PokerStars has retaken the top spot for cash game activity in Ontario ahead of WSOP’s much-awaited launch, pokerfuse can exclusively reveal.
According to data collected by GameIntel, available on Poker Industry PRO's unique Data platform, PokerStars Ontario reported a 30-day moving average of concurrent cash game players of 196. This helps it surpass BetMGM Poker Ontario Network, which is currently averaging 181 seats.
The two networks have been jostling for the number one spot half a dozen times, ever since PokerStars went live in the province, but this month, the red spade giant took the honors back.
PokerStars launched legally in the regulated Ontario market in late June. Before its launch, the BetMGM Poker Ontario Network, which also hosts skins partypoker and bwin on its player pool, was leading the market and far ahead of 888poker. However, it only took a couple of weeks for Flutter’s online poker room to overtake its competitors, though it has faced stiff competition since then.
The BetMGM Network, which has no history of operating beyond the US markets, fought back and snatched the pole position from PokerStars. While both networks swapped places on multiple occasions, BetMGM peaked at 276 seats on a single-day moving average in late August — the largest for any network in the province.
Since then, BetMGM’s traffic spike has waned and dropped by 13% on a 30-day moving average. This drop helped PokerStars regain the top spot rather than seeing sharp growth. It has maintained 195 to 205 concurrent cash game seats for over a month, representing just over 50% of the market.
Meanwhile, 888poker Ontario, the underdog in the province, is hovering around 40 seats and has seen little growth since its launch. It holds a market share of about 11%.
Ontario Online Poker Market Will Proliferate with the Launch of WSOP.ca
But the Ontario online poker market is about to increase as the much-anticipated WSOP Ontario app powered by GGPoker will go live tomorrow. Currently, the site is still serving the province from its offshore license — allowing Ontarians to compete with the rest of the world.
That will change from tomorrow as the new platform under the WSOP branding will be segregated and confined to players from the province only. This means that the de facto two-tiered system, which had been created, will end as Ontarians will no longer have access to the global player pool.
This will create a fair environment with all operators now operating in a ring-fenced pool with no access to the international network. GG was the sole beneficiary of the global shared player pool, so this will bring more players to other networks. shared player pool.
But once all the operators come in a restricted Ontario-only network, GGPoker (from tomorrow on, WSOP Ontario) will lose that advantage, and the player pool will be spread across multiple rooms.
Currently, the total combined player pool for real money Ontario online poker is averaging over 400 concurrent cash game seats based on a thirty-day moving average — making it more extensive than any of the three US markets.
The addition of WSOP Ontario will add a minimum of 200 players, bringing the entire network to 600 cash game seats filled.
But it would still be far from its peak. Online poker sees much more activity during winter as players seek more at-home entertainment options as the warm weather subsides.
Second, another network is expected to launch in Ontario as Playtech confirmed its plans to launch an iPoker network in the province with its NorthStar skin. Bet365 and Coolbet may also join the network by the end of the year or early 2023.
Once that happens, Ontarians will have seven to ten online poker rooms to choose from — making it one of the most competitive closed online poker markets. The cash game traffic could support well over 800 concurrent cash game seats towards the new year.
Learn more about Canada’s hottest regulated market in our Ontario Online Poker Reviews »