Thirty Percent of Canadians Report Being Registered on an Online Gambling Website

Market Heating Up Thanks to Changing Regulations in Ontario

The author(s)

  • Scott Morasch SVP Client Officer, Ipsos
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Toronto, ON, May 8, 2022 – Nearly two months after the Ontario government launched a regulated online gambling market in their province, Ontarians and Canadians alike are making more online bets than ever, and the market is inundated with advertising and promotional messages encouraging players to sign up to a growing number of platforms.

  • One-third (33%) of Ontario adults surveyed report being registered on at least one website that offers online betting, putting them slightly above the Canadian national average of 30%.
  • The Atlantic Canada region has the highest proportion of Canadian adults registered to play, at 41%. British Columbia is tied with Ontario at 33%, followed by Quebec at 26%, Alberta at 24%, and Manitoba/Saskatchewan at 22%.

Though Ontario has just begun to offer legal online betting with companies other than the provincial government (OLG), many Ontarians have already registered and made bets with private betting operators in the ‘grey market’. Today, the percentage of Ontarians who have signed up with private gambling operators is nearly equal to the percentage who have registered with OLG.ca (25% and 23%, respectively).

  • This trend holds true across the country in almost every region except Quebec, where the provincial government platform (Lotoquebec.com) has a slight lead over non-government platforms (with 23% registration vs. 21% on a non-government site).
  • The average Canadian who gambles online is registered with 3 or 4 websites (3.6 is the national average). Atlantic Canada leads the country on number of websites used, at an average of 4.7; with Manitoba/Saskatchewan the lowest at 2.7.

When it comes to dollars and cents, however, Canadian online gamblers tend to favour private operator sites: they report that about 44% of their wagers go to one of the provincial government sites, while the rest (56%) goes to private operator platforms.

  • The biggest tilt in favor of private operators is seen in the prairie provinces of Alberta and Manitoba/Saskatchewan, where gamblers report giving just 32% and 31% of their gambling dollars (respectively) to provincial government sites. Alberta and Manitoba were some of the last provinces in the country to offer government-built online gambling platforms, which could explain their lower shares. Saskatchewan has yet to launch one at all.
  • Online gamblers in BC said they spent only 33% of their wagers at the BC Lottery Corp (BCLC’s PlayNow system), with the rest going to private operators. Ontario, however, has 43% of the spend reportedly going to OLG.ca, while Atlantic Canada has 44% going to ALC.ca.
  • Quebec is again the only province where the government site is favored over the competition, with the spending split reported as 57% going to Lotoquebec.com.

As more Canadians become aware of Ontario’s regulated market situation — and are exposed to the heavy volume of advertising spilling over into the rest of Canada —some of these figures may rise.

  • When asked if they had heard of the Ontario regulated market changes, only a quarter of Canadians (26%) said yes, while 41% of Ontarians were aware of the shift.
  • Many of the respondents who had heard of the policy change showed interest in making online bets in the future: 37% say they are definitely (17%) or probably (20%) likely to do some online gambling in the next few months. This is much stronger interest compared to Canadians who aren’t aware of Ontario’s situation, where only 14% say they’re definitely (5%) or probably (9%) likely to gamble online in the future.

The choices in online betting sites are growing by the week. Aside from OLG in Ontario, there are currently over 20 other websites legally registered to operate in that province, according to iGaming Ontario, the regulatory body which oversees the market. There are also dozens of other companies operating in the grey market across Canada, providing competition against province-controlled gaming sites.

When we asked registered online gamblers in Canada which sites are better when it comes to things like trust, gaming offerings, and payout rates, there appeared to be very stiff competition between the government sites and the private operator sites, along with a hefty level of indifference (those who think they’re both the same).

Perception of Government vs. Private Operated Gambling Sites on Various Aspects Among the 30% Who Are Registered Online Gamblers in Canada

 

Is trustworthy

Offers the best odds & payouts

Offers a wide range of activities to bet on

User friendly play experience

Easy to sign up and get started

Government owned sites

37%

21%

23%

23%

25%

Privately operated sites

24%

36%

30%

28%

27%

Both about the same

39%

43%

47%

49%

48%

 

For more information on this news release, please us or click here to learn more about our Gaming Monitor study:

Scott Morasch
Senior Vice President
[email protected]
+1 778 373 5004

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted from May 10 to 13, 2022. For this survey, a sample of 2,001 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

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The author(s)

  • Scott Morasch SVP Client Officer, Ipsos

Consumer & Shopper