July 25, 2023

Are more Canadian provinces going to open their iGaming markets

Ontario’s move to regulate its iGaming market in 2022 was a welcome development for players and Ontario online casinos. It boosted the trust between both parties, allowing players to wager on games more confidently because of the introduced accountability. Consequently, the total revenue for the market has exceeded $1 billion, with signs of doubling that amount in the coming months.

This exponential increase in revenue in one year has placed the Ontario iGaming market among the top five largest in North America. It is a report that shows dedication to providing safe gaming platforms to players in the country. Evidently, the iGaming market boasts over 1.6 million active player accounts with over 40 operators.

An IPSOS survey in March 2023 revealed that about 85% of online players and sports bettors placed wagers on regulated sites. That hints at the widespread acceptance and growing trust of online casinos and sportsbooks in the Ontario iGaming market. Nevertheless, the question falls back on the readiness of other Canadian provinces to open their iGaming markets and replicate Ontario’s success.

Online Gaming Market regulations in Ontario

Ontario took the giant step to regulate its iGaming market on April 4, 2022. As of June 2022, the industry boasted 31 online gaming websites and 18 operators. Together, they generated $4.096 billion in cash wagers and $162 million in revenue.

Active player accounts were at 492,000. Fast forward to today, and the number of casinos and sportsbooks on iGaming Ontario’s website will spoil you for choice. Growth has been phenomenal, with many more operators warming up to join the bubbling market.

Attorney General Doug Downey recognized the exponential growth of this competitive gaming model that displaced the former unregulated market. He reserved special praise for the executive director, Martha Otton, the board chair, and the team for the unwavering transformation. Besides gaming, the industry has created new jobs, attracted investments, and nipped capital flight in the bud.

While you digest that information, here are some statistics to expand on them:

  • Active players spent approximately $70 monthly on average in the last year.
  • The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) released a survey showing that 85% of players wagered on regulated sites in 2023. This was a survey of over 1,100 Ontarians – an improvement of over 70% wagers on unregulated markets before April 2022.
  • Basketball took the lion’s share of all the wagers, gulping 28%. Soccer, football, hockey, and baseball followed with 15%, 14%, 9%, and 8%. Also, these figures represent the sports bets placed on regulated sportsbooks.
  • Slots took the lead in the casino sector, taking 48% of all casino wagers. Live dealer table games came second with a third of the bets (32%), while the computer-controlled variants took 19%.

These statistics are enough to make those in the leading roles proud and other provinces envious. The Ontario iGaming market’s achievements in revenue and monthly active players are laudable. It is undoubtedly on the right path compared to other states’ regulated online gaming adoptions.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has certified over 5,000 casino games. That number is in addition to those from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLGC). Furthermore, the latter is responsible for the province’s online sports betting products and Proline retail.

Let’s compare the Ontario iGaming market to others in North America. New Jersey, with a more mature online casino and sports betting industry, generated $2.39 billion in 2022. That is more than double what Ontario generated in the same period.

However, the province came close to matching Pennsylvania’s record for the year, falling 20% short of the latter’s $1.76 billion in revenue. Most markets in North America have been around for much longer. Notwithstanding, Ontario has shown remarkable progress in its one-year existence.

Will other provinces follow in Ontario’s footsteps

Ontario is undoubtedly on the fast track to becoming an iGaming stronghold in North America and the world. It has seen remarkable and amicable progress since regulating its gaming industry in April 2022. More online players have turned to regulated casinos and sportsbooks, ditching unregulated platforms.

Things were different before April 2022, with unregulated casinos and sportsbooks taking 70% of wagers. Now, approximately 85% of players prefer regulated platforms over unregulated ones. Dave Phillips, the AGCO Chief Operating Officer, labeled the growth a substantial shift from what the province has known.

Despite Ontario’s remarkable growth since regulating its iGaming market, questions remain about other provinces’ willingness to do so. Such giant strides in a short time hardly go unnoticed.

Operators are satisfied with the achievements in this province. However, they do not mind expanding to others, provided they take active steps like Ontario did.

The CGA event pushed some optimism into the air, signaling the willingness of other provinces to regulate their iGaming markets. Benjie Levy sees no reason for regions to ignore the brilliant work done in Ontario. The head of PENN Interactive and theScore’s chief operating officer is optimistic about having at least one province follow the trend.

Let’s wrap up with a few tips to keep close to your heart when registering with a new casino. First, ensure the site holds a license from the province’s regulatory bodies. It can be the Alcohol and Gaming Commission or iGaming Ontario.

Then, you can review other features like bonuses, games, Casino payment options, and the user interface. Avoid any unnecessary compromise, especially in the quality. It is one thing to play on a regulated platform, and another to enjoy the gameplay and usability.

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