Ontario's up-and-coming sports-betting market continues to grow in its first year of operation. Recently released data by iGaming Ontario (IGO) shows that the market's revenue increased by 71% from the second to the third quarter. From October 1 through December 31, that figure was at CAD 457 million ($341 million), a dramatic rise from CAD 267 million ($198.5 million) in the previous quarter, and an even bigger jump from CAD $162 million ($120.4 million) in the opening quarter.
Since launching on April 4, the sports-betting industry in Ontario has seen over CAD 21.6 billion ($16 billion) in total wagers and a total gaming revenue of CAD 886 million ($658.9 million). These figures come ahead of the fourth quarter, which will include two of the most widely-bet sports events, the Super Bowl and March Madness. Ontario's launch of sports betting happened after the NFL championship game of last year and on the final day of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
"We will absolutely see the fourth-quarter numbers get even better for those reasons," said Dave Briggs, a managing editor with PlayCanada.com, as reported by The Canadian Press. "Super Bowl is the biggest sports-betting event on the calendar, and March Madness is close behind it."
"We also see in Canada, different than the U.S., a lot of hockey betting. People will get into hockey, and we will get into the hockey playoffs close to the end of that quarter," noted Briggs. "So you put those three things together, and it has to go up, especially on the sports-betting side, and then on the casino side, it’s just more awareness of them being out there."
Figures from the recent quarter indicate total wagers of CAD 11.53 billion ($8.5 billion), an increase of 91% from the previous quarter's CAD 6.04 billion ($4.4 billion). This does not include any promotional wagers or figures from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation's online operations. The first-quarter handle was CAD 4.07 billion ($3.03 billion).
The number of active player accounts grew 45% to 910,000, compared to 628,000 in the second quarter. Active player accounts are also up 85% from the opening quarter (492,000), says The Canadian Press.
The number of operators went up to 36, a 50% increase over the second quarter. The 68 gaming websites also represented a 62% boost. The average monthly spend per active player account of CAD 167 was 18% more than in the second quarter.
However, as reported by the above mentioned-media, while Ontario's figures show definite improvement, Briggs says the province remains behind comparable American jurisdictions.
Ontario’s overall revenue to date ($661.5 million) would rank it behind New Jersey ($1.86 billion), Pennsylvania ($1.74 billion), and Michigan ($1.53 billion) but ahead of Connecticut ($332 million), West Virginia: ($129 million) and Delaware ($21 million). Those states, like Ontario, have both online casinos and sportsbooks.
Ontario’s third-quarter figure ($341 million) is also less than New Jersey ($691 million), Pennsylvania ($677 million), and Michigan ($584 million) but still ahead of Connecticut ($135 million), West Virginia ($53 million) and Delaware ($9 million).
"Ontario’s numbers are good because you’re starting from a place of incremental money," Briggs said, according to PlayCanada.com. "It’s just that if you’re going to measure the success of Ontario as a jurisdiction, it’s got a long way to go to match ones in the U.S. that also offer both online casinos and sportsbooks.”
Ontario’s population of about 14.5 million is higher than New Jersey (9.3 million), Pennsylvania (13 million), and Michigan (10 million). And the province has more live online gaming operators (42) than New Jersey (33), Michigan (15), Pennsylvania (14), West Virginia (6), Connecticut, and Delaware (both 3). Ontario had 18 operators and 31 total gaming sites in the first quarter. That increased to 24 and 42, respectively, in the second quarter.
One reason, Briggs said, could be that the Ontario market is still in its infancy. "When it started in April, you still had many people who didn’t know it existed," Briggs said. "So, over nine months of being bombarded with ad ads on hockey and football games, people are much more aware of it."
"You see that in the growth of the accounts, that does tell you it’s still growing and will continue to grow. And we’re adding more operators, so there are more players for people to take an interest in," he concluded.