Ontario's Online Gambling Fiscal Projections Revised

in Lottery

The online gambling market in Canada’s three jurisdictions that offer legal betting via the internet has been struggling to compete with other available gambling websites. Efforts have been made to attract punters to the legal government sites but with limited results.

Ontario began offering online betting recently and has claimed it is a great success. Projections were provided by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) said reforms to the system would provide an extra C$1.26b annually by 2017-18.

Now the company has revised its projected contribution to the coffers in Ontario downward by 30 percent now saying, annual revenue would go up by only $889 million CND by the fiscal year 2021-22.

Ontario’s auditor general also trashed the administration of the OLG for its financial projections for the PlayOLG.ca online gambling sector. Launched back in January of 2015 its projected financial goal was way out of line with the actual results. The OLG expected a profit of $100m for 2015-16 but the reality was merely $15m CND. The OLG administration is lowering its expectations a great deal with projected earnings in the online casino sector now pegged at $25m CND, even with plans to launch a mobile casino application in March of this year. The auditor general of the province has suggested that this reduced estimate “might be overstated.”

The internet betting market looks to have settled down to a predicable trend. The auditor general was now motivated to “question the optimism” of the projected profit. The auditor general suggested the corporation “underestimated the influence of the grey market [internationally licensed online sites] on Ontario players.”

A recent request was made by the OLG for information seeking advice on developing a “new player platform” to “improve the ways it connects with customers online and at retail.” A new platform would “add to OLG’s existing digital presence by enhancing capability in areas like player registration, responsible gambling controls and player accounts.”