Ontario’s online gambling market has been successful in shifting players from unregulated to regulated sites that comply with high standards of game integrity and player protections, according to new research released just one year since the market’s launch. An Ipsos survey conducted in March 2023 found that 85.3% of respondents who gambled online in Ontario over the past three months did so on regulated sites, marking a significant shift from the estimated 70% that occurred on unregulated sites before the market’s launch.
The open internet gaming market, established through a collaboration between the Government of Ontario, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), and iGaming Ontario (iGO), has allowed eligible private gaming operators registered with AGCO and under contract with iGO to participate in Ontario’s legal gaming market. This first-of-its-kind framework in Canada was launched on April 4, 2022, and has provided Ontarians with more choices while protecting consumers and capturing an important new revenue stream for the province.
“Since its launch in April 2022, Ontario’s igaming market has displaced the existing unregulated market and made Ontario an internationally recognized leader in this industry,” said Doug Downey, Attorney General of Ontario. “We are truly proud of this strong, responsible, competitive online gaming model.”
Tom Mungham, Registrar and CEO of the AGCO, emphasized the key objective of the first year: “A key objective in this first year has been to move Ontario players from playing on unregulated sites to the regulated market, so that they would benefit from high standards of operator and game integrity, fairness and player protections including responsible gambling safeguards. Although there’s still much work to be done, we’re pleased to see such a substantial shift towards gaming on regulated sites so far, and everything that it represents for players and for the province.”
There are currently 45 operators live in Ontario, and the AGCO has approved over 5,000 certified games for use in the province.