Mobile Casino Growth In Canada
Canadians have enjoyed mobile casino entertainment since the first games for cell phones were launched in the early 2000s. The platform has grown in popularity ever since, and there’s little doubt in the minds of industry stakeholders that this will change in the foreseeable future.
The absence of a national regulator that licenses offshore operators makes it difficult to know the exact number of Canadians who play online Roulette and other games at offshore sites, and whether they do so on computer or mobile device. Thankfully, local statistics that indicate the burgeoning popularity of mobile gaming are available.
Canadians And Gambling
According to a Canadian Gaming Association report, the local industry is with more than $15 billion per year, and it generates more than $9 billion in funding for community and government projects. It also has created more than 135,000 fulltime jobs.
A Canada Info Link report claimed that players based in the country spend as much as $4 billion per year at offshore online and mobile casinos. According to the same report, there are 19.3 million active players based in the country, and of those players, 57% are male and 43% are female.
Of the female gamblers, 55% use their smartphones to play online Roulette or other games. The age group in which gambling online was most prevalent was the 18-34 group, which comprised 16% of the total.
Casino gaming is not the only popular gambling activity that Canadians enjoy on their mobile devices. Lotteries, scratch cards, and raffles actually outrank land-based and online casinos in popularity, and those are followed by cards rooms, which make up 3.5% of the market, and horseracing, which makes up 3.6% of the market. Sports betting is the least popular gambling activity, and it makes up 3.1% of the market.
Land-based gambling venues took a particularly hard knock in 2020, due to the pandemic. The global health crisis not only forced casino doors shut, it also discouraged players from visiting when the venues reopened. That said, the popularity of land-based venues in Canada began to decline long before lockdown. In Alberta alone, land-based venues reported a 24% drop in revenue for 2018-2019.
Legal Online Gambling
Canadian law prohibits operators from legally formalising, locating the servers, or otherwise operating online and mobile casinos within the country’s borders. The law also allows each province to set up its own regulator and to issue licenses to operators. Of the provinces, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec can issue online gambling licenses – however, those gambling services can be offered only to players within the relevant province.