A little over four months have passed since the mobile sports betting market launched in Ontario on April 4th.
However, there is still no clear indication as to how the overall mobile market is performing as the bettors may see a retail sportsbook be in operation just in time for the NFL season.
Why are Monthly Handles Being Required in Ontario?
In the United States, each state’s commission or regulator releases its monthly handles to the public regardless of whether the state offers mobile, retail, or both. Each state may not break down the handle to the smallest detail, but the numbers are eventually released.
The question becomes why are regulators in Canada not required to release their figures. A timely and transparent report would indicate how the legal market is faring with offshore sportsbooks.
Online gaming and sports betting numbers are supposed to be released quarterly by iGaming Ontario, but the projected timeline has already passed.
Handle and revenue transparency will be important moving forward as the province is one of the largest jurisdictions to bring a legal sports betting market. A report from iGaming Ontario will definitely show what is currently happening and also indicate whether or not extra measures need to be put in place.
As of right now, the waiting time for this report has been unprecedented, but one US market could provide a clue. Arizona is a state that has taken its time to release its monthly reports as its gaming commission just recently released its May numbers.
It is certainly well behind other states’ reports; however, the information is still being released to the public.
PointsBet Reported its Handle Not That Long Ago
PointsBet registered a handle of approximately $14 million Canadian during the first three months of operation in Canada, which ended on June 30th. The mobile operator had a hold rate of 4.2 percent, which generated $600,000 before free bets and other promotions were added.
In order to acquire new consumers, PointsBet had to spend money. The company reported a net loss of $445,000 and had 7,239 customers in its first three months of operation in Ontario.
Twenty mobile sportsbooks have launched in Ontario, indicating the size of the market.
However, the market is expected to grow exponentially as it heads in the last quarter of the year. Based on the province’s population size, the jurisdiction would be the fifth largest if it was a part of the United States.
Will a Brick-and-Mortar Sportsbook Launch in Ontario?
Despite not knowing what direction the market is heading towards, at least one retail sportsbook may set up shop in a casino just in time for the NFL season.
Last week, Niagara Casinos posted jobs on LinkedIn for a sportsbook supervisor and sportsbook ambassador as these retail locations would create more jobs.
In Port Perry, Ontario, just northeast of Toronto, Great Blue Heron Casino is also hiring a sportsbook operations supervisor. This suggests that retail sportsbooks may be coming to the province soon.
MGE was the physical operator in the province to be licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. It was tasked with developing the legal framework and enforcing the rules and regulations for the market.