The Future of Online Gambling in Canada 2021
Online gambling in Canada has always existed in a sort of limbo. The federal government has largely ignored it, never formally legalizing it and telling the provinces to work it out. This means most Canadians can sign up at international casino sites, but there aren’t many based in the country itself.
However, things look like they might be changing. The Canadian Senate recently passed a significant bill officially legalizing single-event sports betting.
Since the future is by definition unknown, it’s only possible to speculate on the future of Canadian online gambling. Yet, some clear trends are developing that could have an impact in the coming years.
With the recent legalization of single-event sports betting, it’s clear that the Canadian government is paying attention. It would seem that they are at least partly interested in legalizing some forms of online gambling.
Therefore, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that this will extend to impact the online casino in Canada. After all, as increasing numbers of states in the USA are finding out, legalizing online casino gaming is highly lucrative. In fact, governments all over the world are keeping an eye on those revenue numbers.
The passing of the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act (Bill C-218) was significant on June 22, 2021. Similar to the U.S. model, it will allow provinces to regulate single-wager sports betting. That’s a big clue as to how Canada may proceed to regulate other forms of online gambling. For now, however, it seems that the “let the provinces decide” approach will continue.
However, legalization is likely to create some lively local Canadian betting sites. This means that international operators will no doubt lose market share as Canadian betting sites begin advertising.
In fact, one estimate put the potential market size at CA$2.4 billion in gross revenue. Therefore, there’s no doubt this will create jobs and bring economic advantages to some areas.
The Bank of Canada recently expressed interest in a CBDC. This is likely to shake up Canada’s payment infrastructure, which will impact every industry, including online gambling.
CBDC stands for Central Bank Digital Currency. It would essentially digitize the Canadian Dollar and make it programmable. Currently, CBDC pilots are rolling out all over the world and are in various stages of development.
If Canada does adopt a CBDC, it will revolutionize payments in the country. CBDCs and their associated wallets could make it impossible to pay and play on unregulated or illegal sites. They could also make it simple to register at an online casino, as well as deposit and track your gambling activity.
Imagine holding your digital Canadian Dollars in a wallet linked to your identity. Then, instead of registering with every gambling site, you could simply connect it to your wallet. The verification would take seconds. You could then deposit and withdraw extremely quickly with low or zero fees.
There will no doubt be pros and cons to such a system. However, when it comes, it will change online gambling in huge ways. It will undoubtedly give companies like Interac, iDeal, and others who have built payments businesses through Canadian gambling some competition.
You might have noticed that the pace of technological change is picking up. Everything is changing, and some of these new technologies will change the Canadian gambling business sooner rather than later.
While these changes are still a few years out, they’re taking root today. Here are some of the things you’ll likely see in the near future.
- A.I. – Artificial intelligence is likely to transform every element of our lives in the coming years and decades. As for online gambling, it will lead to some positive changes. Reducing problem gambling, spotting cheats, and unleashing innovation like new games are some of the expected changes.
- Blockchain – Lots of people know about cryptocurrencies. Yet, the underlying technology of blockchain is what’s interesting for gambling. It can facilitate provably fair gaming, keep immutable records, and allow for positive changes like faster payouts.
- Virtual Reality – V.R. didn’t take off the way many expected in the last decade. However, it seems that it may be ready to shine. Expect live dealer games to implement elements of augmented reality. Slowly, this will lead to V.R. games and casinos.