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Canada Labeled as the Unbeatable iGaming Force
For a long time, Canada’s online casino laws were a strange mix of permissive and restrictive, fully enabling playing at international casinos while having very few domestic betting sites. In recent years, following a similar path to that already taken by the USA, Canada has rationalized its situation and permitted (on a province-by-province basis) the creation of domestic online casino markets. Ontario has been the first province to take advantage of the economic potential of this change, and substantial growth is eminently possible.
Canada’s Shift in Online Casino Regulations
Regulations are changing in Canada, to the great benefit of players in the country who prefer to play somewhere that is regulated within Canada itself. While not every province and territory has its own domestic online casino marketplace, there are plenty of offshore casino sites. Thousands of slots, a huge number of live dealer tables, classic table games, scratch cards, and bingo are all accessible to players from Canada at North West Territory online casino sites. Finding the best ones is easy, as the available options for players from North West have been rated and reviewed by industry experts. Not only are the gaming options considered, but also banking methods, mobile support, and other factors.
Northwest Territories are a Haven for Online Casino Players
Because betting, including online gambling, is determined on a provincial and territorial basis within Canada, the regulations and availability of North West Territory casino sites can vary significantly. The Northwest Territories has a quite open approach to betting, broadly similar to other provinces and territories in the country. Various forms of betting are permitted, from bingo to lotteries and casino gaming. However, its tiny population (around 45,000) does mean there’s no brick-and-mortar casino there. Despite the low number of residents, the Northwest Territories have surprisingly high migration so perhaps this will create sufficient numbers for a real-world casino in the future.
The Northwest Territories have plenty to offer when it comes to online gaming. In addition, many of the best online casinos for North West Territory residents are international in nature. All Canadians, including players from NorthWest, are welcome at these international casino sites because Canada is a modern and prosperous nation, and the common usage of the English language is an added convenience.
Ontario is the most prosperous and populous of all the provinces, and the home of both Canada’s capital (Ottawa) and biggest city (Toronto). As such, it’s almost the polar opposite of the Northwest Territories, and the same goes for the ease of access to betting opportunities and how developed the domestic online casino market is.
The recent changes to Canada’s gambling laws made both single events betting on sports and private casino gaming domestically possible, and the first province to take advantage of this was Ontario. A domestic marketplace for online casino gaming, overseen by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), has already sprung up. iGaming Ontario’s operators include names such as Betway, Draft Kings, Bet365, and many more.
In the first quarter of the fiscal year (ending 30 June 2023), iGO reported wagers totalling $14bn and total gaming revenue of $545m. A total of 71 websites were run by 46 operators, and active player accounts came in at 920,000. Casino games formed the lion’s share of revenue ($392m of the $545m total), with betting contributing $138m, and P2P poker adding $15m. In the previous financial year (2022-23) the full year results included $1.4bn in revenue, and the quarterly $545m for Q1 23-24 would appear to indicate a significant increase if that level is maintained through the present fiscal year.
Following in Ontario’s trailblazing path is Nova Scotia, which has also started to develop its own domestic casino marketplace in 2023. In July, the province made an agreement with the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) enabling the firm to provide a variety of casino games in Nova Scotia. These diversions included slots, table games, and video poker.
Horse racing, sports betting, bingo, and lotteries are also permitted within Nova Scotia, which is one of the most liberal provinces in Canada when it comes to betting regulations. At the moment there are only a handful of brick-and-mortar casinos to visit but the online side of things (following the deal with ALC) may be about to offer a healthier array of casino gaming options. However, it’s worth remembering offshore casinos, many with their own apps for Android and iOS devices, are another alternative.
General Future Prospects
Ontario’s approach will not be followed by every province, as different parts of Canada do make use of provincial authority to be more or less liberal when it comes to betting. However, more domestic casino markets are anticipated, and within Ontario itself there is already substantial growth. Bringing revenues onshore achieves the twin success of increasing provincial funding and enhancing player protection, making it highly likely more online casinos within Canada will happen in the near future.
While some provinces and territories have rather thin betting opportunities, Ontario is going full steam ahead. And everyone in Canada has access to a wide array of great international online casinos.
Alex is fascinated with “understanding” people. It’s actually what drives everything he does. He believes in a thoughtful exploration of how you shape your thoughts, experience of the world.