President and CEO of Canadian Gaming Association: Ontario iGaming Off to ‘Promising Start’

President and CEO of Canadian Gaming Association: Ontario iGaming Off to ‘Promising Start’
By Mark Keast
Fact Checked by Ron Fritz

The first public market report issued by iGaming Ontario, taking a look at the first full quarter of Ontario online casinos and sports betting since the April 4 launch, led to a variety of reaction from the industry. 

According to the report, total cash wagers (not including promotional wagers, or bonuses) was $4.076 billion. Total gaming revenue was $162 million. As iGaming Ontario spells out, that is total cash wagers including rake fees, tournament fees and other fees across all live operators minus player winnings (it does not take into account operating costs and other liabilities).

“The release by iGaming Ontario of the first quarter results from Ontario’s regulated igaming market reflects a promising start. From the initial 17 websites on day one, the market now has 39 active websites with many more operators soon to enter,” said Paul Burns, president and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association. “This also demonstrates the igaming market is transitioning from a grey market to a fully regulated one.

“Leading brands in casino and sports betting have already chosen to become part of Ontario’s regulated market, and in the next two quarters we will see further results of that popularity.”

There were 18 live operators and 31 igaming sites as of June 30 (there are 39 igaming sites and 22 live operators as of Sept. 6). Active player accounts for Ontario sports betting and online casinos were at 492,000 (individuals may have accounts with multiple operators), through June 30.

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'Market Prioritizes Strong Consumer' Protections

Said PointsBet Canada CEO Scott Vanderwel: “The market report … speaks for itself. With 492,000 active player accounts, total cash wagers of $4.076 billion, and a total gaming revenue of $162 million, the desire for a regulated market is strong. Since taking our first bet on April 4, PointsBet Canada has offered an unrivaled gaming experience to enthusiasts.

“As a regulated operator, we are deeply invested in offering our customers a safe and exciting sports wagering experience. As iGaming continues to take important steps forward in the country, we are excited to further our authentically Canadian approach and build on our partnerships with the athletes, teams, and brands that matter to Canadians.”

Chantal Cipriano, PointsBet Canada vice president of legal, compliance and people, said “the data released today by iGaming Ontario contextualizes just how much Ontario has benefited from a legal, regulated and competitive iGaming market.” 

“It has never been clearer that the regulated market prioritizes strong consumer and anti-money laundering protections. The data provided today proves that Ontario’s iGaming framework which allows for competition, continued investment, job creation, and consumer protection is a model which should be adopted in other Canadian jurisdictions.”

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PokerStars Announces 2 Online Series

PokerStars Canada is rolling out two new Ontario online poker series for players in the province over the next few months. PokerStars Bounty Builder Series, from Sept. 4-19, has $1 million guaranteed across over 100 tournaments, with buy-ins ranging from $10 to $500. The $200 buy-in Main Event runs Sept. 18, with $100,000 guaranteed. 

Then there’s the PokerStars Ontario Championship of Online Poker, Oct. 1-17, the first major online championship for players in the province. More details on this will follow soon.

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PointsBet Canada Beefs Up Curling Stable

PointsBet Canada once again is partnering with Team Einarson, led by Skip Kerri Einarson, Lead Briane Harris, Second Shannon Birchard, and Third Val Sweeting. Team Einarson are the reigning national champions, having won the past three Scotties Tournament of Hearts. PointsBet already has a partnership with Curling Canada and the PointsBet Invitational is coming up, Sept. 21-25, in Fredericton, NB, with Canada’s best men’s and women’s teams competing.

“We are thrilled to be partnering again with Team Einarson this year,” said Nic Sulsky, chief commercial officer at PointsBet Canada. “From day one, the PointsBet Canada team has supported the sports and teams that are synonymous with Canada’s identity. And nobody embodies the maple leaf more than Kerri, Briane, Shannon, and Val."

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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.