Sports betting in Ontario was disappointing. What happened?
2022 has been a great year for sports betting launches. It all started in January, when New York rolled out its sports betting market. Since launch, sports betting in New York has easily become one of the top areas for sports bettors, with nine different sports betting and a handful of $1 billion by April.
In late January 2022, another major state launched legal sports betting as Louisiana launched six different online sports betting. And Kansas just launched on September 1, with Ohio’s legal sports betting set for a New Year’s Day 2023 release. Additionally, Ontario officially legalized sports betting in April, bringing some of the best sports betting on the Canadian market. Now that sports betting in Ontario has been around for almost six months, let’s see if the launch has been a success so far.
The numbers are in on sports betting in Ontario, and the outlook isn’t good
The province of Ontario has just released figures for its online casino gaming and sports betting offerings. And, unfortunately, the data is a little disappointing. Ontario residents placed $3.11 billion in sports bets during the second quarter of the year, according to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Total sportsbook operator revenue for the quarter was $123.8 million.
This translates to approximately $34 in gross gaming revenue per capita in the region. This is quite low and, according to Casino.org, significantly lower than a number of US states where gambling is legal, such as Connecticut, New Jersey and Michigan.
Ontario recorded about C$4 billion (about US$3 billion) in legal online casino gambling, sports betting and poker handles between April 4 and June 30, according to a report released today. today by iGaming Ontario; this is the first such report since the launch of regulated games 4/4
—Ryan Butler (@ButlerBets) August 30, 2022
Why are Ontario betting numbers so low?
The reasoning behind the slow start of sports betting in Ontario is a bit confusing. With sports betting in the United States, the second quarter of the year tends to produce lower betting numbers due to the lack of soccer, the most bet sport in the country. But Canada is quite different when it comes to sports, as hockey is the most popular sport in the region. NHL regular season and playoff action took place in the quarter, making the disappointing betting numbers more puzzling. Two NHL teams play in the province, with the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs both being very popular in the area.
While the Senators stayed at home through the playoffs after a lackluster regular season, the Maple Leafs had an exciting run to the playoffs, though it ended in a first-round loss to the eventual league champion. Eastern Conference Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s also a bad sign that the Canadian Football League season kicked off in the quarter as the Toronto Raptors and Toronto Blue Jays provided additional betting opportunities for sports fans in the area.
$162 million in gambling revenue between iCasino, sportsbook and poker in Ontario (pop: 14.5 million) from April 4 to June 30.
Apples to apples comparison with US states that offer all 3:
MI (population: 10m): $381.3m
AP (population: 12.8 million): 441.6 million
New Jersey (population: 8.9m): $557.1m
— Captain Jack Andrews (@capjack2000) August 30, 2022
Will the Ontario Betting Handle bounce back?
Only time will tell if the Province of Ontario will recover its sports betting market. The NFL season kicks off on September 8, 2022, which is always huge for American sports bettors. However, given that this is the first time online sports betting will be available in Ontario during the NFL season, it remains to be seen whether bettors in the region will place big bets on professional football.
The NHL will also be back in October, with the Toronto Maple Leafs seeking a lengthy playoff streak thanks to star center Auston Matthews, while the Ottawa Senators are hoping to take the next step after signing talented forward Claude Giroux. Expect more updates on Ontario’s handful of sportsbooks in the months ahead.