On April 4th, Ontario will become the first province in Canada to launch a new competitive and regulated iGaming market and with that exciting launch comes a lot of preparation! Here we outline how private iGaming operators can prepare to make the most of the launch, as well as any limitations and challenges they may face in the process.This is the first part of our series on iGaming in Ontario. For part two, which focuses on affiliates, please click here.
The Current State of iGaming in CanadaAs the iGaming and online sports betting industries continue to grow, more regions are looking to get into the action. According to Shelley White, CEO, Responsible Gambling Council “it is estimated that Canadians spend upwards of $4bn every year on grey market single-event sports wagering. Knowing the size of this market and the potential for market growth makes it clear why this would be enticing for operators.” This fact alone was a huge incentive for Ontario’s government to legalize regulated betting.
A Different Approach to iGamingOntario’s new iGaming market will operate in a slightly different regulated environment, therefore sportsbook operators will have to alter their marketing approaches in this new market. Ontario will enforce limits on advertising welcome bonuses and credits except on a private gaming operator’s site (after receiving player consent) to prevent gambling problems. There will also be an option for bettors to opt-in or out to limit ads. However, at present there doesn’t appear to be a limit to the number of operators that can apply for a license in Ontario.
How Can Operators Set Themselves Up for Success?Although the iGaming launch in Ontario is still to come, there are many ways in which private gaming operators can prepare themselves for success. To gain market share, partnerships will be crucial to each sportsbooks’ success. There is currently only one legal online sportsbook in Ontario, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.'s PROLINE+. Operators can look to mirror current successful offerings from PROLINE+ by creating mobile betting platforms and an enhanced betting experience across all major North American Sports leagues. By doing so, players will be able to make deposits and bet with your brand for a seamless user experience. Other operators will join when the iGaming market launches, and it will be interesting to see how they create partnerships with professional sports leagues and media companies.
According to gambling statistics in Canada “49% of gamblers always play slots”, a strong incentive for operators to also feature new slots games across their sites to engage users. It is important that each sportsbook takes a unique approach to building its own identity to differentiate themselves from others. It is equally important for private gaming operators entering the Ontario market to ensure they are committed to providing the highest responsible gaming standards and practices to the public.
If private gaming operators want to have a competitive advantage, they should focus on ways to offer accurate odds on these events.