Canada Betting Focus

BtoBet analyzes Canadian single-event sports betting market growth and prospects in its latest report

Reading time 2:20 min

With Ontario all set to launch iGaming and online sports betting on April 4, BtoBet released Monday its latest industry report, which focuses on the newly legalized Canada market. The “Canada Betting Focus” report analyzes the market’s opportunities since single-event sports betting was legalized

The company not only provides a regulatory overview of the country, but also references data that indicates the market’s short term growth trajectory is expected to reach levels between CA$1.5 billion ($1.17 billion) to CA$2.4 billion ($1.8 billion) in the second year post-legalization, compared to CA$241.7 million ($188.6 million) pre-legalization. 

A report prepared by Pricewaterhouse Coopers defines the potential the local market has, and indicates that in both a low growth and high growth scenario, land-based revenues are expected to increase from CA$222.5 million ($173,6 million) to CA$591.5 million ($461.7 million) in Gross Gaming Revenue. 

It also concludes that in the post-legislation landscape the online sector’s GGR is set to exceed the land-based GGR, which was not the case pre-legalization. 

The report goes over Canada’s sports betting history so far, which started decades ago. Up until Bill C-281’s passage into law in 2021, which effectively legalized single-event sports betting in the country, Canadian lottery corporations could only offer parlay wagering.

The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act was introduced in Parliament in February 2020, and sought to amend the regulatory oversight and cutting off illegal wagering activities to make it legal to bet on the outcome of a single sporting event.

The Canadian Gaming Association made reference to the size of the unregulated market in a public statement, with the association claiming that “Canadians enjoy sports betting because they are wagering approximately $10 billion annually through illegal bookmaking operations in Canada, usually operated by organized crime organizations. Additionally, more than $4 billion is wagered through offshore online sports wagering sites. Currently, only $500 million is wagered through legal provincial sports lottery products offered to Canadians, which means many people are betting through illegal and often dangerous means.”

In 2019, Canada’s regulated sports betting industry accounted for CA$241.7 million ($188.6 million) in GGR, with an approximate annual growth rate of 5% registered over the past 15 years. 

The land-based sector accounted for the majority of the GGR, accounting for 92% of total regulated GGR for 2019. Provincial operators with online platforms, whilst limited in numbers, constituted 8% of total GGR, generating CA$19.2 million ($14.9 million). The online has been the fastest growing channel within the regulated market landscape, with an approximate 30% annual average growth rate compared to a 4% average annual growth rate in land-based GGR.

Back in 2019, Ontario accounted for over half the total land-based Gross Gaming Revenue. The provinces of Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta shared a similar proportion of GGR for the land-based sector with 14%, 15% and 13% respectively. 

The report also reviewed Canada’s Online Unregulated sports betting GGR, which for the past 15 years has grown by an average annual rate of 8%, reaching CA $323 million ($252 million) in 2019. Back then, sports betting accounted for around 28% of all unregulated gambling GGR. Sports betting constituted the second largest GGR after casino-related activities, which accounted for around 31% of all unregulated gambling GGR. 

BtoBet’s report concluded that, “apart from the potential to erode existing grey and black market sports betting activity, the regulatory changes also mean that Canada could follow in the US’ footsteps and develop a highly lucrative online market that could further attract the attention of global betting powerhouses”. 

Download the full Canada Betting Focus report here.

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