Ontario Online Gambling Market Handled $35.6 Billion In First Year

Written By Dave Briggs on April 4, 2023 - Last Updated on June 21, 2023
Ontario revenue numbers

iGaming Ontario today released some revenue highlights from the first year of its open, regulated online gambling market. iGO reports total handle in year one of “about $35.6 billion” and some $1.4 billion in total gaming revenue from the combined Ontario online casino, poker and sports betting sector.

The province releases its revenue figures quarterly. The numbers iGO released today are unaudited and subject to adjustment. They were released on the one-year anniversary of the market launch to give people an idea about the success of the sector.

Apart from the revenue figures, iGO also reported there are more than 1.6 million active player accounts. Ontario is home to 47 live operators.

“Ontario’s iGaming market has displaced the pre-existing unregulated market and made Ontario a recognized leader internationally in this industry since its launch in April 2022,” Attorney General Doug Downey in a release. “We are truly proud of this strong, responsible, competitive online gaming model.”

For more reaction on the one-year anniversary, check out the overview of the market from a group of gambling operators, some of their bigger betting customers and a key demographic of 20-something Toronto sports bettors. We also, reported on a rise in calls to one of Ontario’s biggest gambling helplines.

AGCO reports 85% of Ontario gamblers do so on regulated sites

iGaming Ontario is a subsidiary of the province’s gambling regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Today, the AGCO also released the results of an Ipsos survey saying some 85% of respondents who gambled online in Ontario over the past three months gambled on regulated sites.

Other notable numbers released today by iGO include:

  • The average monthly spend per active player account over the last year is about $70.
  • The most popular sport to bet on was basketball at 28%. That was followed by soccer (15%), football (14%), hockey (9%) and baseball (8%).
  • In terms of online casino bets, nearly half (48%) were on slots, nearly a third (32%) on table games with a live dealer and the remainder (19%) on computer-based table games.

“Today’s numbers demonstrate that Ontario has one of the best online gaming markets in the world,” said iGO board chair Dave Forestell. “Since Ontario opened the market we have seen new investment, job creation and captured revenue that used to leave the province. Ontario is well on its way to becoming the best gaming jurisdiction in the world.”

iGO executive director Martha Otton said she was proud of the safety Ontario’s regulated market has delivered to consumers.

“Every player who places a wager with a legal Operator is doing so in a safe, regulated, and protected environment,” Otton said. “I want to thank the players, our 40+ operators and our government partners for placing their trust in us. Together we can help this market continue its strong performance.”

Handle up 244%, revenue up 217% from Q1

The numbers through the first three fiscal quarters, ending Dec. 31, 2022, show the industry surpassed $21.6 billion in total wagers in its first nine months. And, total gaming revenue was $886 million. Handle and revenue both grew 182% from the first quarter to the third.

Calculating from that, one can estimate that in the fourth fiscal quarter alone (Jan. 1 – March 31, 2023) Ontario’s market had a handle of $14 billion and revenue of $526 million.

That means:

  • Handle is up 244% from the first quarter total of $4.067 billion.
  • Revenue is up 217% from the Q1 total of $162 million.
  • Handle was up 21% from the Q3 total of $11.53 billion.
  • Revenue was up more than 12% from the Q3 revenue of $457 million.
  • The number of active player accounts, reported at 1.6 million by the end of Q4 is up 225% from the first quarter total of some 492,000.
  • The number of player accounts grew 76% from 910,000 in the third quarter.

Not included in Ontario’s numbers

Important caveats about Ontario’s numbers:

  1. The revenue numbers do not include figures from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp’s online operations which had a record handle of $511 million in FY 2021-22 and is expected to smash that record when FY 2022-23 concludes.
  2. The combined numbers do not include revenue from a few well-established grey-market operators. They were still doing business in the non-legal market in Ontario through the end of October 2022.

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. Operators are otherwise permitted to advertise — and there has been a glut of advertising in Ontario. But 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.

Photo by Jenn Montgomery / 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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