Ontario iGaming off to slow start with $124M in revenue over first 3 months

First Ontario iGaming Revenue
Image: Shutterstock

After months of waiting, the first batch of numbers is out from iGaming Ontario (iGO) on how the new North American market has been performing. So far, the news is lackluster.

The numbers are relatively top-line and combine sports betting, online casino, and online poker into lump sums. Generally, markets in the US with both online casino and online sports betting, the revenue splits are roughly 75% casino and 25% sports. Nonetheless, they do give some insight into just how big the market is in the Canadian province.

Handle C$4.1 billion across 3 months

Per iGO, the 18 regulated operators generated almost C$4.1 billion from April through June. That translates to roughly $3.1 billion. Revenue came in at C$162M ($124M). These numbers did not include numbers from Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG).

Handle did not include any promotional spend, so there was more wagered than the numbers indicate. Given the restricted nature of marketing these promo dollars, it is difficult to gauge just how much they impacted handle. Operators are known to spend millions per month when a new market launches in the US.

There are no figures on the total unique number of players, but the report did note there were 492,000 player accounts set up across all of the sites. Average spend on each account was C$113 ($86.54).

Our aim is to be the best gaming jurisdiction in the world and these positive results are an early sign that we’re on our way,” said Dave Forestell, iGO’s Board Chair. “With a competitive revenue share rate and low barriers to entry, Ontario is an attractive igaming market with a strong player base.” 

Comparing Ontario to US markets

Ontario’s population is close to 15 million people, but even with that scope, the revenue numbers pale in comparison to US markets with both online casino and sports betting. These markets are more mature, granted, but the disparity in numbers is clear. Additionally, it should be stated each state calculates these numbers differently, especially when it comes to promotional dollars.

Here is a look at how much revenue each market generated during the same period:

  • Michigan (population: 10 million): $466 million
  • Pennsylvania (population: 12.8 million): $471 million
  • New Jersey (population: 8.9 million): $557 million

Revenue is a relatively volatile number, but even still, it is clear Ontario is off to a very slow start compared to American markets. The first three months of only online casino in Michigan generated $204 million in revenue.

Certainly, the bottom line for regulated online gambling in Ontario was impacted by the continued operation of gray market sites in the province. Once the market goes completely regulated, that should boost the numbers of this nascent market. Based on the Q2 calls from operators, they are still optimistic about the province. Hopefully, in the case of Ontario, slow and steady wins the race.