Ontario iGaming Report: Online Poker’s Slice of the Pie

iGaming Ontario surprises with detailed stats on online poker’s share in revenue for Q1 2023 and full-year 2022. Online poker currently accounts for about 3% of both in the province.
Ontario iGaming Report: Online Poker's Slice of the Pie
July 24, 2023

In the weeks and months before Ontario launched its iGaming enterprise in April 2022, there was optimism that the regulator, iGaming Ontario (iGO), would adopt the practices of most of its counterparts in the US.

It was hoped that Ontario would report revenue from individual operators — and that the province would sort revenue by vertical as well.

Hopes for robust reporting appeared dashed on August 30 of last year, when iGO came out with its first revenue report. It was for Q2 2022 and was thin on details and would probably be better described as a graphic.

And despite a remark in an exclusive interview with Canada Gaming Review last September that the regulator “may” offer additional statistics in future reports, there was little to indicate that iGO would provide any additional information in the foreseeable future.

That all changed on Wednesday. In a surprise move, iGO provided a breakdown of wagers and revenue for all three verticals — online poker, casino gaming, and sports betting — for Q1 2023 and for all of 2022.

“This report … provides segmentation information about the first full year of market operations,” the regulator said Wednesday. It declined to comment further but did say that “as part of its commitment to sharing aggregate revenue and market insight reports, iGO intends to continue releasing, at minimum, a market report on a quarterly basis.”

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Poker Was Tiny Compared to Casino Gaming

According to iGO, during Q1 2023 (April 1 to June 30 of this year) and for the first full year of the market (April 4, 2022, to March 31, 2023), online poker in Ontario accounted for less than 3% of wagers and revenue.

Peer-to-peer poker in Ontario accounted for CAD $350 million (USD $265.9 million) in wagers and CAD $15 million (USD $11.4 million) in revenue in Q1 2023. That equates to 2.5% of total wagers for the quarter (CAD $14 billion, USD $10.6 billion) and about 2.8% of quarterly revenue (CAD $545 million, USD $414 million).

The numbers for the full year were similar. Peer-to-peer poker generated CAD $992 million (USD $753.4 million) in wagers and CAD $40 million (USD $30.4 million) in revenue during the first full year of operations, from April 2022 to March 2023.

That meant online poker accounted for 2.8% of wagers (CAD $35.6 billion, USD $27 billion) and 2.9% of revenue (CAD $1.4 billion, USD $1.1 billion) for the full year.

In comparing the first year of online poker revenue vis-à-vis online casinos in Ontario’s first year of operation, poker accounted for 4% of the total for the full year 2022 and 3.7% for Q1 2023.

By comparison, online poker represented 23.6% of the revenue generated by online casino gaming in New Jersey in 2014 — the first year for both verticals in the Garden State. Poker in neighboring Pennsylvania accounted for 6.3% of the revenue from online casino gaming in 2020.

Real money online poker in Ontario comprises six active poker rooms across four networks — 888poker, the BetMGM Network, GGPoker/WSOP, and PokerStars. Although there is no shared liquidity, the BetMGM Network shares BetMGM Poker’s player pool with players on bwin and partypoker, two Entain brands.

Online casino gaming made CAD $11.6 billion (USD $8.8 billion) in wagers and CAD $392 million (USD $297.8 million) in revenue in Q1 2023. That equates to about 83% of quarterly wagers and 72% of revenue. Sports betting for the quarter accounted for CAD $2 billion (USD $1.5 billion) in wagers and CAD $104.8 million in revenue — or 14.3% of total wagers and 25.3% of total revenue for the quarter.

During the first year of operations, online casino wagers in Ontario totaled CAD $27.6 billion (USD $21 billion), and revenue was CAD $940 million (USD $713.9 million) — or 77.8% of the total for wagers and 67.1% of revenue.

During the first year of operations, sports wagers totaled CAD $7 billion (USD $5.3 billion) and accounted for CAD $433 million (USD $328.9 million) in revenue. That equals 19.7% of wagers for the first year of operations and 30.9% of revenue.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VACPG) helpline at 1-888-532-3500

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