Fact checked by Wilbur Thompson.
Canada’s capital, province, Ontario, recently marked a significant milestone as it reached the one-year anniversary of opening its iGaming market to external operators. During this period, an impressive CA$35 billion in wagers were recorded, making it a potentially formidable contender for the top global market, as stated by Andrew Darley, the Vice President of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), at the SBC Summit North America.
In April 2022, Ontario became the inaugural Canadian province to legalize iGaming for private operators. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and its subsidiary iGaming Ontario oversee the regulatory aspects. This move was a response to the extensive offshore market that had attracted many local players.
Over the course of its inaugural year, the newly established iGaming market in Ontario witnessed a staggering CA$ 35.6 billion in total wagers. This resulted in approximately CA$ 1.4 billion in gaming revenue, with a total of 40 operators managing 76 websites and applications within the jurisdiction. The regulator’s data reveals an active user base exceeding 1.6 million accounts in the iGaming sector.
During a recent discussion centred around Ontario at the SBC Summit North America, Mr. Darley, the VP of OLG, shared his insights on the iGaming market and its performance. He emphasized that when combined with OLG’s figures, the private market could potentially rival the leading markets worldwide. However, the exact figures remained undisclosed at that time.
Furthermore, a study conducted confirmed the effectiveness of the market’s introduction, as numerous private operators successfully transitioned to the regulated sector. An Ipsos poll revealed that 85% of respondents who placed wagers in the province did so on authorized websites, marking a significant improvement compared to the pre-market launch period when 70% of players resorted to illegal platforms.
According to iGaming Ontario, players exhibited an average monthly expenditure of CA$70 during the first year. Surprisingly, basketball emerged as the most popular sport for betting in the province, followed by soccer, football, hockey, and baseball. In terms of online casinos, slots accounted for 48% of the wagers, while table games represented nearly a third, with computer-based table games comprising the remaining volume.