Ontario’s iGaming industry is taking off, with momentum showing no signs of slowing.
After a successful debut year, Ontario officials are continuing to hone their iGaming endeavour for long-term success. Tuesday marked an optimistic milestone in the province’s online sports betting and internet casino market – testament of its determination to provide lasting entertainment opportunities that remain safe yet enjoyable!
After careful planning and a strict regulatory framework, the Ontario iGaming experiment proved to be an outstanding success in its first year. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) granted multiple private-sector operators access to take part in internet gaming under the auspices of iGO – their government agency that oversaw compliance with operating agreements between bookmakers. Experiencing great returns already within 12 months, this revolutionary scheme has touted immense promise for budding entrepreneurs across many industries throughout Canada!
At the one year mark of iGO’s launch, Martha Otton took to Toronto for an anniversary event hosted by the Canadian Gaming Association. With a sense of accomplishment yet still acknowledging that there is more progress needed, she expressed her commitment and dedication to ensure that this industry continues its success in longevity.
Under the leadership of iGO Executive Director Martha Otton, our organization has successfully implemented a mandate from the provincial government to benefit both players and generate revenue for Ontario. The latest figures released this week attest to these successes.
Under the leadership of iGO Executive Director Martha Otton, our organization has successfully implemented a mandate from the provincial governme
Ontario’s iGaming market has experienced tremendous success in its first year of operation, with total gaming revenue generated surpassing $35 billion and 20% allocated back to the province. As a result, it has become one of North America’s top five jurisdictions for iGaming alongside states like Pennsylvania that reported an impressive $1.5 billion in fiscal 2021-22 game revenue.
With its launch, the province’s regulated iGaming market has been able to successfully captivate customers by offering a safe and secure platform for gambling. A survey from iGO and AGCO found that 85.3% of people surveyed had gambled using legal sites in just three months – an impressive accomplishment compared to the estimated 70% who used unregulated platforms beforehand.
After Coolbet’s recent exit from the iGaming market in Ontario, AGCO has announced a plan to ensure consumer protection and maintain industry stability. With this new program comes renewed opportunity for players looking to find quality gaming choices that are regulated by official watchdogs. It marks an important step forward, providing long-lasting solutions for both player safety and competitive growth across the region – signaling optimism all around!
Led by Otton, iGO’s CEO, the agency is striving to strike a balance between operational efficiency through automation and promoting innovation within the realm of online gaming. While also keeping responsible gambling practices at its forefront – with plans for creating a centralized self-exclusion list allowing players to take themselves off all relevant sites as well as an overarching registry based on operator data.
Dave Forestell, the chair of iGO’s board of directors, highlighted that the agency has gleaned a great deal from its debut in Ontario. Stemming from feedback received about banking fees being too high, measures are now being taken to address affected customers’ concerns. Moreover, greater emphasis is also going into providing more data on responsible gaming and commercial markets while fortifying efforts against illegal operators who seek to infiltrate this domain. As part of their long-term strategy they have developed a technology roadmap for future pursuits as well.
Members of the gambling industry hope to persuade Ontario regulators to revisit their ban on bonuses, free bets and other inducements in order for marketing affiliates like Covers – who aim to inform bettors about sportsbook’s quality including promotions offered – an ability discuss such advantages. However with current iGaming standards set by AGCO only allowing customers be made aware through direct advertising or a operator’s site, this poses difficulties that hopes will soon be addressed.
Andrew Garven, Head of Marketing at Covers Ltd., believes that current limitations on consumers prevent them from making informed decisions due to the expansive variety of services available. At an affiliate panel discussion recently, Dave Phillips – COO for AGCO – noted the first year was highly successful in spite of anxieties about unregulated markets and Canadian legislations. Mr. Phillip proceeded by speaking about their continued commitment to monitoring regulatory compliance along with interacting regularly with operators; although noting we still have a long journey ahead as this market is constantly transforming itself over time.
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) has seen tremendous success with their 1.6 million digital platform users, resulting in a net profit to the province of $223 million – an increase of 23% from the year prior! Dave Pridmore, OLG’s Chief Gaming Officer credited this growth partly to competition within the market place which stimied them “to really think about our digital offerings.” The unit alone provided record-setting revenues for fiscal year 2021 amounting up 45%, equating to over $427M CAD.