How Ontario Has Emerged as One of The Largest iGaming Markets in North America

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On April 4th, 2022, Ontario finally launched its open and regulated iGaming market. The goal was simple. The objective was to eradicate the unregulated market that had existed in Ontario in order to become one of the leaders in an already fiercely competitive industry. While many were optimistic, few could have predicted the success that followed. Moreover, the fact that it has come in such a short period of time is testament to everyone involved in Ontario's iGaming industry.

In just one year, it has already cemented itself as one of the top five iGaming jurisdictions in North America, an undeniably successful feat. In order to celebrate this success. and the incredible selection of online casinos in Ontario, we decided to put this article together as a means to better understand just how all of this was achieved. So, without further ado, let’s get started…

A New Dawn in Ontario

As the first Canadian province to establish a legal, regulated iGaming market, there was a severe amount of interest in how the new venture would play out amongst Canadians. After one year, an official report released by iGaming Ontario (iGO) made it clear that it had been a resounding success. Over the course of just one year, there were over 1.6 million active playing accounts registered with legitimate websites. These websites were operated by 40 operators working in association with iGaming Ontario.

To put this in context, this means that in Ontario’s very first year of legal, regulated iGaming, Canada’s most populated province witnessed CA$35.6bn (US$26.4bn) wagered and nearly $1.4bn in total gaming revenue. While many were hopeful that this move would prove to be a success, these numbers would have surprised even the most optimistic of interested parties.

In just one year, Ontario has firmly announced itself to the iGaming industry and become one of the top five North American iGaming authorities. For all those involved, they should be incredibly proud of this strong, responsible, safe and competitive online gaming model, which is likely to be the starting point for Canada’s iGaming journey as the whole.

The Modern Way

For those familiar with the iGaming industry and online casinos, the fact that this new dawn in Ontario has proved to be successful will not be a total surprise. Since the very first online casino went live in 1995, providing users with a simple way to access and play their favourite casino games on any device they wanted, it was clear that there was a demand for this type of service. It wasn’t long before both players realised how enjoyable it was and operators realised how profitable this new form of gambling had the potential to be.

Considering this, and the fact that Ontario’s tech ecosystem is thriving, it makes sense that it was the first Canadian province to enter the regulated iGaming market. The New York Times once referred to Toronto, the capital city of Ontario, as a quietly booming tech town,” a fair statement based on the fact that “thanks to years of investment from local universities, government agencies and business leaders and Canada’s liberal immigration policies, Toronto is now the third-largest tech hub in North America.”

Just as Ontario has been paving the way in Canada in terms of embracing the digital age, it appears that it has now triggered the Canadian iGaming revolution. While the statement ‘watch this space’ may already be too late, keeping an eye on Canada’s next moves into the iGaming market will surely prove to be a fascinating watch.

How Ontario Went All In

Ontario, as a jurisdiction, should be praised for adopting an open licence approach when it comes to new entrants into the market. Where a large proportion of states in America have only opened their iGaming market to sportsbooks, Ontario opted for a low barrier entry by allowing online casinos, including those who are without ties to a local casino, to apply to be an official operator.

As a brief throwback to establish the full context, single-event sports betting was first legalized in Canada in 2021, following an amendment to the Criminal Code by the federal government. Despite this, it was Ontario that was the only Canadian jurisdiction to welcome the iGaming industry by allowing private operators to enter the market. For any jurisdiction to be the first to do this is a brave move and one for which Ontario should be highly praised for.

Reaping the Rewards

As a result of the success experienced in Ontario, the province has seen a hike in new investment, job creation, and has been able to retain revenue that used to leave the province in search of greater prospects.

In terms of the future, it is hard to predict anything but success based on the aforementioned infrastructure of Ontarios’s capital city of Toronto. The exponential growth of technology and Ontario’s committent to the technological revolution is sure to allow the province to continue its goal in becoming home to the top iGaming jurisdiction in North America.

The government’s committent to creating a framework for a fully regulated industry has been admiral. Moreover, in the long-term, this is the only way to ensure that the industry can grow in safe and secure manner. The plans are in place to focus on the user experience as opposed to short-term gains, which is another aspect of the grand plan that is likely to see the Ontario market go from strength to strength.

The Bottom Line

Whatever the future holds, the launch of Ontario’s open and regulated iGaming market has achieved something that the rest of Canada will be looking at with awe.

If you are asking our opinion, this is only the first step in what will be a long and fruitful relationship between the provinces of Canada and the iGaming industry

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