What Are Ontario Sports Bettors Wagering On?

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The Canadian province of Ontario recently expanded its government-run sports betting industry with commercial operators. This was in response to a major change in country’s sports betting laws in August of 2021.

The new laws paved the way for legal betting on a single-game sporting events. In the past, the only legal form of sports betting in Canada involved multi-team parlay plays.

Ontario’s commercial sector went live on April 4. US-based sportsbook operators such as FanDuel, BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook were part of the initial launch. More recently, DraftKings has gone live in Ontario with its mobile sportsbook app.

Heading into June, the early results on single-game betting reveal some interesting trends. OntarioBets.com conducted a survey and found that 35% of Ontario residents (legal age) bet on sports at least one a week. The same poll revealed that 39% of respondents have not bet on sports at all.

Breaking the Ontario market down even further, 25% of active sports bettors are averaging three bets a day.

Right now, the NBA would be the most popular betting league in Ontario at 28% as compared to the NHL at 22%. These results are rather skewed given that both leagues are still in action while the NFL remains dormant.

Also skewing the early results was postseason play by both the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs as hometown teams. Both teams were eliminated from the playoffs in the early rounds.

Interestingly enough, the MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays only accounted for 8% of the early betting action in Ontario. That percentage is likely to increase over the summer months. The NFL did resister with 13% of bettors on the strength of late-April’s college player draft and ongoing offseason futures bets.

The Canadian Football League returns to action in early June with the start of the 2022 regular season. This could have a major impact on the upcoming results. Both the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats are CFL teams based in Ontario.

When it comes to Ontario’s commercial sportsbook operators, bet365 ranked first on the list. Based in the UK, bet365 was the top choice among respondents at 18%. A close second at 17% was BetMGM as the top US-based operator.

FanDuel came in third at 11% followed by Caesars Sportsbook at 8%. Australia’s PointsBet rounded out the top five operators at 7%.

The survey was geared towards bettors’ preferences in placing actual wagers. These results do not reflect an operator’s actual share of the Ontario commercial sports betting market.

When it comes to statistical data collected on actual mobile betting app downloads, bet365, the Score Bet and FanDuel have led the way.

Written by Dave Schwab, our US sports betting industry expert.