Ontario’s iGaming Market Slows in Q1 FY 2023-24
Ever since its opening, the Ontario online gambling market has seen tremendous growth, both in handle and revenue, for every fiscal quarter.
However, the most recent market performance report released by iGaming Ontario shows a significant slowdown in growth, with just a 0.7% total handle increase and a 3.6% increase in total gaming revenue.
Has the dust finally settled on the hype surrounding the Ontario iGaming market? Or is this fiscal quarter report just an outlier in the grand scheme of things?
On July 19, 2023, iGaming Ontario released its quarterly market performance report for Q1 FY 2023-24. The report includes data and information from all gaming websites and operators that were active between April 1, 2023, and June 30, 2023.
The key figures of the report relate to the total wagers (handle) and the total revenue from all online gaming activities.
Specifically, the total handle increased to $14.0 billion Q1 FY 2023-24, compared to $13.9 billion for Q4 FY 2022-23. Similarly, the total gaming revenue rose from $526 million in Q4 FY 2022-23 to $545 million in Q1 FY 2023-24.
The percentage increase between fiscal quarters tells another story, though. Between Q4 FY 2022-23 and Q1 FY 2023-24, the total handle increased by just 0.7%, and the total revenue also saw a very small increase of 3.6%.
These numbers are way smaller than the previous ones between Q3 2022-23 and Q4 2022-23. Back then, the total handle increased by 20.8%, almost 30 times more, whereas the total revenue grew by 13.6%. It seems that Ontarians were much more active in terms of wagering between Q3 and Q4 of 2022-23 compared to Q1 FY 2023-24.
Additionally, the iGaming Ontario market performance report showed a slight decrease in both the number of gaming websites and active player accounts. On the other hand, the number of operators and the average amount of money spent per active player account saw a slight increase.
All this shows a tendency for fewer new players signing up for online gambling platforms while existing players are steadily increasing the amount of money they spend every month.
Finally, what’s noteworthy is the largest percentage of total wagers (83%) and total revenue (72%) comes from online casino games, including slots, table games, and bingo. Comparatively, sports betting sits at 14% of the total handle and 25% of the total revenue, with peer-to-peer poker holding the remaining 3% in both cases.
The Ontario online gambling market officially launched on April 4, 2022, with tons of reputable sports betting and online casino providers rushing to secure licences in this growing new market.
The popularity of regulated online sports betting and casino games has increased tremendously, with the market generating a total handle of $35.6 billion and a total revenue of $1.4 billion during the first year of operation.
Thus, it’s only natural for such a successful online gambling market to keep increasing in popularity, right? Or maybe not, at least according to the figures of this quarter’s performance report.
It seems like the handle and revenue figures have hit a wall in terms of growing over the past few months. Also, keep in mind that now there are way more gaming websites and operators in the Ontario gambling market than a few months or a year ago. Therefore, the growth reduction is way more prominent.
So, should these growth reductions be alarming for iGaming Ontario? Has the market stagnated after its tremendous growth spurts over the past year? Honestly, it’s hard to say. It could very well be that the Ontario online gambling market has finally reached its ceiling in terms of handle and revenue figures.
But it’s no secret that more and more providers are looking to enter the Ontario market, which has become one of North America’s most lucrative iGaming markets. With the addition of new operators and gaming websites every week, we could see significant increases in growth over the coming fiscal quarters.
As other provinces across Canada watch Ontario to see what happens in the legal market, this slowdown in growth is notable and something that will definitely be analyzed from many different perspectives.
One thing’s for sure, though; the Ontario online gambling market has flourished ever since its opening and is definitely here to stay.