Could Canada be Another Gambling Hotbed Like the U.S.?

By  //  November 25, 2021

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Canada has legalized single-game sports wagering after passing the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act in June 2021. This decision could open up a considerable market for sports betting operators and has started speculation on which operators will be the first to capitalize and with how much.

Early projections indicate that sports betting and popular casino games in Canada could generate vast amounts of money in revenue every year. 

Massive Potential in Canada

With Bill C-218 now being signed into law legalizing single-event sports betting, the legislation will now be put forward to Canadian provinces to be implemented locally.

The biggest province, Ontario, is expected to take action on the matter in late 2021. This could unleash a market larger than a selection of the top-performing US sports betting states such as Illinois, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. 

Some senior analysts believe the Canadian sports betting market alone could be worth $2.2 billion by 2030. Chad Beynon, a senior industry analyst, believes that another $2.4 billion could be added for iGaming if full market legalization occurs.

These estimates work on the assumption that every adult Canadian will spend on average $60 per year on sports wagering and $75 on online casino games.

Benyon stated that 4 US-based sports betting operators, Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, Penn National Gaming, and BetMGM, in addition to Toronto-based Score Media and Gaming, as well-positioned to benefit from the massive potential of the market opening up in Canada.

Recent projections from BetMGM values the Canadian market at $7 billion, while similar estimates from DraftKings evaluated the potential of the Canadian gambling market between $5 billion and $8 billion. According to analysts, theScore Media and Gaming is the best-positioned operator to take advantage of the single-event betting legalization.

What Could the Canadian Betting Market Look Like?

A white paper authored by PlayCanada has provided detailed analysis and projections of what the Canadian betting market could look like. Co-authored by Eric Ramsey, Dustin Gouker, and Robyn McNeil, it explores the details of a market that could really pick up steam in the first half of 2022.

Ramsey argues that because most US states have legalized and regulated sports betting. Canada has already had a long history of thriving “gray market” offshore sportsbooks; it is possible to predict where the Canadian market is headed.

It is expected that by the third full year, the entire Canadian market could generate up to $25bn in wagering annually. More than 80% of this would come through online sportsbook operators.

Ontario would be the most valuable Canadian market, with a potential to generate $11.1bn in bets and more than $800m in operator revenue annually. If those projections come to fruition, it would make Ontario one of the largest markets in North America. 

Of course, a lot needs to happen before numbers like this can be produced. If each province adopts single-game wagering, the regulators must answer important questions about how to structure the market. They could create an open market where numerous operators could openly compete with one another, like in New Jersey. Alternatively, regulators could adopt a closed model, where the province restricts the number of operators in return for a revenue-sharing agreement.