Canadian Gambling Industry Numbers
Last year, the federal government gave provinces the nod to legalize single-sport betting
. This law has been ten years in the making and has failed to pass at least twice in the past.
Mobile sports betting is a $14 billion industry, according to analysts. This does not include the more than $1 billion Canadians spend on offshore online casinos every year.
Wait a minute. Since when do Canadians spend so much more on online gambling? Stick around to discover the growth of casinos online Canada since the industry started.
1994—The First Online Casino Launched
Canada legalized gambling in 1985. At the time, the law allowed in-person betting of parlays sports bets, horse race betting and casino games like slots, poker and blackjack.
The world’s first online casino didn’t appear until 1994. It launched in Antigua and Barbuda with the help of Microgaming’s software. Essentially, Microgaming was also the first ever supplier of online casino games.
At the start of online gambling, Canada didn’t have laws permitting or prohibiting the industry. As such, any foreign casino site could welcome Canadians. The only thing they couldn’t do was to set up their offices on Canadian soil.
1996—Kahnawake Gaming Commission was Established
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is a gambling regulatory body situated in the Kahnawake Gaming Reserve in Quebec. It was established in 1996 with the goal of licensing gambling operators that wish to offer their services to Canadians.
Although it’s not as popular as the Malta Gaming Authority or the UK Gambling Commission, the KGC licenses dozens of gambling sites. It also hosts servers for foreign casinos that want to improve the performance of their Canadians websites and apps.
That said, the KGC has an agreement with the state of New Jersey that ensures the KGC does not license operators that accepts players in the US.
2004—B.C. Legalized Online Gambling
Let’s get one thing clear. Online gambling regulation is a matter of provincial concern. Nearly all provinces have laws pertaining online gambling. In B.C., all forms of online gambling are legal, from bingo to slots.
British Columbia first legalized online gambling in 2004, allowing the sale of lottery tickets online. Five years later, the province expanded its laws to include online slots and table games like blackjack and poker.
Since then, Quebec, Manitoba, Ontario, Alberta and the Maritime Provinces have legalized one or more forms of online gambling. There’s a catch, though. Each province runs iGaming through a monopoly website. What’s more, provincial gambling sites do not accept players from other provinces.
2005-2022: The Dominance of Offshore Online Casinos
Although Canada’s major provinces all permit online gambling, most Canadians choose to gamble at offshore casino sites.
What are offshore casinos? These are gambling operators located outside of Canada. A majority of them have offices in Europe, the UK and South America. They have licenses that allow them to offer gambling services in multiple countries, including Canada.
According to statistics, more than 10% of Canadians participate in one form of online gambling or the other. They might bet on sports. Or they could play poker like Daniel Negreanu.
Offshore casinos are a major reason for the surge of online gambling in the country. Below are reasons why.
Over 1000 Casino Games
Unlike provincial gambling sites, offshore online casinos in Canada have libraries with more than 1000 games. And that’s’ just the lower estimate. Some operators have 2000+ games, ranging from slots to table games.
In the usual style, slots are the most popular games at online casinos. It’s not unusual to find casinos with 90% slots and 10% table games. That’s alright as long as there’s diversification in the list.
To expound more, the best casinos provide all major types of slots: video slots, progressive jackpots, classic slots, Megaways slots and 3D slots. What’s more, they have games from a plethora of studio—Microgaming, NetEnt, Play’n GO, BTG, Playtech, Betsoft and Quickspin, to name a few.
This ensures you have the privilege to play all of your favorite slots, from Starburst and Thunderstruck II to Mega Moolah and Age of Gods.
Live Dealer Software
Another reason online gambling is surging in Canada has something to do with live dealer games. You see, not everyone finds slots entertaining. Some people would rather spend all their money on blackjack, poker and baccarat.
For a long time, playing blackjack and poker online meant competing against bots and RNG software. Thanks to live dealer software, you can now compete with real human players online.
Live dealer software allows you to see and interact with your opponents. This has made online gambling more social and enjoyable. In turn, it has increased demand for these games.
Support for Major Payment Methods
When you think about it, safe banking is a big reason for the growth of iGaming in Canada. No one would join an online casino if they thought their money or personal data was unsafe.
The best online casinos in Canada support every popular payment method in Canada. We’re talking about Visa, MasterCard, bank transfer, Bitcoin, Ethereum, PayPal and even iDebit.
For clarity, casinos don’t support every payment method out there. Some might support PayPal but lack support for Google and Apple Pay. As a result, it’s up to you to find an operator with your favorite payment option.
Besides variety of banking, payout speed, low fees and flexible limits are important in the growth of online gambling. Canadians can deposit from $10 free of charge and withdraw their money all week long.
Testimonials and Trustworthiness
Stories about Canadians winning money from online casinos provide proof that the iGaming industry can be trusted. Some people have won millions of dollars in the industry, including a Canada record of $7.5M in 2015.
Winning money aside, it helps that there are dozens of reputable casino sites in Canada. If you want to join the industry, you don’t have to worry about getting scammed. You can read reviews to discover the most trustworthy operators. Or you could ask your friends for recommendations.