Over the years, online gaming has grown to be a major business sector, and Canada is not left out. Despite Canada not being one of the world’s business capitals, online gaming is rapidly shifting into a more regulated business world. Per a recent report, this sector of activity in Canada is expected to rise to about 340 million dollars by the end of 2023. Its current annual growth rate is said to be 5.38% for an approximate revenue of about $419 million by 2027. On a more global scale, the world’s online gaming revenue is projected to attain a peak of about 27 billion dollars by the end of 2023. This increase comes with an expected annual growth rate of approximately 5.4% for an estimated revenue of nearly $33 billion by 2027.
Online Gaming Landscape in Canada
In the last decade, the online gaming market has significantly expanded, becoming one of Canada’s major sources of revenue. Technological advancements like mobile gaming and virtual online games have greatly contributed to the current landscape of the activity.
Popular Online Gaming Platforms
We can safely say that some of the best online casinos in the world are found in Canada. Indeed, the economy counts hundreds of licensed operators that mainly offer real money gaming. One such operator is JackpotCity, an online casino provider that has been in the business for over 20 years now. Another is 888 Casino, which is the 888 Holdings brand responsible for the provision of online and live casino games. We’ve also got Betway, a well-known gambling brand even beyond Canadian borders.
Regulatory Framework for Online Gaming
Online gambling is considered illegal in the greater part of Canada although Canadians are allowed to play at internationally licensed casinos. This is supported by the 1892 Criminal Code which placed a ban on all forms of gambling. However, a few years after this law was enacted, raffles and bingo for charitable purposes were allowed. Several other amendments and clauses have since been added to enable online gaming to an extent. In 1996, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was created with the primary role of protecting online gamers. Another Canadian regulatory organ, the AGCO was also created in 2022 to embrace online gaming by issuing licenses to operators. The above and other successions of events are the main reasons why Canadians now have access to gaming sites regulated by the laws of Canada.
Growth of Online Casino Market
Many other online casinos have joined the ranks of regulated sites by applying for a license to operate under a competent authority. A major increase in the number of licensed online gaming operators can however be attributed to the opening of the regulated Ontario igaming market in April 2022. This has been an immense opportunity for game providers to explore a relatively unrestricted number of gaming activities.
Canadian Online Gaming Platforms Comparison
It is no news that there is a huge number of online gaming platforms operating across the Canadian territory. One of the most recommended ways to find the best Canadian online casino is to have a look at what each operator has to offer. Comparing features such as the number of games, minimum deposit, bonuses, and even user ratings, can thus be very valuable. Below, you’ll find a little bit of what you can find at some of the most popular gaming platforms in Canada.
|Up to $1,000 + 50 spins
|88 No-deposit spins
|Up to $400
|Royal Vegas Casino
|Up to $1,200
|Up to $450 + 250 spins
|Up to $1,600
|325% match-up + 150 spins
|Up to $500 + 200 spins
|Up to $1,800 + 50 spins
If it interests you to get any of the above-mentioned bonuses, make sure you read bonus T&Cs.
Advantages of Online Gaming
The major benefits of online gaming are discussed below.
- Convenience and accessibility: Gaming has been a form of entertainment for a very long time now and its availability online has only contributed to its popularity. One of the main advantages of online gaming is that it is extremely convenient and accessible. All gamers need is an appropriate device that is connected to the internet. This could be a personal computer, desktop, or a mobile phone.
- Wide range of games available: Land-based gaming houses are easily limited by space, unlike online gaming sites where thousands of games can be accommodated. Typically, an online casino in Canada has at least 500 different games. This number could go as high as 6,000 at some other gaming sites like Nine Casino. Not only does online gaming have numbers on its side but also game type variety.
- Bonuses and Promotions: Bonuses and promos are almost like a norm at the best online casino in Canada. First-time players generally enjoy deposit bonus cash which is sometimes accompanied by a fixed number of pre-determined spins. By reloading their accounts, gamers can also be graced with an online casino bonus. Some casinos also give back a certain percentage of lost real money bets as cashback bonuses.
Risks and Challenges
The provision of online casino slots and other game types is not without a few dangers. Some of the major challenges faced by online gaming have been evoked below.
- Responsible Gambling Measures: this aspect of online gambling is mostly taken seriously by licensed operators. To ensure that players can be masters of their gaming habits, regulated online casinos provide tools for promoting responsible gambling. These include features for limiting time and money spent on online casino games. In addition, operators provide useful links for getting help in case of gambling problems.
- Regulatory concerns: although Canadians have been into online gaming for a long time now, not all the visited online casinos are regulated. To become part of a regulated gaming market, casino providers must apply for a license before institutions like the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and the AGCO. Other internationally recognized regulatory institutions are the MGA and the UKGC. When operators hold a license, they must adhere to the applicable rules and regulations.
- Security and privacy issues: it’s not unusual for online gaming sites to suffer from hackers and other forms of cyber-attack. Operators are always looking for the best security tools to safeguard user information and protect their identity.
Online Gaming and the Canadian Economy
As it was mentioned in the earlier parts of this post, the popularity and wide acceptance of online gaming in Canada have greatly contributed to the economy of the country. A few aspects in which this impact can be felt are as follows:
- Job creation and economic impact: through online casino operators about 135,000 full-time jobs are held by Canadians. These include game development, game design, marketing analysis, animation, game testing, and customer service. Each of these positions plays a role in minimizing the total unemployment rate in Canada which is currently estimated at 5.2% of the workforce seeking jobs.
- Tax revenue generation: with gambling being a major source of income in the country, it certainly has something to add to the annual national tax revenue. The sector generates about $9 billion every year for government and community coffers. In Ontario alone, online gaming generated about $761 million last year.
- Support for Local Communities: one of the main uses of local government revenue is to attend to social issues. In the case of funds obtained from online gaming, it can be used for the financing of non-profit organizations, school grants, and local projects.
Popular Online Casino Games in Canada
Online gaming is a fascinating world with different games tailored to respond to the needs of a wide variety of players. The most available game types found at Canadian online gaming sites are the following.
- Table games: this category describes all games that can be played around an online or virtual table. These include popular card games like Blackjack, Baccarat, and Poker, and not forgetting Roulette. These games sometimes require some skill and basic knowledge and exist in many variations.
- Slot machines: slots are the most common of all casino games. They are ideal for both newbies and experienced players and could be associated with a jackpot prize. Slots typically have 3 – 5 reels although some advanced slots may have up to 12 expanding reels and above.
- Live dealer games: also called live casino games, these include all forms of casino games that are presented by a live dealer. Live games are usually made of Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Sic Po, Poker, and Live Game Shows.
Online Casino Games Comparison
Each online casino game type has specific rules that define it. These mainly include the paytable and gameplay, and sometimes bonuses. Below is a table comparing the major kinds of games based on these factors.
|Get the best hand closest to but below 21
|Depends on the variation
|Bet on where the ball will land
|Depends on the variation
|Get a Royal Flush, Full House, or one of the other paying hands
|Depends on the variation
|Get the best hand closest to 9
|Depends on the variation
|Spin the reels and land a winning combination
|Can have free spins, respins, and jackpot prizes
Popular Online Gaming Trends in Canada
Currently, the main online gaming trends that can be identified in Canada are:
- Mobile gaming: this form of gaming is promoted by mobile tech advancements. Games can be played from a mobile web browser on the go or through a mobile gaming app.
- Virtual Reality (VR) gaming: with VR games, a totally different gaming experience is delivered. Games are played on virtual reality hardware including a display unit, console, and gaming headset.
- eSports and competitive gaming: this involves sports video games that can host multiple players at a time. These games do not use a Random Number Generator and the outcome solely depends on the participants.
Key Online Gaming Regulations in Canada
A few major gaming regulations in Canada worth noting are:
Provincial Licensing Authorities
These authorities have the power to supervise and regulate gaming activities in their respective provinces. Some of these include:
- Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
- Loto Quebec
- Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission
Across the Canadian national territory, the minimum legal gambling age is 18+. However, this does not apply to Ontario where players must be 19+.
Anti-Money Laundering Measures
To minimize the risk of money laundering and gaming-related activities, operators are compelled to implement KYC procedures whenever deemed necessary.
Responsible Online Gambling Measures
Some measures that are put in place to promote responsible gaming among Canadian online players are:
- Self-Exclusion Programs: this tool enables players to suspend their gaming accounts for a specific period ranging from a day to up to six months.
- Problem Gambling Support: regulated online casinos provide links to support centers for gambling problems. Such centers include begambleware.org and gamblingtherapy.org.
- Age Verification and Player Protection: new players are generally required to present supporting documents to prove their age during the creation of their account. This is to ensure that minors don’t get involved in gaming and that vulnerable groups are protected. Sometimes, geolocation tools may be applied too.
For more information on the best practices for responsible gaming as well as assistance, visit this website.
The Canadian online gaming industry has come a long way, yet there are many more challenges to be addressed. The sector is crowded, and competition keeps growing but despite these, online gaming is still to unlock its full potential in terms of opportunities. There are currently over a hundred different licensed casinos in the country, and they contribute to the economy at both the national and provincial levels. As the industry looks into the future, gaming operators need to stay ahead of changes in consumer demands and eventual alterations in the regulatory landscape.