What Is the Potential Growth of the Canadian Gambling Market?

February 26, 2024
What Is the Potential Growth of the Canadian Gambling Market?

Canada has a sizable gambling market, with a projected revenue of US$4.19 billion by 2024. Both online and retail betting is popular among residents, having been present in some form in the country for hundreds of years. In the last 30 years or so, the pastime has grown exponentially, thanks to an increase in the number of casinos and the legalization of online gambling, including online casinos and sportsbooks. Despite already being very commonplace across Canada, the gambling market is set to continue its upward trajectory.

The Current Gambling Landscape in Canada

The gambling industry in Canada as of 2024 is progressive, complex, and always evolving. Technically, gambling is not legal across the country, but instead can be made legal by provincial governments, as is the case in Ontario or British Columbia, home to some of the newest casinos in Canada. This means that casinos or online gambling providers must comply with local laws, which differ from province to province, in order to operate legally. Gambling can be a tricky thing to navigate, therefore, as some regions will have strict rules in place, whilst others are more open.

There are some areas of Canada where many forms of gambling are not yet legal, such as in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. However, there are provinces that are taking steps to oversee and encourage responsible gambling. In Ontario, the iGaming market is booming thanks to regulatory bodies like iGaming Ontario and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

One of the biggest shifts to the gambling landscape in Canada was the passing of the C-218 bill. Effectively, this legalized single game betting, which is a type of wager placed in sports betting, in-person or online. It gave more power to provincial governments in regulating gambling, as well as enabling private gaming operators to offer more to their players. Already, the C-218 bill, which passed in 2021, has had a huge impact on the industry, and we’ll likely see even more progress as a result in coming years.

The Benefits to Players and Operators

The progression of the gambling market in Canada carries with it many benefits to both players and gaming providers. For one, it has made gambling much more accessible to the Canadian population, in particular when it comes to casino games and sportsbooks. People who may have previously not visited a casino or had much interest in gambling will not download apps and be able to experience games like roulette, poker, and slot machines.

In addition to a higher percentage of the population taking part in iGaming, the increased legalization has also led to tourism benefits. Lots of people like to indulge in a casino experience when on holiday, and those who live in countries where gambling is heavily restricted even travel to regions for the purpose of gambling legally. As the market in Canada continues to expand and evolve, it’s certain that many more benefits like this will start to unfold.

When it comes to game operators, the growth of the industry has led to better regulation and safety measures. For example, one of the main features of iGaming Ontario is to provide a list of licensed gambling providers, which players can refer to when looking for safe and secure ways to game. Ontario based gambling sites and apps that appear on this site can benefit from having a stellar reputation and thus drawing in more customers.

The Future of the Canadian Gambling Market

In the past, many felt as though the gambling market in Canada was being underserved, and that its true potential had not yet been tapped into. Although in some ways this may still be true, it’s clear to see that the industry is changing rapidly, and becoming more accommodating of modern forms of gambling and of the demand for fewer limitations on the activity.

For a long time, iGaming was not even an option anywhere in the country, whereas now it’s commonplace in multiple provinces. Having said that, it is definitely still in its infancy. In 2024 and beyond, it’s likely that a big focus will be placed on emerging technologies and the role they can play in online gambling. One such example is the integration of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in sectors of iGaming such as online casinos.

In terms of growth, the sky’s the limit. The market is set to see an annual growth rate of 6.84% by 2028, which goes hand in hand with a huge projected market volume of $5.46 billion. Although this is not as high as figures in the United States, for instance, it’s impressive considering how new the industry is.

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