‘Rookie Year’ Of Ontario Online Gambling Stacks Up Well vs. US States

Written By Dave Briggs on October 20, 2023 - Last Updated on October 25, 2023
First Year Online Gambling Rankings

More than six months after the first Ontario online gambling fiscal year ended, we finally have a full picture of how the province is doing against comparable US states. When measured against the first years of the three biggest jurisdictions that also offer online casinos, Ontario is doing surprisingly well.

In fact, Ontario ranks a close second in online gambling revenue through its first year compared with the first years of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Breaking down Ontario numbers vs. US states

This week, PlayCanada published an analysis of the total online gambling revenue for the 2022-23 fiscal year that ran from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023. While iGaming Ontario figures were released months ago, those figures do not include Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation numbers.

The OLG annual report for that same fiscal year time period was released this week. PlayCanada took the OLG’s digital operations revenue ($561 million) subtracted the $110 million that came from OLG’s iLottery to get a figure of $451 million in revenue from the OLG’s online casino and online sports betting operations.

We then added that $451 million to the iGO figures ($1.4 billion) to get a total online gambling revenue number for the fiscal year of $1.851 billion in Canadian dollars.

Then, we converted that to US dollars using the average Bank of Canada rate from that same time period (0.76). In US dollars, Ontario’s total online gambling revenue was $1.407 billion in year one.

That produced the following ranking of the top four jurisdictions in terms of online gambling revenue from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023:

  1. New Jersey — $2.47 billion
  2. Pennsylvania — $2.38 billion
  3. Michigan — $2.07 billion
  4. Ontario — $1.407 billion (USD)

Comparing Ontario’s year one to other year ones

But those numbers compare Ontario’s first year with more mature markets many years into online gambling. So, PlayCanada did a further analysis.

When Ontario was compared to the revenue from the first year each of those other jurisdictions offered online gambling, the ranking came out as follows:

  1. Michigan (Feb. 1, 2021-Jan. 31, 2022) — $1.55 billion
  2. Ontario (April 4, 2022-March 31, 2023) — $1.407 billion (USD)
  3. Pennsylvania (Aug. 1, 2019-July 31,2020) — $533 million
  4. New Jersey (online casinos: Dec. 1, 2013-Nov. 30, 2014 / sports betting: June 1, 2018-July 31, 2019) — $313.5 million

Breaking it down further — separating online casinos and sports betting

The OLG doesn’t give separate revenue figures for its Ontario online casino and online Ontario sports betting operations. That makes it difficult to break down the numbers further to show exactly how much revenue in Ontario came from online sports bettting and how much came from online casinos.

But, iGO figures in the first year show that 67% of the revenue came from online casinos. So, applying that percentage to the OLG’s total online gambling revenue numbers, we can get a rough idea of how Ontario is doing. Sixty-seven percent of $342.6 million USD means the OLG breakdown would be:

  • OLG estimated online casino revenue — $229.6 million USD
  • OLG estimated online sports betting revenue — $113 million USD

iGO said online casinos had revenue of $940 million in the first year. That’s $714.4 million in USD. Add that to $229.6 million and you get an estimated total online casino revenue of $944 million for Ontario’s first year.

Compared to the three biggest US online casino states, the first-year online casino rankings are:

  1. Michigan — $1.206 billion
  2. Ontario — $944 million (USD)
  3. Pennsylvania — $364.3 million
  4. New Jersey — $119.5 million

Ontario ranks 4th in first-year sports betting

As for sports betting, just looking at jurisdictions that offer both online casinos and sportsbooks, Ontario’s revenue in the first year made it the leader.

iGO said online sportsbooks had revenue of $433 million in the first year. That’s $329 million in USD. If we estimate that OLG took in some $113 million (USD) from its Proline online sportsbook (33% of its total of online casinos and sports betting), the first-year sports betting rankings (adding $329 million to $113 million) would be:

  1. Ontario — $442 million (USD)
  2. Pennsylvania — $364.3 million
  3. Michigan — $338.7 million
  4. New Jersey — $119.5 million

However, throw in some other US heavy hitters that only offer online sports betting and Ontario falls to fourth in the first-year rankings change significantly.

In their first year of operations, online sportsbook revenue ranked as follows:

  1. New York — $1.38 billion
  2. Maryland — $500 million (estimate for the entire first year that will be reached next month)
  3. Arizona — $445.7 million
  4. Ontario — $442 million (USD)
  5. Illinois — $370.3 million
  6. Pennsylvania — $364.3 million
  7. Michigan — $338.7 million
  8. Virginia — $321.4 million

Per capita, Ontario holds its own in total iGaming and online casinos

All of this provides a much rosier picture of Ontario’s online gambling revenue.

Though, it should be noted that, by the end of the first year, Ontario had both the most online operators (47) and the highest population (15.1 million) compared with Pennsylvania (13 million), Michigan (10 million) and New Jersey (9.26 million).

That changes the rankings as follows:

Total first year online gambling revenue per capita:

  1. Michigan (Feb. 1, 2021-Jan. 31, 2022) — $155
  2. Ontario (April 4, 2022-March 31, 2023) — $93.18 USD
  3. Pennsylvania (Aug. 1, 2019-July 31,2020) — $41
  4. New Jersey (online casinos: Dec. 1, 2013-Nov. 30, 2014 / sports betting: June 1, 2018-July 31, 2019) — $33.85

Total first year online casino revenue per capita:

  1. Michigan — $120.6
  2. Ontario — $62.52 (USD)
  3. Pennsylvania — $28.02
  4. New Jersey — $12.90

Ontario drops to sixth when it comes to sports betting.

Total first year online sports betting revenue per capita:

  1. Maryland (pop. 6.16 million) — $81.17
  2. New York (pop. 18.9 million) — $73.02
  3. Arizona (pop. 7.45 million) — $59.83
  4. Virginia (pop. 8.6 million) — $37.37
  5. Michigan — $33.87
  6. Ontario — $29.27
  7. Illinois (pop. 12.9 million) — $28.71
  8. Pennsylvania — $28.02
Photo by PlayCanada
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Dave Briggs

Dave Briggs is a managing editor and writer for Catena Media. His expertise is covering the gambling industry in Canada with emphasis on the casino, sports betting and horse racing sectors. He is currently reporting on the gaming industries in Canada and Michigan.

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