Canada, a country stretching from the Pacific Ocean in the west, to the Atlantic Ocean in the east, the United States in the south, and the arctic circle in the north, is a massive country. Second, only in landmass to Russia, covering nearly 10 million square kilometers, but yet sparsely populated, only 38 million Canadians live there. The key industries that drive Canada are the service industry, the energy sector, and manufacturing. The service industry includes tourism and the fastest growing sector of the tourism industry is casino gambling. The gambling industry in Canada generates over $15 billion USD annually and employs 135,000 people, and these figures improve each year.
In the last twenty year’s Europe has been leading the way in gambling growth with sites such as online casino deutschland offering a wide variety of games. That being said, North America is catching up, with strict gambling laws being relaxed to promote growth within the sector. The United States may take all the headlines when it comes to North America and gambling, with world renowned names such as Las Vegas, Reno, Atlantic City, and Palm Springs. But Canadian cities Montreal and Quebec are not very far behind in revenue stream, last year alone Quebec recorded nearly $1 billion USD in revenue.
Online Gaming Regulation is Driving Gamblers Abroad
The online gambling sector has now overtaken the traditional brick and mortar casinos as the driving force behind the gaming sector. In 2020 alone the legal Canadian gambling industry turned over $2.65 billion USD, of which $1.2 billion USD was generated through online gambling. This figure could be much higher according to industry experts if the Canadian government were to follow their peers in the United Kingdom and loosen the regulations concerning online gaming. Estimates of $1 billion USD were lost during the last year due to over regulation. The countries that are benefiting the most from relaxing regulations include:
- The United Kingdom
- The Isle of Man
- The Channel Islands, Jersey, and Guernsey
- Several Caribbean islands, including Antigua, Curacao, and Aruba
Many experts say the main problem lies with the process of registration of online gambling businesses, all online gaming sites must be run or licensed by the provincial government. This results in a lack of diversity within the industry, which makes many gamblers use foreign online sites that can offer better deals and offers. This has resulted in the sector not reaching its full potential, industry experts predict if based on the same model as the United Kingdom revenues would be closer to $4 billion annually.
Despite Regulation, The Canadian Gambling Industry is Still Healthy
Regardless of the huge amount of lost revenues to foreign online gambling companies, the Canadian gaming market is still in good shape. Canadian on average spend annually $824 CAD each year, this figure is well above the United States and the United Kingdom. Land based casino have been reporting decreasing revenues even before the Covid-19 pandemic for years, whilst online casinos and gambling sites are reporting higher profits year after year. The government and provincial authorities decided not to provide brick and mortar casinos with financial assistance, preferring to open online casinos themselves to fill the lost revenue gap.
It was recognized particularly by the Alberta government that gamblers prefer online live casinos over traditional casinos. With the convenience of using computers or mobile devices to play in virtual casinos more and more, Canadians are making the switch from land based to online casinos. And the industry is adapting to this, traditional casinos are switching the focus of their business to online casinos to prevent losses. It is seen as a natural progression and it is not just Canadians, European, Asian, and American casinos are also making changes to their business model and opening new online casino sites.
Can Canada Fulfill Its Gambling Potential?
In Canada and many other parts of the world, it has been recognized that online casino gambling is what many people want to see more of. The current Canadian government is encouraging provincial authorities to issue more licenses and allow more online gambling sites to operate locally and try to stop the revenue from going abroad. Again people are looking at the United Kingdoms’ regulations, whilst being some of the strictest in the world, the United Kingdom has no limits on the number of licenses being issued to online casino operators. This has resulted in a huge choice for gamblers and the online casinos have to compete in a very competitive market, giving their customers an advantage.
Until Canada can adopt new laws and loosen regulation, it is hard to see how the lost revenue can be kept within Canada. With $1 billion CAD being lost to overseas companies each year, many are calling for more swift action on behalf of the government. The United States is already trying to loosen legislation regarding online casinos and gambling sites, and they seem to be in a bit more of a rush than Canada. Until changes are made it is hard to see how the Canadian gambling sector can compete.
Does Canada’s Land Based Casino Sector Have a Bright Future?
Despite the shift by many gamblers to online sites traditional casinos are still performing well. Not counting the pandemic, Canadian brick and mortar casinos are still popular with gamblers. There are some things that online gambling cannot replicate that land based casinos have in abundance, atmosphere. For many people trips to the casino are almost a romantic affair, the sounds, the smells, winners cheering, losers groaning, and of course a few whiskies or wines, you simply cannot get the same experience from online casino sites.
For Canada’s gambling industry to fully realize its potential, most experts agree that changes need to be made to current regulations and laws. Whilst the government and provincial authorities recognize this they have been slow to act. And whilst this current situation continues foreign online and sports betting companies will continue to make a profit from Canadians and none of the revenue generated will benefit Canada.