Ontario Sports Betting Regulators Happy With Gray Market Winding Down

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Ontario sports betting

With the Oct. 31 Ontario sports betting gray market sunset in the past, provincial regulators appear happy with the results.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced the crackdown in early October, giving existing unregulated operators approximately a month to determine their path forward. Operators still live in the unregulated market after Oct. 31 risk any future regulation, according to the AGCO. 

The agency said this month that 17 operators exited the unregulated ON sports betting market after the deadline. The AGCO declined to share which operators made up the 17. Those operators are working with the AGCO and iGaming Ontario to enter the regulated market, according to an email from an AGCO spokesperson.

Migrating Ontario sportsbooks

Since the April 4 launch of commercial online gaming in Ontario, 36 operators have launched in the province. Of those operators, 28 previously operated in Ontario’s previously unregulated market.

Regulators began accepting operator applications in September 2021 and hoped to give sportsbooks “a reasonable amount of time” to transition smoothly into a legal market. It is still working with operators on the transition, like BetRegal.

“A key objective of the AGCO has been to move igaming operators and suppliers into Ontario’s regulated market as quickly and as seamlessly as possible,” an AGCO spokesperson wrote. “The AGCO established a process for existing operators and suppliers in the unregulated market without causing significant interruption to their Ontario customer base.”

Ontario sports betting plan working?

In some aspects, Ontario regulators accomplished their goals. There are dozens of unregulated operators that made the switch, including major global sportsbooks like:

In other ways, however, the legalized market has fallen short.

Ontario sports betting revenue leaves room for improvement

In iGO’s second quarter report, Ontario operators generated $CAD 267 million.

Those figures will likely improve with the increased presence of more previously unregulated operators. The numbers also do not include revenue from Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.

Still, the revenue is well below that of US markets with both online casino and sports betting that are smaller than Ontario. Comparison between the Canada sports betting market and US sports betting markets is difficult because Ontario does not separate iGaming and sports wagering breakdowns.

State/ProvincePopulationApril-June Online Gaming Revenue (USD)July-September Online Gaming Revenue (USD)
Ontario14.6 million$124.4 million$192 million
New Jersey8.9 million$557.2 million$611.6 million
Pennsylvania12.8 million$520.9 million$545.3 million
Michigan10 million$465.2 million$485.2 million