Canada is Opening Borders to US Tourists for Casino Profits

Aamir Kamal
Hermes Rivera / Unsplash

Gambling has been popular in Canada for centuries. It is thought that gambling began prior to the arrival of travelers from Europe whereby native members would gamble for natural resources. Although this was considered a pastime for many, it also held significant cultural value. Upon the arrival of the European travelers, gambling became frowned upon due to the illegality of games using dice.

In the 21st century, the country of Canada completely welcomes gambling within its borders. Gambling online has become more popular due to the increased use of technology. Many players prefer to gamble in the comfort of their own homes as opposed to visiting a land-based casino. With that being said, there are still plenty of land-based casinos for players to choose from.

Gambling in Canada is incredibly popular with over 15 million residents engaging in some form of gambling. Overall, this ranks the country of Canada in eighth in the world for the number of residents gambling online.

Due to Canada’s growing gambling scene, the government has made the decision to open its borders to enable US tourists to gamble more in Canada.

Changes to Canadian Border Rules

The Coronavirus pandemic has caused many disruptions to international border laws and travel. The government of Canada, like many across the world, has imposed particularly strict border laws.

The health and safety of the public are vital. Canada has closed and repetitively reopened the borders, solely based on the state of cases across the world. Due to the declining rate of coronavirus cases, Canada has been able to move towards reduced restrictions on international travel.

The vaccination scheme has proven to be promising for the gambling scene. In early September of 2021, you can expect to see an easing of restrictions for those who are fully vaccinated. This will see a huge influx of international travelers, particularly Americans.

Opening the borders to Americans will be of great benefit to Canada’s economy and particularly the gambling industry.

Popular Gambling Types

The most popular game for gamblers in Canada is the lottery. In a recent survey, over 50% of Canadians admitted to playing the lottery in the last year. The lottery is popular due to its small investment for a large payout.

Online and land-based casinos are well-liked, with just short of half of the sample having bet in a casino in the last year. Although land-based casinos are becoming less popular, the market for online casinos has rapidly increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many online casinos to choose from but it may be an idea to use casinos selected by professionals.

In the same survey, less than 4% of the sample had recently bet on a sporting event, making this the most unfavorable for gamblers in Canada. This could be due to how difficult it can be to predict the outcome of sporting events.

Demographics in Canada

Online gambling is popular for both men and women. Of those that regularly use online casinos, approximately 57% are male whilst 43% are female.

Overall, women who gamble tend to use their mobile phones to access online casinos, more so than men.

Online gambling is particularly common for 18 to 34 year-olds, with a small percentage of players coming from other age groups.

The Gambling Industry in Canada

Revenue generated from gambling activities in Canada totaled over $2.5 billion Canada last year. Almost half of this figure came directly from online gambling such as online casinos and online bookmakers.

As high as this may sounds, a lot of potential revenue is supposedly being lost due to complex gambling regulations imposed by the Canadian government. Each state across Canada requires license agreements from the government of that particular province. This essentially makes the online gambling market less diverse and lessens its prospective reach, allowing foreign casino operators to take advantage of this.

Estimations show that revenue could reach as high as $4 billion if the Canadian government were to change tact and implement similar laws to their transatlantic cousins, the United Kingdom. Per capita, Canadians spend more on gambling than either the US or the UK at over $800 per year, showing there is great potential for gambling operators.

Is Online Gambling Legal in Canada?

In Canada, gambling laws are determined by each region. How they do You will find that in most states, gambling is legal for those above 18. Online casinos that aim to operate from Canada must obtain licensing from a regulatory institution.

Currently, there are only a select few counties that can provide a license to online casinos. This includes Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Quebec. In these provinces, online casinos are able to operate locally and internationally and are readily available for gamblers across the globe.

Online casinos which are not licensed by Canadian authorities are inaccessible for Canadian gamblers. In addition, it is illegal for any online casinos which originate from foreign online gambling establishments to run in Canada.

What Does the Future Hold?

The effects of the pandemic stretched far beyond health and permeated into everyday life. This included the gambling industry where many regular land-based bettors and gamblers migrated to online versions of these establishments.

In Canada, this is no different as the country has experienced an influx of online casino users in recent months. However, this transition to online gambling predates the pandemic and was merely accelerated by its presence.

Online gambling providers are becoming increasingly adept at mimicking land-based casinos in that they provide immersion and escapism in a way in which they could not before. Live dealers and virtual reality integrations are just two steps helping drive forward the online casino boom in Canada and this progress shows few signs of slowing down anytime soon.

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