Explicating the historical growth of the Canadian online casino market.
Internet gambling is a multi-billion dollar business – one of the most lucrative eCommerce industries in the world. The most successful campaigns exist in regulated markets, where laws protect players and competition between operators is encouraged, but there aren’t too many of those. Next are the ‘grey market’ regions, like Canada, where iGaming is only legal by default. And by that I mean it’s not illegal, therefore it’s legal.
A statement like that might raise eyebrows. How safe can it be for Canadians to partake in a market their own government has such a minimal grasp of? What’s kept the industry so safe are the operators who are licensed in those heavily regulated jurisdictions, and who openly welcome Canada’s players to their secure websites. That’s the short version of why we’ve seen such…
Immense Growth in the Canada Online Casino Market
Safety and security are – as they should be – the number one priority for Canada’s online gamblers. Residents of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec can get this at home, playing on the well-regulated iGaming portals of their provincial government, and many do. But many more choose to take their gaming to the secure websites of strictly regulated international operators for one simple reason – choice.
Those provinces above do offer a home-grown online casino, but there’s only one per province. Each portal offers one, limited selection of games. Some are happy enough with the selection they’re given, but others want more. International operators represent just that – a virtually unlimited number of games.
We can choose an operator that presents the games we like best; one that employs the software we enjoy most; one that promotes the bonuses we find most attractive. Freedom of choice is something Canada has never taken away from us – despite the political push of some provincial leaders (ahem-Quebec-ahem), and it’s just another reason the Canada internet casino market has grown exponentially over the last two decades.
In more recent years, interest in online gambling has risen primarily due to two factors – hope that single-event sports would be legalized, and trepidation over visiting land-based casinos since the nation’s government gave them the green light to re-open. That second was is a no-brainer, but the sports betting aspect is one that’s been grinding people’s gears for two years.
Still No Movement on Canada Sports Betting Bill
In 2018, the US government suddenly reverse its opinion of sports betting, giving all 50 states the option to legalize and regulate pretty much any form of sports wagering they saw fit. The people of Canada have been able to bet on sports for decades now, but only multi-pick parlays (a.k.a. accumulators) were legal, and only through each province’s sports lottery.
When the US redacted its 26 year old PASPA law, Canadians immediately looked to their government to expand the laws here at home. Some politicians took up the charge, organizing bills to legalize betting on single events. Despite an estimation of $14 billion in wagers going to overseas bookies, the bill stalled.
Those who were previously complacent with their pro-line picks suddenly felt they deserved more. And when their own government failed to provide it, countless Canadians took to the international market to get their fix. The same Canada online casino market that had been satisfying customers for so many years was just as capable as providing online sports betting services.