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The Growth of Online Casino Gaming in Canada

Online casinos have had significant growth worldwide over the last several years. Key among the reasons why is that these casinos are now capable of offering the human touch that could only be provided by brick and motor casinos. And on top of that, they have lots of innovative games that let you enjoy the casino experience right from the comfort of your home. In Canada, specifically, online casinos have come a long way. The country has been through various legalization processes, changes in regulations, and societal perceptions, among others.

But one thing that is clear is that the industry is now thriving. But how did it all come to be? Today, we’ll take you through the various online casino growth processes in the country. The article is based on our interview with Benard Maumo from OnlineCasinoRank, a site that ranks online casinos by country, games, features, promotions, etc.

Regulatory Framework and Legalization

Just like most countries, when online casino gaming started in the mid-1990s, Canada had no laws that regulated the sector. However, as the industry started becoming popular, with lots of Canadians gaming with offshore sites, it attracted the attention of authorities. And in 1996, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) was established. The commission’s purpose was to regulate and license companies that wanted to or offered online gaming in the region. Lots of operators in the country obtained these and use them till today.

In view of the growth of the industry, Parliament granted provinces the authority to conduct and manage online gambling within their border in 2010. And in 2021, the government passed the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act to permit single-event sports betting across the country. This means that online gaming is permitted, but only if it is under the oversight of a provincial authority. However, over the last several years, there have been calls for the government to pass a framework that regulates online gaming and sports betting in the whole country.

The Rise of Canadian Online Casinos: Provincial Initiatives

After the KGC was established and the market started growing, other provinces also noticed the potential. And to both protect consumers and generate revenue, they launched their own gaming commissions and legalized gaming.

The first of these was British Columbia in 2004. But apart from regulating the market, it also launched its own online gaming platform, PlayNow. Other provinces that have since launched theirs are Alberta, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Those that regulate third-party operators are New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.

One of the latest to launch its platform is Saskatchewan, which launched SaskCasino in June 2022. This continued trend illustrates the popularity of online casinos in the country. This popularity can be attributed to several factors:

  • Convenience: Online casinos don’t require you to travel anywhere. As long as you have a mobile phone and an internet connection, you are good to go.
  • Variety of games: Online casinos have lots of games that you can play. When you check out any of them, you’ll find all popular games, including slots, blackjack, roulette, and video poker. These casinos also have variations of these games, and live casinos have live dealers that bring that human-touch right to your screen.
  • Bonuses & Promotions: Online casinos are well known for their attractive bonuses and promotions. To get you to join, a casino will offer you enticements such as a deposit bonus, a welcome bonus, free spins, etc. There are also loyalty programs to get you to stay.
  • Flexible Betting Options: Unlike traditional casinos, online casinos offer players a wide range of betting options. They can also wager small amounts till they are comfortable. And if everything is all new, you can even practice for free.

Challenges & Concerns

Online gaming in Canada has grown substantially over the year. However, there are still some challenges and concerns. The first one is that it is not legal in the entire country. And as each province has its own rules and licensing requirements, it’s not easy for operators to operate countrywide.

Besides this, offshore operators are also illegal in the country. For an online casino to operate legally in Canada, it has to be licensed to do so. But despite this, lots of users still game with international platforms to enjoy a wide range of games and bonuses. But since these are online platforms, it’s not easy to regulate online casinos by country. A good starting point would be to harmonize rules and regulations, although this has its own challenges.

Last Updated on by Icy Canada Team


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