When Canadian Gaming Association president and CEO Paul Burns looks back at the numbers from the first quarter of Ontario sportsbooks and online casino, released last summer, he must be having an “I told you so” moment.
That’s because the latest numbers, released Thursday, show tremendous growth.
Ontario Gambling Handle Increases 91%
According to iGaming Ontario (iGO), total wagers for the third quarter of online casino Ontario sites and sports wagering (actually Q4 in calendar year terms, Oct. 1-Dec. 31, 2022) came to $11.53 billion. That was a whopping 91% increase over Q2 (July 1-Sept. 30, 2022) and does not include promotional wagers (bonuses).
Total gaming revenue was $457 million, a 71% increase over Q2. This figure represents total cash wagers, including rake fees, tournament fees and other fees, for all licensed operators through Dec. 31, minus player winnings from cash wagers, and does not take into operating costs or other liabilities.
Total cash wagers in Q1 (again the second quarter of the calendar year, from April to June 30) were just over $4 billion and gaming revenue was at $162 million. The regulated Ontario digital gaming market went live April 4.
“I think the market was strong (Q1) and I think it will get stronger,” Burns said back then. “I think we will see the numbers double in the next quarter.”
Number of Operators Increases Rapidly
What’s also telling when one looks at the health and growth potential of the regulated Ontario market is the current number of Ontario sports betting apps operators and live gaming websites. There are now 36 operators, a 50% increase from Q2, and 68 sites, a 62% increase.
There were 910,000 active player accounts, according to iGO (cash and/or promotional wagering activity), a 45% increase over Q2. That number does not represent unique players since individuals might have several accounts with different operators.
The average monthly spend per active player account was $167 in Q3 – 18% higher than the Q2 Ontario gambling revenue report.
Legal, Regulated Gaming Market Succeeding
Burns had called Ontario a “semi-mature” market. There was a billion-dollar black market going back decades, then some operators were allowed to stay in a grey market while transitioning with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
Many of those operators joined the ranks of fully legal, regulated casino apps Ontario in 2022.
The province does not release numbers broken down by sports betting vs. iGaming. There are 27 operators accepting online sports wagers, according to a list on the iGO website.
Casino games playable on mobile devices, laptops or desktop computers include Ontario online slots, among other options.