Ontario’s Online Betting Market Experiences Significant Growth

 

Single-game wagering was officially legalized in Canada in 2021, and in the early months of 2022, Ontario took a significant additional step by making online sports betting legal. 

While this new gambling platform was initially a little slow to take off, with many Ontario residents not even aware that it had been legalised, in recent months the province’s online betting market has begun to blossom. 

In fact, it has been so successful that iGaming operators in the province managed to rake in a whopping CAD $6.04 billion during the third quarter of 2022 alone. In addition, there are thousands of new players joining the ranks of online gamblers and creating their own accounts. Most recently, 628,000 active gamblers were confirmed, and increase of over 120,000 from the first quarter. 

Considering the province of Ontario has around 15 million inhabitants, this represents a significant percentage of the population, especially for such a new market.  

With such a successful beginning to its introduction of online betting, it seems that Ontario is already eclipsing established gambling jurisdictions such as the state of New York, which turned over less than US$3 billion during the same period. 

A big change for sports betting in Ontario

Although Ontario has taken a big step by making sports betting and online gambling legal, it is still taking a watchful stance, with strict rules for the industry. In particular, the province’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission has been cracking down on so-called ‘gray-market’ sports betting operators, insisting that they have until 31 October 2022 to either become regulated or face penalties. 

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Already, a number of prominent unregulated operators have begun the conversion process to the regulated market, in order to avoid sanctions, and it seems likely that many others will follow suit – or be forced to move on to fresh pastures. 

However, this enforced conversion is not the only big transition afoot. Ontario has also revealed that it has been ‘seeking stakeholder perspectives on the potential regulatory risks associated with promotional partnerships, and the possibility that the AGCO take regulatory action to address such risks.’ 

So far, no details have been provided on what those regulatory actions could entail, however it seems clear that the Commission is keen to keep a tight control over gambling-related advertising, while at the same time allowing this fledgeling market to continue stretching its wings. 

Reflecting the wider trend

It’s no surprise to see the online betting market flourishing in Ontario. This industry has been growing in numerous regions across the world in recent years, as well as other provinces of Canada. Indeed, there are many online casino sites like Rizk Canada that offer their games to anyone residing outside Ontario.

Globally, the market is worth over $50 billion which is only expected to increase year upon year. Some of the most popular countries for online betting include the United States, United Kingdon, Australia and Brazil. Ontario’s recent legal change will only strengthen this market – as well as giving Ontario it’s own slice of the action. 

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