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What’s Next for Canada’s Growing Online Gambling Industry?



There’s no question that online gambling and sports betting is a big hit in Canada. In just the span of a few years, it truly exploded as new provinces joined in on the fun.

There’s no question that online gambling and sports betting is a big hit in Canada. In just the span of a few years, it truly exploded as new provinces joined in on the fun. Single-event sports betting went live in 2021, and that’s when it all started to change. Players and bettors have Bill C-218 to thank, as it single-handedly changed everything in regards to online gambling in the country. 

Even with the government trying to put restraints on it all, it’s clear that this industry’s march will continue. There are many interesting things ahead, but before we take a deep dive into stats, let’s take a look at the facts. 

Billions in Wagers Annually 

The slew of online gambling options on the market—mainly driven by Ontario—has got players hooked up. A massive advertising push in the sports betting sector featuring celebrities and experts tied it altogether. Online gaming sites such as Comeon casino offer the best of both worlds, capitalizing on the lax laws in Canada. Players have flocked to online casinos and sportsbooks like never before, and it’s easy to see why. The lights online are simply brighter than the land-based venues. 

After years of not going for it, the Canadian government finally decided to let provinces license online casinos. It was done after extensive research as the government realized they could be profitable revenue generators. So far, the gamble is paying off.  

According to official market reports, total wagers in Ontario during the first year of legalizing the business have gone over $35.5 billion, with $1.4 billion in reported gaming revenue. The market saw 45 licensed operators running 76 gaming websites, with over 1.5 million player accounts. All those numbers are even more impressive when you see that the total wagers don’t include promotional wagers. 

It’s clear that Canadians love having fun, but the online gambling explosion has also led to many calling for bans or restrictions. The government has heard their voices. Starting from February 2024, it will be impossible for operators to use celebrities or athletes in their ads. That should minimize the impact of said ads on the younger population. The numbers as active young players on the market have been soaring, and it needs to be put under control. While popular, online gambling is no joke. Gambling problems are far more prevalent than in the land-based industry, as everyone has access to the Internet and a device they can use to bet online. 

Everywhere you look there are betting odds or ads for online casinos. Hockey Night in Canada is full of betting odds which have sparked the online betting ‘epidemic’. The government is reaping the rewards, and players finally have a chance to bet and play online. It seems like a win-win for everyone, although the dangers of gambling addiction still lurk. 

Technology Drives Everything Forward 

Just like everywhere else around the world, technology is the thing that drives everything forward. The online gambling industry is fully dependent on it. We’re not just talking about technological game improvements. New banking technology will make it even easier to place bets at online gambling sites, driving even more traffic to the crowded industry. Innovation is key in this particular industry, and online gambling and tech advances are linked to one another. 

In the future, the gambling industry will be more independent and wealthier than ever before. Slowly, but surely, the online gambling industry is taking over the gambling throne. More and more money from online gambling is fattening provincial budgets, and leaders can spend that money smartly to improve the life of its citizens. 

Mobile gambling apps are already a hit, but they will even get better in the future. Experts believe that wearables will be the next big thing. So will cryptocurrency payments. Everything is shaping up for a better future in this growing industry, especially with AI and machine learning advancements right around the corner. AI is supposed to help the tech industry transition into a whole new era. Virtual and augmented reality will also be a driving factor in the future of online gambling in Canada, as gaming sites look at land-based venues in the back mirror. 

More Control is Needed 

While online casinos are supposed to have responsible gambling pages with guides and tools, experts feel that the government must be proactive to the dangers of gambling among the youth. In short, more control is needed and required by many organizations that protect the vulnerable. Online gambling is great in the fact that you don’t need to leave your home to play your favorite games or bet on sports online. However, that increased accessibility is also the reason that fuels the problem gambling epidemic. 

Canada’s gambling wave didn’t have any major restrictions right off the bat. According to studies, young people are far more likely to recognize gambling brands than alcohol, tobacco, or cannabis brands. That’s not a surprise, as the latter have much tighter ad restrictions. That has caused concern among experts, resulting in gambling ad restrictions. They were fun and some of them truly deserve an applause, but ads have hyper-commercialized online gambling in Canada, and that’s a problem. 

Let’s be clear about it – the government won’t let its golden goose walk away. But, operators will need to be more creative amid stricter rules to advertise their operations. Athletes and celebrities won’t be allowed on posters and billboards anymore. The next step is probably restricting gambling ads to a certain timeframe (probably after 22:00). It won’t tighten the revenue, but should protect the young and vulnerable. 

Whatever the strategy, though, the online gambling march will never stop. It’s pretty clear that it’s a lucrative industry with plenty to show. Virtual reality is getting closer and closer, and that’s where this booming industry is heading. Maybe ads won’t be restricted in the virtual place depending on regulation. It’s definitely a bright future for the gambling industry, and one that Canadians will embrace with open hands. 

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