Having the opportunity to participate in sports betting is still a new phenomenon for residents of Ontario, following the province’s decision to allow sports-related gambling in April 2022. To find out the impact of this landmark change on Ontario’s inhabitants, a survey was conducted by Caddie Insights, in collaboration with Canada Sports Betting.
Remarkably, the results of the survey revealed that more than half of the 1222 respondents weren’t even aware that they could now participate in sports betting. Interestingly, more male respondents were aware of the new sports betting market compared to women, at 62% and 39% respectively.
Although it’s still early days yet, it does seem as if Ontario’s sports betting market is off to a slow start, as around half of the survey respondents indicated that they didn’t have much interest in gambling on sporting events.
Where does the appeal lie?
As well as investigating the public reaction to Ontario’s introduction of sports betting, the survey also covered various aspects of the online gambling experience – from the impact of advertising to what potential gamblers find most appealing about their chosen sportsbook sites.
The survey revealed that many respondents feel there is too much advertising related to sports betting, as new local operators urgently try to drum up business among an unsuspecting populace. However, the survey takers did express their attraction to welcome bonuses, which many described as being the most inviting service they find on sportsbook websites.
How Ontario’s betting landscape has changed
It’s perhaps unsurprising that Ontario’s sports betting world is still very much in its infancy, with so many inhabitants still unaware that they can now participate. Until April 2022, Canadians had been content with online gambling using trusted casino operators such as Rizk online casino, which offers a range of slots and other online casino entertainment. Now, however, they will be faced with a wide range of options and this could prove daunting initially.
Gaining a foothold in Ontario will also prove a little tricky for the sportsbooks that are eager to capitalize on the province’s new market, as they will have to gain approval from the province’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission.
Ontario represents a significant prize for operators
Despite the rather lackluster results of the survey, in the eyes of gambling operators there can be little doubt that Ontario’s emerging sports betting market is a significant business opportunity. Because the province is home to around 40% of Canada’s population, there is a sizeable target audience for sportsbooks to tap into and, if they are successful, it’s highly likely that the industry will soon be generating millions of Canadian dollars’ worth of revenue. In fact, it’s predicted that the sports gambling industry could generate up to CA$28 billion in a mere 5 years.
With so many new options for sports bettors to take advantage of, and with so much potential for revenue to be made, it seems likely that other provinces may choose to emulate Ontario and open up their own sports betting markets.
For now, though, Ontario is blazing the trail, and, despite what the survey may reveal, there seems little doubt that many of the province’s inhabitants will soon be taking advantage of their new prospects.
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