On August 30, iGaming Ontario released the first public report on market performance since the Canadian province opened its gambling market to international operators. The report covers the period April 4th – June 30th, 2022.
According to the reported data, Ontarians have placed CA$4.076 billion in cash wagers, excluding promotional wagers.
During the first quarter, there were 492,000 active player accounts across the 31 gambling websites that are allowed to serve local players. Every player wagered CA$113 per month on average. The total gaming revenue is estimated at CA$162 million earned from casino games, sports betting, and poker.
Dave Forestell, the iGO board chair, commented on the long-awaited report release and said that the aim of the local authorities was to make Ontario the best gaming jurisdiction in the world and the financial results were an indication that they were on the right path to achieving that. Mr. Forestell also pointed out that the competitive revenue share rate, combined with low barriers to entry makes Ontario an attractive market to operators looking for a solid player base.
These are the first official figures after Ontario allowed international operators to acquire licenses and serve locals. Although the report is not as detailed as expected, authorities revealed that all future reports will be released on quarterly basis and will contain data that would help market analysts get a better idea of the impact legalized gambling has on the Ontarian economic.
The current report lacks not only information about players' demographics and preferred games, but also information about the revenue the grey market has generated. It is a well-known fact that some popular overseas operators have been serving Canadian players for decades and they used to generate substantial revenues. Two of the gaming giants – Betway and Sports Interaction, have already acquired licenses, and expectations are more operators to follow suit.
According to people familiar with the market, it will take at least one year until one can get a full picture of the local gambling industry and market potential. Offshore casinos have it until October 31 to make a transition out of the unregulated market. Once they are compliant with the new Standard, the numbers in the future reports will become more accurate.
Apart from the unlicensed casinos generating revenues, there is yet another reason why the first report is not comprehensive enough. Ontario opened its market for foreign operators on April 4, meaning bettors could not wager on major sports events such as the Winter Olympics or the Super Bowl.
Future reading: Ontario licensed casinos
Last but not least, nearly 70 international operators are expected to apply for a license by the end of the year, which would lead to a drastic revenue increase in the next financial reports.