The numbers are in from the first three months of regulated commercial online gambling in Canada’s province of Ontario.
The accounting period runs from the official launch of commercial online gambling on April 4th until the end of June 2022.
The period is historically important for several reasons, chief among them is the fact that it marks the beginning of a competitive open-market online gambling landscape.
Prior to the launch, Crown Corporations (provincial lotteries) were the only operators licensed by the government. The balance of player participation, then as now, was at casinos operated and regulated offshore or with servers in and a license from the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake as a sovereign jurisdiction, such as Sports Interaction which operates in both jurisdictional domains.
While it’s still unclear how much if any the new operations may have cannibalized the existing government-sanctioned online casino site, OLG.ca, sports betting numbers would be countable if they chose to break them out. However, at this point, all numbers are comingled. They are also in Canadian dollars and only represent the period ending June 30.
Commercial participation has been robust with 31 gambling sites open for play as of June 30, controlled by 18 different operators. Most of the brand names will be familiar to seasoned online gamblers such as Unibet, LeoVegas, 888, and Bet365.
The market generated $162m in revenue on about $4.08b in wagers. On June 30 there were 492,000 active player accounts with an average monthly spend of $113 per player account. The sum of 492,000 accounts may not represent that many individual players as there is no limit to the number of accounts a player can have across the different brands.
iGaming Ontario (iGO) Board Chair, Dave Forestell said: “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.
“With a competitive revenue share rate and low barriers to entry, Ontario is an attractive iGaming market with a strong player base.”
A press release from iGO stated that additional market insight reports would be forthcoming on a quarterly basis. Future releases would include breakdowns and specifics on gaming product segments which should give specific numbers for casinos and sports at a minimum; player demographics; economic impacts of the iGaming industry, and information on player protections.
As of September 1, the number of gaming sites had risen to 40. Unfortunately, as of press time, there is no publicly available database of iGaming suppliers. Omnichannel sportsbook products and online casino content aggregation information is not currently available.
It is known however that there were no “bad actor” exclusions when the market launched. New entrants do seem to be bound by prohibitions on providing products to gray market operators in the province if they are licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
Source: iGaming Ontario’s First Report on Market Performance (Q1), Globe Newswire, August 30, 2022
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