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Ontario’s open single-game sports-betting industry continues to thrive

In this May 2, 2019, file photo, the DraftKings logo is displayed at the sports betting company headquarters in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Ontario’s single-game sports betting industry is on a winning streak.

On Wednesday, iGaming Ontario (iGO) released a report that states the industry contributed $2.7 billion to Ontario’s gross domestic product in 2023. That’s up roughly 70 per cent from $1.58 billion in 2022, its initial year of operation.

The industry opened up fully in Ontario on April 4, 2022. Ontario remains the only province in Canada to have an open, regulated igaming market.

The report, which was conducted by Deloitte, covered from April 4, 2022 to April 3, 2023.

“I like this report because it goes broader into the overall economic benefits to the province,” said iGO executive director Martha Otton. “It’s easy to focus on the revenue share that we provide to the province but what this report highlights is all of the other benefits to the three levels of government as well.”

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The report said the second year of Ontario’s regulated market included 47 operators and 77 gaming sites. Those are up slightly from 45 and 76, respectively, in 2022.

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The report added for every dollar spent by igaming operations, an estimate $1.40 of GDP was supported in Ontario’s economy. That’s up from $1.14 in the first year.

The report also stated the Ontario market sustained 14,935 jobs (up from 12,070, a 24 per cent increase). Operators employed approximately 2,675 people directly with an average compensation at $122,500 per person, which was 60 per cent higher than the average stipend per job in Ontario.

And the estimated contribution to labour increased by 45 per cent to $1.31 billion from $905 million.

“Our igaming sector is not only a job creator here in Ontario but it shows the world our ongoing commitment to building a sustainable and responsible igaming industry,” Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey said in the report.

The total government revenue generated via the industry surpassed $1.24 billion. The breakdown was $790 million (Ontario), $380 million (federal) and $75 million (municipal).

The contributions to provincial and municipal government revenue in Ontario increased by 66 per cent from $525 million to $865 million.

The report also shows the industry has already hit or nearly reached many of Deloitte’s fifth-year projections. That includes: Government revenues (94 per cent), direct jobs sustained (120 per cent), total full-time jobs sustained (92 per cent) and GDP projections (93 per cent).

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“For sure, we’re anticipating at a certain point there will be a levelling off,” Otton said. “To be frank, we’re not seeing the levelling off yet but year over year it’s unrealistic to expect that we’ll see growth of over 70 per cent so we’re definitely not expecting that.

“But I think operators see Ontario as (being) attractive, we have a lot to offer that other jurisdictions don’t.”

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