AGCO Data Shows Ontario’s Regulated Internet Gaming Market Continues to Grow

By: Kahfeel Buchanan
20 Apr 24
Industry News
News
AGCO Data Shows Ontario’s Regulated Internet Gaming Market Continues to Grow

Ontario’s iGaming market is still somewhat new, but bettors in Ontario have adapted fast. Since regulated sites began operating in the province, more and more bettors are switching over. Many have made the change, but there is a group of bettors who haven’t. Here is the latest on Ontario’s regulated market and where players in Ontario are placing bets.

Highlights

  • Growth in Ontario’s regulated market
  • Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario data
  • Which sports are players in Ontario betting on?

iGaming Ontario showing growth in Ontario market

This month, iGaming Ontario posted data about Ontario’s regulated market that shows the market growth from year one to year two, with a higher percentage of players using iGaming Ontario regulated sites than the previous year. This data provides insight into the market as iGaming Ontario operators exit, such as Coolbet, and enter the regulated gaming scene. “According to an Ipsos study conducted in February 2024, 86.4% of Ontarians who gambled online over the preceding three months gambled on regulated sites. This represents an increase from the 85.3% of igaming participants who reported playing on regulated sites on a similar study conducted in 2023.” Based on the data, the regulated market is not only retaining players, but also growing slightly amid changes to advertising rules and more.

Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey spoke about the market’s growth and whether or not he is satisfied with its current state. "As this made-in-Ontario iGaming market celebrates its second anniversary, we're very pleased to share that 86 per cent of players are now participating on regulated sites," said Attorney General Doug Downey. "This is another pivotal milestone in our ongoing work to provide players and businesses with a strong, competitive and safer online gaming environment that meets consumer expectations. We look forward to iGaming Ontario's continued success as a global innovator, as a job creator that sustained more than 12,000 jobs in its first year of operation, and as a leader in the online gaming space." According to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), there are 47 registered operators that offer 77 regulated sites in Ontario.

More work to be done

Ontario still has some work to do. According to the AGCO’s study, many bettors are still using a combination of regulated and unregulated betting options, and there is also a group of people who only use unregulated sites. For those betting online over the last three months, 20.1 per cent “wagered on a combination of regulated and unregulated sites.” 13.6 per cent used only unregulated sites to place bets.

Here is a quote from Dr. Karin Schnarr, AGCO chief executive officer and registrar, about why she and the AGCO are encouraging players to join Ontario’s regulated gaming market. “In Ontario, regulated sites are held to high standards of game integrity, data security and player protections, including having significant responsible gaming safeguards. While it’s encouraging to see most participants are choosing regulated gaming options, those who are not are unfortunately risking far more than their wagers.”

Most popular sports to bet on in Ontario

In North America, Ontario’s sports betting market currently ranks in the top five for wagers, according to the AGCO. Basketball was the most popular sport to bet on in Ontario over the last year with 24 per cent of wagers on basketball markets, slightly down from 29 per cent over the prior year. Football moved up to the second spot with 15 per cent after ranking third with 13 per cent. Soccer fell from second, 15 per cent of wagers, to fifth with 10 per cent of wagers. Hockey is now third at 11 per cent, up from nine per cent. Players can bet on more than 60 sports on Ontario regulated sportsbooks.

The casino, “which includes slots, live and computer-based table games and peer-to-peer bingo, continues to be the largest segment by wagers of iGaming Ontario operators at about 82% in the market’s second year.” The most popular table game was blackjack, accounting for more than a quarter of the table game wagers. According to the data, roulette was second and baccarat was third. Poker and craps tied for third.

Kahfeel Buchanan graduated from Toronto Metropolitan University’s journalism program. When not reading, writing, or covering sports, he likes to drink coffee, watch movies, and more. He has years of sports writing and journalism experience. From covering basketball games at Toronto Metropolitan University for the school paper to writing about sports betting, he has published a ton of sports stories throughout his time as a journalist. His work doesn’t end there, Kahfeel wrote a bunch of opinion stories on the Toronto Raptors during his early years as a sports writer, once writing about Fred VanVleet making the NBA All-Star team months before his first All-Star selection in 2022. He works hard to give readers quality journalism and great stories.