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The online gaming sector in Canada has undergone a renaissance in recent years with an influx of talented developers, designers and investors helping to deliver a product which is safer, more enjoyable and incredibly rewarding. So popular has online gaming become that it is now one of the premier entertainment options amongst those ages 23-35 with those that fall within this bracket playing between two and six times a week.
Best Online Casino
So, the big question: how do we classify casinos and – most importantly for you – how should you go about selecting the best online casino, from all the casinos available? And there are lots out there. We set quite a few criteria and so should you! Let’s take a look at some of the things we consider:
- First of all, there’s the choice available. Does the casino have a good selection of games? Or, if you know what you want to play, does the casino have a variety – different options for roulette, for example? This is important, when looking for the best online casino, even if you’re a seasoned player, as once you’ve found a casino you fancy, you’ll likely want to try a few different options with them.
1. WildFortune 3000+ games 2. CasinoRocket 3000+ games 3. RoyalPanda 3000+ games 4. MegaSlot 2600+ games 5. CasinoChan 2000+ games
- Promotions and bonuses. If you’ve gone to all the effort of finding and exploring a new casino online, then it’s not unreasonable to want them to give you something back for all your effort. So, it’s only fair if they give you some decent promotions for signing up with them. And bonuses, too. These go beyond the sign-up stage, so maybe look out for any no deposit bonuses, regular bonuses that give you a payback for loyalty and, definitely worth looking for if you’re considering finding yourself the best online casino for more than just one play, see what VIP or exclusive offers they’ll give you.
- We’ve already mentioned security, looking at deposit methods. You should be safe with regulated casinos, but steer clear of the unregulated ones – this can be dangerous ground, so keep safe and stay with the regulated ones.
- Customer support. Look for 24/7 support. After all, aside from any issues you might have with the play, you’ll want to be able to access winnings as soon as you can! Email, phone and live chat are all options to look out for, when you’re looking for your best place to play online.
Online Casino Canada
Globally and in Canada particularly, gambling online has seen a massive increase in the last two years – great for players, with more people to compete against and the potential for more game variety.
COVID is clearly one of the main factors – with 25% average growth up until 2019 then hitting a booming growth, doubling in just one year.
Starting in 2020 and into 2021, there is an increase in the players’ interest in online casino Canada. This is due to the strengthening of lockdown measures. In January 2021, due to the upsurge of diseases in Canada and a large tightening of quarantine measures by the government, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canadians have more opportunities to be at home. They started looking more for the best online casinos in Canada and playing them.
In fact, from just an average of 2,000 internet searches per month for ‘online casino’ in 2005, monthly visitor queries shot up to 16,000 in 2021. Trusted sources back up the Google search numbers, too.
Research from Concordia University shows one online casino in Canada reporting a considerable increase, with poker at the top of the list at 145% increase in player numbers. Best online casino rating websites in Canada also show a growth in the online casino sector as being up 77% compared to last year.
Online Casino Statistics By Provinces In Canada (2021)
In Saskatchewan, in 2021 online casino has a popularity score of 100 out of 100. This is because this province is home to the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) and many offline casinos. During the lockdown period, a huge audience of gamblers flocked to find the best online casino in Canada among the many casino sites.
In 2021 in Newfoundland and Labrador, there is the least online casino popularity (only 19 out of 100) among all the territories of Canada. Traditionally, this province has been against offline casinos. Dr. Robert Williams is a professor of medical sciences at the University of Lethbridge and a gambling expert. He believes that the political unwillingness of Newfoundland and Labrador to casinos is due to the size of the population and relative isolation.
The lack of land-based casinos is why Newfoundland and Labrador residents have always gambled at online casinos in Canada. Lockdown hasn’t had much effect on the migration of land based casino players to online casinos. Besides, Newfoundland and Labrador, because of the relative isolation of the population, has one of the lowest rates of Covid in Canada and, consequently, less stringent lockdown measures.
But in the neighbouring provinces, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, there is a surge in the popularity of online casinos in 2020-2021. The reason for this is closed land-based casinos for lockdown.
Gambling Preferences Of Canadians
The latest stats for online gambling – from some of the best-ranked online casino Canada sources – show nearly 70% of people playing online slots, roulette attracting 13% of players, and just 5% playing blackjack. For those gamblers moving from casinos to the online world for the first time, a survey of Ontario gamblers from April 2020 showed players heading for the online slots – 21% – with novelty betting like politics and reality TV shows hooking in 7%. With more Canadians coming to the world of online casinos, and poker being one of the fastest-growing games online, Pieter Hofstra, Professor of Statistics at the University of Ottawa, sums things up in a positive note, “The more people play, the livelier the games (and) the more options for games.”
Online Gambling Industry Numbers Revealed
Gambling in Canada is an industry with a turnover exceeding CA$14.5 billion a year according to the official statistics: 80+ land based casinos, 100k+ slot machines and about 25k+ temporary casino and bingo-type establishments.
In Ontario, there is one slot machine per 350 citizens, while the growth rate equals 15% per year approximately. On average, each Canadian over 19 years (not counting tourists) spends from CA$600 to CA$900 on gambling annually. Gambling, roughly speaking, regulated by the state like a franchise where license is acquired through the Commission on alcohol and gambling; provincial governments determine the type of games allowed in their territory. For example, Ontario and British Columbia allow casinos, horse racing and slot machines, while video lottery terminals and similar gaming machines are prohibited.
The cost of building and equipping a permanent casino is estimated at 40-50 million Canadian dollars approximately. Establishing a temporary casino (including ships and hotel rooms) is cheaper (40 – 60%). The price of a legal Canadian casino operating in full accordance with the provincial regulation starts from CA$80 million.
Online Casinos Of Canada: The Regulation Point Of Reference
Conducting gambling business in Canada is illegal until it is not legally regulated in accordance with the statements indicated in the country’s Criminal Code as well as sanctioned by the authorities of all the Canadian provinces. The legislating responsibilities have been delegated to provinces, considered to be the main stakeholders when it comes to casino or poker room legalization. The full powers have been granted to local powers in 1985, and since then the sphere of influence remains untouched (therefore, only the provinces are eligible to authorize a gambling establishment).
The Criminal Code contains two sections that represent core appropriations that regulate the country’s gambling industry. Despite the fact that all the provinces take part in the national lottery program, the provincial or regional authorities are entitled to permit or prohibit the activity. Therefore, the senior officials of Alberta may ban the particular game of chance on the territory of the province, while the same activity can function in Ontario at the same time.
Online Slots Regulation In Alberta
The responsibility for supervising and regulating gambling businesses in Alberta lies on the local gaming and liquor commission (also known as AGLC). In its turn, the organization is comprised of two departments: the Corporation and the Board. The Corporation represents the functional mechanism of the system, while the Board carries the governmental policy into effect through the triggers under its control. The organization elaborates the strategic directions and policies as well as delivers the implementation in conjunction with the largest financial institutions of Canada. AGLC is empowered to ensure the compliance of local gambling businesses with the fundamental principles indicated in Criminal Code as well as the documents adopted by the organization itself.
In fact, the organization holds the power to license, regulate and monitor games of chance activities located in Alberta. The province occupies the second position in the list of the major Canadian gambling provinces, ceding the leadership role to Ontario. The organization is characterized by a relatively loyal (by the standards of Canada) attitude towards gambling activities and/or enterprises, looking forward to conduct their business in Alberta. Therefore, AGLC adopted a far-famed charitable license model that helps dozens of organizations to raise funds for a particular project.
Online Casino Canada: Responsible Gambling
The year of 2004 heralded the era of new attitude towards gambling organization and virtually all the stakeholders involved in gambling activities. A large cohort of non-profit establishments, gambling providers and regulators united their efforts towards transparent and responsible gambling in Canada within the framework of CPRG, or the Canadian Partnership for Responsible Gambling.
Initially, the organization aimed at gathering comprehensive info on a broad variety of gambling aspects across Canada, and the result of the effort was the release of the gambling digest, now published annually. The digest includes statistical data on the state of affairs in each Canadian province: from overall revenues and quantitative characteristics on gambling businesses to revenue distribution and highly specialized data.
The digest itself represents a nicely crafted document with dozens of tables, charts and trends that characterize the development of the industry. The Gambling Digest is released publically, and available for download on the official CPRG website.
Casino Online And Brick & Mortar Establishments in Kahnawake
Kahnawake is a Mohawk Indian Reservation in Canada. Due to the special status granted to Indian lands, many of them legally allowed to host gambling, which provided a good supplement to the local budget. Kahnawake Gaming Commission, responsible for the regulation in this area, was established in 1996, and within as little as 3 years it began to issue licenses for this type of business on the Internet. Being the pioneer of gaming industry niche, the jurisdiction has become one of the most well-known among phenomena of the kind.
The Canadian KGC consists of three organizations assigned by Mohawk Council of Kahnawake. They are mandated to deal with all the regulation issues of online gambling, including licensing. A system of rules and standards that guides the commission is based on the experience of Australian colleagues. The basic principles of KGC are aimed at reduced to fair business conduction, transparency, data security and timely payouts.
The Commission has developed the requirements, ensuring high reliability and excluding the possibility of fraud in online gambling business. When considering an application the agency examines the following aspects:
- the formal grounds for issuing the license
- the reliability and integrity of software
- the capital adequacy for timely payouts
How Online Roulettes Appeared In Ontario
With an eye on the successful experience of Quebec, Ontario government raised the question of further legalization of online gambling in the province. Taking drastic measures was dictated by Ontario budget deficit of C$33.1 billion in 2021.
Dalton McGuinty, the former Prime Minister of the province, proposed to fill the gap by raising taxes on the sale of alcohol. However, armed with a calculator and enlisted with the support of like-minded people, the Prime Minister gave the green light to local online gambling resources.
The neighboring Quebec earned about CA$50 million annually from online gambling enterprises, Ontario, the largest Canadian province, could count on even larger revenue.
‘Legalization of gambling sites will benefit the entire province. Ontario residents annually spend up to CA$1.9 billion on gambling online, though the funds go to other regions and offshore sites’, Paul Godfrey, head of the Committee on gambling in Ontario, commented on the situation.
Jeff Derevensky, the head of the International Centre that strives to limit gambling activities in Canada, indicated the young population was not ready for such global changes. However, the head of the center saw no particular obstacles to legalization: he offered to introduce a special course in local schools to protect the younger generation from the dangers of Internet gambling.
Enhanced capabilities of information technology and personal gadgets are continually fuelling innovations in the e-commerce sector. New opportunities drive radical changes in all areas of businesses, and gambling is no exception. Natural infiltration of these changes into the online segment redistributes power and influence in the global gaming sector and foments the inevitable clash between ‘conservatives’ and ‘reformers’.
In autumn 2020, The NPD Group and Sensor Tower conducted research. It was reported that in Canada and the U.S., the number of gamers who used mobile phones and tablets increased by 13%. At the same time, the age of gamers was from 25 up to 44 years old. However, people aged 45 and older were among the group of players whose number increased by as much as 17%. The company said that this growth rate is the highest of all gamers regardless of age.
According to recent publications by Statista, in 2021 mobile internet traffic generates more than 55 percent of total web traffic. 4.66 Billion internet users globally and a staggering 4.32 billion (92.6 percent) were unique mobile internet users. Due to the ever-increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets, the concept of mobile commerce (m-commerce) has gained immense traction.
This trend has had a significant impact on the online gambling industry. Oddly enough, there doesn’t appear to be a universally accepted definition of what the ‘online gambling market is. Different companies refer to online gambling in various ways and this causes some confusion. H2 Gambling Capital and iGaming Business, for example, refer to it in terms of the entire online gaming market while First Gaming distinguishes it from the mobile segment. The European Lotteries Association and industry giant Scientific Games exclude online lotteries from their definitions. We can debate the meaning, but there is no arguing the fact that the industry is booming.
Research and Markets projects the worldwide gambling market will generate revenues exceeding C$690 billion by 2023. That represents a compound annual growth rate of about 10% between 2017 and 2023. Online casinos have a lot to do with this. Revenues in that sector are expected to reach over C$115 billion by 2024. Sports betting, horse racing, lotteries, poker, eSports, and other segments will only add to it. Don’t forget about those who provide the hardware and software.
North America remains the fastest-growing market as more and more American states continue to legalize online gambling. Asia and Europe are not far behind. The industry has also seen an increase in corporate mergers as market leaders try to claim a bigger slice of the market share while improving their bottom lines. Paddy Power Betfair and Ladbrokes Coral Group are two recent examples. Some companies are even developing their own software, which limits their reliance on third-party suppliers.
The runaway train that is online gambling continues to gain momentum as it barrels down the track. With expanding internet penetration, increased usage of mobile devices, and other innovations like cryptocurrency, it won’t be slowing down anytime soon.