Lisa Cheban | 19 April, 2023 14:33 | Last update on: 19 April, 2023 14:33
On April 4, 2022, Ontario announced the launch of its online gambling space, becoming the first Canadian province to do so. Since then, records show at least 1.6 million gambling accounts are active in the region, each spending CAD 70 monthly. These numbers are part of the reason why operators are actively seeking accreditation from the AGCO (Alcohol and Gambling Commission of Ontario).
According to the latest numbers from the province’s administration, Ontario is home to more than 40 legal operators. Residents on these websites have wagered a total of almost CAD 35.6 billion, giving Ontario a rightful position among North America’s top five gaming jurisdictions. The province has a total gaming revenue of CAD 1.4 billion ($1.04 billion).
Commenting on the latest developments, Ontario’s Attorney General, Doug Downey, said the iGaming market had replaced the unregulated market and elevated Ontario to a position of leadership worldwide in this sector since its debut in April 2022. The official remarked that the province is proud of this robust, ethical, and competitive gaming model.
“I want to especially commend the strong leadership of Executive Director Martha Otton, Board Chair Dave Forestell, and the rest of the team at iGaming Ontario for helping us transform Ontario into a global leader in the sector,” Downey added.
In a recent survey by Ipsos, it was recorded that 85% of participants who had played online poker in Ontario did so on licensed websites. This demonstrates that gamblers have more faith in the regulated market, which offers a more secure setting to bet on sports and play online casino games.
The research showed that basketball was the preferred betting sport, accounting for 28% of all wagers. Football came in second with 15%, with American football taking the third spot with 14%. Hockey and baseball closed the ‘best five’ at 9% and 8%, respectively.
Meanwhile, 48% of all casino bets made in the online category were placed on slots. The report also shows that live dealer games are popular among Canadians at 32%, with 19% of the respondents preferring RNG table games.
But it’s not a rosy affair for all gambling operators in Ontario. Competition for players is stiff, with some operators assessing their immediate options. CoolBet, a leading international online gaming brand, recently announced its exit from Ontario, citing a harsh operational climate. The company said it had a “slower than anticipated” launch in the province.
Note that operators must agree to pay 20% of their income before launching in Ontario. Also, a one or two-year license is only granted after paying a $100,000 fee per gaming site.