Ontario iGaming wagers hit $17.8 billion in 2023-2024

FanDuel, DraftKings and other online gambling apps are displayed on a phone in San Francisco, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu). JC

As Ontario sports fans eagerly anticipate the kickoff to the NBA and NHL playoffs, a newly-released report is offering insights into the province’s online gaming market, which racked up nearly $18 billion in wagers during the 2023-2024 period.

The report, released Wednesday by iGaming Ontario, an online gaming platform that regulates and approves private gaming companies in the province, covers the period from April 1, 2023, through March 31, 2024, and unveiled a considerable increase in total wagers and gaming revenue.

In the fourth quarter alone, iGaming Ontario, a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), said total wagers soared to an impressive $17.8 billion, contributing to an annual total of $63 billion for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

This marks a substantial 78 -er cent increase compared to the previous year and doesn’t include promotional wagers (bonuses), the report said.

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Meanwhile, Q4 total gaming revenue reached $690 million, contributing to an annual total of $2.4 billion for the 2023-2024 period, marking a considerable 72-per cent increase over the previous year.

The report said this figure includes total cash wagers, including rake fees, tournament fees, and other charges, as well as player winnings derived from cash wagers. It’s important to note that this does not include operating costs or liabilities.

“With $63 billion in wagering and $2.4 billion in gaming revenue, the second year of Ontario’s iGaming market is more than 70-per cent bigger than the first,” said Martha Otton, executive director of iGaming Ontario.

“As the market matures into its third year, I look forward to building on this foundation of success with operators and other partners as they invest in Ontario so that Ontarians can continue to play with confidence,” said Otton.

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As for where Ontarians were spending their money, the report revealed that Ontario’s gambling scene was predominately driven by casino wagers, which accounted for $14.6 billion in Q4, contributing to an overall $51.7 billion for the 2023-2024 year, an 88-per cent increase over the previous year.

iGaming Ontario says casino games include slots, live and computer-based table games and peer-to-peer bingo.

Meanwhile, Q4 saw casino gaming revenue reach $510 million, contributing to an overall yearly total of $1.8 billion, marking an 89-per cent increase over the previous year, according to the report.

The findings also revealed that during the reported period, the active player base surged, with over 1.3 million accounts engaged in gaming activity, while the average monthly spend per active player account in Q4 totalled $263.

The new findings come on the heels of the two-year mark since the Ontario government’s pivotal decision to open up the province’s online gaming market, a move that’s triggered a substantial increase in legal gambling among residents.

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Before the government stepped in to regulate the online market, Ontarians, much like the rest of the country, were wagering on so-called “grey market” sites, which provided minimal protection for consumers.

When Ontario opened up its gaming market, the province estimated that Ontarians were placing $1 billion in online bets annually with 70 per cent of that amount wagered on grey market sites.

Just a year after the province made the move, the AGCO reported that approximately 85 per cent of players had transitioned from grey market sites to legal wagering platforms.

Global News reached out to the AGCO and Responsible Gambling Council for comment but didn’t hear back by the time of publication.

Click to play video: 'Ontario launches new online gambling market'
Ontario launches new online gambling market

— with files from Kevin Nielsen


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