A New Deloitte Study Focuses on Better Understanding Sports Bettors in Canada

A New Deloitte Study Focuses on Better Understanding Sports Bettors in Canada
By Mark Keast

With an early April launch date for open, regulated Ontario online sportsbooks well within range, one of the focuses will be on private operators’ ability to acquire, then keep, new customers.

Deloitte Canada’s sports business advisory group this week released its latest report, “Bettor Perspectives: How organizations can win in the new world of Canadian sports betting.”

In a previous report in 2021, Deloitte Canada estimated a legal sports betting market across the country would generate $28 billion in legal market wagering over the next five years. The study released this week is all about better understanding bettors’ perspectives and behaviors in what will be a hyper-competitive Ontario market.

“Much has changed since the publication of our first report on sport betting reform last February, and as the market continues to evolve we wanted to ensure that the voice of the customer was present and acknowledged,” said Jeff Harris, national leader of Deloitte’s sports business advisory. “It our objective that this report will serve to catalyze action in inspiring provincial governments, lottery and gaming corporations, casinos, private sector operators, media companies and sport organizations to think about how they can best engage with intention; to the benefit of their organizations, individual bettor personas, and the sport and entertainment industry at large.”

The Ontario online sports betting and casino markets are scheduled to launch on April 4.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario gave approval in early February to the first online sportsbook operators.

Details of the Deloitte Survey

Deloitte surveyed more than 1,000 Canadian adults Sept. 22 to Oct. 1 about their past and future sports betting activities, as well as questions about gaming, sports fandom and other consumer-experience preferences. That sheds a spotlight on the actions and expectations of sports bettors overall as the market soon opens.

Right now the OLG’s PROLINE is the only place where Ontarians can place down a legal sports bet. The report says there are differences across the Canadian sports-betting community, which means a one-size-fits-all approach to promoting wagering will not deliver optimal results.

Private operators will need to dive in and really understand what makes the different categories of Canadian sports bettors think, including events they follow in different markets and the ways they bet, then deliver experiences tailored to those unique expectations, according to Deloitte.

Highlights of the Deloitte Study

Report highlights include:

  • Most Canadians don’t realize they can now bet legally on single-game sports — only one in five (19.2%) Canadian adults.
  • However nearly 38% of respondents said they wanted to place a legal sports bet in the future. And those who said they were unlikely to do cited a lack of information and understanding about how sports betting would work under the new rules. So the interest is there — and organizations and governments need to do a better job of communicating that sports betting is now legal and how it all works.
  • Two-thirds (66.8%) of respondents who expressed an interest in placing sports bets were intrigued by single-event stakes, while other forms of betting also interested them. One in three (32.8%) said they would place micro bets, like wagers on specific in-game events, and prop bets, and other similar forms on wagering. One in four (24.9%) said they would be keen to make parlay bets.
  • Casual bettors, comprising 33% of the sports gaming market according to the study (they bet less frequently, for lower stakes, compared to those who bet often for higher stakes, wagering $50 or more on a single bet), are the most likely group to try single-event betting (77.5%, compared to 74.1% of ardent bettors and 60.1% of potential bettors).
  • Ardent bettors are more likely to place parlay and micro-prop bets (48.2% and 58.8%, respectively). Brand, speed of payout, and quality of odds are what’s going to attract bettors. According to the report, 50% look for a trusted brand, 41.7% want rapid win payouts and 34.8% search for the best odds.
  • And if you work for the CFL, especially in Toronto, where interest in the sport is waning, this piece of information should pique your interest. The legalization of single-event sports betting seems to drive stronger interest in sports overall — 32% said their interest in following sports would increase. Out of that number, 51.8% of ardent bettors said their interest in watching sports post-legalization would increase by three hours per week.


Mark Keast has recently covered the sports betting industry in Canada for The Parleh, and is a long-time sportswriter and editor, most notably with the Toronto Sun.

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