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Canada legalized sports betting in 2021, with the province of Ontario being the first to advance with a regulated sports betting program allowing multiple operators to offer online sports gambling services.
Online gambling, where an online casino is called a goksite, was legalized in the same year in The Netherlands. However, the iGaming landscape in both countries is very different. Whereas every province or territory in Canada makes up their gambling jurisdiction, online gambling activities were legalized nationwide in the European nation.
For most of Canada, online gambling is illegal. However, every province is given the flexibility to legalize online gambling activities, mainly following a similar setup to what is seen in the United States. Conversely, in provinces and territories where internet gambling has not yet been legalized, Canadians can still play at offshore and internationally regulated casinos.
In Ontario, online gambling is legal via the provincially licensed platforms. Like the United States, online gambling in Canada is more sports betting oriented, so online casinos in Canada and live dealer casinos are yet to gain popularity nationwide. In Europe, sports betting is also the most sought-after gambling product, but other betting products, such as slots and live dealer games, are guaranteed to bring in traffic.
CasinoScout.nl – an online casino website from the Netherlands – doesn't believe that live dealer games will gain as much traction as in The Netherlands or other European countries, as the behavioural patterns of North American consumers are different from their European counterparts. Even within the sports betting market, bettors in Canada have different preferences than European sports enthusiasts.
CasinoScout predicts that Canadian gambling regulators will closely follow European developments regarding responsible gambling measures. Online gambling operators are increasingly limited in their ability to market their products, with countries like Germany and Italy banning gambling ads, with the same being true in the Netherlands for ads on TV, radio, and billboards.
The United Kingdom has been working on a new gambling bill that is expected to minimize gambling-related ads as much as possible amid growing concerns about the growing number of gambling addicts in the country.
In Europe, countries that have recently legalized online casinos are said to learn from other countries in the region. Sooner or later, “Canada will go through the same phase of growing resistance towards online betting ads and pressure on marketing models,” CasinoScout explains.
It will then need to ask itself whether it will apply a learning model that uses other provinces or regions in North America as a benchmark or follow examples seen in Europe.