Regulated Sites Flourish in Ontario
A report commissioned by the Ontario Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO) and iGaming Ontario, and conducted by research firm Ipsos, has demonstrated that regulated gambling sites in Ontario continue to thrive, with over 85.3% of players opting for these secure platforms. The study, carried out a year after the launch of Ontario’s online gambling market, highlights the province’s success in steering gamblers towards regulated sites, which ensure high standards of game integrity and player protections.
Ipsos surveyed 1,850 Ontario residents aged 19 and over between February 28 and March 13 to gather data for the report. The results showed that 85.3% of respondents who had gambled online within the last three months used a regulated site. Among these respondents, 19.5% placed bets on both legal and illegal sites, while 14.7% solely used illegal sites.
A Robust Gambling Market in Ontario
Currently, 45 operators are active in Ontario, and the AGCO has approved over 5,000 games for use within the province. Within its first year, Ontario’s legal gambling market generated CAD$35.6 billion (US$26.5 billion) in wagers and approximately US$1.4 billion in gaming revenue. This impressive performance has positioned the Canadian province among the top five jurisdictions in the North American iGaming market, according to iGaming Ontario (iGO).
Betting Preferences Among Ontario Gamblers
The report also revealed the most popular betting categories among Ontario gamblers. Basketball emerged as the most popular sport for betting, accounting for 28% of sports bets, followed by football (15%), American football (14%), hockey (9%), and baseball (8%). In the online casino category, nearly half (48%) of all bets were placed on slots, while a third (32%) were on live dealer table games, and the remaining 19% were on computer-based table games.
As Ontario’s regulated gambling sites continue to attract the majority of gamblers in the province, it demonstrates the success of the region’s commitment to providing a secure and fair gambling environment. The findings show that “the considerable success the province has had in moving punters from unregulated sites to regulated sites that adhere to high standards of game integrity and player protections,” according to the report.
Key Takeaways for the iGaming industry in Ontario
- The high percentage of gamblers using regulated sites indicates that the industry’s efforts to promote responsible gambling and player protection have been effective. This success suggests that further initiatives in these areas may lead to an even higher adoption rate of regulated sites, potentially decreasing the prevalence of illegal gambling activities in the province.
- The growing popularity of online gambling in Ontario highlights the importance of continued innovation and investment in the iGaming sector. As the market evolves, operators must remain competitive by offering a diverse range of games and betting options, as well as maintaining high standards of customer service and user experience. This commitment to innovation will not only help retain existing customers but also attract new players, contributing to the long-term sustainability of the industry.
- The report’s findings underscore the need for ongoing collaboration between regulatory bodies, such as the AGCO and iGaming Ontario, and operators to ensure that the iGaming industry remains compliant with evolving regulations and industry best practices. By working together, these stakeholders can maintain the integrity and reputation of the Ontario iGaming market, fostering a safe and enjoyable environment for all participants.