Sports betting in Canada: Close to 1 in 5 Ontario residents are interested
March 29th, 2022, YouGov

Sports betting in Canada: Close to 1 in 5 Ontario residents are interested

On April 4, there will be a tectonic shift in Canada's gambling industry as single-sports betting and online gambling will significantly expand in Ontario, the country’s most populous province.

Single-sports betting has been legal in Canada for about a year, and residents have been able to use out-of-country sites to place bets. But as of April 4, when Ontario launches its iGaming internet gambling market, operators will be able to get government approval, allowing them to withdraw from the grey market. More than a dozen sites have already been approved by the government to operate. This whitelist includes large established brands like FanDuel, BetMGM and PointsBet as well as made-in-Canada operations like The Score Bet.

According to YouGov Global Gambling Profiles, which conducts research in 24 markets worldwide, one in five residents of Ontario are interested in sports betting (18%) which is roughly in line with Canada’s national average of 15%. YouGov research, conducted in Ontario every month, also shows that 13% of Ontario residents say they're interested in playing fantasy sports for money, and 12% are interested in betting on esports.

The sports betting industry in Canada could grow to as much as $28 billion within just a few years, according to some analysts. Indeed, interest in betting during live sporting events in Ontario, with its population of 14.5 million, is higher than in the United States (16%), Germany (15%) and the United Kingdom (11%).

Over the last year, the marketing push in Canada among gambling apps has been intense as brands jockey for customers. But what do consumers want? Our data shows roughly a quarter of gamblers in Ontario (and about the same Canada-wide) say the ease-of-use of a website or app is an important factor when choosing where to place a bet. Other important factors cited by gamblers include selection of games (18% of gamblers in Canada and 19% in Ontario), good odds (18% and 22%), and good promotions (13% and 15%).

A smooth mobile site and apps are important since a plurality of gamblers in Canada in general – and Ontario in particular – say they tend to use their mobile phone to place bets either using an app or a website. About a quarter of Canadian gamblers – and Ontario gamblers – tend to use their desktop or laptop computer.

This is the dawn of what some see as a goldrush in Ontario and Canada, but with it comes fierce competition. YouGov’s robust consumer data will help brands navigate this new frontier.

For more detail contact - Managing Director, YouGov Canada

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Methodology: Global Gambling Profiles data referenced is based on a sample size of 13,358 Canadian adults, 8,832 Canadian gamblers, 4,743 Ontario adults and 3,209 Ontario gamblers. All interviews were conducted between April 2021 and February 2022.