In recent years, Canada has become one of the undisputed leaders in the online casino market, with its overall value representing over C$30 billion per annum. And this figure is expected to balloon in the next few years, with gamblers increasingly choosing online casinos over their land-based cousins.
It’s safe to say that the online casino industry is experiencing an upward trajectory. But what conditions make the Canadian market so successful? And why are people turning their backs on the traditional brick and mortar casino?
Liberal Regulations and Relaxed Laws
Canada previously had relatively hardline regulations when it came to online gambling. It used to be illegal for companies to have their online headquarters within Canadian borders. However online casinos have discovered a workaround by basing their operations in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal and offering their services to Canadians from there.
Playcasinos.ca founder Adam Nadeau says that online casinos which are legitimate and regulated by a third-party government authority will usually have the appropriate licenses and software certificates on full display. If you do not find these at first glance, it doesn’t necessarily mean the casino isn’t legit; however, you should proceed with caution and do your due diligence before depositing money.
Some of the most common licenses for Canadian casinos include the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC). Cross-check with their websites to ensure you’re gambling with a legit operation.
Individual players have more rights and are essentially free to roam. Canada offers players some of the most relaxed gambling laws, especially when compared to the United States. If the player isn’t happy with the Canadian online casinos on offer, they can go abroad to try their luck. Of course, players need to be a little more careful, as licenses are not always as easy to identify.
Improved Internet Speeds
Canada’s reputation for poor internet speeds is eroding. This improved level of service has come as a result of Canada’s efforts to transform the country’s internet and mobile infrastructure. Users are now able to enjoy gameplay that most would deem as more than satisfactory, with the gameplay experience seen as enjoyable and generally controllable.
Contrary to users in the United States, for example, most Canadians who live in rural areas have access to decent broadband speeds. And according to a February 2020 report released by OpenSignal, Canada now ranks 25th when it comes to the mobile games experience, comfortably placing the Canucks in OpenSignal’s ‘Good’ category (‘Excellent’, the next tier, only has four representatives). Canada’s North American counterparts, the USA and Mexico, rank 35th and 61st, respectively.
Online casino games that are painfully slow for users in Uzbekistan (the unfortunate bottom of the table country, according to OpenSignal) are quick to load and offer smooth gameplay for users in Canada. This is hugely important for the online casino industry, as it significantly increases the number of people that are able to play. Playing a quick round of poker while on your morning commute, for example, is now a viable option.
Greater Selection of Games
Online casinos used to offer an experience that was noticeably inferior compared to land-based options. Games were pixelated, slow to load, and live casinos (where you play with an actual dealer via a video link) were rare and often subpar experiences.
Online casinos were interesting as a novelty, but not as a go-to gambling option. That’s changed, especially in recent years. Growing popularity has encouraged casinos to improve the online experience. Talented developers are turning to online casinos for exciting and lucrative job options in growing numbers.
In short, online casinos now offer a legit entertainment experience. It’s as close as you can get to the real thing, and many players will claim that it’s superior to land-based options.
Increase in Number of Mobile Gamers
The online casino industry is reaping the benefits of a sharp rise in the number of Canadians playing mobile games. Research conducted by industry-tracking firm NPD group has shown that the number of people accessing mobile games has once again gone up this past year, with a combined 2% uptick in players from the United States and Canada.
But it’s not just about the number of players. While 2% is a relatively modest figure, revenues in the same period rose by an impressive 24%. This means that each individual player has significantly upped their spending.
Players are less hesitant to whip out their credit or debit cards and are no longer afraid of spending online. This is a big step for online casinos, as many customers belong to a demographic where spending online is often deemed potentially dangerous due to fraud concerns.
The Industry Will Continue to Expand
The ceiling has not yet been reached when it comes to the casino market. Not by a long shot. Whilst Canada has improved its internet access, there’s still room for improvement. Millions of users can still benefit from an improved gameplay experience. Companies are increasingly expanding their gaming options, making the online gambling experience just as enjoyable as their land-based counterparts.