Financial iGaming Stats: Ontario’s online gambling money not as impressive as British Columbia or Quebec.
Not every Canadian
internet gambler is a fan of the numbers game; referring not to
lottery drawings, but the financial statistics behind iGaming
operations. Personally, I find them fascinating, probably because I
follow the legislative side of the market so closely. If you’re
anything like me, you’ll be interested in knowing that Ontario‘s
digital casino business is still growing at a rapid (if not alarming)
rate, yet continues to pale to its provincial rivals, British
Columbia and Quebec.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has recently released its annual revenue report for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019. Within that verbose document of numerical wonders lies the tale of a blossoming gambling industry. All facets of gaming saw an increase in overall revenue, but none so impressive as a digital market that boomed 25% year over year.
OLG Rise in Retail and Online Gambling Money
According to the
latest data, Ontario’s gambling revenue rose in every recorded
department. Overall revenue swelled 6.1% to $8.3 billion compared to
the same 12-month period in 2017-18. The growth of net income wasn’t
as impressive, rising only 0.6%, but counts as a positive uptick
revenues generation by segment, lottery sales continue to make
up for the largest portion of Ontario’s gaming cash. Lottery revenue
increased 10.2% YoY, capping off at $4.17 billion. Next in
line were the province’s 23 commercial casino properties,
pooling their cash flow for a combined record-setting revenue source
of $3.86 billion; 1.6% higher than the previous financial
report. Charitable gaming facilities rounded out the top
three, rising 6.3% to $183 million.
Last but not least came the OLG’s interactive gambling products, made available to all adults physically located within the province via the website PlayOLG.ca. The iGaming vertical was responsible for the largest percentile increase of 25.7%, but the smallest overall revenue generation of $91.9 million. This marks the second year in a row OLG has seen its digital products rise so high in popularity, having jumped 25.2% in the previous 12-month period.
As impressive as
the per cent marks sound, Ontario has continually failed to generate
as much revenue as its smaller rivals.
Ontario Fails to Compete with B.C. or Quebec
Ontario is by far
the most heavily populated province in the country. It is home to
14.3 million residents; almost double the 8.4 million citizens of
Quebec, and nearly thrice that of British Columbia’s 5 million. But
not so many of Ontario’s residents are taking advantage of the
home-grown iGaming offerings of their province.
The annual data
reports of these three provinces combined show that British
Columbia is raking in the largest amount of online gambling
money, recording $149.8 million in its most recent yearly
report. Quebec comes in second with an overall iGaming revenue
of $105.4 million in the books.
It’s also worth
noting that Ontario saw a 24.6% increase in active player
participation over the course of the fiscal year. Those encouraging
figures are attributed to an increase in game selection, including
live dealer casinos and progressive jackpot slot machines, as well as
a more successful marketing campaign.
On the opposite end of that spectrum, Canada’s provinces are only able to estimate the amount of players and money going to offshore online casinos, poker rooms and sportsbooks. The percentile increases noted above are all encouraging, but no doubt there is a lot more cash flowing overseas than there is into the respective coffers of Canada’s regulating jurisdictions. Until the federal government relaxes laws on single-event sports wagering, that’s not likely to change.
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