Canada Ups the Ante as it Follows USA Down the Rabbit Hole

Canada looks ready to make a move online.

The online betting world has become so big that its influence and popularity can no longer be ignored. What started as a bit of a novelty in Canada, has now taken a rather serious turn. As mentioned in the news recently, the popularity of the online casino industry has gained so much traction, that it’s predicted to increase to 1 trillion dollars by the year 2021! This has raised several questions about what the rules, regulations and pitfalls the future of it will be in Canada moving forward.

Zoe Walker from predicts that “online casinos will be regulated at the same time as sports betting, putting an end to the grey market that currently exists.” It’s going to be very interesting to see “where the chips fall’ so to speak.”

What is the USA doing?

The year 2018 was an epic year for sports betting for the United States of America, as the Supreme Court made its decision to strip away PASPA. For those who may not know, PASPA stands for the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a federal anti-gambling law passed into legislation in 1992. In this landmark new ruling overturning the Act, the US Supreme court ruled that the Federal ban on state-sanctioned sports betting is unconstitutional, opening the floodgates for more states to follow.

How was this new legislation received?

Initially, this overturn on regulation was not well received by the 4 major sporting leagues — the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL — and others. They feared the integrity of their game would be compromised. However, once it became the new normal, these leagues started to realize the sweet potential of having a slice of the trillion-dollar pie! The NBA already started making deals, so it’s just a matter of time before everyone sees this massive opportunity. For most businesses, there’s a lot to like about this new regulation – like being able to bet at your local bar, regulated bookies and more tax dollars flowing into each of the states who allow it. However, it’s not smooth sailing for everyone.

What are the pitfalls?

There are many. Human beings have become addicted to instant gratification and just like many vices, gambling has its pitfalls. It can lead to addiction and more debt than the average person can handle. Owing the Casino money might feel a little less dangerous than owing the bank, so people keep spending.

What’s happening in Canada?

Throughout Canada’s history, Canadians have largely left the decision to gamble up to its citizens. Whether Canadians are interested in gambling or not, they are currently free to do whatever they want without any repercussions from the government. This makes Canada a very prospective place for all gamblers, online or not. In fact, it’s been known that some gamblers who are banned from casinos or online gambling in their own country, for whatever reason, end up moving to Canada because Canadians don’t seem to have the same stigma towards gambling as other countries do.

What does regulation currently look like?

The online and betting world is confusing and complicated at best. So many different parts of it are regulated differently. Canada’s Gaming Commission oversees the entire gaming industry, giving people information and responding to issues that arise. Remote gambling is decided on a provincial level, but the online gambling laws are more flexible, allowing gamblers to access gambling online from an offshore operator. Currently, Canada does not ban access to any privatized online casinos, leaving endless opportunities for gamblers to roam free.

How does Canada’s gambling future compare to the USA?

In the US, the recent ruling by the Supreme Court in 2018 as mentioned above, to dismantle the PAPSA has freed up other states to make their own rules and make as much money out of the industry.

In a recent episode of The Daily Show, comedian Trevor Noah shared some funny but astonishing statistics about the online betting industry’s potential to make money from the US’s most recent Superbowl 54. Other than the commercials and the game itself, one of the biggest aspects of the game is online gambling. It was estimated that a record 26 million Americans would bet a staggering 6.8 billion dollars on The Superbowl 54.

When you think of what people can bet on, you will see how easily they got to these figures: the coin toss, the colour of the Gatorade, the length of the game, even how many times President Trump might tweet during the game.

If you think about the sheer volume and variety of things people in the US are betting on, you realize it’s just a matter of time before its neighbouring county Canada does the same and “follows the rabbit down the rabbit hole.”