Even before its launch, Ontario’s iGaming industry became one of the most talked-about markets throughout the international online gaming community. By presenting an already established player base and a strong demand for diverse gaming products, Ontario’s iGaming market proved its significance and also demonstrated the importance of Canada’s online gaming industry. With the possibility of market expansion, the creation of more innovative payment solutions, and responsible gaming initiatives, Canada’s online gaming industry holds the potential to be one of the most important gaming markets in the world.
Gaming holds an important position throughout Canada. According to the Canadian Gaming Association, gaming is the largest segment of Canada’s entertainment industry. Almost 20 million Canadians participate in active gambling, reports AffiliateInsider. And with single-event sports betting being legalized throughout the country last year, provinces became even more motivated to live with their online gaming markets. Ontario became the first province to launch its iGaming market, allowing international gaming merchants to expand their brand in the Canadian province. Several popular merchants such as FanDuel, bet365, and BetMGM were the first to move. Players in Ontario embraced the launch of regulated online gaming by downloading sports betting applications such as theScoreBet which was one of the most downloaded apps in Canada at launch, indicating that online gaming has big potential throughout the country. Provinces such as Alberta have begun stepping up and showing an interest in opening up their regulated online gaming market. Last December, the Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis agency announced that they are “welcoming bids from prospective vendors that wish to enter the province’s sports betting market.” Along with retail gaming, Alberta is working to expand online sports betting options with a mobile extension sometime this year. Alberta moving towards a regulated gaming market indicates consumer demand in other provinces besides Ontario. As more provinces open bids for merchants who want to expand into their regulated gaming industry, international gaming merchants and the provinces themselves will benefit greatly from a rise in revenue and creative collaborations supported by an active player base that welcomes diverse gaming platforms.
Innovative Payment Solutions
With market expansion on the rise, innovative payment solutions will play a huge role in supporting Canada’s online gaming industry. Payments technology has been an important tool for player acquisition and retention, which is why the development of more payment solutions will further benefit gaming merchants and their consumers. In Ontario’s iGaming market, solutions such as bank account-based payments are on the rise. Bank account-based payment solutions such as INTERAC®, INSTADEBIT, and iDebit, offered by Paramount Commerce, have benefited merchants and consumers because of their strong bank connections, secure transactions, and most importantly because they are fully compliant with the province’s iGaming standards. When compared to other payment solutions such as credit cards, bank account-based payment solutions reduce rejection rates and eliminate cash advance fees which create a negative experience for players. As time progresses, Canada’s online gaming industry will need the support of innovative payment solutions to better reach consumers. To learn more about accepting bank-account-based payments, click here.
Apart from market expansion and innovative payment solutions, Canada’s online gaming industry might also play a major role in the development of responsible gaming initiatives. When the framework of Ontario’s iGaming market was being created, government bodies such as the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and iGaming Ontario put a strong emphasis on consumer protection. Merchants moving into Ontario had to meet important responsible gaming requirements set by the province. Ontario’s responsible gaming requirements included two important components: responsible advertising and responsible gaming campaigns. AGCO set three major advertising rules for iGaming operators to include:
Protecting individuals who are underage, at high risk, and have self-excluded themselves from online gambling.
Not misguiding consumers through advertisements of their products or promotions.
Inducements, bonuses, and credits are to be advertised only on the iGaming merchant’s websites; and handled safely through direct marketing to players.
In addition to responsible advertising, online gaming merchants are also required to commit a portion of their gross gaming revenue generated in the province towards problem gambling prevention and responsible gaming campaigns. These responsible gaming initiatives will become more important as the Canadian gaming market expands and they will play a better role in reaching and supporting consumers. To read more about our responsible gaming in Ontario, click here.
With more provinces and territories working to go live with their regulated online gaming industries, the future of Canada’s online gaming industry is a promising one. Not only will merchants and consumers benefit from the expansion, but so will provincial governments. The creation of innovative payment solutions and responsible gaming strategies will also evolve with more Canadian markets opening up. And through these events, Canada’s online gaming industry will prove to be an important part of the North American gaming market.