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Online Casinos Are a Hit in Ontario With 1.3 Million Active Players

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Online Casino in Ontario

iGaming revenue in Ontario doesn’t look like it’ll slow down anytime soon. Compared to last financial year, revenue is up by over 70%, and online casinos specifically have contributed heavily, their revenue has increased by just under 90%.
As the industry continues to grow, the government has revised the expected income from iGaming. Ontario’s net income in the current financial year hit $162 million, and then, next year, it’ll be even better, bringing in $172 million in net income.
To put things in perspective, back in 2022, when iGaming first launched in Ontario, a government report predicted a total of $75 million in income over three years. In the first year alone, Ontario pulled in $87 million and is on track to generate over $400 million in income by the end of the 2024-2025 fiscal year.
The Ontario government taxes operators’ revenue at 20%. Operators must also pay $100,000 per year per site. This structure has proved to be a cash cow for the government, helping them raise millions in taxes. Currently, there’s no tax on gambling winnings, but this could be another way for the province to earn revenue. For example, Ontario could take inspiration from New Jersey, which charges a 3% state tax on all online casino winnings.

How Big Is the Ontario iGaming Market?

Currently, there are 47 operators and 77 sites. During the FY2023-24, they collected a total of $63 billion in wagers, representing a 78% boost compared to last fiscal year. iGaming revenue for the FY2023-24 also showed strong signs, reaching $2.4 billion, a 72% increase YoY.
The Executive Director of iGaming Ontario, Martha Otton, confirmed the figures for the FY2023-24 and is pleased with the strong growth. She’s excited about the start of the third year of iGaming in Ontario and is looking forward to partnering with operators and ensuring Ontarians have access to world-class gaming.
There are 1.3 million active players who, on average, spend $192 per month. This is incredibly high as the average UK gambler spends only $90 per month. Canadians are some of the biggest gamblers in the world, with up to 60% of the nation betting over the last 12 months.
Online casinos are responsible for the biggest chunk of the FY2023-24, generating $1.8 billion in revenue. Sports betting came in second place, with sportsbooks pulling in $588 million in revenue.
Online peer-to-peer poker still has a long way to catch up with sports betting and online casinos. For FY2023-24, it only generated $67 million in revenue. However, that does represent a total 67% increase compared to last year.

Unlicensed and Offshore Online Gambling Nose Dives in Ontario

Ontario has been incredibly successful at getting Ontarians to play at local and licensed operators. A recent survey revealed that 86.4% of Ontarians gamble with regulated operators. Prior to Ontario allowing regulated sports betting and iGaming, back in 2022, more than 70% of Ontarians who gambled online did so at offshore casinos.
A large chunk of players, up to 20%, play at both regulated and offshore online casinos, while just under 14% exclusively gamble at unlicensed betting sites. The Ontario government is missing out on millions of dollars in yearly income as these offshore casinos don’t pay tax in Canada. Getting players to only use licensed sites remains a challenge for the gaming authority.
With the success of online betting in Ontario and the amount of cash the government is pulling in, other provinces are considering legalizing iGaming. Currently, Ontario is the only state that grants licenses to private operators, and major brands like LeoVegas and BetMGM have flocked to the market. Other provinces either don’t offer online casino games or only very limited options via state-run sites.
As the market continues to grow and the Ontario government earns $200 million yearly from iGaming, the other provinces will be forced to act. It remains to be seen just how long they can leave that sort of money on the table. We bet cash-strapped New Brunswick would like some additional tax revenue.
Currently, Ontario is enjoying its first-mover advantage, and 2024-2025 is expected to be an even bigger year for the province. iGaming revenue should cross the $3 billion mark, and the government will pocket close to $200 million.

Read more: Asian iGaming Market Presents Unique Challenges and Opportunities

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iGaming

Asian iGaming Market Presents Unique Challenges and Opportunities

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iGaming trends in Asia

Asian players already make up over 25% of the global iGaming market. This figure is set to rise rapidly over the next 10 years as the market is growing at over 5.5% annually.
The region is undergoing significant economic development, leading to increased rates of internet penetration and smartphone usage. However, iGaming is being hampered by a lack of regulation, and certain countries like China have banned online casinos.

Baccarat Is the Table Game of Choice

While blackjack rules supreme in the US and Europeans flock to the roulette wheel, in Asia it’s all about baccarat. Asian players are drawn to the baccarat due to the low house edge, high betting limits, and the drama of the game. Bettors like to slowly squeeze their cards, adding to the anticipation.
If you’ve ever been to Macau, you won’t be surprised that baccarat is far more popular than blackjack among Asian online casinos. At Macau resorts, baccarat tables often outnumber blackjack ones 10 to 1!

Fish Games Are a Must When Operating in Asia

If you want to run a successful online casino in Asia, you need to offer fish games. This unique game originated in China in arcades, where you play on a tabletop and use a joystick and buttons to shoot at fish as they swim back and forth across the map. The more fish you eliminate, the more you win.
Fish games have now moved online and are incredibly popular among mobile players. This arcade game is interactive and has an engaging skill element, which is a big hit with Asian players.
The key to a successful fish game is well-designed underwater graphics with fast-paced action. The shooting mechanics need to be on point, and bonuses and special features need to be incorporated into the game. Some of the most popular fish games are KA Fish Hunter, Poseidon’s Secret, and Golden Dragon.

Payments Present a Challenge

In most Asian countries, online casinos are unregulated, and players flock to offshore sites. Local financial institutions often block transactions. Traditional payment methods like Visa, Mastercard, and bank transfer aren’t possible.
Asian financial institutions’ crackdown on online gambling transactions has led to a rise in crypto payments. The anonymity that cryptocurrencies provide and the ease with which you can move small and large sums of money around have made this payment method especially popular among Asian players. Up to 60% of Asian online gamblers use cryptocurrency.
Thanks to the rise of stablecoins like USDT, which are pegged to fiat currencies like the US dollar, players no longer need to worry about price movements. However, some players like the extra fun betting with a highly volatile brings. For example, a player could win $500 worth of DOGE and then watch as the price of token pumps and rises 40%, compounding their winnings.

Localization Is Key to Winning Market Share

International online casinos can’t expect a cookie-cutter approach to work in the Asian market. Research into local players’ expectations and preferences is required. Operators need to offer customer support in the local language and have local VIP hosts.
Other easy ways to adapt the site to the Asian market are offering bonuses on certain local holidays like Chinese New Year and providing popular games like Pai Gow, Andar Bahar, and baccarat. Many Asian players are still worried about the legitimacy of online casinos. Operators need to alleviate this concern and forge long-term relationships with players. If these relationships are formed, Asian players will be more loyal than Western users.

Regulatory Uncertainty Clouds the Industry

Asia is home to 48 countries, and each has their laws regarding iGaming. Some countries like the Philippines and Cambodia have legalized online casinos, while nations like China and Malaysia have strictly prohibited all forms of online betting.
In the vast majority of Asian countries, there are no laws regarding online gambling, and players gamble at internationally licensed sites, this is the current situation in India.
As Asian governments look for new ways to generate tax revenue and realize how much money is flowing out of the country, expect more countries to follow the US and UK’s lead and regulate industry. Within 20 years, we expect 50% of Asian countries to offer fully regulated online gambling.

Read more: The Role of Crypto in Online Gambling

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Sports Betting

Online Sports Betting Is Growing in the Cowboy State

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Sports betting

Online sports betting was legalized in Wyoming in April 2021. The first operators launched in September 2021. The current operators are DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel, and Fanatics, which is the last sportsbook to launch. The first four major brands combine for over 80% of the sports betting market share across the United States.
Wyoming is the smallest US state, with just 600,000 residents. However, it’s a fairly wealthy state with an average net worth of $565,122. Also, many ultra-rich individuals own second homes in places like Jackson Hole, which boasts three billionaires despite having a population of just over 10,000.

Sports Betting in Wyoming 

The conservative state was a latecomer to online sports betting. Neighboring Montana legalized sports betting in 2019, but it took Wyoming another two years to pull the trigger.
Even though you can bet on sports in the Cowboy State, online casinos remain banned. There are also no state-licensed brick-and-mortar casinos. However, locals do have access to three Native American casinos that offer slots and table games.
The tribes behind the casinos have lobbied strongly to prevent online gambling in the state. The Arapaho tribe alone has spent over $80,000 on lobbyists, but their actions have been successful so far.
So, states took over a year to go from legalizing sports betting to offering licenses. That wasn’t the case in Wyoming. Within months of signing the bill, operators went live. BetMGM and DraftKings were the first to offer sports betting in Equality State. They both launched in Wyoming in September 2021, followed by FanDuel in March 2022. Then Caesars went live in May 2022.
The online sports betting market has been steadily growing in Wyoming, with players wagering $20 million monthly. DraftKings is the most popular sportsbook in the Cowboy State, with a 59% market share. In second place is FanDuel, with a 23% market share. Sportsbooks convert about 10% of the handle into revenue.
The Wyoming government charges a 10% tax on gross gaming revenue. Since 2021, the government has earned over $2 million in taxes from sports betting. This figure will only keep rising as the market continues to grow.
Interestingly, Wyoming is one of the few states that accepts players who are 18+. In virtually all states, you must be 21+ to place sports bets. The other states where sportsbooks accept players below are Kentucky, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington.

What’s the Future of Online Sports Betting in Wyoming

Sportsbooks in Wyoming have accepted a total of $426,020,781 in wagers since the end of 2021. Despite the massive sum, Equality State’s sports betting market is the 5th smallest in the country. Only Maine, Montana, South Dakota, and Vermont have taken fewer bets.
Due to Wyoming’s small population of under 600,000 and virtually non-existent growth, which clocked in at less than half a percent, the market isn’t expected to experience serious growth.
As sports betting is still new in Wyoming, the total handle will steadily rise for the next few years, but the market will quickly become mature, and growth will stall. It also doesn’t help that the average resident is just under 40 years old. Sportsbooks will struggle to find the next generation of bettors to fuel growth, however, if the state implements pro-immigration policies, that may change.
Wyoming sportsbooks have a high hold (revenue margin) percentage of over 10%, while in many states, the hold is around 7%. Wyoming sportsbooks have generated just under $44 million in revenue. They’ve already made a substantial contribution to the state. The Wyoming government should expect to receive in excess of $2 million in tax revenue yearly from sportsbooks alone.
Even though Wyoming is a small sports betting market, it’s still highly profitable for operators. Despite running for less than three years, major sportsbooks quickly generated a profit. Brands have also benefited from low taxes of just 10%. The average tax on gross revenue across the United States is 20%.
While Wyoming will never challenge major markets like New York, New Jersey, and Illinois, it’ll remain an important niche market for operators. As sports betting only launched at the end of 2021, there’s still plenty of room to grow over the next five to 10 years.

Read more: It’s Official Legal Sports Betting & iGaming Is Coming to Brazil!https://futureplay.news/igaming/brazil-legalizes-online-gambling-2024/

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iGaming

Slovakia Attempts to Catch Up to the Rest of Europe

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Slovakia decided to turn its iGaming market on its head in 2019 when it signed a law allowing private operators to offer their services to local players. Prior to March 2019, only the state-operated TIPOS could offer sports betting and online casino games to Slovaks. However, TIPOS has held onto its exclusive right to offer lottery and bingo.
After pressure from the EU and realizing the market wasn’t efficient enough, Slovakia decided to liberalize online gambling. The decision has proved to be a massive success, with the government generating €301 million in annual revenue from a mixture of online and offline casinos and sports betting.
Online gaming revenue is expected to grow in Slovakia at over 5.5% annually from 2024 until 2029. Within five years, the number of online users is set to expand to over 500,000, which is impressive, considering the country is only home to five million people.

Slovaks Flock to Online Casinos

Slovaks placed a total of €21.4 billion worth of bets in 2023 alone. Despite the country being home to a number of land-based casinos, Slovaks overwhelmingly prefer to bet online. In a recent survey, 90% of players opt to gamble online thanks to the speed of play, convenience, and greater gaming options. There are currently over 300,000 Slovaks playing at locally licensed online casinos and sportsbooks.
Online gambling generated €93 million in tax revenue for the government. Operators have to pay a 22% tax on gross gaming revenue. This tax rate is considered right around average in Europe. However, it does make it hard for licensed operators to compete with offshore casinos, which often don’t pay any tax on gross gaming revenue.
The government has ramped up its efforts to combat unlicensed casinos. It’s estimated that over 100,000 Slovaks regularly gamble at offshore sites and get around bans with the help of VPNs and cryptocurrency.

What Are the Growth Driving Factors of iGaming in Slovakia?

Mobile gaming is a big reason behind the surge in online gambling in Slovakia. Over 90% of the population now has a smartphone, and internet penetration is also over 90%.
There’s now a whole generation in Slovakia who has grown up using the internet since childhood. This generation is comfortable using the internet for everything from buying clothes and chatting with friends to telehealth doctor appointments and gambling online.
Online casinos and sportsbooks have tailor-made their products to appeal to mobile players. They offer sleek mobile apps and fast sites. Registering, depositing, and playing games can all be done within minutes. This level of speed and convenience has proved a big hit with Slovak players.
Currently, we’re still in the mobile era of gambling. However, 10 years from now, we’ll probably be talking about the VR era, and online casinos will again have to reinvent themselves to appeal to the next crop of players.

TIPOS Has Been Forced To Adapt 

Prior to 2019, TIPOS had a monopoly on the Slovak online casino market. No other operators were allowed to enter the market, and Slovaks were banned from playing at other sites. However, the state-owned TIPOS offered a limited selection of games and an outdated platform, resulting in many locals playing at offshore casinos.
After 2019, Slovakia started allowing foreign operators to enter the market as long as they had a license. The country also targeted offshore sites by blocking them and threatening legal action against unlicensed casinos that accepted Slovak players.
As the online casino market in Slovakia has become liberalized and more competitive, TIPOS had to adapt. It can no longer rely on its monopoly to attract and retain players. By partnering with award-winning and innovative providers like BGaming, TIPOS is committed to becoming a modern online casino that can go head-to-head with big private operators.
Online gambling is thriving in Slovakia, with all major operators wanting a piece of the pie. Users are expected to reach 500,000 by 2029, and the government will be pocketing over €500 million in yearly taxes from all forms of gambling, which is half a percent of the country’s entire budget.
However, certain operators will be prevented from entering the market due to high tax rates. Also, the government will continue to adapt regulations and keep player-friendly laws like no taxes on winnings to prevent losing players to offshore casinos.

Read more: US iGaming Revenue Sets New Record & Surpasses $5 Billion in 2023

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