How the Ontario Online Casino Market Has Evolved

Despite only bursting onto the scene less than two years ago, the Ontario online casino industry is slowly starting to take shape. Although far from being a mature market, the appetite for iGaming remains insatiable.

Indeed, online casino gambling in Ontario has already gained some traction, and it is making significant progress. In this guide, we will trace the factors that have helped the casino market in this province evolve.

Greater engagement with players

One of the driving factors behind the growth of the Ontario online casino market has been how operators have managed to engage users. Across all the iGaming segments, casino gambling continues to lead the way.

Figures released by the approved regulatory body the iGaming Ontario (iGO) indicate casino is the biggest pull, with in the second quarter of 2023 on slots, live and computer-based table games. This outpaces the $2bn spent on sports and esports as well as the $350million dedicated to peer-to-peer poker games.

When compared to the first year that casino gambling launched in Ontario, the results make for impressive reading. Indeed, the first 12 months saw $28bn spent on casino gambling, and the sharp growth should be celebrated among operators.

Moreover, with casinos now operating 24/7, and with players having greater accessibility to the internet, this has been a more convenient option than visiting land-based establishments. With around 920,000 active player accounts in Q1 of 2023, this seems to suggest the allure of digital casinos.

Whereas before, Ontario residents were gambling at so-called “grey-market” sites, which offered little protection. But the licensed operators have made a concerted effort to meet user acquisition targets. Ontarians arguably feel more at home at the licensed sites they play at. Finding a reputable isn’t difficult to track down. Operators such as North Casino are an appealing prospect as they stock over 1,600 casino games, and they have a hefty matched deposit sign-up bonus to entice new players.

Technological developments

The advancement of technology has also played a key role in the way the Ontario casino industry has evolved. While the term technology is quite wide-ranging, there have been some notable developments over the past couple of years, and there are some that are still in the nascent stages.

For example, the is relatively untapped, however, it is expected that AI will help create more complex algorithms to enhance gameplay as well as gather data on the behaviour of casino players.

Meanwhile, the liver dealer technology is simply irresistible. It has taken the casino scene by storm, and the emergence of high-quality video streaming has made the experience authentic for players.

The wealth of live games that are available is worth noting, as casino gamblers can enjoy spinning the roulette wheel or trying their luck at baccarat or blackjack. The live dealers provide real-time communication between players, but many of the top software developers collaborating with casinos will incorporate lighting and other sound effects to engage with players.

Online casinos are also starting to experiment with VR (Virtual Reality). While this is the beginning of the journey for VR, they provide a more immersive experience than regular casino games, and players want to be at the heart of the action.

More generally speaking, digital casinos are always tweaking their product offering in a way to capture new players, and ultimately, the way they recalibrate in a fiercely competitive environment will determine how well they are likely to fare.

Financial impact

The bottom line is that online casinos in Ontario have been flourishing from a financial perspective. In its first year, Ontario’s iGaming market was thought to have hit a total revenue of $1.4bn up to March 2023.

Not only that but online casinos are thought to have made up 67% of all revenues garnered in the first year of operation, which serves to underline the power of sites. From a wider perspective, it is predicted the Canadian gambling market could grow by over and could have a projected market of around $5.5bn in 2028.

Ontario can take some responsibility for this, and the economic impact shouldn’t be overlooked either. Yes, the Ontario casino industry is in robust shape, and aside from creating lots of new jobs, it is also believed to be contributing plenty of capital to the province’s local economy, according to the Canadian Gaming Association.

Having a strong regulatory hold

Perhaps the level of regulation that has been dedicated to casino gambling has helped online operators thrive in Ontario. As mentioned, the iGO will preside over all aspects of casino gambling in the province. Aside from distributing licenses, they will ensure all sites have robust security measures to protect players and ensure operators promote responsible gambling.

Before any site has launched and gone live, they will have been tested rigorously to make sure they meet the standards expected of them. Within that, advertising at online casinos is very strict. Online casinos must not have messages that contain or make any misleading claims, and the iGO has worked hard to uphold core values. It can be said that other provinces are looking at Ontario as the benchmark for a healthy iGaming market.

Embracing the omnichannel approach

It would be remiss not to mention how online casino sites have worked tirelessly to create a slick and optimized mobile product that resonates with its players. Yes, many sites will now have a fully functioning mobile product that is compatible with iOS and Android users, and they are multi-faceted.

Simply, Ontario online casinos have recognised that having just a strong online product isn’t enough. The mobile incarnations are now high performing and they have been catered to the needs of players who like to gamble on the move.

Final Thoughts

While online casino gambling might be a rather novel experience for Ontario residents, it has come a long way in a short space of time, and it boasts plenty of potential.

This guide has drawn attention to some of the key underlying points that have facilitated the ascendancy of the Ontario online casino industry, and it will be fascinating to see the trajectory it takes over the next few years.