Posted on: July 21, 2023, 12:16h.
Last updated on: July 21, 2023, 12:17h.
New numbers show total wagers on online casino games are surpassing sports-related betting in Ontario. Data from iGaming Ontario shows Ontarians placed CA$14 billion in total wagers in the second quarter of 2023. Approximately $11.6 billion of that total was spent on casino games, while $2 billion was spent on sports. The remaining $350 million was attributed to peer-to-peer poker.
The numbers are starting to reveal the competitive market for internet casino gambling and online sports betting, especially since the Ontario government officially launched the legal and regulated iGaming market in April of 2022. It became the first province in Canada to regulate online gambling.
Analysts believe the expansion of regulated online gambling from casino to mobile and desktop screens is attracting casual players in Ontario, including potentially many who previously gambled in person. Ontario had over 900K active player accounts in its most recent three quarters.
Taken together, wagers from April-June generated gaming revenues of $545 million. In comparison, during the same quarter last year, the market generated $162 million during its first quarter of operation.
Ontario Leading the Way in Canada
Ontario currently has more than 60 online casinos and betting sites operating with legal licenses in 2023. No other province has come close to matching that number so far.
For comparison, the IGO reported that the newly regulated market from April 2022 through the end of March 2023 saw $35.6 billion in total wagers, with nearly $28 billion spent on casino games and peer-to-peer bingo. This is approximately four times higher than the $7 billion spent on betting.
The combined gambling activities in that first year generated $1.4 billion in gaming revenues, according to the IGO. The Ontario government received a share of approximately $260 million in gaming revenues during that period.
Province Proud of Leading in Preventing Problems
The Ontario government highlights the success of the market, as well as the resources put in place to provide support for problem gambling and protect consumers.
Andrew Kennedy, a spokesperson for the provincial attorney general, stated that the province provides $31 million in annual funding for problem gambling. Additionally, $25 million goes toward treatment programs, while $6 million is allocated for education and prevention efforts.
“As the results show, we are a national leader through our online gaming market,” Kennedy said.
Analysts and government leaders are cautious about the newly released IGO numbers as they offer a glimpse into the current level of online gambling activity compared to before the launch of a regulated market. Some of the initial concerns about transitioning to a legal market revolved around the potential increase in gambling activity.