Ontario Celebrates Two Years of Successful Regulated iGaming

The province enters the third year of legal online gambling as one of the biggest markets in North America, as 86% of all Ontarians now turn to regulated sites to play their favorite games.
Ontario Celebrates Two Years of Successful Regulated iGaming
April 10, 2024

It has been exactly two years since the province of Ontario made online gambling legal and the first regulated operators opened their doors to the public.

In that time, the Ontario igaming market has flourished, with dozens of online poker, online casino, and sports betting operators opening up and catering to millions of customers.

According to an IPSOS study, which was commissioned by iGaming Ontario (the province’s igaming regulator), the majority of Ontarians now enjoy online gambling through regulated sites.

When igaming regulation was first being discussed, this was one of the issues being debated, and the study shows that in this regard Ontario igaming has been extremely successful.

What’s even more, online gambling has created 12,000 new jobs in Ontario in just two years, and with millions in taxes paid, the overall effort has proven to be one that’s mutually benefited everyone involved.

Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey said: “As this made-in-Ontario igaming market celebrates its second anniversary, we’re very pleased to share that 86 per cent of players are now participating on regulated sites.”

This is another pivotal milestone in our ongoing work to provide players and businesses with a strong, competitive and safer online gaming environment that meets consumer expectations. We look forward to iGaming Ontario’s continued success as a global innovator, as a job creator that sustained more than 12,000 jobs in its first year of operation, and as a leader in the online gaming space.”

Ontario iGaming Market Growing at a Steady Pace

In November 2023, it was reported that the Ontario igaming market became the sixth biggest in the world, overtaking the likes of New York and Michigan in gross revenue numbers.

Global regulatory intelligence agency Vixio awarded iGaming Ontario with the 2023 Regulatory Initiative of the Year award, paying homage to the massive success this market has had in a record time.

Unlike some of the other North American igaming markets, which have only licensed a handful of operators, Ontario now has 27 licensed sportsbooks and 47 online casinos. There are six Ontario online poker operators.

Combined, those operators have received billions of dollars in handle, employed thousands of people, and paid millions in taxes over the first two years, all growing faster than expected.

What’s even more, the regulated operators were successful in nearly destroying the gambling black market, attracting 86% of all Ontario players to their platforms.

The mix of high-value gaming experiences, valuable promotional offers, and the security guaranteed by playing at licensed sites, has allowed the regulated operators to win the war against offshore sites in just two short years.

Ontario Poker Market Biggest in North America

Looking at all major ring-fenced igaming markets in North America, it is easy to notice that online poker plays only a small role in the grand scheme of things.

Yet, online poker is a great way to bring players in the door for the operators, and a fantastic pastime for players, who can spend many hours palying with a limited bankroll at the poker tables.

Ontario’s six online poker operators have done an amazing job in creating the biggest ring-fenced online poker market in North American, overtaking the likes of Michigan online poker and New Jersey online poker. With over $1.5 billion in total wagers placed at Ontario online poker tables, it is clear that the province hosts thousands of very dedicated poker players and has a bright future when it comes to the development of the game of poker as a whole.

As Ontario enters the third year since legalizing online gambling, it will be interesting to see if the growth remains as exponential and the operators continue to push the boundaries of possible for yet another year.

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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