Is the growth of the online casino market a danger for land-based casinos in Canada? “The Burlington Gazette


By Joseph Peters

28 October 2021


Canada presents a diverse landscape of land-based casinos, ranging from small gambling halls amid endless plains to skyline-defining complexes such as the Niagara Fallsview Casino or the Montreal Casino.

In recent years, this diversity has increased with the rise of online casinos. These casinos offer players an unmatched number of games, ease of access and welcome bonuses. This has spawned explosive growth, which could lead to a combined market of $ 5 billion by 2030. But does this growth rival conventional casinos or is the growth of the game more than a zero-sum game? ?

The growth

Since the introduction of online casinos, Canada has seen steady growth in its online casinos. The Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake near Montreal was one of the first licenses for online casinos and is still a respected part among the various licenses. Online casinos are not allowed to offer their services of Canada, but Canadians are free to play in offshore casinos.

Mohawk Territory Casino just outside of MontrealI

These offshore casinos have seen tremendous growth over the past few years. The COVID-19 virus has undoubtedly helped, as while land-based casinos were struggling, the profits of game developers such as Evolution increased by around 90% – a trend that has slowed down, but is still showing a positive trend. impressive growth of 51% in the first half of 2021..

Other reports predict similar growth. The Canadian sports betting industry is estimated to be around $ 2.2 billion for 2030, with the iGaming (online casinos) industry growing even more, with total expected revenue of $ 2.4 billion. This means that the average adult Canadian will spend $ 60 per year on sports betting and $ 75 per year on online gambling.

The advantages of online casinos mentioned above combined with availability and the coronavirus mean that more and more Canadian players are also visiting online casinos. These new players are often overwhelmed by the various options, welcome bonuses, and online-only games. A good game guide can help these new casino players capitalize on all the advantages of online casinos.

Threats and Opportunities for Local Casinos

While this growth in online gaming poses a threat to land-based casinos, it also offers opportunities. When brick and mortar casinos are open for business as usual, they can also integrate online casinos to diversify their activities. Nonetheless, local casinos need to step up their gambling to match the benefits of online casinos.

First of all, online casinos are open and accessible 24/7. Even for someone who lives right above a physical casino that never closes, pulling out a smartphone to play live roulette is more convenient. To combat this, land-based casinos need to focus on delivering an unforgettable experience that players can never experience on screen.

Provide an unparalleled in-person experience when a player visits a casino.

A second advantage for online casinos is scalability. Online casinos can “effortlessly” offer thousands of games without ever running out of physical space. While physical casinos don’t have this advantage, they can (and have started) implementing some of the same one-to-many games. Offering blackjack where players share the same cards and make decisions on a console gives physical casinos a similar offer. These consoles could even offer an online version of the casino – merging the brand and reliability of the physical casino with the flexibility of an online casino.

Finally, online casinos are able to operate with better margins for players. Online slots, for example, often have a house edge of less than 5%, compared to around 12% for physical slots. While reducing the house edge might be an obvious solution, online casinos will always have the edge here. The solution here is to provide an unparalleled in-person experience when a player visits a casino.

Bonuses for new and existing players

One of the trickier advantages of online casinos is the welcome bonus and other bonuses for existing players. These bonuses can sometimes double a player’s first deposit, giving them twice as much money to play. Although casinos have always offered rewards, they cannot match the bonuses offered by online casinos.

Especially players looking for a new online casino can really get a head start by using these welcome bonuses. These bonuses can consist of free spins and / or bonus money which can be used to play the games. Similar bonuses also exist for existing players.

Playing from home

Another advantage of online casinos is logistics. Players can play anywhere and anytime. Using a mobile site, players can take advantage of short breaks during the day (toilet breaks, waiting for the bus) to play their favorite games. In contrast, a physical casino requires a trip to the casino, parking, travel, and a ride home.

Physical casinos will always be at a disadvantage. It can only serve those players who live close enough to the casino that the trip is worth it. Other players will flock to their online counterparts by default.

More play options

Even when land-based casinos take inspiration from online casinos to expand their gaming offerings, it will be impossible to really compete with online casinos. These online casinos often partner with twenty or more game developers. Not only does this give players the flexibility to choose their preferred version of roulette, it also allows for more competition, creating bigger and better games.

One example is the introduction of roulette games with huge multipliers. A regular roulette game offers the biggest payout of 36x a player’s stake. Online roulette versions can skyrocket this multiplier up to 500x or even higher multipliers. While the technology can be copied, it takes the scalability of hundreds of players for it to really work.

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