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Research: Over half of Ontario sports bettors used grey market apps previously

A study conducted by affiliate Betting Hero shows that 51% of Ontario sports bettors have used a grey market mobile sportsbook before the province launched legal and regulated sports betting in April 2022.

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Grey market apps/websites are defined as betting platforms that were not overseen by government authorities.

The study also revealed that 25% of Ontario bettors show interest in new sports betting apps because of the ongoing promotions, and 31% of them stated that the biggest issue they met was funding their accounts, as well as the slow withdrawal times.

Betting Hero President Jai Maw commented: “Betting Hero’s latest sports betting and iGaming assessment reveals that Ontario is understandably still grappling with its grey market past. Sports bettors in Canada have noticeably different betting behaviors than their American counterparts. They’re less attracted to, and in many cases less aware of, 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 grey market. Legacy US and European sports betting companies entering Ontario could greatly benefit from tailoring their marketing and retention strategies, to meet the unique needs of the Canadian consumer and regulatory environment.” 

Although there are differences when it comes to betting preferences, the study shows that Canadian and US consumers share an interest in certain sports; with 61% of Ontario bettors and 94% of New Jersey bettors expressing interest in NFL, 57% of Ontario bettors and 74% of New Jersey bettors being interested in NBA, and 44% of bettors from Ontario and 50% of bettors from New Jersey expressing their interest in NHL hockey.

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