The year 2022 has been fantastic for new sports betting ventures. The first step was the launch of New York’s sports betting market in January. With nine distinct bookies and a $1 billion turnover by April, New York sports betting has quickly established itself as one of the leading destinations for sports bettors since its introduction.
Another significant state, Louisiana, went live with six distinct online sportsbooks at the end of January 2022, marking the start of legal sports betting in that state. On September 1st, Kansas officially opened, and Ohio will legalize sports betting on January 1, 2023. Additionally, Ontario made sports betting fully legal in April, which allowed some of the TOP bookmakers in Canada to enter the nation’s market. Let's see if the debut of sports betting in Ontario has been a success so far after it has been available for over half a year.
The Figures of Ontario’s Sports Betting Came In, and the Future Is Not Promising...
The data from the province of Ontario’s online sports betting and casino gaming services were made public about a month and a half ago. Sadly, the data are somewhat underwhelming. The second quarter of this year saw wagers on sports totaling $3.11 billion from Ontarians, as reported by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). Operators that offer sports betting made $123.8 million in total throughout the quarter.
This corresponds to a per-person gross gaming revenue in the region of about $34. This is far less than the number of states in the United States that have legalized gambling, including New Jersey, Michigan, and Connecticut.
Why Are Wagering Numbers In Ontario So Moderate?
The explanation for Ontario sports betting’s sluggish start is a little hazy. Due to the absence of football, the most wagered-upon sport in the nation, the second quarter of the calendar year typically sees lower betting totals in the United States. But when it pertains to sports, Canada is rather different, as hockey represents the most well-liked activity there. The quarter included both NHL regular season and postseason games, which makes the underwhelming betting figures all the more puzzling. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators, two NHL clubs that play in the province, are both well-liked there.
The Maple Leafs enjoyed a thrilling playoff run, even if it concluded with a loss to the eventual champions of the Eastern Conference, Tampa Bay Lightning, in the first round, while the Senators, who had a mediocre regular season, stayed at home for the playoffs. Another red flag is that the start of the Canadian Football League (CFL) season coincided with the quarter’s enhanced betting chances for local sports fans provided by the Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Raptors.
On the Other Hand, iGaming Skyrocketed
Online casino games, poker, bingo, and lotteries are just a few of the iGaming activities that Canadians partake in. According to estimates, the industry has a user penetration rate of 19.6%, which might increase to 20.3% by 2026. In 2022, the average revenue per user (ARPU) for iGaming in Canada might reach $46.39.
Despite a significant amount being grabbed by offshore operators, the iGaming industry earned enormous income. Since individuals were compelled to stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the gaming industry has expanded. Many Canadians started looking into online gaming, which helped the sector grow.
The pandemic is not, however, the only cause of the changes. Over the past few years, there has been a revolution in the Canadian iGaming market. While developing sports betting sites and online casinos, Ontario and other provincial governments have authorized licensed iGaming activity. However, these businesses will face challenges as a result of the industry’s significant changes.
Provincial organizations will be compelled to operate in a marketable environment as a result of the introduction of numerous casino providers via authorized iGaming marketplaces. Consistent rivalry is expected to be a trademark of the iGaming business and will remain constant in the future as a result of lots of high-stake casinos making headway into the Canadian market.
Can Ontario’s Betting Handle a Recover?
If the Ontario government will successfully rehabilitate itself around the sports betting sector remains to be seen. On September 8, 2022, the NFL season begins, which is a huge day for American sports bettors. It is yet to be seen whether gamblers in the region would put sizable wagers on professional football given that this will be the first NFL season that online bookmakers will be accessible in Ontario.
The NHL resumed in October, and the Toronto Maple Leafs, led by star center Auston Matthews, are trying to make a long playoff run, while the Ottawa Senators, who recently acquired brilliant forward Claude Giroux, are hoping to go move ahead. In the upcoming months, additional information about the sports wagering handle in Ontario is anticipated.