Ontarians Bet Over $35 Billion in First Year of Legal Online Gambling
After just one year of legalization, Ontario is emerging as one of the largest igaming markets in North America with over 40 operators and 76 websites/apps available.
According to Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) VP Andrew Darley, the Ontario igaming market is possibly “number one in the world” in terms of revenue if the iGaming Ontario and OLG data are combined.
Darley made the assertion at an Ontario-focused session at SBC Summit North America, explaining that OLG’s figures are confidential but significant enough to challenge the world’s largest markets.
The industry earned nearly $1.4 billion in total gaming income and approximately $35.6 billion in total wagers during its first year.
Last April, Ontario became the first Canadian province to launch a legal, regulated market. Since then, the province has accumulated over 1.6 million active player accounts on websites operated by more than 40 operators affiliated with iGaming Ontario.
The transition from unregulated sites to the legal market appears to have gone easily; according to an Ipsos poll released Tuesday, 85% of respondents who bet in Ontario did so on licensed sites. This is a significant departure from before the market’s debut, when 70% of users gambled on unregulated sites.
According to iGaming Ontario, active players spent an average of $70 per month in the previous year.
Basketball was the most popular sport to wager on, followed by soccer, football, hockey, and baseball. In the online casino category, slots accounted for 48% of all wagers, while table games with a live dealer accounted for nearly a third and computer-based table games accounted for the remainder.
Canada’s New Online Casino & Sportsbook
Among the companies looking to gain a meaningful presence in the Ontario online gambling market is NorthStar Gaming Holdings Inc. (TSXV:BET), a Canadian-owned gaming brand that owns and operates NorthStar Bets, an Ontario casino and sportsbook gaming platform that gives players a distinctly local user experience.
Along with all of the most popular online casino games, the NorthStar Bets sportsbook offers real-time news, data, analysis, and scores directly in the betting environment.
NorthStar Gaming launched Northstar Bets last June in partnership with Playtech PLC (LSE:PTECH) (OTC:PYTCY), a world-leading provider of B2C gambling technology. Under the partnership, Playtech became NorthStar’s strategic software and services supplier, delivering its IMS platform, casino and live casino services to Ontario’s gambling market.
Playtech also recently made a C$12.25 million strategic investment into Northstar Gaming to fuel expansion and growth across the Canadian market. The investment from Playtech, which resulted in a 15.5% ownership stake, completed Northstar’s reverse takeover (RTO) financing for aggregate gross proceeds of C$22.33 million.
NorthStar Gaming mixes a world-class casino and sportsbook experience with first-rate customer service – including live, on-call agents – and original sports news and gaming content. The company uses its strong Ontario roots to give it a distinct advantage: as a true local operator, it has its finger on the pulse of the province and adapts with them, not to them.
NorthStar is dedicated to being a leader in the gaming business by achieving the highest security and integrity standards demanded by Canadians.
Because of its collaborations and agreements with prominent media firms, including an omnichannel advertising and marketing services agreement with the Toronto Star creator Torstar Corporation, NorthStar is well-positioned to become a leader in the junction of sports media and sports wagering.
NorthStar Bets operates in the province under an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario and is regulated by the Ontario Alcohol and Gaming Commission (OAGC).
On May 8, NorthStar further expanded its reach through the acquisition of Slapshot Media Inc., a Canadian iGaming marketing and managed services company that specializes in providing managed services to Spreads.ca, an iGaming site owned and operated by the Abenaki Council of Wolinak. The purpose of the acquisition is to open up the Canadian market to the NorthStar brand outside of Ontario eventually, as well as to expand NorthStar‘s addressable market dramatically through its association with Spreads.ca.
The acquisition of Slapshot Media complements NorthStar‘s existing online casino and sportsbook capabilities. Spreads.ca will not be available in Ontario and NorthStar Bets will remain NorthStar‘s only online casino and sports book in the province.
Featured Image @ Freepik
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