The legalization of single-game sports betting in Canada in 2021 has led to an immense increase in demand for sports betting in Canada. Canadians are betting more on sports, and more importantly, more Canadians are betting on sports than in 2021.
According to Statista, a global stats organization who tracks various economic and population data, Canada’s sports betting market is growing at an unprecedented rate.
- 1 million Candians bet on sports in the first year of legal sports betting
- Canada’s sports betting market growth is staggering compared to other similar markets.
- Ontario iGaming operators, including online sportsbooks, brought in over $1.4 billion in revenue.
Bet99 Sports100% matching deposit up to $500
More people are betting on sports every year
Estimates from Statista’s annual global sports betting market insights, 6.1 million Candians bet on sports in the first year of legal sports betting. The stats firm also estimates the Canadian market had a 16% penetration rate, meaning nearly one million of those 6.1 million Canadian bettors were new sports betting customers.
Future projections for the Canadian sports betting market expect there to be 16 million Canadian sports bettors by the end of 2023. This would mean a penetration rate, or market growth, of 42%. By 2027, these numbers could be as high as 24 million bettors, meaning a penetration rate of 59%. This means a lot of people betting at Canadian betting sites.
This type of rapid growth is not common when sports betting markets open up. All signs point to Canada becoming a global powerhouse in the world of sports betting. Canada’s future becomes even more clear when you compare Canada’s growth to other sports betting markets.
Sports betting growth in Canada dwarfs the US and UK betting markets
Canada’s sports betting market growth is staggering compared to other similar markets. The US and UK are considered the most similar markets to Canada’s due to the prevalence of sports betting in the UK and the recent legalization of sports betting in the US.
The US legalized sports betting in 2019. In the two-and-a-half years since the US legalized sports betting, the US market has seen a penetration rate of just 9%. Statista expects the US market to reach a 14% penetration rate by 2027. In short, the Canadian sports betting market grew more in one year following legalization than the US is expected to grow in its first 8 years following legalization. Legal sports betting in Canada has been a huge success.
Similarly, Canada’s sports betting growth is quickly out-pacing the UK’s sports betting market, which is one of the biggest and most well-developed sports betting markets in the world. Statista expects Canada to have more sports bettors than the UK by the end of 2023.
Prior to 2021, these numbers would have been unbelievable. Canada’s sports betting market is growing at an unprecedented rate.
Sports betting in Canada is already big business
The rapid rise in the number of sports bettors in Canada is reflected by the huge revenues already being brought in by online gambling operators in Canada’s most populous province, Ontario.
Ontario’s premier online gambling regulators, iGaming Ontario and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), released a report in early April outlining just how popular online gambling is in Ontario. The iGaming Ontario report showed Ontario igaming operators, including online sportsbooks, brought in over $1.4 billion in revenue. This amount of revenue makes Ontario one of the top five iGaming markets in North America.
In the following weeks, an Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) executive went public at a conference claiming Ontario’s market is actually the top market in the world when you add confidential public lottery numbers to the revenue numbers released by iGaming Ontario. If this is true and Statista’s estimates are to be believed, online gambling could quickly become one of the biggest industries in Canada.
One area that could grow dramatically as sports betting continues to grow in Canada is hockey betting. According to iGaming Ontario, hockey is just the fourth most popular sport to bet on in Ontario. In a country where hockey reigns supreme, this is very surprising. It would not be surprising to see hockey betting grow in popularity as other provinces establish private betting markets similar to Ontarios.
Noah Strang is an experienced sports writer having covered many professional sports leagues across North America. He has worked extensively covering the NHL and been accredited media for the Vegas Golden Knights in the past. He’s also known as one of the best iGaming writers across Canada with extensive experience covering the development of legal sports betting across the country. He was born and raised in Vancouver, BC, and enjoys taking advantage of the coastline. When not writing, you can find him watching whatever sport is on TV or playing pickup basketball.