Ontario Online Gambling Supports 15,000 Jobs, Drives $1.24B In Tax Revenue

Written By Dave Briggs on June 19, 2024
3D map of Canada with Ontario highlighted in red. Deloitte's analysis concludes Ontario's iGaming sector supported 2,863 more jobs and produced $479 million more in tax revenue than year one.

In just its second year of operation, Ontario’s online gambling sector supported nearly 15,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the province and delivering some $1.24 billion in combined tax revenue to provincial, federal and municipal governments.

That’s the conclusion of Deloitte’s Economic Contributions of Ontario’s Regulated iGaming Market – Year 2 report released Wednesday by iGaming Ontario.

“This report puts Ontario’s iGaming market government revenue contribution at over $2 billion since it launched,” said Heidi Reinhart, iGaming Ontario’s Board Chair in a release, “and with job contribution up by 24% from its first year, the benefits to Ontarians are significant.”

PlayCanada previously reported that Ontario ranked number one in North America in online gambling revenue when the province’s second year is compared to the second years of the major iGaming states Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Jersey.

Government revenue likely more than $1.7 billion when OLG numbers added

The $1.24 billion in government revenue includes “taxes on products and production… corporate and personal income taxes stimulated by Ontario’s iGaming industry” and the government’s 20% cut of the online gambling revenue from the province’s 47 operators offering 77 licensed sites.

Of that $1.24 billion, Deloitte reports “$790 million supported provincial government revenue, $75 million supported municipal government revenues, and $380 million supported federal government revenue.”

The combined figure is up 63% from Deloitte’s year one tax revenue figure of $761 million and is nearly at the five-year projection of $1.32 billion.

bar graph showing Ontario iGaming Sector Total Tax Revenue - First Two Years vs. Year 5 Projection

It’s important to note that the $1.24 billion number does not include revenue from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming corporation’s online gambling activities. And the OLG is a major player in Ontario’s iGaming sector.

In the most recent fiscal year released publicly (2022-23) the OLG reported  some $451 million in online casino and sports betting revenue. That figure amounted to about 24% of Ontario’s total online gambling of $1.851 billion in year one of the sector (April 4, 2022 – March 31, 2023).

Since the OLG returns all of its revenue to the province, its numbers are important.

Even if the OLG’s online revenue was stagnant in year two — which is unlikely; it is widely predicted to have increased from year one — adding in another $451 million to Deloitte’s estimates would mean Ontario’s online gambling sector drove nearly $1.7 billion worth of combined revenue to the three levels of government.

Kudos to iGO and Deloitte for the job numbers, which are up 24%

Yet, it’s the jobs figures which are equally, if not more, important.

While iGO lags behind most US jurisdictions in how it discloses iGaming revenue figures — only reporting quarterly, not monthly, and failing to disclose individual operator data — it is light years ahead of most of its US counterparts in estimating and releasing job figures.

Deloitte reports that in year two, Ontario’s online gambling sector supported 14,935 full-time equivalent jobs across Ontario.

That number is up 24% from Deloitte’s year one estimate of 12,072 jobs and almost at the five-year projection of 16,242 jobs.

bar graph showing Ontario iGaming Sector Jobs - First Two Years vs. Year 5 Projection

The jobs and revenue figures are essential parts of the transparency necessary to show Ontarians the benefits of an industry that also comes with increased social costs of problem gambling.

On that, Attorney General Doug Downey said in a release that the province is committed to, “building a sustainable and responsible iGaming industry.” Further he said:

“Working together with our partners and industry, we will continue to drive innovation and deliver robust player protections, all while displacing the unregulated market.”

Deloitte estimates iGaming sector contributed $2.7 billion to Ontario’s GDP

Deloitte and iGO also pointed out other highlights, which include an estimate that the online gambling market “contributed $2.7 billion to Ontario’s GDP in its second year of operation. That figure is up 71% from $1.58 billion in its first year.

By Deloitte’s calculations, that means for every dollar spent in the province’s iGaming sector, “an estimated $1.40 of GDP was supported in the Ontario economy.” That figure is up 23% from an estimate of $1.14 to the province’s GDP for every dollar spent in year one.

Also notable, in just its second year, Ontario has already nearly hit or already exceeded a long list of Deloitte’s previous projection for the sector in year five, including:

  • Direct jobs sustained (up 120% from previous year-five projections).
  • Government revenues (94%).
  • Total full-time jobs (92%).
  • GDP contributions (93%).
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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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