Ontario Sports Betting Could Generate $10 Billion In Year One Handle

Ontario’s online sports betting will transform when private operators enter the sports betting industry on April 4, 2022. Private operators are expected to attract more sports bettors with competitive odds and welcome bonuses. Based on similar markets, Ontario sports betting’s commercial relaunch could generate $10 billion in handle and over $152 million in tax revenue in its first year. 

Ontario Sports Betting Revenue And Tax Projections

Ontario’s sports betting handle should begin with rapid growth like New York’s did when it launched mobile sports betting. But New York’s financial center seems to encourage larger wagers on average than what we expect from Ontario. However, Ontario shouldn’t be as small per capita as Michigan, which gained access to mobile sports betting in January 2021. 

Although Ontario has room for under or overestimations, $10 billion in handle seems like a reasonable middle ground.   

Ontario sports betting handle projected to be around $10 billion in first year

Based on comparable American markets, Ontario sportsbooks should hold about 7.6% of its handle. Ontario sportsbooks should keep around $762 million in revenue. 

Ontario sportsbooks should keep around $752 million in first year revenue

Ontario will tax sportsbooks — not sports bettors — at a 20% tax rate. So, Ontario could generate around $152 million in its first year of privatized sports betting. 

Ontario sports betting projected to generate $152 million in first year tax revenue

How Ontario Compares To Major American Markets

Our Ontario projections were based on per capita sports betting rates from two states: New York and Michigan. Ontario’s population is about 14.6 million which falls between New York’s 19.5 million and Michigan’s 10 million. New York’s first four weeks of mobile sports betting generated just under $2 billion in handle.

With figures for the Super Bowl and March Madness yet to come, New York will continue to shatter expectations. If New York averaged $2 billion per month, it could break $24 billion in handle in its first full year.     

Privatized sports betting in Ontario isn’t expected to be that dramatic. But it should perform better per capita than Michigan.

Also read: theScore Clears Another Hurdle for Ontario Sports Betting Launch

Mobile sports betting in Michigan launched in January 2021, 10 months after retail sports betting went live. Retail sports betting’s launch coincided with the 2020 COVID shutdowns, so it underperformed. Once mobile sports betting became available, most of Michigan’s handle, sportsbook revenue, and sports betting tax revenue came from mobile sports betting. 

In its first year with mobile sports betting Michigan sportsbooks collected $3.7 billion in handle — just over twice what New York sports bettors spent at their sportsbooks in the first three weeks.   

Ontario’s mature base of bettors should speed growth at the beginning of the province’s private sportsbook launch. But it doesn’t have the commodity traders turned sports bettors that likely drive New York’s large betting handle. 

However, Ontario sports betting doesn’t need to be New York to be successful. It just has to draw bettors away from the gray market and into the newly legal and taxable market.   

About the Author

Christopher Gerlacher

Christopher Gerlacher is a senior author and contributor for many different sports betting websites, sharing his expertise on the subject for readers across the continent. He's a devout Broncos fan, for better or for worse, living in the foothills of Arvada, Colorado.