Updated April 26
Three weeks on from the launch of Ontario’s regulated online gaming and sports betting market, data around the province’s most downloaded sportsbook apps reveals that theScore Bet and Bet365 have been leading the way in the early stage.
As reported by Casino.org, Morgan Stanley analyst Thomas Allen concluded that on a month-to-date basis, theScore has established a “very strong lead” when it comes to downloads of mobile sports betting apps.
In fact, as of April, the Toronto-based company’s theScore Bet product is thought to represent 50 per cent of such downloads over the first two weeks of action, perhaps attesting to the prominence of and trust in its made-in-Canada brand. theScore has been a leader in Canada’s sports media market for many years, and theScore Bet has seen reasonable success in numerous U.S. jurisdictions over the last few years.
It has also recently secured a milestone decade-long partnership as the exclusive sports betting partner of the Toronto Blue Jays, resulting in high visibility at the franchise’s Rogers Centre home and through various media channels.
Bet 365 a consistently popular choice
A similar report, this time from Barclays, put theScore Bet’s share over the first 10 days of the Ontario market at 24 per cent, tied with Bet365 and ahead of FanDuel at 20 per cent of downloads.
Wagers.com adds that theScore Bet recorded over three-quarters (79 per cent) of the market share on opening day, April 4, but dropped back to the 30 per cent mark by Day 14. With that, theScore Bet comes in ahead of UK betting giant Bet365, which is in second place with 36 per cent market share in app downloads over the first two weeks of the Ontario market, according to Morgan Stanley.
However, Bet365 has surged in growth from 17 per cent at the opening of the market to 50 per cent this past weekend, and it seems that brand has been a dominant force in Ontario for the past few months.
The Morgan Stanley report shows that Bet365’s monthly share of sports betting and iGaming app downloads in Canada was at least 27 per cent going back to January 2021, with some reports suggesting the brand had more than one-third of the sports betting share of the Canadian market prior to its April launch. It held a huge 77 per cent throughout March, way out ahead of competitors, according to Covers. That may be somewhat skewed by the fact that in the weeks leading up to April 4, the company had been directing users to a new app for Canadian customers and warning them their existing app would not be usable once Ontario’s market went live.
Barclays’ report over the first 10 days put BetMGM in fourth with 11 per cent of the app downloads.
Wagers.com added that separate data from Wells Fargo and Apptopia confirmed that as of April 14, Bet365 and theScore led the way with around 78,000 daily active users, in Ontario, followed by Betway at ~43,000 and FanDuel with 30,000, while BetMGM had around 14,000.
Others vying for market share
While Barclays’ report concluded that theScore Bet, Bet 365, FanDuel, and BetMGM accounted for 79 per cent of all app downloads in the first 10 days of the market, others are registering on the scale, too.
Betway, which is not yet active in Ontario but received its iGaming operator registration on April 18, comes in third with five per cent, reports both Morgan Stanley and Barclays. The former concluded that Betway accounted for the highest percentage of iGaming and sports betting smartphone app downloads in Ontario on a monthly basis for the whole of 2021, and represented one-third of all gambling app downloads in the province as recently as February, per iGaming Business.
Covers adds that BetRivers holds three per cent of sports betting app downloads in Canada’s most populous province since April 4, while Caesars Sportsbook checks in at two per cent and 888 and LeoVegas have a one per cent cut each.
In terms of time spent on the app rather than just the initial download, Barclays reports that Bet365 (41 per cent) and Betway (24 per cent) dominated the market, ahead of FanDuel (eight per cent) and theScore Bet (seven per cent). Both Bet365 and Betway have their origins in Ontario’s grey market, with Betway transitioning from the former grey (now black) market but not yet live in Ontario’s regulated market.
Of course, it is worth reiterating that just because bettors download a sportsbook app, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will use it as paying customer in the long term, or even at all.
But, the analysts note, taking first-mover advantage and getting customers on apps early “has proven a successful strategy in most US markets so far”, although they add that other major operators such as DraftKings joining the horde will likely lead to further dispersion of share over the coming months.