The concept of gambling is nothing new, with experts estimating that the activity has been around since at least 2300 B.C.E. Online gambling is the latest form of the pastime. This modern way to gamble has grown in leaps and bounds, with countries worldwide expanding current online gambling offerings or taking steps to make it legal within their jurisdictions. Online gambling has also seen exponential growth as an industry, with valuations of USD 58.9 billion in 2019 to a projected USD 127.3 billion by 2027.
Canada has recently announced that it will join the growth by opening its own online gambling market. Regulators stated that the new market would go live on 4th April 2022 to the joy of online gaming fans, along with a few objections from land-based casino operators. Upon the initial announcement in January 2022, it was not immediately apparent how big the market would grow. After just over a month, scores of operators have applied for permission to offer their services to Canadian customers.
This article will look at how online gambling in Ontario is set to change and why it might increase popularity for the activity.
Details of Ontario’s online gambling market
Ontario will soon make history as Canada’s first province to legalize online gambling and build an online gambling market for its players. The news has been mostly well-received by others in the industry. More than 30 online casino operators are applying for registration in Ontario’s market just a few weeks after the launch date was announced. At the time of writing, nine operators have been granted registration and will be allowed to offer their services from day one.
Players in Ontario will likely have their pick between some of the best online casinos in the industry come April.
Will gambling become more popular?
While no one can say with certainty what impact the legalization of online gambling will have in Ontario, few assumptions can safely be made. The most important one for our purposes is that the market will grow in popularity for a few reasons.
1. More games offered
What kind of casino game is your favourite? The industry boasts a wealth of themes and game types, far beyond anything seen in more mainstream modern video game releases (although it might be possible to unlock more options). It is possible to go from playing a stereotypical slot with predictable spins and a generic fruit theme to losing yourself in exciting mini games centred around everything from mythology to reality TV shows, often from the same developer.
Legal online gambling opens the doors to all sorts of entertainment options, most of which are far removed from today’s popular releases. From traditional table games to less competitive options such as slots and even live game shows, internet-based casinos offer plenty of diverse titles to keep players with all different types of tastes and interests engaged.
Interest in online casinos will likely increase post-legalization purely because users now have access to a whole new world of games. The ability to try different titles and types of casino games is at a user’s fingertips with legalized gambling. Ontario is poised to offer its residents easy access to this form of entertainment.
2. Social connection
A sense of community is still missing from many people’s lives as the pandemic continues, albeit in its current somewhat muted state. However, steering clear of large social gatherings is still a common decision for many, and the resulting isolation can be challenging to deal with.
Online casinos are becoming increasingly adept at offering players a social experience much like the one they might find in land-based casinos. From playing in groups to simply being a part of a shared interest, the spread of internet-based casinos makes sense.
The social aspect is present in live casino games. While some users find that slots offer all the excitement they need, others remain more interested in trying out their skills and interacting with fellow players a bit more personally. In this case, Live dealer games are the perfect solution.
Hosted by trained dealers with plenty of knowledge about the game in question, live games pit players against players in real-time, just like they would be if playing at the same physical table. Depending upon the game in question, users must read their opponents and understand their playing styles to gain the upper hand. Even in games where that is unnecessary, players can enjoy the knowledge that other fans are just as excited by the game as they are.
As the online casino industry grows, an emphasis on community may begin to emerge, with operators and players alike hoping to attract more users to the fold.
3. Low pressure
Another benefit of online gambling that will boost its popularity is that it is only as exciting or stressful as players want it to be. You can pick highly volatile games that require a strategy to beat, or you can opt to stick to more relaxing titles. With internet-based casinos, you can experience the thrill of land-based establishments without the crowd of people who frequent the physical locations. Between enjoying the comfort of their own homes – or anywhere else they decide to play – to dictating what they want to play and with whom, players are already turning to online gaming out of sheer convenience.
What do you think of the news that Ontario will soon launch its very own online gambling market? We believe the next few months will be an exciting time, and we know that others in the industry will be watching with great interest to see how players fare. April can’t come soon enough!