The Rise of the iGaming Industry in Canada

by Lily White
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iGaming, or online gaming, is a term used to describe playing games or betting on events via the internet. There are many popular variations, including sports betting, online casino, poker, bingo, slots, and online video games.

The Canadian gaming industry is worth more than $15 billion and contributes $9 billion annually to government and community funding. It employs more than 135,000 people, a number which has grown by around 17% since 2019.

Land based casinos and offline sports betting have been popular in Canada since their introduction in the late 1980s. Now, with improved technology and connectivity making it accessible and convenient, Canada’s appetite for online versions has become enormous.

Today, iGaming, particularly online sports betting and online casinos, is one of the biggest growth industries in Canada. Online gaming sites are now regularly visited by around 20 million Canadians, two-thirds of the country’s entire adult population.

A clear indicator of iGamings phenomenal rise in popularity has been the rush of companies competing to cater to it. In 2022, Canadians have access to more than 2100 online casinos, including internationally trusted providers such as 888Poker.ca. Only available in Ontario Canada, this site provides many unique games for both seasoned veterans and beginners looking to get involved, including exclusive bonuses. Also, this platform supplies users with the latest educational strategies on how to beat their opponents and key hands to look out for, making it probably one of the best online poker site in Canada.

Why is it growing so fast?

Before 1985, there was no legal betting in Canada, online or otherwise. Within 10 years of legalisation, almost every province in the country had its own land-based casino.

Gaming was already a growth industry before it even moved online, and another law change in 2021 sent it stratospheric. When single-game sports betting was finally made legal, a $14 billion dollar a year black market industry was legitimised.

Added to this, off-shore online providers are not bound by the restrictive local licensing laws which affect Canadian providers. This has made access to iGaming, and online casinos in particular, even easier for most Canadian players.

Access to the Canadian market isn’t the only incentive for iGaming companies either, the possibilities for global exports are huge. Seeing this potential, Canadian local governments have also taken steps to encourage iGaming providers to set up in their cities.

Tax breaks and other financial incentives have helped make Montreal the fifth biggest video game producer anywhere in the world. This means more jobs for Canadians, more funding for Canadian services, and improved feelings towards the entire industry.

When combined with the phenomenal global demand for iGaming, it’s easy to see why the industry is growing so quickly. Add the convenience of mobile gaming, and continual improvement and innovation in games and technology, and this will only grow.

Casino Innovation E1650385728313

Casino innovation

One of the most popular forms of iGaming is online casinos, particularly in Canada where gambling returns are not taxed. This sector includes games such as slots, bingo, blackjack, roulette, and poker.

Poker has been a big driver for online casinos due to its existing popularity as a Canadian pastime. Traditional poker rooms and tournaments meant many Canadians already had the knowledge and skills needed to play the game online.

Online poker’s popularity is also boosted by innovations like live dealer games and the security improvements offered by cryptocurrency. Now, with iGaming, Canadians can indulge their love for poker any time, anywhere, and in the comfort and style they prefer.

Sports boost

The benefits coming from the legalisation of single-game sports betting in 2021 have only just begun to show. Not only can former black market betters now place their wagers online, but new customers can be tempted too.

Sports bets can now be made in real-time on a never ending number of markets in just a few clicks. This convenience and ease break down many of the barriers which may have stopped people from trying their luck previously.

Similarly, it is easy for incentives to be offered and for players to be introduced to many more iGaming options. Customers may arrive to make a single NHL bet, and moments later be enjoying the thrill of a roulette spin.

The Future E1650385767186

The future

In less than 40 years, the gaming industry has become a vital part of Canadian economies and lifestyles. In just over 20 years, the iGaming industry has become a dominant part of that industry and continues to grow.

With such a range of benefits to players, providers, government, and societies, it seems continued growth is in everyone’s interest. The change in sports betting laws in 2021 is an indication of how important the industry is to the Canadian economy.

It seems likely that attitudes and restrictions will continue to soften as further benefits are seen when the industry grows. For instance, pressure may begin to build for a simplification of Canada’s complex licensing processes and local restrictions.

This, in turn, will aid further growth for iGaming across the country, contributing to a continuing circle of success. Developments in AI, cryptocurrency, technology, portability, and diversity of experience only make the odds of this success even higher.

A global player

Canada’s position on the world IGaming scene is already stronger than observers might have expected. As its domestic industry continues to go from strength to strength, this can only improve.

Austin, London, San Francisco, and Tokyo are currently the only cities higher ranked in game development than Montreal. With Toronto and Vancouver also featuring inside the top ten, Canada’s global importance is clear.

In fact, Canada as a nation is ranked as game development’s third most important country, behind the USA and Britain.

Taking all this into account, we might suggest the rise of the iGaming Industry in Canada has only just begun.


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