canada’s Federal Criminal Code, which states that provincial government agencies must conduct and manage commercial gambling in their jurisdiction.
When the changes to Ontario’s online gambling market were made, they were met with much interest and excitement from the industry and online gambling enthusiasts. The new regulation also attracted predictions concerning potential revenue from the market. These predictions from VIXIO Gambling Compliance’s Canada Online Data Dashboard suggested that revenue from the regulated industry could reach CAD$1.6 billion in 2022, rising to CAD$2.36 billion in 2023.
What has happened since the launch of Ontario’s legal online gambling market?
When the legal gambling market commenced in Ontario, providers were required to register with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). As part of the new legal landscape, these providers must adhere to AGCO standards and sign a commercial contract with iGaming Ontario, a subsidiary of AGCO. Recently, AGCO produced an update on the year since the regulation of online gambling in the province.
This update comes at the end of a year when more than 1.6 million player accounts were registered at websites run by more than 40 operators linked to iGaming Ontario. These figures show that the regulated market has made inroads into the prior unregulated market that operated in the province. Further evidence that the move towards regulated gambling is going smoothly comes in the form of figures that suggest 85% of people responding to an Ipsos survey gamble using regulated sites. This response compares with a response from before the market launch, which suggested that 70% of people gambled on unregulated sites.
Referring to this positive start to the market, Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey said in a recent press release, “We are truly proud of this strong, responsible, competitive online gaming model.”
Which gambling activities are the most popular?
According to figures from iGaming Ontario, players who actively gamble in the province spent around CAD$70 per month in the first year of the regulated market. This money was spent across Ontario licensed casino sites, you can see a list of the best Ontario online casinos there, as well as other regulated providers, with certain areas coming out on top in terms of popularity.
The most popular sport to bet on was basketball. Other sports that attracted high betting levels were soccer, football, hockey, and baseball. In the online casino games market, slots came out on top. They attracted 48% of all casino game wagering. The remaining wagering was done on live dealer table games (almost one-third of all bets) and other table games which made up the remainder of the wagering total.
The benefits of a legal online gambling market
Ontario has benefited from the launch of its regulated online gambling market. The industry has created jobs in the Ontario labour market which is a major plus. The revenue from regulated gambling is also being spent in the province rather than disappearing to offshore locations. Finally, Ontario has become well respected in the global iGaming landscape and is on its way to becoming one of the best jurisdictions in the world. This situation can only be good news for the future of regulated online gambling in Ontario.
Do recent gaming revenue figures meet expectations?
The future certainly looks positive for the regulated online gambling industry in Ontario. But how does the province’s position compare with revenue predictions made following its launch? You will remember we mentioned predictions that the regulated market would achieve revenues of CAD$1.6 billion in 2022, rising to CAD$2.36 billion in 2023. Further predictions were made that revenues would reach CAD$3,27 billion in 2026.
The confirmed revenue figure of CAD$1.4 billion in the year since the launch of Ontario’s regulated online gambling market is less than predicted. However, representatives from iGaming Ontario are pleased with the move from non-regulated gambling to the regulated market. If this move continues smoothly, revenues should continue to grow. So, the news is positive overall.
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