Ontario Online Casinos – Just How Much Money Does the Industry Make?

Ontario online casinos - How much does the industry make - MGJ
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Ever wonder if it’s millions or billions? I have.

Since the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced it was putting an end to the use of celebrities in gambling ads, I’ve been wondering about Ontario online casinos beyond my own personal enjoyment. I’ve been curious about their overall impact on my fellow Ontarian players and how much the iGaming industry and our government have been profiting from this recreational activity since it’s been legal and regulated.

This won’t be anything too in-depth or detailed, just a few facts* that cover:

  • How much money the government has made from Ontario online casinos.
  • The most popular type of online gambling in the province.
  • How many Ontarians partake in online gambling activities.
  • If problem gambling behaviours have increased.

How much money does the Ontario government make from iGaming?

Specifically, $11.6 billion wagers were placed on online casino-related entertainment, including online slots, computer-based (RNG) table games, live casino games, and peer-to-peer bingo.

Sports betting accounted for $2 billion, while peer-to-peer poker games made up the remaining $350 million.

Ontario online casinos - Canadian Money - Image by Munir777 from Pixabay - MGJ
Canadian Money – Image by Munir777 from Pixabay

Ontario online casinos or online sports betting – What’s more popular?

In Ontario, it seems that in the world of regulated online gambling, online casinos are the overall preferred choice among Ontario gamblers.

According to data from iGaming Ontario, over the first year of the regulated market, from April 2022, through the end of March 2023, the regulated market saw $35.6 billion in total wagers.

  • Nearly $28 billion of these wagers were made on casino games and peer-to-peer bingo.
  • $7 billion was spent on sports and eSports betting.
  • $992 million was spent on peer-to-peer poker.

Based on these numbers, the amount wagered on casino games was about four times higher than what was spent on sports betting.

Ontario online casinos - Casino VS Sports - MGJ

When all was said and done, combined, gambling activities for the first year generated $1.4 billion in gaming revenues:

  • $940 million came from online casinos
  • $433 million came from sports betting
  • Poker made up the rest

Why are online casinos more popular among Ontarians? No idea. Perhaps it’s because online casinos appeal to a broader group of people. To be interested in sports betting, well, you need to have an interest in sports LOL! As I’m personally not much of a sports person, this form of gambling has zero appeal to me…and it seems I’m not alone.

How popular are Ontario online casinos?

As for active players, Ontario had over 900,000 active player accounts during the industry’s most recent three quarters.

What’s more, the popularity of gambling at an online casino has exceeded that of gambling at a land-based casino. Not surprisingly, the pandemic and (likely) the official legalization of online casino gambling in Ontario, are the primary reasons for this.

Ontario Online Casino - Graph - Research - MGJ

Though the answer to this question is always debatable, common reasons include:

Problem gambling in Ontario – has legalizing Ontario online casinos and sports betting made it any worse?

When conducting my research, I couldn’t find a precise answer to this question.

However, with there currently being over 900,000 active player accounts in the most recent three quarters, and with iGaming Ontario saying that active players spent an estimated $70 per month, on average, over the past year, there’s definitely a good chance that problem gambling has increased in the province since the online gambling market was established.

Not to mention, with the legalization of iGaming in Ontario, we’ve been inundated with gambling ads, both on TV and social media – especially for sports betting. The constant marketing isn’t only irritating, it can have a seriously negative impact on minors and those vulnerable to gambling addiction.

Personally, I think they should just get rid of TV/YouTube gambling ads altogether. As much as I do enjoy gambling at Ontario online casinos, I don’t need to see ads for it or for sports betting. The reality is that gambling (like consuming alcohol or smoking/consuming cannabis) is one of those activities – though perfectly legal in Ontario – rides a slippery slope. Though many of us can enjoy it safely, children shouldn’t be exposed to it, and mainstream media shouldn’t be used to encourage gambling.

Ontario Online Casinos - Person looking stressed at computer - MGJ
  • Approximately 64.5% (18.9 million) of Canadians aged 15+ reported gambling in the past year, and an estimated 1.6% (304,400) of those who took part in gambling were at a moderate-to-sever risk of gambling-related problems.
  • The number of gambling activities played increased the risk for gambling-related problems.

Based on these two stats and a glut of gambling ads over the past year, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s been an increase in the number of Ontarians who are at moderate-to-severe risk of gambling-related problems.

Ontario online casinos facts sum up

I hope you found some of this information interesting like I did. In case, you’ve skimmed over the entire post to get to this section, here’s a quick sum up in a simple FAQ (with facts current as of September 2023):

Who regulates Ontario online casinos?|
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

Who manages licensing of Ontario online casinos?
iGaming Ontario manages the regulated market. The iGO is a subsidiary of the AGCO.

How many legal Ontario online casinos are there?
There are 63 legal Ontario online casinos.

How many Ontarians take part in online gambling?
There are 900,000 active player accounts.

How much money has the government made from online gambling?
An approximate $260-million share of gaming revenues during the first full year of market operation.

How much has problem gambling increased in Ontario since legalizing online gambling?
Unknown. These numbers have yet to be released.

Until next time, good luck and have fun!

Mia 👩‍💻

*I’m not a pro researcher or industry analyst. To the best of my knowledge, statics and facts included in this post are accurate as of September 2023.

**All links and images in this post are for information purposes only.

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