This year has seen big shifts for gambling in Canada with online gambling becoming legal in Ontario. Over the course of 2022 operators have had time to become compliant and establish their operators. Now as the end of the year is on the horizon, the initial tax rate set seems to have been successful, based on the number of operators functioning in the state currently.
The State of Gambling in Ontario
April 2022 saw a huge shift in the Canadian gambling market, with iGaming becoming legal in a Canadian state for the first time.
Prior to this, customers were forced to use air-tight VPNs or travel down to US states where online gambling was legal. However, this strict legislation has been relaxed in Ontario at least, with online gaming providers able to get licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission in Ontario. This represents a big change, given that prior to this, there was no way for gambling operators to get regulated by the province, making them illegal.
In reality, what this meant was a large number of sportsbook and iGaming operators who were running offshore betting operations, now switched to being legitimate in Ontario by getting registered and approved.
Deadline for Compliance Passed
Initially, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission in Ontario gave operators a little grace to get their affairs in order. However, that time period has passed now, with a 31 October deadline for gaming operators to become compliant and get registered, or face tough restrictions.
As of now, there are 25 iGaming operators and 44 websites offering online gambling in Ontario. For a huge overview of some of these Ontario casinos, ontariocasinos.com has a range of comprehensive casino guides, that let you get to know the casino before you try them out. Based on the figures from last quarter, over $6 billion in bets were placed in this new industry, with $267 million of revenue earned by the various online casino and sportsbook operators.
The President and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association, Paul Burns, believes that this is a reflection of a positive tax structure implemented by the government. With a rate of 20%, Burns suggests that this has encouraged operators to come into the state, saying “Look at the number of operators. I think that’s endorsement enough. If they didn’t think this was a market worth entering, they wouldn’t have spent the money to do it.”
NFL Sports Betting Leading the Charge in Ontario
While Nova Scotians are upset about carbon tax, Ontarians appear to be more than happy to accommodate the government taxes on sports betting.
According to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation numbers, bets on the NFL have been the most popular form of online gambling since iGaming was introduced in Ontario. Across the first six weeks of the NFL season, a steady uptick in betting was seen on each of the NFL weekends.
In particular, moneyline betting attracted the most revenue, with point spreads second. Some customers won big, however, with a $6,600 payout last month for an 8-leg parlay. With more than 30 further iGaming operators expected to enter the online gambling market in Ontario in the near future, there’s no doubt the space will remain a competitive, growing industry for years to come.