A strong start
PlayNow has released its first revenue numbers for Saskatchewan’s newly regulated online gambling market, and the province more than doubled Ontario’s revenue per person when comparing their respective opening two months.
CA$31.8m (US$23.8m) in revenue during those first two months
PlayNow is the only regulated online gambling platform currently operating in Saskatchewan. A Monday release confirmed the iGaming website generated CA$31.8m (US$23.8m) in revenue during November and December 2022. This broke down to CA$14.8m (US$11.1m) in November, rising to CA$17m (US$12.7m) in December.
PlayNow also reported that its customer base in the province hit a high of 8,015 registered users, which gives an average revenue of CA$3,967 (US$2,968) per player.
Saskatchewan versus Ontario
To give some sense of how healthy PlayNow’s numbers are, we can make a comparison with Ontario, which launched its own regulated market in April 2022.
The Ontarian regulators reported CA$162.0m (US$121.2) in revenue during the first two months of its regulated online gambling market.
Saskatchewan has a population of about 1.2 million people and only two urban centers of any size (Saskatoon and Regina). Ontario on the other hand has around two dozen large urban centers and a little over 14 million people within its borders.
Scaling for population, that means Ontario generated iGaming revenue of CA$11.57 (US$8.66) per capita over its first two months. The Saskatchewanians managed CA$26.50 (US$19.82) per capita. More than double the rate per person.
What’s next for Canadian iGaming?
Canada’s online gambling market, like its US equivalent, is highly devolved. Each province decides what is legal and what gets regulated. For the last few decades, this has led to a variety of grey and black market options.
little to no competition
Legal and regulated forms of gambling online are harder to find in Canada. BCLC’s PlayNow operates in three provinces (Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and Manitoba), with little to no competition in any of them.
However, with the recent successes in Ontario and Saskatchewan—and a growing awareness of the risks of the grey and black market – onlookers expect more of Canada’s ten provinces and three territories to add iGaming to their legislative agendas in the coming years.