Canadian Gaming Market Overview 2017

Driving the C$1bn annual gambling revenues are online and live games that boast thousands of options with winnings ranging from $1.00 all the way into the millions of Canadian dollars. With video machines losing ground to mobile betting apps, is the Canadian gaming market faltering?

In recent years, the gaming market has become a rapidly evolving business environment, and as such, more and more enterprises are looking for that competitive edge to gain a larger market share.  With tax revenues amassing billions, we look at various gaming market angles in Canada.

Employing Canadians Daily

According to ABI Research, the mobile commerce market will continue to grow and accelerate future online spending. In 2015, conversion from in-person to mobile platforms reached 119 billion dollars, which is roughly 8% of today’s e-commerce market. What’s more, that could double by 2020.  This means the 138,000 currently employed in Canadian casinos, online gambling hubs and similar ventures may find themselves hitting the unemployment line much sooner than later.

Moreover, the Canadian gaming industry produces $10 billion in capital construction, which is turned into schools and other necessary government programs.  The ripple effect, in other words, is tremendous every time one player bets money as casinos need food, construction and electronics to sustain growth. While the revenue shouldn’t suffer by 2015, technology will factor into who keeps their careers in gaming.

Mergers, Sponsors

Many Canadian gaming companies would amass fortunes unbeknownst before if only they could tap into American money.  Recently, that elusive first step took place.

Amaya Gaming, which is responsible for manufacturing machines, agreed to purchase PokerStars and Full Tilt for roughly $4.9B, which removed the obstacle that kept the mega online poker room from expanding – it’s current ownership.

In similar fashion, online casinos are leveraging the power of FIFA and similar national events to push their casino sales.  Bodog, for one, has seen tremendous new online registrations and return of marquee players during FIFA’s showcase.  In fact, Bodog tends to use NFL and other sporting venues to attract attention to their online gaming site.  This, of course, means local businesses score big, and more live casino revenues are generated.

Even more stunning is how Canada’s video gaming market ranks just behind Japan and United States in terms of revenue and employment generated from online and live machine play.  Many gaming hubs throughout Canada may see lower revenues should mobile apps take over. To get an idea of the economic impact, a 2008 study revealed 267,000 direct and indirect jobs were created from casinos, video poker and online gaming sites.  That was just 6 years ago.

Could Bill C-290 Have Increased Revenues?

Although legislation is fighting tooth and nail to repeal single-game betting, naysayers aren’t contributing to Canadian gambling revenues.  While Americans find themselves under Federal indictment for illegal wagering, hockey and baseball are two sports where single-game bets could heavily increase tax revenues.  The bill is still waiting for its third reading to become part of Canada’s Criminal Code.

Many fear passing such legislation may cause ‘fixing’, or planned outcomes since bettors aren’t diehard sports fans when money sits on the table.  To the CRA and similar agencies, it’s an opportunity to add schools, education programs and renovate city buildings.

Extra: Is Gaming Fun, or Addiction?

According to industry reports, 70.7% of Canadian adults gambled as of seven years ago, although today that demographic is probably slightly higher given the prevalence of online poker, slots and blackjack.  While this is wonderful for Canada’s revenue stream, many cannot help but wonder if growing schools and government programs at gamblers’ expenses is healthy.

In extreme cases, Canadians will literally sell their first born son to increase individual odds of winning poker games, and people regularly become habituated to mathematical odds. All this in hopes they can retire easily, regardless if that means they find money by selling personal items, taking out mortgages and even forming hypotheses on how numbers are drawn.

The once fun game of chance has become a worldwide spectacle featured on television shows, newspapers and mimicked on online games. With the rise of online casinos in just over a century, one must ask themselves if gambling away hard earned money is worth the heartache and hassle that is involved with playing.

Played responsibly, online casinos are fun and can yield winnings beyond your dreams while growing Canada’s already beautiful provincial towns and cities; remember, folks, pay your bills before egregiously spending paychecks.

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