Burns: Tax Rate Right for Ontario Gaming and Number of Operators Proves It

Burns: Tax Rate Right for Ontario Gaming and Number of Operators Proves It
By Mark Keast
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

The next two weeks should see a lot of new Ontario online casinos jumping into the fray, as an Oct. 31 compliance deadline fast approaches. 

There are currently 25 iGaming operators and 44 active websites in the province. When the market went live April 4, many of the grey market operators who had been running offshore businesses were allowed some time to work their application processes with the Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario and iGaming Ontario, and to get their license. Many are still in the queue, working with the regulator and iGO. 

But grey market operators must come into compliance by Oct. 31, or risk having their registration refused, and the AGCO will take “appropriate regulatory action” against any operator that doesn’t meet the new standard.

The financial numbers for the last quarter, through Sept. 30, released by iGO, showed total wagers (for online casinos and Ontario sports betting combined) at $6.04 billion. Total revenue was $267 million.

As new operators come in, along with a full sports season, and Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation numbers are released for their iGaming business (iGO doesn’t report the crown corporation’s numbers), the Ontario market will start to become fully realized.

 
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Burns: Positive Feedback for Ontario Gaming

Paul Burns, Canadian Gaming Association president and CEO, said the 20% annual tax rate set by the provincial government has had a positive impact on the number of entrants coming into the market, including for Ontario casino apps.

“What we have consistently heard is that with a combination of the revenue share model and the regulatory regime, we have seen a very positive uptick,” Burns said. “Look at the number of operators. I think that’s endorsement enough. If they didn’t think this was a market worth entering, they wouldn’t have spent the money to do it. And there’s still a lot of opportunity.

“The companies are seeing it and still entering. They are expecting another 30 companies in the queue. Regulators are being told to look at what Ontario is doing, and how to get the market right. In all my travels, people are saying very positive things about the Ontario model.”

Ontario also earned praise from experts at the recent Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

 
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OLG: Ontario NFL Betting Growing

Not surprisingly, the NFL is leading the way with sports bettors across the PROLINE platform, according to OLG numbers. Sales have grown steadily in each of the first six weeks of the season, with the marquee games (Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights) being the most popular.

Sunday night’s matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles was the most popular game of the week. Of the moneyline bets, 60% were on Philadelphia to win, but just 43% of customers had them covering the -5.5 point spread.

A $12 wager on an 8-leg NFL parlay (Giants, Bengals, Jets, Falcons, Steelers, Rams, Eagles, Vikings) earned one customer on Ontario sportsbook apps a $6,600 payout. A $20 wager on an 8-leg NFL parlay (Giants +5.5, Bengals -3.5, Colts -1.5, Vikings -1.5, Falcons +5.5, Seahawks +1.5, Bills -1.5, Eagles -5.5) earned one customer a $2,700 payout. Eighty percent of customers had the Total going Over 42.5 points which narrowly came through (Total was 43).

And not surprisingly in Ontario, the Buffalo Bills’ win over the Kansas City Chiefs was also popular with bettors. Fifty-seven percent of customers had the Bills to win while 70% of customers had them covering the -1.5 point Spread. A $900 wager on a 4-leg parlay earned one customer a $10,277 payout, and a $355 wager on a 4-leg parlay earned one customer a $4,000 payout.

 
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Contributors

Mark Keast

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.