Online gambling

Ontario Not the Online Gambling Leader It Should Be, New Poll Shows

Posted on: June 17, 2022, 8:57 a.m.

Last update: June 17, 2022, 03:07 a.m.

Canada’s decision last year to open up its betting and gambling markets has proven to be a sound move. However, Ontario, which expected to be the market leader, finds itself in competition with other provinces.

Ontario
A sign welcomes visitors to Toronto, Ontario. The province has a growing gaming market, but it hasn’t grown as quickly as others. (Picture: Pinterest)

Ontario was ready to step in as soon as Canada began discussing the possibility of offering an expanded sports betting market. It is the largest province in Canada, with a population of almost 15 million, so she thought it would be the largest market for betting and gambling.

Ontario entered the online gambling and betting spaces in April. Unlike most other provinces, which have handed control of gambling to their respective lottery operators, Ontario has opened its market to private entities.

Ontario has over 20 gaming operators, and the province is doing well with its market. However, not as good as other parts of the country. According to a recent survey, the region known as Atlantic Canada enjoys the most traffic

Concern in Ontario

Atlantic Canada includes four provinces: New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Their combined population of approximately 2.5 million is much smaller than that of Ontario.

Global research firm Ipsos recently conducted a limited survey across Canada. He revealed that Atlantic Canada has the highest percentage of online gamblers and bettors of any province.

The Atlantic Canada region has a penetration of 41%. Ontario and British Columbia follow with 33%. Quebec is next with 26%, and Albert and Manitoba/Saskatchewan have 24% and 22% respectively. Additionally, residents of Atlantic Canada are more likely to open online gambling and betting accounts.

The average there is 4.7. This is the case in Ontario, where the province operates its OLG.ca betting platform. However, there is a much narrower margin.

In Ontario, private operators account for 25% of registrations. OLG.ca attracted 23%.

Despite the higher percentage of enrollment in Atlantic Canada, the lottery-led model there and in other provinces is not proving too successful. 56% of punters and gamblers across the country still prefer to use private operators. Only 44% bet on provincial government sites.

Quebec is the exception. Its operator Lotoquebec.com controls 57% of the market.

Private operators offer better deals

The reason for the greater attraction to private operators stems from incentives. The Ipsos survey found that most people preferred the odds, payouts and range of activities offered by private operators. Government-run sites, however, failed.

For example, 36% of respondents said private operators offer the best odds and payouts. Only 12% felt that government sites prevailed in the category. In particular, 43% said that the two types of operators offered comparable offers.

Early on, single game betting was offered in British Columbia, Ontario and New Brunswick. Additionally, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island have also started offering the activity. Alberta, like Ontario, has followed suit and provided a market for third-party operators.

Like the Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan, the Yukon and Nunavut legalized single-game betting at retail outlets in November. Nova Scotia was the last province to allow its residents to bet on sports.