Ontario Online Sportsbook And Casino Revenue Ranks A Distant Fourth

Written By Dave Briggs on October 28, 2022
Despite online casino and sportsbook revenue that jumped 65% in the most recent quarter, Ontario still pales in comparison to its biggest US rivals.

Ontario online casino and sportsbook revenue figures have greatly improved, but still are less than one-third as high as comparable US jurisdictions.

That’s the findings of a PlayCanada revenue analysis comparing Ontario’s most recent numbers to those of the six US jurisdictions that also offer both online casinos and online sportsbooks.

iGaming Ontario recently reported that for the second quarter of fiscal year 2022-23 (the period from July through September that lines up with the third quarter of the calendar year), total online gaming revenue was some $267 million. That’s notably up 65% from revenue of $162 million in FY Q1 (April through June).

Comparing Ontario online gambling revenue with US states per quarter - April - September 2022

What’s not included in Ontario’s numbers

There are some important caveats about Ontario’s numbers that need to be stated off the top:

  1. The revenue numbers do not include figures from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp’s online operations which has said it is seeing record numbers.
  2. The numbers do not include revenue from a few well-established grey-market operators that were still doing business in the non-legal market in Ontario at the end of September as they make the transition to Ontario’s regulated market (a transition that must be completed by Oct. 31).
  3. Ontario’s market is in its infancy. It just opened on April 4.

Also, unlike comparable US jurisdictions, Ontario’s regulator also does not allow the advertisement of bonuses, inducements and credits. One could make an argument that this has a negative impact on customer acquisition and thus, handle and revenue. But since operators are otherwise freely permitted to advertise — and there has been a glut of advertising in Ontario — the jury is still out how much this really impacts the total bottom line. And operators can — and do — offer bonuses, credits and inducements to their customers. They just can’t advertise them. Customers must seek out the operators to find out what they are.

Finally, iGO accounted for 18 live operators in the Q1 and 24 in Q2. As of today, there are 35 live operators in Ontario. Many more are currently in the queue to go live and there could be as many as 70 live operators in Ontario at the market’s peak.

All this means future revenue numbers from Ontario will likely be much higher. It’s just nowhere near as rosy a picture, yet, as some have been painting it.

Ontario still a very distant 4th compared to US jurisdictions

Yes, Ontario certainly has improved since we last compared it to the six US jurisdictions that have both online casino and sportsbooks. But all the other jurisdictions grew, as well.

So, that means Ontario still ranks a very distant fourth on the list, despite having the highest population (approx. 15 million) of any of the jurisdictions and the highest number of gaming operators.

Number of live online gaming operators by region:

  • Ontario: 35
  • New Jersey: 33
  • Michigan: 15
  • Pennsylvania: 14
  • West Virginia: 6
  • Connecticut: 3
  • Delaware: 3

When you convert Ontario’s July-September revenue of $267 million to US dollars (at today’s Bank of Canada of rate), Ontario’s revenue comes in at around $196 million US.

Here’s how Ontario’s July-September revenue compares to that of the more established gaming jurisdictions in 2022:

  1. New Jersey: $612 million
  2. Pennsylvania: $545 million
  3. Michigan: $485 million
  4. Ontario: $196 million (USD)
  5. Connecticut: $105 million
  6. West Virginia: $43 million
  7. Delaware: $7.5 million

Combined revenue rankings

It is interesting to note that, combined, the seven jurisdictions have produced total gaming revenue of nearly $3.8 billion from April through September.

Here’s how the jurisdictions rank, individually, from April-September:

  1. New Jersey: $1.2 billion
  2. Pennsylvania: $1 billion
  3. Michigan: $951 million
  4. Ontario: $321 million (USD)
  5. Connecticut: $200 million
  6. West Virginia: $76 million
  7. Delaware: $12 million

Combining both quarters, Ontario’s revenue was:

  • 73% less than the revenue in New Jersey, which was nearly four times higher
  • 70% less than the revenue in Pennsylvania, which was more than three times higher
  • 66% less than the revenue in Michigan, which was nearly three times higher

Though, at least that is an improvement from the April-June numbers. In the first three months, Ontario’s revenue was only about one-quarter of its closest rivals.

Still, considering Ontario is an established gaming market in the fifth-largest jurisdiction by population in Canada and the United States combined, those aren’t great numbers. While the province is clearly on the right path, and it’s early in the game, it has a very long way to go before it can consider itself a success story.

But, again, Ontario is trending in the right direction

Since launching on April 4, the Ontario market has already surpassed $10 billion (Cdn) in total wagers. And gaming revenue reached nearly $430 million (Cdn).

Apart from gaming revenue growing by 65% from the first reporting period to the second, total handle grew by 48%. It went from $4.076 billion in Q1 (April through June) to $6.04 billion. It is important to note that the handle numbers do not include include promotional wagers (bonuses).

The number of active player accounts grew 28% from 492,000 in Q1 to 628,000 in Q2. Active player accounts are defined as: accounts with cash and/or promotional wagering activity and do not represent unique players as individuals may have accounts with multiple operators.

Finally, the average monthly spend per active player account is up 26%. It went from $113 from April through June to $142 from July through September.

The limited impact of the grey-market operators

Finally, a lot has been made of the impact of the grey-market operators in Ontario.

It is true that a few big non-legal grey-market sites that have long taken bets from Ontarians are missing from the province’s revenue reports through September. Names such as Pinnacle, Bodog, Bet99, etc. are not included in figures, yet.

But it should also be noted that two of the biggest former grey-market sites in the province — bet365 and Unibet — have been legal, regulated and accounted for since the province’s market opened on April 4.

Also, the names on this list of live Ontario operators (as of today’s date – a few went live after Sept. 30) is a who’s who of some of the biggest operators in the world:

NumberOperatorLaunch Date
1.888April 4, 2022
2.Amazon SlotsLate 2023
3.Apollo Entertainment
(Captain Cooks, Casino Classic, Golden Tiger Casino, Grand Mondial Casino, Luxury Casino, Yukon Gold Casino, Zodiac Casino sites)
Oct. 28, 2022
4.Bally BetJuly 20, 2022
5.Bet99Oct. 31, 2022
6.Bet365April 4, 2022
7.BetanoOct. 17, 2022
8.BetMGM Casino OntarioApril 4, 2022
9.BetRivers Casino OntarioApril 4, 2022
10.BetsafeMarch 2, 2023
11.BettyMarch 10, 2023
12.BetVictorSept. 27, 2022
13.BetwayAug. 1, 2022
14.bwinApril 12, 2022
(Jackpot City, Royal Vegas, Jackpot City, Ruby Fortune, Spin Casino sites)
Aug. 10, 2022
16.Caesars Palace Casino OntarioApril 4, 2022
17.CanPlay CasinoOct. 28, 2022
18.Casino DaysJan. 24, 2023
19.CasumoOct. 28, 2022
20.ComeOn!June 13, 2022
21.ConquestadorJan. 10, 2023
22Deal Or No Deal CasinoFeb. 17, 2023
23.Delta BingoEarly 2023
24.DraftKings Casino OntarioMay 18, 2022
25.FallsviewAug. 4, 2022
26.FanDuelApril 4, 2022
27.FitzdaresFeb. 6, 2023
28.High Flyer CasinoDec. 8, 2022
29.LeoVegasApril 4, 2022
30.Lucky CasinoNov. 24, 2023
31.Lucky DaysNov. 2, 2022
32.Mansion Casino
(Play-ON casino.com, Play-ON mansioncasino.com sites)
Nov. 2, 2022
33.NorthStar BetsMay 9, 2022
34.PartyApril 12, 2022
35.PinnacleOct. 25, 2022
36.PointsBetApril 4, 2022
37.PokerStars Casino OntarioJune 28, 2022
38.PowerPlay Casino OntarioApril 2023
39.Proline (OLG)*August, 2021
40.RivalryApril 4, 2022
(Wildz Casino Ontario, Caxino, Spinz,Wheelz Casino Ontario)
Feb. 2, 2023
42.Royal PandaApril 4, 2022
(PlayOJO Casino Ontario, Slots Magic Casino Ontario, SpinGenie, KnightSlots sites)
June 13, 2022
44.Spin AwayNov. 2, 2022
45.Sports InteractionAug. 29, 2022
46.Stardust CasinoLatter half of 2023
47.STXJuly 26, 2023
48.theScore BetApril 4, 2022
49.TonyBetApril 2023
(Casigo, Casimba, DreamVegas, FireVegas, Gate 777, Hello Casino, Jackpot Village, Playzee sites)
April 4, 2022
51.UnibetApril 4, 2022
52.Video Slots Ltd. (Video Slots, Mr. Vegas)June 19, 2023
53.WSOPSept. 30, 2022

Suggesting that missing grey-market revenue from a small handful of operators will greatly improve Ontario’s bottom line once some of those sites are regulated and accounted for, is, most likely, a stretch. It also makes an unsubstantiated assumption that customers of grey-market sites haven’t moved their betting to regulated sites since Ontario’s market opened. That would seem unlikely.

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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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