Ontario Launch Next Monday Expected to Generate Big Online Wagering Numbers
With the April 4 launch of commercial iGaming and sports betting in Ontario, the province is expected to become one of North American’s top wagering markets right away.
The industry is projected to generate $800 million in revenue during its first year. That number could balloon to $2.6 billion by 2026, according to published estimates.
This multi-billion-dollar figure would vault Canada’s most-populous province into the upper ranks of online wagering on the continent, rivaling U.S. markets such as New York, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Ontario Population Larger Than Most U.S. States
With about 15 million residents, Ontario, if located in the U.S., would be the fifth most-populous state, trailing only New York. The Empire State has a population of more than 19.2 million.
In the three states with more residents than New York, sports betting is illegal.
These states, in order of population size, are California, Texas and Florida.
Canada Green Lights Commercial Wagering
Last summer, Canadian provinces were authorized to offer single-event sports betting. An April 4 date was set to launch this type of commercial online wagering in Ontario.
In the past, bettors could only make parlay wagers through provincial lotteries.
Commercial operators now are preparing for next Monday’s launch of sports betting and iGaming in Ontario.
Raymond Kahnert, spokesman for the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, said 15 online gaming companies and 41 suppliers were registered by late last week to operate in the province.
More than 700 online games have been certified for use in Ontario, he told Gambling.com.
“Not every operator will be ready to launch their services on Day 1,” he said. “Some are more ready than others. This means Ontario’s new iGaming market will steadily expand in the weeks and months following April 4.”
Rush Street Interactive is a recent operator granted approval from the commission to accept wagers. Rush Street plans to launch its BetRivers Sportsbook Ontario next Monday.
Among others slated to launch in Ontario are Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM and PointsBet Canada.
Others include LeoVegas, LottoGo, Rivalry, theScore and Unibet. Also included are bet365, 888, Fitzdares, Coolbet and Royal Panda.
Major Sporting Events Await Ontario Bettors
The April 4 launch of single game sports wagering in Ontario is happening at a good time for bettors.
The night of the launch, the NCAA men’s basketball national title game tips off at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans.
Three days later, on April 7, the Masters golf tournament begins in Augusta, Georgia.
Also on April 7, the Major League Baseball season gets underway. In Ontario, the Toronto Blue Jays’ home opener is set for April 8 against the Texas Rangers.
A few days after that, on April 12, the NBA playoffs begin, with the Toronto Raptors expected to be in the title hunt.
On May 2, the NHL playoffs get underway. The Toronto Maple Leafs, as one of the league’s elite franchises, are projected to challenge for a spot in this season’s Stanley Cup finals.
The mobile sports betting launch in New York earlier this year, occurring in time for the NFL playoffs and March Madness basketball games, points to a strong out-of-the-gate launch in Ontario.
From the Jan. 8 launch in New York through March 20, online sports betting has generated $4.35 billion in revenue, according to the New York State Gaming Commission totals released Monday.
Other Provinces To Follow Ontario’s Lead
The launch in Ontario is expected to be followed over the next three years by “the introduction of competitive sports betting markets in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan,” according to ViXIO Regulatory Intelligence.
“While Ontario currently represents the sole departure from the monopoly approach to online gambling thus far favored by Canada’s provincial lottery and gaming corporations, advocates for further liberalization will be encouraged by the rapid expansion of online sports betting, if not iGaming, across the U.S. since 2018,” the company reported.
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