While most industries have been hit hard by the global pandemic, one that has seen a boom has been the online gaming industry. This is true in North America as well, where hundreds of casinos have been closed down during the pandemic, but what the alternatives?
The Perfect Choice
It is not surprising that online casinos are doing so well. These sites have become quite popular over the last decade, not only because of the fantastic iGaming venues that are available, but also because of convenience. The fact that these websites have offered outstanding welcome bonuses, loyalty programs, and other perks has only sweetened the pot.
These were already factors that were drawing people to the online options, but the Covid-19 pandemic has only made these options more enticing. Considering that there are no social distancing restrictions, concerns about the facilities being closed, or fear that you might contract the illness has only helped to draw customers to the websites. It was factors like this that had many analysts believing that the growth rate for revenue between 2019 to this year would see an increase of better than 13%.
Online Casinos in Canada
To gain a full understanding of how successful this industry is becoming, it is important to look at some of the countries offering online gambling options. This helps to shed light on where they are now and how successful they are likely to be in the future.
For example, it is expected that the North American online gaming market will see a 14.8% increase from the year 2022 the year 2025. Analysts point to online casinos as the most rapidly growing gambling venture, primarily because of convenience and optimal experience for users.
In Canada, online casinos are growing at a surprising rate, even to Canadians. There are hundreds of options that are available to customers, with the best online casinos offering welcome bonuses that will match deposits up to $7000. With the addition of free or bonus spins, Canadians are finding this to be the perfect alternative to actually going to a casino. You can find a list of the best Canadian online casino options on this page.
Adding to the enjoyment is the fact that there is a wide array of gaming options available. The diversified game options include playing traditional style table games, such as roulette and baccarat, or playing slot machines, poker, blackjack, or any of the options one would find at a land-based casino. Plus, because these options are online, it means that there is very rarely ever an issue with getting on the machine or table of choice.
The Laws in Canada
Canada is one of the most diverse countries you will find. There are large metropolitan areas, such as Toronto and Montréal, but also, they have areas that are virtually untouched. The country is a polar opposite in many ways in terms of landscape, population, even culture.
This helter-skelter society finds that same kind of thinking in its gaming laws. There are many provinces within the country where online gambling is illegal. However, laws have been written so that citizens can join offshore online gaming websites without being in violation of the law.
Casino operators are not allowed to set up business in Canada. The laws forbid them from setting up headquarters in any Canadian province, however, Canadian citizens can easily access casino websites in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Malta. These online operations even cater to Canadian citizens.
Currently, the only casinos allowed within the borders of Canada are land-based options, and they are all owned by the government. It is not a crime for a person to visit and play at any of these facilities. Many of the provinces have been working with the Canadian government to gain permission to offer land-based casinos.
Online Casinos in the United States
Like Canada, the United States is quite diversified. Having 50 individual state governments has made gaming laws as diverse as you will find in any country in the world. Some states, such as New York, have made it legal for people to visit land-based casinos, but they are not allowed to use online options, at least not to bet on sporting events.
Then there are states where you have the capability to play either online or in person. This includes such states as Iowa and New Jersey, among others. In these states, people within the borders can access online casino options.
Many of the states require that an online casino or sportsbook be affiliated with a land-based operation within the state. This has opened the door for partnerships between such well-known operators as FanDuel to offer their services through a casino operating within the state.
While not all states currently offer residents the ability to use online casinos, there are many state legislatures who have been working on bills to legalize the practice. Currently, about 20 states offer this option, but it could be all 50 by the end of this decade.
Currently, better than 70% of all online gambling in North America occurs within the United States. Its large population, advanced technology, and passion for these types of games have made it a hotbed for online casino operators.
Online Casinos in Antigua and Barbuda
Currently, these two Caribbean islands are the only other countries in North America that have legalized online gambling. The two islands, operating as one nation, have been issuing licenses since 1994. In fact, these two islands became the first to offer online gaming licenses worldwide. This was also the year that the country created laws and began regulating this industry.
In the early years, acquiring a license in Antigua was an extremely easy process that had few requirements. That led to a number of low-quality sites operating on the island. This was remedied in 2003 when stricter guidelines were imposed. Now, a substantial licensing fee is required, and stringent standards must be met to be authorized to operate an online gaming operation on the island.
Even with stricter guidelines and regulations, the nation has become a preferred location for online gaming operators to base their headquarters. It is the country’s political stability, exceptional technology, and longtime financial operations that have made it ideal for gambling operators from across the globe.
The two islands have become a hotbed of tourist activity because of the many land-based casinos and online gaming operations that are available. Not only can patrons play casino style games, but also place bets on sporting events from across the globe.
Could Expansion Be on the Horizon?
There are only three nations in North America currently offering online gambling. Because of the potential for significant tax revenues, it would not be surprising to see this number dramatically increase by the year 2030. Some Caribbean nations already allow for some form of legalized gambling within their borders, so adding online gaming activities seems like the next logical step.
In several countries there are already some form of illegal activity. Some are even quite sophisticated in their operations. This is why governments are seeking to get involved in the industry, recognizing that the activities are already going on, so it makes sense to try to reap some of the benefits of that financial pie.
How quickly this industry grows in North America is going to be dependent upon two factors. The first is the financial sector. There must be secure and well-established financial institutions to handle the large number of transactions involved in online gambling activities. In addition, technology advancements are essential. There must be secure cyber operations to protect customers and the industry as a whole.
Because of the money involved, no one is betting against rapid advancements in these areas. This is why North America could quickly rival Southeast Asia in becoming a tourist hotbed for those who enjoy playing their favorite casino style game while lying on the beach.