Although the annual revenue of casino businesses in Canada is at the $15 billion range, the number of casinos that operate are only about 1,200. The growth rate of the gaming industry in the country stands at 0.1% from 2014 to 2019.
This spells a lot of opportunity for gaming providers, especially the online ones. And if one manages to be the top Canadian online casino, then this company would be able to dominate the market share in the country.
Is It Legal?
The short answer is no, it is not legal to operate a gambling facility in Canada unless you get a license. Gambling is what is called a provincial responsibility, so a company has to get that license from the province where it aims to operate.
Most of the gambling websites and physical structures in Canada are from official lottery corporations. However, it is not illegal for Canadian residents to gamble offshore, or bet their money online. This is a grey area that is heavily contested, and no offshore online casino website has been charged with a crime or violation of the law.
Land-based casinos can operate in Canada for as long as the company secured a license. In the current law, companies are not allowed to take bets or wagers online, and this includes games like poker. The thing is that the game servers that online casinos used are located in Canada. These servers are located in the Kahnawake native reserve, which is in Canada. So the issue is really confusing. It states that online gambling is illegal, and yet game servers for online gambling are on Canadian soil, and they have a license!
The Facts and Numbers Tell a Story
While it is true that the demand for paid gaming declined in Canada over the years, this actually creates an opportunity for online casino operators. In a place where there seemingly is a small market, it makes sense for a company to spearhead an industry that is on the decline and breathe a new life to it.
Below are some facts about the gambling industry in Canada :
- There are more than 100 casinos legally operating in the country
- Most of these are controlled by First Nations and other native tribes
- The gambling industry is viewed by experts as stagnant
- There is a casino that operates in almost every part of the country
- The largest online poker operator in the world, The Stars Group, is located in Canada.
And here are some gambling statistics that help show a picture of the current gambling trend in the country:
- Ontario accounts for 43% of gambling revenues in the country
- Revenue as of 2018 is at $17 billion and $15 billion in 2017
- The 2018 revenue from gambling is 4.9% higher than the previous year
- The growth rate of Ontario in gambling revenue is 12%
- Quebec is second place in the gambling space
Canada is not a large gambling destination compared to other countries in the world. The facts and numbers shown earlier say that there is a big opportunity to breathe a new life to this dying industry in the country.
What Is the Opportunity?
One of the reasons why gambling in the country is on the decline is lack of competition. A vast majority of the gambling corporations are operated by the First Nations. This means that there is a likely monopoly going on.
With a monopoly, no other company can get in, and no other company will feel incentivized for investing. The opportunity in Canada is not to build a land-based casino, but online gaming sites that will cater to the players. Since online gambling is illegal, it is difficult for Canadians to deposit money into a casino account, much more so if they are going to withdraw. Laws like this affect how banks and financial institutions operate.
There are two key things that an online casino operator must do:
- Create a seamless deposit and withdrawal method for Canadian players
- Market the online casino to Canadians
Canada is not even part of the top ten countries with the highest average gambling losses per person, which means its gambling revenue is paltry compared to Macau, Singapore, Philippines, and the United States. With this being said, it is a worthwhile country to take a look into, and companies that have been on the gambling business must do things to penetrate this unsaturated market.