Published on 28/09/2022 09:13:49
Change is afoot in North America when it comes to the associated concerns of sports betting, and online gaming. After many years of restriction, a shift in policy has led to a sea-change in the way the world’s largest economy relates to the iGaming sector – one of the largest and most lucrative entertainment markets globally.
Not only is this change rapidly influencing the way individual states approach this sector, but it has led to a knock-on effect in Canada, stripping away antiquated laws in that region and opening the door to new sources of revenue across the nation.
Back in 2018, sports betting became legal across the US after a supreme court decision struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in a 6-3 ruling. This 1992 law prohibited sports betting in every state except Nevada. Since then, sports betting has become legal in 31 states in varying degrees, with more deemed pending or soon to follow.
The revenues associated with this change in legislation are considerable, with New Jersey – the first state to introduce sports betting following the change in law posting $1 billion in revenue over the course of a month in September 2021. Hot on the heels of this reforming wave we are seeing more states additionally open up to online casinos, welcoming in the wider iGaming industry.
Online casino gaming, as with sports betting, was once limited to Nevada, however now in 2022, legal online casino gaming can now be found additionally in New Jersey, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
As with sports betting, more states are likely to follow suit in due course. As we will explore below, in relation to the Canadian context it’s particularly noteworthy that among the early adopters of full-spectrum iGaming in the states, we find Michigan.
Canada’s own relationship with iGaming and sports betting has historically been both more nuanced, and more liberal, than at least the more conservative devolved government bodies of its southern neighbor. In terms of sports betting, this has been legal across Canada since 1985, however in an unusual form that was largely designed to curtail its popularity.
Known as parlay betting, this form of sports betting limited those seeking to place a bet to only do so as pairs of bets. What’s more, an additional stipulation outlined that should either bet lose, the player forfeits their entire winnings (even if one of the two bets was successful). This changed in 2021, when, in a move largely seen to be tied to the aforementioned developments in the United States, Canada legalized so-called “single-game” or non-parlay betting for sports events across the nation.
At present, one region has responded dynamically to this change – that of the province of Ontario, which neighbors Michigan. For this reason, it’s also noteworthy that in 2022, this same province made the further move to legalize online casinos within its regional purview.
It bears noting that internationally hosted online casinos have never been illegal for Canadians to access, thus explaining the market’s multibillion-dollar annual revenue in that region. Leading providers such as Vegas Slots Online have long sought to facilitate access to quality iGaming services for those residing in the Great White North.
In providing one of the most comprehensive selections of real money slots available anywhere and furnishing competitive promotional offers and sign-up bonuses for associated platforms, services like this have helped make the cause for the sector’s greater inclusion in the Canadian economy. This is further facilitated in having demonstrated how this can all be done, easily, whilst in compliance with international regulatory standards.
While the future of Canada’s iGaming industry is looking healthy, with a 20% growth in revenue recorded between 2020 and 2021 demonstrating the market’s scalability in the wake of legalization, it remains too soon to say how, and in what way, the sector will continue to grow in the nation.
Without a doubt, the developing relationship between the iGaming sector and the United States will pave the way for further adoption across the continent. Furthermore, it is thought that once the full reckoning of Ontario’s experiment with opening the door to the sector becomes clear, it is likely that we will see neighboring provinces Manitoba and Quebec follow suit in the coming years.