A new report from PlayCanada has concluded that nearly 1,300 jobs will be added in Ontario as a result of the impending launch of private online gambling operators. The report offers strong evidence that online gaming does not cannibalize jobs from land-based casinos.
Ontario will be the first province to welcome private online gambling operators when online sports betting and casinos launch on April 4, and other provinces are expected to follow suit.
PlayCanada found that online gambling could lead to 1,295 jobs in Ontario, around half of the estimated 2,600 jobs that will come to Canada with the nationwide expansion of online gaming. In comparison, an informal survey of currently available iGaming jobs revealed approximately 250 openings, with close to 200 of those in Ontario.
“We have found by looking globally that online cannibalization is largely a myth, often propagated by brick-and-mortar casino operators understandably concerned that online gaming will eat into their profits,” said Robyn McNeil, managing editor of PlayCanada.com and chief co-author of the report. “The truth is that online casinos and sportsbooks often act as a tide that lifts all boats, expanding the market to the benefit of all industry stakeholders.”
Among those figures, Play Canada concluded that Toronto-based theScore is adding around 400 jobs as a direct result of the Ontario market opening up, while PointsBet is opening an office in downtown Toronto and hiring another 100. Other licensed operators, including Rivalry and Rush Street Interactive’s BetRivers, are also ramping up hiring.
“We know that companies are hiring,” said Paul Burns, President and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association. “And they’re locating here and setting up offices.”
In addition to the expected jobs, PlayCanada’s research team also explored the jobs that are available today and how well these jobs will pay. It concluded that not only is the job creation potential huge, but many of those should be high-quality jobs with better-than-average compensation.
“I’ll tell anybody, there are a wide variety of career choices in the gaming industry,” added Burns. “Great jobs, frankly…from technology developments to customer support specialists to marketing and compliance work, there’s a wide variety of options. It’s an exciting time.”
There have been concerns from some land-based operators, such as Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, around a potential negative impact of opening a regulated private iGaming market on casinos.
However, Burns believes that the province will work towards a solution that works for all, noting that the future of land-based gaming remains of integral importance to the gaming industry in Canada.
“Ontario casino operators want access to online offerings,” Burns added. “They want to extend their brands beyond the four walls of their properties… We need a more streamlined, single reporting mechanism, and that can be done in time; there’s no question. And I think the Ontario government recognizes it. But I think that’s imperative to make sure that the casino sector can compete effectively.
“That’s going to be the success of the market in Ontario: a healthy competitive market that’s left to the expertise of the companies participating to decide who’s successful and who isn’t. Not policy A, policy B, government agency A or government agency B, deciding who wins and who loses…We want everybody to succeed.”
To complete the report, PlayCanada compiled data and other information from industry insiders, hiring professionals, and economic experts. It includes detailed research of job listings in comparable jurisdictions. Read the full report.