Half a Million Player Accounts are Already Gambling Online in Ontario
April 4, 2022, was a great day in Canada, and not because it was my birthday; (although that did make it a bit more memorable). No, the historical significance of that date belongs to Ontario’s official launch of a provincially regulated, competitive iGaming market. For the first time in history, a Canadian province is authorizing, licensing, and regulating commercial online gambling. And now, for the first time since that prodigious day, the government is sharing incite on the market’s productivity.
Ontario iGaming Market Q1 Report
After three months of regulation in a competitive market, Ontario’s first quarterly report is on the table. It measures operational and financial productivity from the date of launch, April 4, to June 30, 2022. Performance in this initial fiscal quarter is impressive, but not unpredictable. After all, it was Ontario’s certainty of immediate success that led us down the path of commercial expansion in the first place.
That said, let’s kick this off with an overview of the most significant figures and key takeaways in the Q1 Report.
iGO regulated operators took in $4,076m in cash wagers, retaining $162m in profits, resulting in $3,914m paid out in player winnings.
A total of 18 operating companies launched 31 iGaming websites in the period.
The average Ontarian wagers $113 per month at Ontario’s online casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks.
Half-Million Players Gambling Online in Ontario
The monetary aspect is eye-catching, but what I found to be the most profound piece of data is the number of players actively participating in the market; nearly half a million of them! These aren’t just players who signed up for an account, then changed their minds. These are active players, taking advantage of bonuses, making cash deposits, placing bets and, in many cases – if that $3.9m in payouts is any indication – cashing out winnings.
Let’s put that into perspective. Based on the latest data, there are approximately 11.6 million adult-age people in Ontario. With 492,000 active accounts, the data suggests as many as 4.25% of Ontario’s adult population has taken to local iGaming. Not a bad start, and a number that’s sure to grow as more quarterly reports make it to print.
18 Operators/31 Gambling Websites and Growing
To start, Ontario’s iGaming market was brimming with 13 online gambling websites, from 8 different operators. It was an impressive number for a day-one launch. But it didn’t take long for that number to start rising, and it hasn’t stopped yet. By the time Ontario’s regulatory analysts put the report together, the data was showing a growth rate well above 200%.
In just three short months, the province saw its list of operators rise from 8 to 18, with the number of online gaming websites growing from 13 to 31. That’s a growth rate of 225% and 238%, respectively.
As of writing, those numbers continue to climb at an exceptional rate. To date, there are 23 operators hosting 39 websites.
“The Best Gaming Jurisdiction in the World”
If you’re going to set a goal, you might as well make it a good one. Ontario’s regulators were aiming plenty high when they set out to become the very best online gambling jurisdiction on the planet. According to iGaming Ontario’s Chairman of the Board, Dave Forestell, they may be well on their way to realizing that goal.
“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,” says Forestell. “With a competitive revenue share rate and low barriers to entry, Ontario is an attractive igaming market with a strong player base.”
Those $4,076 million in wagers only include the cash bets. They don’t even account for the promotional bonus credits that were surely wagered by Ontario’s near-half-million account holders. And while the growth rate of operational licensees and iGaming websites is sure to taper off at some point, it’s going to get a lot higher before it does.
…More to Come
In the immortal words of The Johnny Carson Show, there’s a lot “more to come” from the iGO. “As part of its commitment to sharing aggregate revenue and market insight”, the regulator is promising to provide, at the least, quarterly data reports. As the provincial market continues to expand, so will iGO’s data metrics. The regulator insists that future reports will include even more information; things like gaming product segments, player protections, player demographics, and the economic impact of gambling online in Ontario’s regulated market.
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