How the American sports betting industry compares to Canada 

woman holding a mobile phone with sports betting website in the screen

Both Canada and the USA have thriving sports betting industries. In Canada, the draw for fans to visit venues and make a wager is a strong part of the business. In America, supporters are also keen to watch their favorite teams compete and make bets on their progress. 

Sports betting in Canada and the US

In Canada, the most popular sport to bet on is ice hockey. The NHL brings in the majority of profits in Canada’s sports betting industry. Most of this was from land-based stadiums. 

Indeed, Canadian sports betting made $242 million in 2019, 39% of which was made in land-based venues. 

In the US, American football, baseball and basketball are the most popular sports. Land-based stadiums and venues are important across North America as a safe place to make a wager on the outcome of sporting events. 

However, the overturning of tight restrictions on sports betting in the US in 2018 has seen new opportunities for online sports betting. Both fans and providers are now looking online for how to place bets securely and conveniently.  

The appeal of College Basketball in the US 

In recent years college basketball has become a popular sport for American supporters to make a wager on. Fans betting on college basketball love to take in the excitement of the college game. 

A massive part of the appeal of college basketball is the famous March Madness. March Madness refers to the time of year when the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s and Women’s basketball tournaments take place. 

Usually running from mid-March through to the start of April, the knock-out tournaments see 68 teams trying to survive each game to reach the final. 

Teams are divided into four separate regions and are ranked based on their likelihood to do well. They are bracketed into a possible path to reach the final based on possible outcomes on the matches. 

Trying to work out which team will do well and reach the final is a massive draw for many sports fans.  The tournaments are a big part of the success of college basketball in the US. Millions of people fill out predictions based on the games, and some attempt to guess every single result. 

The Future of Sports Betting in Canada and the US

Canada’s sports betting industry has changed recently with the legalization of single-game sports betting. This clears up an area that was in the past confusing for fans to navigate. 

The new laws regulate a market that could grow to bring in an estimated $25 billion every year. 

The market in the US saw legal changes over there years ago, which regulated making wagers on sports. This meant that many Canadians placed bets with unregulated off-shore operators. 

With the new regulations in place, Canadian regions will benefit from properly taxed and accounted for profits from sports betting. 

A report from earlier in the year showed that the biggest driver to increased profits in the Canadian sports betting market will be online. No regulated online sports betting providers were previously in Canada. Now there will be new opportunity to invest and grow.

Online sports betting in Canada

It is predicted that as much as 80% of future Canadian profits from sports betting will come from online operators. 

A big difference between the Canadian market and the American one is that Canada could see more laws and a partially closed model.

 The USA has more of an open business model. This could see more of the profits from gambling in Canada go to the government. 

It is also expected to benefit local areas and continue the evolution of sports betting. More jobs and advantages for communities are part of the appeal to governments looking to move forward with sports engagement.  

The American Model 

American sports fans have placed over $65 billion in sports bets since 2018 when state limitations on sports gambling were overruled. 

The sector has also seen an explosion in online betting. Almost half of all US states now have online betting ready to play, with more expected to join in the future.

If Canada looks at what the sports betting industry in the USA has done since 2018, the signs are good for a healthy business model. 

The proliferation of new deals emerging between media owners and online sports betting providers in the US showcases what the new sports betting landscape could look like. 

While Canada business expansion may include tighter controls to mass expansion than the US, the benefits could well mirror what has been seen over the border. 

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