Ontario released its first financial reports for the newly formed online gambling market which was launched in early April this year. The government announced $162 million in total gaming revenue in the first quarter which is well short of private sector estimates for the industry. Conservative estimates had the Ontario gambling market doing $1.6 billion in gross gaming revenue this year which would rise to $2.36 billion next year.
In terms of total bets placed over the period of three months, Ontario bettors racked up a total of CA$4.08 billion ($3.11 billion), which amounts to over a billion each month. There are currently 31 active and licensed gambling sites in the province which are operated by Ontario’s 18 licensed iGaming companies. Registration numbers hit almost 500,000 active accounts, with the average player spending number for each month at C$113.
It should be noted that the numbers only take into account numbers from the private gambling market. Gambling operators such as PROLINE+, which are run by the Ontairo Lottery and Gaming Corporation are not included. Thus, the numbers for total gambling in the province could very well be much higher than what the report suggests.
iGaming Ontario says that they will continue to release market reports each quarter at the very minimum. The agency does however admit that their numbers are rough and subject to adjustment.
What do the first quarter numbers suggest?
As mentioned before, while the first quarter numbers are quite strong, they fall short of lofty expectations for the Ontario igaming market. With a population of close to 15 million and a huge set of sports fans, the numbers were expected to be closer to the $500 million mark in total gaming revenue. The title of one of the biggest ‘iGaming markets in the worlds’ may not have been lived up to so far but there is no doubt that the potential still lies in the region.
It should be taken into consideration that regulated Ontario online gambling is a new market and will take some time to switch over. The new rules set out by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario make it particularly difficult for operators to market towards customers and the already established lotteries board marketplace with products like PROLINE+ have a deep seeded fanbase in the province.
Expect more and more top operators from around the globe to set their sights on getting their hands on a AGCO license for Ontario. As they do, the numbers are sure to increase and perhaps the Ontario iGaming market will be able to reach the heights expected from it.