Exclusive: Say It Isn’t Slow: Ontario’s First Quarter For iGaming Better Start Than NJ, PA

The Canadian province saw about $123 million in revenue during the first three months of operation. That’s not bad.
Say It Ain't Slow: Ontario's First Quarter For iGaming Better Start Than NJ, PA
September 09, 2022

At first blush, it would appear that Ontario’s market for online poker, casino gaming, and sports betting got off to a slow start in its first three months of operation. But while the province’s revenue total for Q2 2022 dwarfed compared to those of Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, the most recent quarter doesn’t tell the whole story.

Data from regulators show the province actually grossed more revenue from all three verticals in Q2 than two of the states did during their first three months of operation. And in terms of revenue per capita from their opening month, Ontario came out ahead of Pennsylvania.

The regulated online gaming market launched in Ontario on April 4. Dozens of Ontario online casinos, sports books and poker rooms run by some of the world’s largest gaming brands have gone live in Canada’s largest province.

First Three Months in Ontario Outperformed NJ and PA

iGaming Ontario (iGO) reported late last month that the province’s igaming market grossed $162 million CAD ($123.4 million USD) during Q2 2022.

By comparison, New Jersey had $536.2 million in igaming revenue in Q2 2022, Michigan was second with $461.3 million in revenue, and Pennsylvania was a close third at $442.1 million. The data was reported by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), respectively.

But Ontario did better in its first three months for igaming compared to New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The former had $101.8 million in revenue between August and October 2018, while the latter made $92.7 million from November 2019 through January 2020.

While Ontario fared better than NJ and PA, it was no match for Michigan. The Great Lakes State generated a whopping $259.5 million during the market’s first three months of operation — January through March 2021, aka 1Q 2021.

In each state’s case, the first quarter of operations was considered the first three months when all three verticals were live.

Ontario’s Per Capita Rate Also Beat PA’s

Analyzing revenue per capita shows Ontario bested Pennsylvania.

Ontario is the largest Canadian province in terms of population, with just under 15 million residents. By comparison, Pennsylvania is the fifth-largest US state by population with 13 million people, Michigan ranks 10th with 10.1 million residents, and New Jersey is 11th with 9.3 million.

Dividing Ontario’s 2Q 2022 igaming revenue by the province’s population equates to a per capita revenue rate of $8.

That’s just a little lower than the $11 per capita rate that New Jersey had during its first three months of operation, but is a full dollar higher than the $7 rate observed in Pennsylvania.

Michigan came out way ahead by this metric as well — with a per capita rate of $26, over three times that of Ontario.

But it should also be noted that Ontario put up these numbers between April and June 2022, a notoriously slow month for sports betting; Ontario online sportsbooks will have had a cold start. The markets also didn’t go live until April 4, so its three-month period was short.

Although iGO’s report for Q2 2022 is the regulator’s first, it did not include certain information — such us a breakdown of revenue by operator and by vertical. iGO said future reports will include more data.

The regulator reported Ontarians placed nearly $4.1 billion CAD ($3.1 billion USD) in total wagers during Q2 2022. iGO also reported that there were 18 operators and 31 gaming websites live during the quarter. 492,000 player accounts were active in the province in Q2, and average monthly spend per active player account totaled $113.

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