In Ontario, Canada, the statistics show that online casino gaming is far more popular with online gamblers than sports betting, thus surpassing sports wagers by a substantial margin.
A completely regulated online gaming market was launched in April of 2022, thus solely enabling fully licensed and regulated operators to be able to offer their online gambling services to the players pertaining to the province of Ontario.
Ontario was the first province in all of Canada to take the necessary steps that would successfully regulate online gambling, allowing operators to include regulated services such as casino games, sports-related betting, and peer-to-peer poker.
However, as the CEO at Responsible Gambling Council, Shelley White, remarked in a 13-minute documentary recently released by SBC Media, “although we’ve just celebrated a year, this actually has been an initiative that’s been in the making since 2019, so that in itself is unique, in that there was this proactive approach, a really thoughtful approach.”
With regards to this, White continued to remark on the following:
“I know that AGCO and iGO looked at how other jurisdictions around the world implemented their iGaming and sports betting programs, to ensure that they were taking advantage of the best practices, as well as tailoring it for the Ontario market as well.”
Those who analyzed this discrepancy between these two sectors of online gambling have suggested that the sudden expansion of a fully regulated online gambling market in Ontario, from physically going to land-based casinos to convenient access from any portable mobile device of one’s choosing, had the effect of attracting the more casual players of Ontario.
This new surge of users, in combination with those players who had, thus far, only gambled in land-based casinos, brought a very rapid increase in the online gambling market of Ontario.
To be more specific, the most recent quarterly financial report released by the iGO (iGaming Ontario), the Q2 financial report of 2023-2024, indicated that more than 900K players were present in Ontario.
With regards to this new surge of iGaming revenue in the province of Ontario, we will go into much more detail on this later on in the article.
For now, it is sufficient to say that, in all, the wagers resulting from the 2nd quarterly report of 2023-2024 resulted in a total of $540 million CAD. By comparison, the 1st quarterly financial report of 2022-2023 indicated that the market made a total of $162 million CAD.
Statistics: Quarterly Financial Reports
In this section of the article, we will delve into the statistics pertaining to this large discrepancy that has propped up between online casino gaming wagers and wagers made on sports betting sites.
Here, we will discuss the quarterly financial reports whose results have made this discrepancy apparent.
In the second quarter financial report of 2023-2024, the iGO (iGaming Ontario) reported that a total of $14.2 billion CAD were placed by Ontarians in total wagers.
Out of these $14.2 billion CAD, $11.9 billion CAD was spent on online casino gaming wagers.
This same report stated that, with regards to Sports Betting, on the other hand, the total accumulated wagers resulted in $1.9 billion CAD.
Here, it was indicated that the remaining $397 million CAD resulted in the total amount accumulated from peer-to-peer poker.
In this way, it is apparent that, when compared to iGaming, Sports Betting is far less popular with online gamblers than online casino gaming.
The iGO has released a detailed overview of each quarterly report pertaining to these online gambling segments, thus allowing us to make a significantly more in-depth analysis of the iGaming landscape in Ontario.
The individual reports released during the 2022-2023 fiscal year do not differentiate between online gaming and sports betting values, however the total wagers and gaming revenue of the entire fiscal year has been released.
The financial performance reports for 2023-2024 also provide this differentiation of categories. We have delved into these in the section below.
FY 2022-2023 Market Performance Reports
Q1 (April 4th to June 30th, 2022)
|Total Gaming Revenue||$162M|
|Active Player Accounts||492K|
|Average Monthly Spend (Per Active Player Account)||$113|
Q2 (July 1st to September 30th, 2022)
|Total Gaming Revenue||$267M|
|Active Player Accounts||628K|
|Average Monthly Spend (Per Active Player Account)||$142|
Q3 (October 1st to December 31st, 2022)
|Total Gaming Revenue||$457M|
|Active Player Accounts||910K|
|Average Monthly Spend (Per Active Player Account)||$167|
Q4 (January 1st to March 31st, 2023)
|Total Gaming Revenue||$526M|
|Active Player Accounts||1.01M|
|Average Monthly Spend (Per Active Player Account)||$174|
Wagers and Gaming Revenue by Category (2022-2023 Fiscal Year)
Casino Games (slots, live, computer-based table games, and peer-to-peer bingo): 78% of total wagers and 67% of gaming revenue.
Sports Betting (traditional sports, e-sports, proposition and novelty bets): 20% of total wagers and 31% of gaming revenue.
P2P Poker: 3% of total wagers and 3% of gaming revenue.
FY 2023-2024 Market Performance Reports
Q1 (April 1st to June 30th, 2023)
|Total Gaming Revenue||$545M|
|Active Player Accounts||920K|
|Average Monthly Spend (Per Active Player Account)||$197|
Wagers and Gaming Revenue by Category (Q1 2023-2024)
Q2 (July 1st to September 30th, 2023)
|Total Gaming Revenue||$540M|
|Active Player Accounts||943K|
|Average Monthly Spend (Per Active Player Account)||$191|
Wagers and Gaming Revenue by Category (Q2 2023-2024)
The Top 5 Sports by Total Wagers during the fiscal year of 2022-2023
|Sport Category||Betting Wagers (Total Percentage)|
Comments made in light of this large discrepancy
Total wagers made on online casino games are far outpacing sports betting wagers in Ontario, Canada, and this large discrepancy between these two modes of gambling has not gone unnoticed by the large majority.
Here, we have compiled a number of comments made in this regard by some of the leading figures in the iGaming and Sports Betting industry.
Scott Vanderwel, CEO at PointsBet Canada
Scott Vanderwel, the Chief Executive Officer at PointsBet Canada, has recently taken part in a 13-minute documentary hosted by SBC Media. Here, Vanderwel, together with Martha Otton, the Executive Director at iGaming Ontario, and Shelley White, the CEO at Responsible Gambling Council, conveyed their insightful thoughts on the current state of the iGaming landscape in Ontario.
Here, with regards to the discrepancy that exists between online gaming and sports betting wagers in Ontario, Vanderwel commented on the following:
“The other thing that’s really important […] the Ontario market, it is both a casino and a sportsbook marketplace, the sports betting side, because it's so novel and so new, it gets a lot of the attention, but the work horse of the marketplace really is the casino, an iGaming side of the market. I think that the sportsbook side will continue to grow, but [...] in the early, certainly in the first year, the majority of the revenues in this industry came from the iGaming casino side of the business.”
iGO (iGaming Ontario)
The iGO (iGaming Ontario), made the following statement regarding the current state of the iGaming landscape in Ontario:
"[We continue] to be pleased with the performance."
Later in this article, we will delve into the role of the iGO, what it tackles, and discuss the specific responsibilities that it is equipped with.
Andrew Kennedy, Spokesperson for the Provincial Attorney General
Andrew Kennedy, a spokesperson for the provincial attorney general, made the following statement regarding the state of the iGaming market in Ontario, Canada:
“As the results show, we are a national leader through our online gaming market.”
William Woodhams, CEO of Fitzdares
The Chief Executive Officer at Fitzdares, William Woodhams, made the following comment regarding this perceived discrepancy:
"Other provinces and global markets are now looking to Ontario as a benchmark for a healthy market.”
Previously, Woodhams had also remarked on how ‘the majority of money being wagered on apps and desktop’ in Ontario is taking place through casino games:
“Until there's more sport product [to bet on], that's going to be the way it is.”
Peter Czegledy, Partner at Toronto’s Aird & Berlis LLP & Chair of its Gaming Group
Peter Czegledy, a partner at Toronto’s Aird & Berlis LLP and chair of its gaming group, has also commented on the way in which online gaming is far surpassing Sports Betting in Ontario.
He remarked on how he believes that “as operators refine their offerings to best suit the market and customer relationships are better established”, the Ontario sports betting market has plenty of room to grow.
Additionally, Czegledy commented on the following:
"The differences in segment performance have followed expected form.”
Andrew Kim, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
Andrew Kim has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a Post-Grad Certificate in Addictions and Mental Health.
He was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Toronto Metropolitan University and, more recently, took on a new role as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Calgary. His research focuses on gambling and behavioral addictions.
Kim commented on how “Online casinos are available to you 24/7.”
In this way, Kim warns that these newly released values do not convey the full extent of how much more frequently online gambling is taking place at the moment when compared to the amount that was occurring prior to Ontario’s recent shift to a regulated online gambling market.
The ever-evolving world of online casino gaming and sports-related betting
The iGaming and sports betting market is constantly shifting – especially in recent years, we have been seeing a drastic change in the world of online gaming and gambling, and we will soon see what even more substantial changes will take place in this ever-evolving industry.
In this next section of the article, we will discuss the rapid surge in iGaming revenue in Ontario during the last year.
The surge in iGaming revenue in Ontario
The Market Performance Report for the second quarter of the 2023-2024 fiscal year has been released by iGaming Ontario (iGO), a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
Here, it was reported that 14.2 billion CAD were wagered in the period of time between July 1st and September 30th, 2023.
The report also stated that a total revenue of $540 million CAD was accrued.
This results in an increase of 105% over Q2 last year, but a decline of 8.3% from Q1 of the same year.
In addition to this, the number of active player accounts in the Ontario gaming market increased from 920,000 in Q1 of last year, to 943,000.
There was a slight decrease in the average monthly spending per player account, with Q1 of last year resulting in $197 CAD, and dropping to $191 CAD this year.
Additionally, the market performance report indicated that there was a slight increase in the number of licensed gaming operators, from 46 to 47.
With regards to the number of gaming websites available in Ontario, on the other hand, these remained the same, resulting in a total of 71.
What is the iGO (iGaming Ontario)?
The iGO (iGaming Ontario) is a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gambling Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
The iGO is responsible for the managing and conduct of internet gaming in the province of Ontario:
“iGaming Ontario (iGO) has worked with the Government of Ontario and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to establish a new online gaming market that helps protect consumers gambling through private gaming companies (Operators).”
The iGO was established in July 2021, and has worked in collaboration with the AGCO and the Government of Ontario in order to bring the “the world’s best online gambling experiences to the province in a safer environment, helping to protect consumers and provide more choice.”
In this way, only those gaming operators who have successfully registered their private gaming companies with the AGCO and have made an operating agreement with the iGO can provide their online games to the players pertaining to the province of Ontario, Canada.
Regarding the operators that are allowed to offer online games in Ontario, the iGO went on to say the following:
“Operators offer gaming sites in the market on behalf of the province in accordance with these agreements. Through these relationships, gaming revenues are shared with the Government of Ontario to be used in support of provincial priorities.”
In addition to this, the iGO follows a specific vision, mission, and values, all of which we have quoted below:
‘To support the agency in successfully delivering its mandate, iGO has developed a vision, mission and value set to guide its operations.’
The Vision: ‘To lead the world’s best gaming market’.
The Mission: ‘To conduct and manage Ontario’s safe, efficient, and legal world-class iGaming market’.
‘We facilitate new and exciting entertainment choices for players.’
‘We promote responsible gaming, value diversity, equity and inclusion, and treat one another with respect.’
‘We enable innovation and speed to market by reducing red tape and leveraging private sector expertise.’
‘We create a culture of constant reflection and continuous improvement.’
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