Ontario’s upcoming iGaming market could create 1,300 new jobs, new report finds

According to a recently released report by PlayCanada, which tracks the Canadian gaming market, nearly 1,300 jobs will be added in Ontario as a result of the impending launch of private online gambling operators, offering evidence that online gaming does not cannibalize jobs from land-based casinos. 

PlayCanada compiled data and other information from industry insiders, hiring professionals and economic experts. It includes detailed research of job listings in comparable jurisdictions. 

A recent report commissioned by a land-based casino operator suggested Ontario’s burgeoning online gambling market would have devastating effects on jobs in the province.

— Robyn with a ‘Y’ 🐝 (@birdiebent) March 28, 2022

Ontario is scheduled to be the first province to welcome private online gambling operators when online sports betting and casinos launch on April 4. Other provinces are expected to follow suit.

In addition to the expected new jobs, PlayCanada also researched the existing positions in the industry and analyzed their current availability, and how well-paid those jobs are. 

In the end, we found hundreds of opportunities related to Ontario’s online gambling expansion, with the potential for a lot more to follow in Ontario and across the country. https://t.co/bxVHKci0e4

— Robyn with a ‘Y’ 🐝 (@birdiebent) March 28, 2022

What PlayCanada found is that not only will online gambling lead to 1,295 jobs, about half of some 2,600 jobs that will come to Canada with the nationwide expansion of online gaming, many should be high-quality jobs with better-than-average compensation.

Even though not all operators looking to serve ontario are planning extensive in-market footprints, some like theScore, PointsBet Canada, BetRivers and Rivalry are.

According to PlayCanada, Pat Eichner, PBC’s senior communications director said PointsBet expects about 100 Canada-specific employees on a deck a year from launch

Rush Street Interactive’s BetRivers is also setting up shop in Toronto’s Financial District, while Rivalry has an office in the city with 25 staff, and intends to continue to hire consistently in the city after the Ontario launch.

In an official statement released by PlayCanada, its managing editor and chief co-author of the report, Robyn McNeil, said: “We have found by looking globally that online cannibalization is largely a myth, often propagated by brick-and-mortar casino operators understandably concerned that online gaming will eat into their profits. The truth is that online casinos and sportsbooks often act as a tide that lifts all boats, expanding the market to the benefit of all industry stakeholders.”

Dustin Gouker, who oversees the Play network of sites that includes PlayCanada, added: “Land-based casino operators will have to adjust, but the introduction of private online gambling operators should be a net benefit for Ontario and beyond. Ultimately, the benefit of regulated, private online gambling operators to the economy will be tangible.”

In January, a confidential report obtained by CBC News and prepared for Ontario casino market heavyweight Great Canadian Gaming, warned that Premier Doug Ford’s government could bring in $550 million less in annual revenue than initially expected, and lose $2.8 billion over five years. The forecast claims annual revenue would decrease as a result of casino patrons shifting their spending to online sites once the province begins regulating the iGaming market.