Online betting in Canada: Market Overview

Online betting in Canada

It is time for online gamblers in Canada to rejoice as legalization goes in favour of them. Last year sports betting was legalized in Ontario and further changes have come by this year. All this is exciting news for Canadians who were betting on international sites till now.

Sports Betting Becomes Legal in Ontario

Those who love sports and are enjoying the comeback of their favourite games in the stadiums have reason to rejoice further, for instance, if you are in Ontario. This province has made sports betting legal, the local laws being passed last year. Bill C-218 was passed last June for online betting Canada, in sports. Till now Canadians were betting in the grey market, registering themselves at licensed international sites. However, that always made withdrawing your wins subject to certain limitations and all that becomes easier with the passing of this bill, for those in Toronto.

This bill makes sports betting legal in this state of Canada. The federal ban has been removed from sports betting. It also lays the path forward for other kinds of gambling such as futures or single-game bets. For instance, you could place a bet on the Stanley Cup before the season begins which is what a futures bet is all about. Or you could look at single-game bets such as placing a bet on whether the Leafs will beat the Lightning in tonight’s game.

Ontario has become the first Canadian province to launch a regulated regime for sports betting. With this regulation in place, many sportsbooks have already opened business here. This province has apopulation of about 15 million. As a result, Ontario expects to generate about $800 million in revenue from online sports betting. This follows the trend set by America. With a similar bill that was passed in the US in the year 2018, today there are about 30 states in the US which have legalized sports betting.

More Online Opportunities

Operators now have high hopes after iGaming Ontario has come into force. This is the largest province in Canada to have legalized sports betting in online gambling. Operators are hoping to cash in on this opportunity as this province has opened up the world of online gambling to them. People in this province can easily wager on different sporting events, gambling activities such as casino games, tournaments and more. Since the legislation was formed, already twenty-five operators have set up shop and registered with the gaming authority.

It will take a while for all registration entries to start their online operations. It is also expected that the operators who are participating will grow in number. This is as per the Alcohol and Gaming Commission, Ontario which is the main regulator here. Many website operators have already got their advertising campaigns ramped up to catch the attention of potential users. For instance, PointsBet Canada is one such website. It has been working on a marketing campaign before it opens its doors to the Canadian citizens. Curling Canada has already partnered with this company and they are planning several ads and videos with Trailer Park Boys. That is a good choice since the regulator will not condone ads with celebrities whose shows are watched by minors. Similarly Canuck, a renowned comedy group will be hosting a personal VIP party for the launch of the site in the province.

The launch of PointsBet in Toronto is a significant one for the brand. This company already has a presence in several US states where online gambling has been made legal. The spokesperson of the company stated that this launch is equivalent to establishing a presence in this country. Ontario will serve both as a mecca and base for sports betting for Canadian operators. It is therefore; best to establish their brand as a prominent player in this segment.

The Previous State of Affairs

Ontario had online gambling before also, as did other provinces in Canada. However, with the absence of local legislation, these were mostly international licensed sites. These were sites that operated from other countries or gained entry through Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. This organization also launched a sportsbook last year after single-event betting in sports was legalized by the federal government.

Having its own regulated gambling market online will help generate revenues as well as protect consumers. They will have safer choices for gambling as well. PointsBet Canada is one of the first operators to open its doors in this region. It could also be because this company has a team that includes 50 Canadians.

Gambling Companies That Are Opening Doors in Canada

Besides PointsBet Canada, BetRivers is another company that is close behind. Richard Schwartz is CEO of the company and he stated that they had hired a separate team of people in Toronto to start operations in Ontario. It is an important move for this company since it represents a large jurisdiction in this country. The site has run ads to announce the launch of the sports betting and casino site for Canada on national television. This was done along with the Winter Olympics so that people would get familiar with the casino brand.

Another Canadian brand is ScoreBet which is also rolling out a series of advertisements featuring popular Canadian actors. The company also plans to have launch parties for their fans in the city.

Impact on Land-Based Casinos

Land-based casinos however fear the impact that this would have on their revenues. They also feel that they face higher taxes which will make them lose out on customers. A report was prepared for Great Canadian Gaming, a prominent casino operator in this area which projects that many jobs could get impacted and revenue lost as online venues open up. As many casino owners, as well as unions, are concerned, many politicians in the opposition are voicing their concerns. To put such fears to rest, the government has stated that the iGaming regulations will help regulate online venues which will complement the existing land-based casinos. Existing land-based casinos can now have a legal online presence and increase their revenue generation avenues.

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