A recent study by Betting Hero, a FansUnite company, has found that 51% of all Ontario sports bettors used a gray market mobile sportsbook before the province legalized sports betting in April. A gray market is a betting market where customers place wagers via sites that are not overseen by government authorities.
Betting Hero conducts monthly digital assessments that compare sports betting and iGaming companies through the lens of the consumer. Betting Hero’s new study investigated the legacy impact that Ontario’s gray market made on the province’s burgeoning legal sports betting sector.
Its main findings were that: 51% of bettors had used a gray market mobile sportsbook before Ontario’s legal launch; 25% of Ontario bettors would try a new sport betting app because of promotions and 38% of Ontario sports bettors list bet365 (which operated in the province’s gray market) as their preferred betting platform.
One interesting statistic from these findings is the relatively small number of Ontarians enticed by promotions; the amount is roughly half of the 51% of New Jersyans and 49% of New Yorkers who said they would be enticed.
Other noteworthy stats from the study found that Ontarian bettors cited payments as their ‘biggest headache’ in the newly regulated market – with 31% complaining about funding issues and slow withdrawals. In New York, only 13% of bettors complained about the same issues, which implies the operations of the market have yet to get into gear.
Betting Hero President Jai Maw commented: “Betting Hero’s latest assessment reveals that Ontario is understandably still grappling with its gray market past. Sports bettors in Canada have noticeably different betting behaviors than their American counterparts. They’re less attracted to available promotions and are seemingly more loyal to their preferred sportsbook.
“Unfortunately for new entrants to Ontario’s emerging legal sports betting market, that loyalty seems to be heavily weighted in favor of companies previously operating in Ontario’s gray market.”