Steady Growth For Gambling Industry in Q1; iGaming Ontario Report

Steady Growth For Gambling Industry in Q1; iGaming Ontario Report
By Mark Keast
Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

At the recent Canadian Gaming Summit, iGaming Ontario executive director Martha Otton told a packed audience of industry types how the first year of a competitive, regulated igaming industry had gone for the province’s Ontario betting sites.

“I think we’re crushing it here,” she said. iGaming Ontario (iGO) is a subsidiary of the provincial regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), charged with conducting and managing igaming in the province.

“I look at what the government set out to achieve,” she said. “First was entertainment choice for Ontarians. Another goal was to improve player protection. They’re world class. We require all our operators to haver RG check. There was the need to capture some of the lost revenue that was leaving the province previously. There’s a greater industry that has brought we think good high paying jobs to the province. I would say the first year has been very, very successful.”

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Breaking Down the Numbers

The FY 2023-24 Q1 market performance report data, released last week by iGO, is further proof of that.

Just the facts: Ontario saw $14 billion in total wagers across Ontario online casinos and sports betting in Q1 – April 1 to June 30. That total wager number does not include promotional wagers (bonuses). That’s up from $13.9 billion in Q4 (Jan. 1 2023 to March 31). 

Ontario saw $545 million in total gaming revenue in Q1, up from $526 million in Q4. Total gaming revenue is total cash wagers, including rake fees, tournament fees and other fees, minus player winnings derived from cash wagers. That number does not take into account operating costs or other liabilities.

There are currently 46 operators licensed and operating in Ontario, and 71 gaming websites. In Q4 that number was 44 and 75, respectively.
And there are 920,000 active player accounts, with an average monthly spend of $197 (per active player account). In Q4 those numbers were 1.01 million and $174.

More specifically, in Q1, casino games (slots, casinos days Ontario, live and computer-based tables games and peer-to-peer bingo) accounted for almost $11.6 billion (83%) of total wagers and 72 per cent ($392 million) or gaming revenue.

Esports Not To Be Forgotten

Betting on sports and esports as well as proposition and novelty bets accounted for $2 billion (14%) of total wagers and $138 million (25 %) of gaming revenue. Peer to peer (P2P) poker accounted for $350M (3%) of total wagers and $15M (3%) of gaming revenue. 

“There have been many surprises,” Otton said. “The size of the market. Many of the operators that are live now, 36 of them existed in the province prior to the regulated scheme coming forward, and so those operators were able to successfully bring their players with them.”

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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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