Will US Sports Betting Decision Affect Canadian Online Casino Market?
Canuck online casino players may still be able to play online poker, but as of May 2018, they now lag somewhat behind the US in terms of sports betting. And, this could make things tougher for the Canadian online casino industry if it wants to remain competitive.
Earlier in May, the US Supreme court overturned a federal law banning sports betting in most of its states. Wagering on singles games, though, remains illegal in Canada. While there’s concern that the decision could affect Canadian casino operators as they lose business to American outlets, there’s still hope that the ruling may spur changes to regulations in Canada.
Canadian Online Casino Industry Falling Behind
It’s not due to lack of trying that Canada hasn’t made moves to modernise its sports betting regulations. The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) president, Paul Burns has reported that the country has fallen dangerously behind the US. He has stated that the country’s Parliament has certainly had a few chances to modernise gaming laws but not done so. Provinces requested a relatively straightforward amendment to the criminal code nearly a decade ago, which would have provided better regulatory control to sports wagering to protect punters and athletes alike. Unfortunately, the request fell on deaf ears.
According to Burns, not only does that hurt players and their desire to legally wager, it also harms the operators that are losing big revenue to their offshore counterparts. He further highlights the fact that the government does not reap tax benefits from online gaming activity that’s going on anyway, despite the laws that are in place.
In light of this, the Canadian gaming sector faces the potential for even greater revenue loss now that legalised sports betting is becoming a possibility south of the border.
Billions Going to Offshore Operators
While Canadians may not have the numbers that Americans do, Canucks still enjoy sports betting just as much as they love their online slots and dice games.
The country has a population of around 36 million people, yet they bet about $10 billion per year on sports. Most of that money, though, goes to offshore betting operators. It should be noted that Canadians can bet via government-regulated operators, but single-game betting has been illegal for decades.
So, Canadians are spending billions each year illegally on sports because what they want – single-game bets – is offered by offshore operators.
Unless laws change in the country, Canada risks losing even more business to the United States if more states begin offering single-game wagering and land-based casinos. It will definitely be a big blow to Canadian operators, whose customers could start heading elsewhere so as not to miss out on the action.
There Is Good News
There is some good news though. Creating a legal landscape for sports betting in the country would be much easier than it was across the border. So, the CGA is calling on legislators to make a straightforward change to the Criminal Code.
Watch this space – it might just happen
For now, Canucks can continue enjoying great casino action at many reputable online casino operators that cater for Canadian dollars.