Survey Finds Sports Betting Yet to Be Popular In Ontario Despite High Revenues

The online gambling market has seen a high revenue of $162 million in the first three months since the legalization of online gambling in Ontario. However, Canada Sports Betting’s survey suggests that the majority are yet to take part in betting on sports events.

Canada has seen the quick growth of online enterprises such as blogs, betting news, and vlogs, where punters are constantly looking for tips and tactics to place better odds. Also, punters can compare different game operators for better bonuses with a casino comparison site such as In this way, the gaming industry has been working to increase online platform use ever since online gambling became legal in Canada.

Despite the efforts, a survey done by Canada Sports Betting shows many are yet to take on betting on major athletic events.

Poll About Sports Betting

Between July 19 and 20, Canada Sports Betting polled 1,222 people online about their opinions of the legalized sports betting industry. It was conducted after the industry in Ontario officially began operating on April 4. Of the respondents, 619 (51%) were men, and 603 (49%) were women.

Surprisingly, 55% of the people surveyed weren’t even aware of the full launch. Even among the respondents who indicated their interest in sports betting, 55.5% replied that they hadn’t placed bets on athletic and sports events since its legalization in Ontario.

10% of the respondents said they put bets on a monthly basis, while 8.7% said they do it daily.

The reasons behind this are not yet clear. Though JD McNamara, the country director of Canada Sports Betting and Better Collective, tries to give an explanation by saying, “A lot of the discussion at the beginning of the market is market focused and not necessarily consumer-focused”.

Interested in Betting Yet to Enter the Market

McNamara, however, is still optimistic about the results. According to the survey, the 55.5% figure is expected, McNamara points out, as it’s “…going to be a learning curve,”  while also mentioning the unawareness of half the respondents about the Ontario launch is crucial.

He remarked, “Those findings show us we have a significant portion of people who are interested in betting but haven’t entered the market yet.” 

This echoes the statement of Paul Barns, executive director of the Canadian Gaming Association, as he sees the revenue numbers as “a positive reflection of the interest in the market” while there’s more room to grow.

iGaming Ontario released its first statement to the general public on the first full quarter of market operations, ending on June 30th. According to the release, provincial sports wagering generated a revenue of $162 million from 492k active accounts, and the online gambling industry took in wagers of $4.076 billion in total, excluding promotional bonuses.

Only 18 operators and 31 gambling sites were active at that time, while the number of operators grew to 26. However, the survey didn’t include records from many online operations and grey-market operators who continued their business while seeking approval from the government. 

Difficulty Understanding What Bonuses are

The survey also showed the respondents were unsure about many areas of online sports betting. 34% responded that they didn’t understand a thing about the bonuses—they were only in it for the money. A mere 25.5% reported they understood there are wagering requirements to unlock these bonuses.

Only 17.4% of people completely understood bonuses, and a surprising 22.6% thought they would get bonuses as soon as they signed up with an operator. The fact that one cannot advertise bonuses outside the operator-owned channels in Ontario is likely one of the reasons behind such unawareness.

McNamara claimed that resources and educational sites are somewhat constrained when offering the kind of information that is being supplied in other North American areas.

He also points out that there are restrictions on bonuses. For example, a $200 bonus that you sign up for can really require you to wager five or ten times that amount before it becomes available. However, around 80% of individuals don’t understand bonuses completely or even just in part. 

Thus, he opines, “The absence of knowledge in the market is a result of our incapacity to tell individuals which bonuses might be the most lucrative for recreational bettors.”

Sports Betting Ads Considered Pushy

42.5% of respondents strongly agreed and another 30.1% somewhat agreed that there was too much promotion for sports betting. In response, McNamara says, “I think one reason why people don’t like the ads is that they think they’re being pushed on them.”

He is not stretching it at all, for trustworthiness is the main feature that people look for in a sports betting website, according to 41.1% of the respondents. However, 36.1% are also looking for fast payouts.

Even with the irregularities, iGaming Ontario is optimistic about the revenue numbers as more and more people are making the region a priority area to run their businesses. 

“Hockey is the sport people are most interested in betting on, and that can be fun as we head into the fall,” says McNamara, noting that the NFL, NHL, and NBA are anticipated to begin this fall. 

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