Explore Canadian iGaming Like Never Before: Insider Insights Await

Explore Canadian iGaming Like Never Before: Insider Insights Await

iGaming is one of the fastest growing industries in Canada. Since Parliament legalized sports betting in 2021, dozens of new online casinos and sportsbooks have flooded the Canadian market.

Keep reading to learn about Canada’s online casinos and sportsbooks, and the future of this exciting industry.

Unlock a World of Excitement with Online Gambling in Canada

Online gambling is the same here as pretty much anywhere else in the world. It refers to playing casino games, betting on sports, or doing any other form of gambling online. You don’t have to gamble real money though; many online casinos offer demo or free-to-play games.

Collectively, this industry is known as iGaming. When you read or hear about ‘iGaming operators’, this is just a formal way of talking about online casinos, sports betting sites, peer-to-peer poker platforms, and other sites where you can gamble online.

What does this mean for Canada’s iGaming market?

The Canadian iGaming landscape is as vast and varied as Alberta is cold in January. Each province or territory is able to regulate their own, as iGaming laws are controlled at the provincial level.

Some have active regulatory regimes, while others rely on the federal government. This has created a fractured market with a mix of completely legal sites and offshore-based “grey market” sites.

The impact of iGaming Ontario

iGaming Ontario (iGO) is a new government agency established by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to issue licences to and regulate online casinos in Ontario. It’s the only organization of its kind in Canada. By most measures, the iGO has been a shining success for the province of Ontario.

Multiple AGCO and iGO reports have shown that the vast majority of players in Ontario are now using legal real money casinos and sportsbooks instead of unlicensed sites. The new legal regime has also brought in over $2.4 billion in gaming revenue.

iGaming Ontario works as a sub-agency of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. They are responsible for issuing casino and sportsbook licences and regulating the market. Other provinces are now thinking about to copying Ontario’s model and iGO’s licencing rules. This means we could see similar organizations across Canada soon.

The Impact of iGaming Innovation on Canada's Entertainment Scene

The Canadian iGaming industry is now one of the fastest growing in the world. There are dozens of legal casinos, sportsbooks, and other online gambling outfits available to millions of Canadians all around the country. It wasn’t always like this though. Let’s take a look at how we got here.

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Pre-2022: An era of unregulated gaming

Prior to the legalisation of sports betting in 2021 and the creation of iGaming Ontario in 2022, the only laws in Canada relating to gaming were the ones saying that online gambling was illegal. Well, they didn’t exactly say that…

You could not run an online casino or sportsbook in Canada, but there were no laws saying you could not play at online casinos based somewhere else. Due to this, Canadian players flocked to grey market casinos often based in countries such as Curacao, Malta, or the UK.

Some Canadian online casinos actually had licences from the Kahnawake First Nation, which purported to make them legal in Canada. So far, the federal government hasn’t challenged the Kahnawake Gaming Commission about these licences.

The launch of iGO and regulatory changes

In August 2021, Parliament passed Bill C-218, legalising single-game sports betting. The effect of this law is that, provinces are free to choose how and whether to permit sports betting under this regulation.

Retail sportsbooks are now legal in most Canadian provinces. Online sports betting is available everywhere except Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Yukon. It’s more difficult in these provinces, as it’s not easy to find a licensed operator.

Online casinos got their big moment when the Province of Ontario opened up their legal, regulated iGaming market in April 2022. Since then, iGaming Ontario has issued dozens of online casinos and betting sites in Ontario, giving millions of people legal iGaming options. The other provinces still largely exist under the same rules as before.

The milestones achieved through iGO

● July 2021: AGCO establishes iGaming Ontario (iGO) to help regulate a newly planned legal iGaming market in Ontario.
● August 2021: Parliament legalises sports betting nationwide
● April 2022: AGCO and iGaming officially launch Ontario’s new iGaming market with over half a dozen iGaming sportsbooks and casinos.
● April 2023: iGO reports $1.4 billion in total gaming revenue in Ontario’s first year.

Current State of the Canadian iGaming Market

As many provinces do not have fully open and regulated iGaming markets, it can be hard to access the overall state of the Canadian iGaming market. With that being said, most information indicates the market is very strong.

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Key statistics and market size for the iGaming market

● Onatrio brought in $2.4 billion in revenue from April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024
● Ontario grew 70% between the first and second year of its existence
● Ontario is the fifth top iGaming market in North America
Statista estimates the overall Canadian market is worth over US$4 billion

Analysis of gaming revenue and player engagement

Ontario is the only province to publish active player data. In Ontario, there were over 1.3 million active player accounts in the 2023-24 fiscal year (April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024). In 2022-23, there were just over 1 million active accounts. In Q4, the average monthly spend per active player was $263. This was an almost $100 increase compared to Q4 of the previous year.

Together, these numbers tell us that more people are playing at online casinos and sportsbooks in Canada and that they are spending more per month on these sites.

The Role of Online Casinos in Canada

Online casinos are a huge part of the Canadian iGaming market. The industry is worth billions of dollars and continues to grow every year.


In Ontario, online casino revenue accounted for 75% of the province’s overall revenue in the 2023-24 fiscal year. In 2022-2023, 67% of revenue was earned from online casino games.

The rise of iGaming mobile apps

Mobile apps were unheard of in Canada before Ontario opened up its legal market. Now, all major online casinos in Ontario have iOS and Android apps that thousands of players enjoy every day.

Popular games and trends

Slots are the most popular online casino games. Most iGO quarterly reports show that around 50% of all casino wagers are placed on slots. Live casino games are also popular. Around a third of all wagers are placed on live dealer table games.

Other Segments of the iGaming Market

In addition to online casinos, sports betting, and poker are an important part of the Canadian iGaming market.

Sports betting dynamics

Sports betting has boomed in Canada since 2021. Ontario now has a fully open and regulated sports betting regime with over a dozen legal sports betting sites, mobile sports betting apps, and retail sportsbooks.

The trend of pay-to-play poker

Pay-to-play, peer-to-peer poker has grown more in Canada than any other aspect of the country’s market. From 2023-2024, players wagered $446 million on peer-to-peer poker, a 64% increase compared to 2022-2023. Poker revenue increased by 67% to $67 million during the same period.

Shaping Tomorrow: What Lies Ahead for the Future of iGaming

iGaming has been legal in Canada for less than five years. In that short time, we’ve seen an incredible rate of growth. What else can we expect?

Predictions for the next decade

The Canadian iGaming market has seen close to a 70% increase in revenue year-on-year. That type of extreme growth is unlikely to continue for years to come, but we’re very confident the market will keep growing in the next decade.

Provinces such as British Columbia and Quebec online casinos are expected to adopt a similar legal regime to Ontario. If that happens, sports betting and online casinos will explode in those markets, creating even more revenue.

Technological advancements and market expansion

As we just mentioned, other provinces will likely to open their iGaming markets in the next decade. Online casinos in Alberta seem the most likely to pass this though with the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis already having partnerships with private-sector sportsbooks.

The benefit of private-sector partnerships allows provinces to always be on the cutting edge of iGaming technology. Geolocation services and cross-platform integration are the biggest areas where this kind of technological help is needed.

The Fun is Only Getting Started

If you found this content interesting, you can read a lot more at Maple Casino. The best online casino in Canada ultimately comes down to your own personal preference. If you want to see which sites our casino experts recommend – check out our online casino reviews or guides on top casino games – and find more province-specific information about iGaming near you.

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