The global gambling industry is going to continue to grow. It is already estimated to be worth billions of dollars – and those figures are rising all the time.
One of the fastest-growing areas for gambling is Canada. In fact, the country is one of the biggest slot-playing nations on the planet. This is due in part to Canada’s lax gambling legislation and the fact that Canadians have easy access to a variety of gaming choices.
In this feature, we’ll take a look at why online slots are becoming so popular in Canada and why Canadians will be among the first people to be trying out online slots for 2022.
A gambling industry study conducted by Research and Markets has shown that Canadians have increasingly shifted from traditional brick-and-mortar gambling activities to the world of online gaming.
This may be partly due to demographics, but it is also a result of the widespread restrictions of the last several months, that have made it harder to attend real-world venues. Land-based casinos in Canada have experienced revenue declines in recent years, with internet gambling cited as a contributing factor.
Many Canadian players prefer slots as their main online casino game of choice, but this upsurge in slots gaming is also due to players switching from more traditional games to try their hand at the many video slots and high-tech slots gaming opportunities available on online casino sites.
The $31bn Canadian online gambling sector includes a wide variety of online games, including video poker, keno, slots and others, but the foundation of this sector is in the popularity of games such as blackjack.
As a simple game, with a relatively low house edge, blackjack has global appeal, but it has proved to be particularly successful in Canada, where both standard online blackjack and live dealer blackjack have big followings.
The popularity of blackjack is matched by Canadian’s love of poker. Poker is another traditional game that has made a smooth transition to online casinos. All forms of poker have enjoyed a large audience in the country for many years, which drives a lot of traffic and new customers to online sites.
Then there’s the group of Canadians who gamble by playing bingo. Bingo rooms may be found throughout Canada. Every senior center, Legion and leisure center has an electronic bingo game on the wall, ready for the regularly scheduled bingo night.
Live bingo, although being strictly regulated in certain respects, appeals to a specific audience that is unlikely to engage in internet gambling. In Canada, bingo is a widely accepted type of gambling that, to many of the players who enjoy it, may not even be considered gambling.
These traditions of gambling often serve as the initial attraction among Canadians for online casinos, but once registered with an online site, Canadians often gravitate towards the slots sections of these sites, which usually feature hundreds of the latest slot titles across all genres and gaming styles.
Quality of games
Canada is a relatively sophisticated nation and Canadian slots players appreciate the greater variety and depth offered by the top slots casino developers, including NetEnt, Playtech, Real Time Gaming, Microgaming, Quickspin, NYX Interactive, Play’n GO and Evolution Gaming among others.
A sign of the growing strength of the slots sector in Canada is the increasing relevance of Canadian software developers in the industry, as demand for sophisticated slots gaming experiences grows.
Canadian gaming law
This is where the grey area of internet gambling in Canada comes into play. While gambling has become a socially accepted component of Canadian culture, the legal implications are very different.
Despite the fact that the Criminal Code of Canada prohibits Canadian bets from being taken by non-state registered operators, Canadian gamblers are able to access offshore sites. Bingo halls, internet casinos and poker rooms are all open to them, while the federal government has given provinces and territories the authority to make their own laws.
Quebec leads the way
Quebec was the first province to enact gambling rules, although it ranks third in the nation in terms of the number of gamblers. With 28.1 percent, Ontario leads, followed by British Columbia at 24.6 percent and Quebec at 20.3 percent. Quebec is also the province with the largest gain in income attributed to gaming in the country.
The average yearly increase is presently 2.12 percent, equating to nearly $3bn in Canadian dollars. The provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are considering adopting most of Quebec’s regulations, with an emphasis on internet gambling.
A growing sector
The gaming sector in Canada has enjoyed its fastest growth in recent years, and it has been part of a general trend towards a more relaxed approach and more liberal attitude on the part of lawmakers. Despite the fact that internet casinos, online sportsbooks, lotteries and bingo games have been thriving, the government has not stepped in.
The fact that lotteries in particular make a significant contribution to some local economies may be a factor in the federal government accepting that internet gambling is here to say, and perhaps signals the eventuality of a fully regulated online gaming sector in Canada.
When it comes to the expansion of online gaming in Canada, it seems that slots are at the forefront. Canadians are relishing the opportunity to access some of the best online slots in the world and this slot gaming revolution is likely to continue to expand in the years ahead.