Ontario’s regulated online gaming market generates 12,000 full-time jobs, CAD$1.6B economic impact, in first year

June 14, 2023 8:59 PM
Photo: CDC Gaming Reports
  • Mark Keast, CDC Gaming Reports
June 14, 2023 8:59 PM

At Wednesday’s Canadian Gaming Summit in Toronto, Martha Otton, executive director of iGaming Ontario (iGO), the subsidiary of provincial regulator Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, told a large audience during a panel discussion that Ontario’s regulatory regime is “crushing it.”

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Part of that success has to do with the revenue numbers. She told the crowd that while iGO isn’t yet ready to release Q1 market performance results (the quarter doesn’t end until June 30), she did say gross gaming revenue is “3.5 times as large as Q1 last year.”

The panel discussion summarizing the Ontario regulated market after the first year also included Tom Mungham, chief executive officer of the AGCO; Doug Downey, attorney general of Ontario; and Dave Forestell, board chair of iGaming Ontario.

Just before it began, iGaming Ontario released the results of a study by Deloitte estimating that in its first year, Ontario’s new open and regulated igaming market generated more than 12,000 full-time-equivalent jobs across the province and contributed nearly CAD$1.6 billion to Ontario’s gross domestic product, including more than $900 million in labor income.

“Whether they’re direct or indirect jobs in the market and an average salary well above the provincial average,” Otton said, “they’re good jobs for this province coming here.”

The report, “Economic Contributions of Ontario’s Regulated iGaming Market,” takes a look at the economic benefits to Ontario, starting with the decision to launch a hybrid igaming model, comprising the provincial lottery corporation and licensed private operators.

The report also said the industry has the potential to support up to 22,000 full-time-equivalent jobs, $4.7 billion in GDP, and over $2.1 billion in government revenue annually by 2031-32.

According to the report, employees in the igaming industry earn an average of $103,000 a year in compensation, 41 percent higher than average job compensation across all industries in the province. The igaming employment base taps into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skillsets.

Provincial government revenue from igaming will grow from around $470 million last year to just under $1.4 billion in 2031-32 (based on the 20 percent revenue share model in Ontario). Annual federal-government revenue will grow from an estimated $238 million to $647 million in those years and revenue to Ontario municipalities will more than double from $54 million to $115 million.

The report doesn’t factor in the economic benefits generated by Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation activities.