Online gambling across the world shows the tendency of growing and strengthening its positions. Is that the case for Canada as well? KeyToCasinos explores the peculiarities of the Canadian gambling system and the possibilities of its development in the future.
The country is among the leaders of the industry, as over 18 million Canadians gamble actively. Such interest to this leisure contributed to Canada being number eight in online gaming. Furthermore, several provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Saskatchewan) operate state-owned online casino sites, and it is a reasonable decision that encourages players to gamble onshore rather than offshore.
Such a practice seems to be successful, and we can see this in the example of Ontario
Being the most populated in Canada, roughly 90% of citizens gamble at least once in a year. This province is also among the areas with the biggest number of casinos.
Considering all these facts, it is not surprising that the province is number one in the quantity of total gross win in Canada. According to H2GC, the total gross win for both land-based and online gambling composed C$6.67 and C$6.95m in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Among the country’s provinces, Ontario hit a record $2.5 billion from casinos and online gambling sites: “Ontario Lottery and Gaming" says its net profit to the province was $2.49 billion in the 2017-18 fiscal year, an increase of more than five percent from the previous year.”
Land-based play continues to prevail in the province, but interactive gambling keeps growing its popularity. Thus, online betting composed 6.7% of the total gross win in 2015, and it has increased by 0.5% to 2019.
What is interesting, the share of the onshore gross win in the total one grows rapidly. In 2015, only 2.2% of the total gross win in interactive betting came from onshore gambling. This figure has increased to an impressive 18.3% in 2019, and further significant growth is predicted in the future.
The future of the gambling industry in Canada is still unsure. The government seems to understand the need for improvement, but it has not announced any specific legislation changes yet. However, based on the H2GC research that includes the prognosis for the upcoming years, we can predict the steady growth of online gaming in the country and the increase of the share of interactive betting in the total gross win. Thus, the gross win from online gambling composed 9% of the total gross win in 2019. This figure is expected to grow to 10% by 2024.
Onshore vs Offshore
The Canadian government will probably take more steps to encourage players to choose onshore rather than offshore casinos, especially if to consider offshore gross win and compare it to the onshore one in 2019 (C$1 211,1m to C$422,1m). H2GC predictions also demonstrate that onshore gross win will increase by 51.9% in the next five years. At the same time, the offshore gross win will grow only by 7.8% during the same period. Therefore, the share of onshore gambling in interactive betting may compose 32.7% in 2024 (compared to 25.8% in 2019).
Will single-event betting be legalized in the nearest future?
Currently, players can make bets on multiple sports events, while single-event bets are still prohibited.
However, Canadian legislators have recently started to discuss the changes in the law system in order to expand sports betting options in Canada.
The necessity for a change of the legislation has become even more urgent recently after the legislative push in the United States. Thus, it is more possible to place bets on single sports events (e.g. a separate football match) in the US. This means that Canadians can take advantage of new sports betting opportunities in Michigan, which is close to the border, while Canada will be in losing position.
"Our government is aware of the recent changes to the legal frameworks for legalized gambling in the United States, which have produced consequences on both sides of the border. We continue to monitor the situation, as well as meet with and hear from individuals and groups that have been affected," said Rachel Rappaport.
However, gambling issues do not seem to be among the immediate priorities of the government:
"Minister Lametti was honored to receive his mandate letter in December, which outlines the immediate priorities he has been tasked with. Reforms to gambling laws are not included as part of these immediate priorities," adds Rappaport in her interview.
Therefore, the perspective of the upcoming changes in the gambling legislation is unclear now, but there is always a possibility that consequences of changes in the US will encourage Canadian legislators to think in this direction.
Canada is known for being one of the most cryptocurrency-friendly countries in the world, so there is nothing strange that this payment method for deposits and withdrawals is popular among players.
As Canada seems to lead the way in blockchain gaming, many casinos that accept players from this country have already integrated opportunities to use cryptocurrencies to play games, and this tendency will get even more elaborate in the future.