The Ontario Market’s First Anniversary: What It’s Been Like

The Ontario market is officially turning one tomorrow! Ontario launched its regulated online casino market on April 4, 2022, and it’s been growing steadily ever since then. With just a year under its belt, the Ontario market has become known for its competitive nature. Up until the end of March, there are currently over 70 online casino sites in the market, which is an outstanding number considering it’s only been a year. 

As you may or may not know, to improve and provide a safer environment, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced back in September 2022 that it would set a deadline for all operators planning to join the regulated market to ensure compliance standards are met on their end. The AGCO gave operators up until the end of October, and the results were exceptional! Almost all of the operators in the market stayed in the regulated market, making it even safer for the players involved. 

With every single quarter, we’ve seen the total gaming revenue numbers increase, which showed a 182% increase from the first quarter to the third quarter. The Q1 numbers for 2023 have just been released by the IGO (iGaming Ontario).

Since 9 operators have joined the regulated market since January 2023, the iGaming revenue increased by 12% which brings the number to an estimated $514M. The reported numbers for the first full year of the market launching are said to be $1.4BN. During its first year, the Ontario market had around 1.66M active players who spent $70 every month on average. When looking at the casino wagers, 48% were for slots, 32% was dedicated to live dealer tables, and 19% were for RNG table games.

Bar Chart Ontario numbers

The Uniqueness of the Ontario Market

The market is so competitive because it is relatively cheap to get into, paving the way for super well-known operators from all over the world to join. Initially, there was some objection to the AGCO’s decision to prohibit operators from promoting and advertising inducements, bonuses and credits. A year later, it’s obvious to many operators that these promotions aren’t all that necessary to bring players to their sites. 

The AGCO has made the Ontario market unique in a way where it made online casino operators relearn new ways to how they can navigate this thriving market. 

When we say the market is competitive, we mean it. A year after the market launch, we’ll begin to see which operators are here to stay for the long run and which ones have found the market to be a bit too much for them. Just because the market is thriving, it doesn’t mean that every single operator will thrive in it. Coolbet recently left the market right before it turned one. While this isn’t cause for concern, it will show players who’s here to stay and who isn’t. 

The Ontario Market’s Drive to Promote Responsible Gambling

With Gambling Awareness Month just ending, a lot of the top online casinos in Ontario have decided to push responsible gambling even more. This included brands like BetMGM sending communications out to their players to remind them to play responsibly and make use of the responsible gambling tools they have available at their online casinos. Other responsible gambling resources like Connex Ontario are also promoted. 

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Casino Content Writer
Kayleigh is a casino content writer for the Canadian market. Before working on this market, Kayleigh was writing for the general US market and further specialised in the Pennsylvania market. Now, she brings her knowledge and experience to the Ontario market! She’s been working as a writing professional for the last decade, and she’s dedicated to bringing you practical tips, right at your fingertips.

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