Ontario Reports $162m In First Quarter Of Regulated Online Gaming

August 31, 2022
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Ontario’s online gaming agency has released the first batch of market performance data since the province launched its competitive sports betting and online casino market in April.

Ontario’s online gaming agency has released the first batch of market performance data since the province launched its competitive sports betting and online casino market in April.

According to a maiden quarterly report released on Tuesday (August 30) by iGaming Ontario (iGO), 18 operators in the province combined to collect C$162m in gross revenue on C$4.076bn in betting handle on combined sports betting and online casino games from the April 4 launch through June 30.

The agency also touted that more than 492,000 active player accounts were created during the quarter, for an average monthly spend per account of $113, with 18 operators utilizing a total of 31 websites.

The figures, iGO said in its release, suggest that people in Ontario are interested in the responsible gambling and anti-money laundering protections 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,” said Dave Forestell, iGO’s board chair, in a statement. “With a competitive revenue share rate and low barriers to entry, Ontario is an attractive igaming market with a strong player base.”

Despite the positive stance from iGO, the numbers do not compare favorably with other jurisdictions that feature both sports betting and online casino gaming, including Michigan and Pennsylvania, which both significantly outpaced Ontario’s returns from the second quarter.

Ontario online gaming

The figures do not include the performance of the Ontario Lottery’s PlayOLG application, and perhaps more notably, they do not include the revenue from grey market operators that were, or still are, in the process of transitioning to the regulated market.

Ontario regulations allowed grey market operators who were operating in the province prior to the launch of the regulated market to not only transition into the regulated market, but also remain live while they complete the registration process.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario released draft regulations on Monday that indicate they are targeting an October 31 deadline for operators to complete that process without having to cease unregulated operations.

New operators entering the regulated market have pointed to the existing grey market operators being able to transition and retain their customer databases as a major advantage, and one that has dampened the new operator performance to date.

As a result, data from the second half of the year, when most of the largest grey market operators will be fully transitioned into the regulated space, could end up being a better indicator of the health of the Ontario market, and will likely be more favorable than the first wave of results.

The inability for operators to offer inducements in public advertising may also play a factor in the slow start, and affiliate marketers have grumbled that the inability to promote bonuses has hampered their performance as well in driving players to regulated offerings.

A significant amount of data also remains undisclosed, including the split between sports-betting revenues and online casino revenues, as well as market share data. Information to be released by iGO in the future will include “gaming product segments, player protections, player demographics, [and] economic impact of the iGaming industry.”

However, iGaming Ontario confirmed to VIXIO GamblingCompliance Tuesday that data will not be broken out by individual operators, making it difficult to identify the province’s top performers.

“iGaming Ontario will only be reporting aggregated operator data,” the agency said.

         

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