The change to gambling laws in some states has had a significant impact on sports betting. A couple of years ago, wagering on sports was a thing only in some European countries, but this is no longer true. For example, if we examine places like Canada, we can see that the number of bettors grows daily.
Speaking of Canada, the forecast provided by Kristiyan, who’s a part of Nostrabet, shows that around 24M people in the country will be involved in sports betting by the year 2027. For comparison, the stat for the UK shows that only around 15M people will be in the same position.
“The reason why Canada is compared to the UK is because the latter is among the most popular countries for sports betting. The UK is home to the world’s premier online bookmakers, and betting has been legal for many years. Furthermore, most of the top-tier iGaming sites are also available in Canada”, said Kristiyan.
Considering that around 6M people in Canada in 2021 were interested in sports betting, the forecast for 2027 may come as a shock. However, there are several reasons why the stats could look like that, and we’ll take a look at them. We will also focus on the potential effects of wagering on sports.
What’s happening in Canada in terms of sports betting?
Canada was among the places where single-match wagering was not technically legal. However, the government decided it was time to change, so it allowed single-game sports betting. Unsurprisingly, this allowed a lot of online bookmakers to start operating in the country.
The changes took place in 2021, and the idea behind them was to battle organized crime by allowing Canadians to bet on these kinds of events. The government referred to the law as Bill C-218, and it has had a massive effect on the industry. Before it, Canadians could only palace Parlay bets, meaning they had to wager on at least 3 separate selections. Following the changes, they can use one of the many regulated bookmakers to place a bet on a single event.
Similar to other parts of the globe where gambling is regulated, Canada has several gambling commissions. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario are the most popular ones. Unsurprisingly, they’re the ones that give permits to most of the top-tier European brands that decide to operate here.
Following the legal changes, we can see that the number of people using sports betting services in the country has increased drastically. Between 2021 and 2023, the number went from around 6M to 16M. This may not surprise some because many of the UK’s finest online bookies began operating overseas. Speaking of the UK, we can see that it has a stable number of fans who bet on sports which is growing slowly every year.
The effects of the growing number of sports bettors in Canada
Unsurprisingly, Canada’s decision to legalize this form of sports betting was controversial. Certain people were unhappy because they believed this had paved the way for all kinds of problems. Interestingly, some opponents of the idea gave the UK an example because of the problems the country had with gambling for a couple of years.
The fact that sports betting is legal allows many top-tier operators to move to the North American market. Of course, they must register within the country and obtain a license from one of the regulators. Consequently, these brands must spend a lot of funds, which goes directly into Canada.
Another advantage many Canadians don’t consider is that these sites spend tons of money on advertisement and sponsorship deals. In other words, they invest even more money into the local economy, which benefits everyone.
Sadly, there are also a couple of significant drawbacks that many people don’t consider. If the forecasts regarding the millions of Canadians who’ll use be involved in sports betting one way or another become a reality, Canad will surpass the UK, which is one of the more mature markets. Considering some people’s problems with iGaming there, we can only imagine what it will be like in Canada..
Another thing that the opponents of Canada’s sports betting legislative changes point out is the problems with money laundering. Even though the operators that provide their services in the jurisdiction need a permit from the authorities, some loopholes and mechanisms allow money laundering. Sadly, this is one of the drawbacks of iGaming that every government has to deal with.
What should the government do to make sure that sports betting does not get out of control?
For better or worse, Canada’s decision to legalize single-form sports betting will greatly impact some people. No one wants to have problems while punting, so the government can look at other countries and try not to make the same mistakes.
Since there’s always the possibility of a gambling addiction, people probably expect to see various campaigns promoting responsible gambling. Going back to the UK, there has been a trend in the last couple of years that focus on it. Promoting the importance of knowing how much you bet and other things will have a big effect on punters.
Another thing that the Canadian authorities should focus on is making sure that gambling sites do not promote their services to minors. They can do that by imposing more strict requirements for bookmakers when people are registering for a new account. In fact, some operators have those kinds of things because they will require you to verify you have the minimum gambling age as soon as you open an account. Interestingly, there are some differences between the minimum gambling age in some of Canada’s provinces.
Watching the boom of sports betting in Canada in the next couple of years will be very interesting. Who knows, the country may become an even more popular destination for iGaming operators.