PokerStars Maintains Lead in Fierce Ontario Online Poker Market PokerStars Maintains Lead in Fierce Ontario Online Poker Market

PokerStars is showing who’s the boss in the regulated Ontario online poker market. In the last few weeks, the operator has stretched its lead over WSOP.ca, holding the crown position for six weeks in a row.

Cash game traffic statistics tracked by independent monitor GameIntel and available exclusively to pokerfuse and on the PRO platform currently show PokerStars Ontario is filling an average of close to 300 concurrent seats, while the former number one network in the province, WSOP Ontario, is reporting just over 200 seats.

PokerStars reported its strongest position in the province last week when its traffic, based on a seven-day moving average, touched 313 seats — its all-time high. At the time of writing, the network boasts the largest traffic in the entire North American regulated market. It has even more players than the shared liquidity networks of WSOP US and its counterpart PokerStars US.

Data provided by GameIntel
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Last verified: Feb 2023
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The network currently holds a market share of 42% in Ontario and has a 40% gap over its rival.

WSOP Ontario, which runs on GGPoker’s software, has held second place, boasting 209 players, enough to take a market share of 30%. Though currently, it is sitting comfortably at the second position, last month, it was neck-and-neck with BetMGM, with the pair trading places twice.

Ontario Online Poker Rooms and Their Market Share

Operator Market Share
PokerStars 42%
WSOP 30%
BetMGM 22%
888poker 6%

BetMGM Poker Ontario Network, comprising three skins including partypoker, bwin, and BetMGM itself, spent a brief period as the room with the most cash game traffic in Ontario last month, but for now, it has to settle for third place. It is currently reporting a seven-day moving average of 157 seats at its cash game tables, with a market share of 22%.

Further down the rankings, 888poker — the first entrant to the market, has stayed in the bottom, averaging 30 to the upper 40s. It represents a mere 6% of the Ontario cash game market.

Ontario Online Poker Market Combined Traffic Every Month Since Market Launch

Month 888poker BetMGM PokerStars WSOP Total
Apr 46 15 61
May 36 107 143
June 35 119 154
July 10 127 152 289
Aug 36 197 192 425
Sept 40 194 192 426
Oct 43 135 231 333 742
Nov 38 181 260 363 842
Dec 20 167 261 191 639
Jan 28 155 310 205 698

The Battleground for the Pole Position

The real money Ontario online poker market opened in early April. It has proven to be a combat zone for three of the four networks in the province, with PokerStars, WSOP, and BetMGM battling for the pole position on many occasions.

The Ontario poker market peaked at an average of over 850 in November but is now down to around 700. Still, the overall market is up by almost 10% compared to last month.

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Last verified: Feb 2023
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The downfall can be attributed to a single operator. While PokerStars, BetMGM, and 888poker have stabilized, WSOP Ontario has lost half of its traffic. From its peak of over 435 seats seen in October, WSOP.ca’s traffic has gradually seen its player base fall to an average of 178 seats in December — its lowest point since its launch. The drop in the traffic could be due to the WSOP Winter Online Circuit tournament series that would have pulled away cash game players to tournaments.

Once the series ended, the network slightly picked up players in January, seeing an uptick of 21% from its all-time low. It still has a decent lead over BetMGM, leading by 33%. Meanwhile, 888 has remained at the bottom for most of its history. Despite being the first to enter the market, it has been trailing since May. The network hit a record high of 58 in its launch month but has yet to breach the 50-mark since.

Although it has not been competitive in the cash game segment, the network has some ambitious guarantees in the tournament field. Its Sunday flagship tournament boasts $30,000 for a buy-in of $109 and is the only room to run Mystery Bounty tournaments in the province.