Ontario may have only kicked off its regulated market for online gambling in April 2022, but betting figures already show that the jurisdiction can talk to the big players in the industry. The province’s first 12 months of iGaming put the jurisdiction in the top two markets when compared to the first full year of Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
On April 4, 2022, Ontario became the first Canadian province to open its online gambling sector for third-party operators. Its aim was to keep Ontarians from pouring billions into offshore websites, while also taking the monopoly away from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Prior to the launch, its PROLINE was the only legal iGaming option in the province.
Comparing Debut 12 Months
Ontario’s first year of legal iGaming started on April 4, 2022, and concluded on March 31, 2023. In that time, the province disclosed CA$940 million in revenue. For the comparison, this translates to around US$711 million. These numbers do not include proceeds from OLG’s PROLINE. Out of the three mentioned states, only Michigan had better numbers in its first year.
Recently, Ontario published its report for the first quarter of the fiscal 2023-24, in which the province clocked revenue of around CA$545 million. This was a massive 236% improvement over the same quarter in 2022-23. With a population of 15.5 million and 12.25 million eligible for igaming, this translated to CA$32 per person in Q1 of the current fiscal period.
By estimations, this would put the province on track for CA$64 per capita in the six months and CA$128 for the entire second year of iGaming. For comparison, New Jersey has a US$149 per person through the seven months of 2023, Michigan is in second with US$137, followed by Pennsylvania with US$112. Therefore, Ontario still has some catching up to do.
Ontario’s Sector Will Only Grow Larger
But thanks to the recent advancements in the sector, Ontario’s regulated internet gambling framework is on track to grow even larger and catch up to its U.S. competitors. Recently, the province’s Woodbine Entertainment debuted its pari-mutuel wagering product with bet365. Hence, making it the private operator in the province to offer the vertical.
However, that is not all, as the President and CEO of the horse racing leader, Jim Lawson, shared that even more third-party gaming brands will adopt its product in the near future. The objective is to have its pari-mutuel wagering on horse races to a number of provincially-licensed sportsbooks by early 2024. Thus, providing more betting options ahead of the next Kentucky Derby.
In addition to the debut of horse racing betting, the province is also constantly approving new operators and providers to join. One of those is Amelco which gained its license in August 2023. Amelco is now eligible to offer its innovative solutions, iGaming portfolio, player account management and sportsbook suite to partner operators in the province.
Source: Ellis, Drew “History Shows Ontario Online Casinos On Good Pace Compared To US Peers” PlayCanada, September 14, 2023