Ontario’s Online Casino Gaming is Growing but Is Still Behind Provincial Rivals
Ontario’s government-run online casino gaming site has posted double-digit revenue games this fiscal year, but it is still lagging behind its provincial rivals.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has this month published its 2016-2017 annual report. During this period, the government-owned entity generated total revenue of a little below C$7.5 billion, most of which reportedly came from land-based casinos and lotteries.
PlayOLG and Its Online Casino Gaming Revenue
PlayOLG.ca, the OLG’s online casino site started offering online casino products in early 2015. The site contributed a just below C$58.4. It’s nothing to be scoffed at, though, showing an 18.7% increase over the previous year.
A 16% increase in active players along with tighter control costs seem to have allowed OLG to reap a profit of C$27.4 million, which is a staggering 84% higher than the year before.
In fact, PlayOLG’s results seem to be a lot better than the dismal forecast OLG gave last year when it cut its rather hopeful annual profit forecast from C$100 million to a mere C$25 million. However, the OLG has expressed hope that is online gaming industry will continue to exceed expectations with the launch of its first mobile casino app in 2017.
OLG did note, though, that its internationally licensed online rivals continue to offer a wider portfolio of promotions, bonuses, and slots and tend to leverage global operations to respond timeously to market dynamics.
Loto Quebec’s Online Gaming Soars 42%
Just across the border in Quebec, though, Loto Quebec, the provincial gaming monopoly, has reported that its site generated revenue of just below C$83 million in 2017-2018. That’s a 42.1% leap from the same time the year before. Apparently, online lottery sales improved almost 40% year-on-year to a massive CA$37.3 million with online casino revenue leaping 44.4% to an impressive C$45.6 million.
Quebec’s site, however, had a significant head-start over OLG, having debuted in November 2010. That being said, Ontario has a population of more than 14 million people whereas Quebec’s population sits at 8.5 million. That means that PlayOLG has much greater revenue potential. That’s assuming that players view its offer as competitive enough to switch from the best international online casino sites.
British Columbia Comes Out Tops
However, British Columbia’s site, PlayNow.com has reported revenue of C$157.6 million. This truly puts both Quebec and Ontario to shame. British Columbia has a population of just 4.5 million people. PlayNow certainly had a couple of touch-and-go patches when it launched in 2010, but it continues to set the pace for its rivals, not just in revenue but in new product offerings, too.
Interestingly, PlayNow has come under fire for flouting the rules in the way it approves new online slots, but that happened under the old provincial government. The current administration is hard at work assuring players that things are tougher and better.
Be that as it may, as long as provincial governments continue to serve the contradictory roles of monopoly gaming operators, there’s no doubt that player choice will suffer.