Online Gambling in Canada in 2020: What Lies Ahead?

Written By Ivan P

The gambling sector in Canada has been experience a consistent growth over the past several years. Being an advanced country with strong economy, this is hardly a surprise. Canadians have a fair bit of disposable income and don’t mind risking some of it in exchange for the thrill and the potential to win big provided by slots and other casino games.

However, when it comes to legislation, the country still seems to be indecisive. Unlike the neighboring USA, which has recently removed the ban on sports betting and allowed individual states to regulate this area as they see fit, Canadian lawmakers remain reluctant to make such a move.

So, with 2020 still young, what can we expect from the Canadian gambling industry in the upcoming months?

Shift to Online Casinos

If there is one thing that really marked the iGaming sector in Canada in the recent years it is a shift towards online casinos. Players are turning more and more toward internet gambling providers while brick and mortar establishments are continue to experience a decline in numbers.

All of the land-based venues have experienced profit reductions due to this shift. However, in the period 2013 to 2018, there’s been a notable stagnation in the gambling sector in general due to the post-recession period, which influenced the iGaming market on the global scale, not just in Canada.

According to the report provided by H2 Gambling Capital, in this period, the overall gambling industry in the country produces around CAD15 billion in revenues. In the said period, the annual growth was positive but capped at just 0.4%. The overall sector employs around 41,000 people directly across close to 800 businesses.

Picking Up on Recent Trends

The gambling industry in Canada is considered by many the cornerstone of the entertainment industry as a whole. Changes in the online gaming landscape have had a positive impact on the overall player activity but there are still issues that need to be resolved moving forward.

This relates primarily to sports betting, which remains a popular and socially acceptable activity. However, from a legal standpoint, those operators not licensed by the state aren’t supposed to accept bets from Canadian residents.

Of course, this doesn’t stop Canadians from accessing offshore sites and placing their bets there, alongside trying their luck with a variety of casino games and online poker. So, players can still do their wagering but the country doesn’t reap the rewards and the said players aren’t actually protected in the event something goes wrong.

Is 2020 the Year of Change?

There’s been a lot of pressure on Canadian lawmaker to finally get down to business and come up with a legislation that would make it possible for the players to bet legally in the country. The current state of affairs, especially with the US now allowing all sorts of sports betting, has had a bad impact on the economy and many gambling venues are starting to struggle to stay above the water.

So, in the months ahead, Canada could finally see some much needed changes in its gambling laws, pertaining both to online and land-based venues. These laws could have many beneficial effects for all parties involved, increasing the state’s cut on the profits generated from the gaming activities, offering better protection for the players, and helping operators stay in the black.

The shift towards online gambling will probably force many local operators to start offering these services as well in order to keep their players. Times have definitely changed and those who want to stay in the game need to keep up the pace.

One thing seems certain, though. Whether something changes on the legal front or not, Canadians will continue to play their favorite casino games and place their sports wagers. Whether they do it in a regulated and licensed environment or on offshore sites that offer little protection is another matter entirely.

Either way, it will be interesting to keep up with the development of things in the upcoming period to see what happens. Given all the available facts, Canadian lawmakers should definitely be quick on their feet and push for legislative changes sooner rather than later.