Author: Dean Carr
Last Updated: September 1, 2022
The launch of sports betting in Ontario, Canada came with plenty of excitement as residents would finally be able to place wagers on their favorite sports teams.
The sports betting industry fully opened on April 4, giving sports bettors the option to choose between the state-based operators or to continue to use offshore sportsbooks to place their bets online. Those who continued to use the latter will have had an influence on the end results.
Dave Briggs, Managing Editor at PlayCanada.com, the first quarter revenue generated stands at $162 million, converting to around US$125 million. Those figures are pretty modest when compared to the more established sports betting regions such as New Jersey ($557 million), Pennsylvania ($521 million) and Michigan ($466 million).
Although the first reports were slightly underwhelming to some, Briggs was keen to emphasise the influence of offshore operators and that it is still early days.
“Ontario is at a quarter of comparable jurisdictions when I thought it would be half,” Briggs said. “That would be a good start, a decent start.
“Part of that is, of course, it’s the first three months. They’re just getting started and not everybody is in. I didn’t expect we’d rival any of those (top-three jurisdictions) but we also have an established gambling industry in Ontario and we have 15 million people so it’s not like it’s a brand new market and it’s not small.”
Ontario boasts a bigger population than Pennsylvania (13m), Michigan (10m) and New Jersey (9m), but their revenue figures were just 24%, 27% and 22% of those respective states’ numbers. it should be noted, however, that the record-high Ontario Lottery numbers haven’t been included in the report.
The next report will also feature the months of July, August and September, with the former two being traditionally the quietest months of the year where there is a lack of major sports such as the NFL, NBA and NHL. The return of the NFL season, especially, should have a positive impact on future numbers across the winter.
“You’ll get a kick, for sure,” Baggs added. “But I think you’ll see a definite increase in the third quarter when the NFL is in full swing and we’ll also have the World Series, which is reasonably well bet.
“The fourth (quarter) is that winter period where you’ve got football playoffs and the Super Bowl, which is going to be the biggest one, you’re going to have March Madness, you’re going to have NHL and NBA playoffs.”