With the legalization of sports betting in Canada last year, provinces have been able to grow their sports betting and iGaming markets rapidly, making Canada one of the best markets for U.S.-based operator expansion. While many provinces launched government-run sportsbooks in 2021, this year provinces are expected to launch and expand their iGaming and sports betting market, opening doors for interested American merchants.
Expanding into Canada’s gaming industry means an opportunity worth a billion dollars. U.S.-based online gaming merchants and sportsbooks should obtain an operator license in Canada because according to the Canadian Gaming Association, in 2019, Ontario’s gaming industry alone generated revenue of $6.3 billion. Gaming “is the largest segment of Canada’s entertainment industry.” According to AffiliateInsider, almost 20 million Canadians participate in active gambling.” Due to the popularity of iGaming and sports wagering in Canada, American operators who have previously familiarized themselves with Canadian players via offshore options could benefit from that association as they already have an active consumer base.
Another key component that U.S.-based iGaming operators and sportsbooks could benefit from is sponsorship. Sports is one of the main areas online gaming operators seek sponsorship. Companies such as DraftKings have been collaborating with American sports organizations like the UFC, which have helped in brand awareness for the platform and have also been integral in providing odds-related stats. Canadian sports organizations such as CFL or the Canadian Elite Basketball League will help interested American operators in reaching a new audience while also providing diverse sports betting options for Canadian players.
Aside from sponsorship and financial benefits, American operators could play a huge role in responsible gaming initiatives. As provinces begin to create their online gaming framework, tackling problem gaming will be an important part of that strategy. U.S.-based operators could provide insights to Canadian regulators about the best practices in responsible gaming. They could share the learnings from measures they have implemented on their platforms with the help of American regulators. Diverse responsible gaming measures aimed at Canadian players will benefit the players and help create trust between operators and regulators.
Canada holds one of the most active online gaming player-ships in the world, bringing in a lot of revenue. According to Statista, in 2020 the Canadian gambling industry held an estimated value of 14.08 billion U.S. dollars. With Canadian provinces such as Ontario working to launch their online gaming markets this year, American gaming operators could benefit from expanding their brand in Canada.