Fact checked by Wilbur Thompson.
The iGaming Ontario (iGO) has recently unveiled the revenue highlights for its first year of operation in the regulated online gambling market. According to iGO’s report, the total handle for the first year was approximately $35.6 billion, and the combined Ontario online casino, poker, and sports betting sector generated a total revenue of $1.4 billion. These figures were released on the one-year anniversary of the market launch, and they are unaudited and subject to adjustment since the province releases its revenue figures quarterly.
Apart from the revenue figures, iGO also announced that there are over 1.6 million active player accounts, and Ontario is home to 47 live operators now. The industry’s performance was exceptional throughout the first three fiscal quarters, with total wagers surpassing $21.6 billion and total gaming revenue reaching $886 million. Handle and revenue both grew 182% from the first quarter to the third quarter.
Based on the third-quarter figures, it can be estimated that Ontario’s market had a handle of $14 billion and revenue of $514 million in the fourth fiscal quarter alone (Jan. 1 – March 31, 2023). This represents a significant increase of 244% in the handle and 217% in revenue from the first quarter’s total figures. Additionally, the handle was up by 21% from the third quarter, while revenue increased by more than 12%.
It is important to note that the revenue figures do not include the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp’s online operations, which had a record handle of $511 million in FY 2021-22 and is expected to surpass that record when FY 2022-23 concludes. Furthermore, the combined figures do not include revenue from a few well-established grey-market operators that were still conducting business in the non-legal market in Ontario until the end of October 2022.
It should also be noted that, unlike comparable US jurisdictions, Ontario’s regulator does not allow the advertisement of bonuses, inducements, and credits. That might have a negative impact on customer acquisition, handling, and revenue. However, operators are permitted to advertise and offer bonuses, credits, and inducements to their customers, but they cannot advertise them. Thus, customers must seek out the operators to find out what they are. Despite this, there has been a glut of advertising in Ontario, but the jury is still out on how much this really impacts the total bottom line.