Updated September 6
Nearly five months after Ontario officially launched its regulated online gaming and sports betting market, iGaming Ontario has finally provided visibility over the progress of the market so far.
Operators, suppliers, regulators, and players alike have been awaiting an official report from iGO since the market opened on April 4. On August 30, iGO published its first report on market performance, covering the first full quarter of market operations ending on June 30, 2022.
Among the report’s conclusions was that more than $4 billion in online gaming wagers were placed during the period between April 4 and June 30, not including promotional wagers (bonuses). Total gaming revenue totalled $162 million, including rake fees, tournament fees, and other fees across all live operators, minus player winnings and not taking into account operating costs or other liabilities.
As of June 30, there were 18 operators and 31 gaming websites live in the market, with nearly half a million (492,000) player accounts. This number of accounts does not represent unique players as individuals may have accounts with multiple operators, noted iGO. As of August 30, there were 26 live gaming operators in the province, with more expected on the way.
Players are spending an average of $113 per month per active player account on regulated online gaming and betting, report iGO.
A promising start, but not the full picture
Canadian Gaming Association President & CEO Paul Burns told Gaming News Canada that the figures show “a promising start”.
“From the initial 17 websites on Day One, the market now has 39 active websites with many more operators soon to enter,” Burns continued. “This also demonstrates the iGaming market is transitioning from a grey market to a fully regulated one. Leading brands in casino and sports betting have already chosen to become part of Ontario’s regulated market, and in the next two quarters we will see further results of that popularity.”
These figures are unaudited and subject to adjustment and they are also conspicuous in their absences.
The results do not include gaming activity hosted by Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s iGaming and sports betting platforms, and also do not incorporate the former grey- and now black-market operators who have been in business in the province for years prior to April 4. That means that the likes of Sports Interaction, PokerStars, and Super Group’s slate of brands were not included, as they only received operational licenses in the province after June 30. Regulus has estimated that the absence of Super Group’s Betway, Spin Casino, Royal Vegas, Jackpot City, and Ruby Fortune brands before the June 30 cut-off means that around $30 million of revenue was likely “missing” from the first quarter’s total of $162 million.
Others, including Pinnacle, BetVictor, BetRegal, and Bet99 are expected to join the crowd soon enough.
Amanda Brewer, a senior advisor with the CGA and Canadian Country Manager with Kindred Group, which owns licensed operator Unibet, wrote on LinkedIn that, as a result of the lack of some big-name operators from the iGO reporting period, “Ontario’s market is not comparable to any” U.S. jurisdiction.
“Some of the biggest operators in the world only entered in the last 4-8 weeks and the AGCO is seeking to end the transition period on October 31,” Brewer added. “These early results are encouraging and should be celebrated, but they do not show the full picture. Patience. We’ll get there.”
iGaming Ontario said that, whether measured by revenue performance or by the number of active player accounts, these results suggest that people in Ontario are interested in the strong player and anti-money laundering protections that are being offered in the regulated market.
“Our aim is to be the best gaming jurisdiction in the world and these positive results are an early sign that we’re on our way,” says Dave Forestell, iGO’s Board Chair. “With a competitive revenue share rate and low barriers to entry, Ontario is an attractive iGaming market with a strong player base.”
iGO confirmed that, as part of its commitment to sharing aggregate revenue and market insight reports, it intends to release, at minimum, a market report on a quarterly basis. iGO says that in the future, it also intends to provide reports on metrics related to:
- Gaming product segments
- Player protections
- Player demographics
- Economic impact of the iGaming industry