It’s been a topic of discussion about the United States finally allowing sports bets to be legal again. Canada has made some strides as well. Though there’s still some time before the sports betting growth begins in the country.
After 11 years, the C-218 Bill passed in the Canadian Senate. Making it clear that sports betting can become legal in Canada. Yet, it’s hard to expect that Canadian sports betting fans will have plenty of legal sports betting options available soon.
One of the sticking points is that regulated sportsbooks must find a competitive edge over unlicensed operators.
That’s so that sportsbooks have a good reason for entering the regulated market and jumping through all the hoops.
However, “unlicensed” sportsbooks such as MyBookie still offer excellent service to Canadians for many years now. MyBookie just about covers all the major US and Canadian sports. Not to mention the bonuses, perks, and daily promotions.
Sports bettors have been searching for alternative ways to bet for many years now. The C-218 Bill means that they will now be able to bet with regulated sportsbooks online. And yet, that doesn’t mean that everyone will want to make the switch.
If everything is equal, sports bettors will surely prefer the legal option. If the regulated sports betting sites offer a worse experience than the current unlicensed operators. Chances are that not many sports betting fans will want to make the switch.
In practice, this means that sportsbooks with legal licenses will offer a variety of bets.
Ontario in the Spotlight
Ontario is home to almost 40% of the Canadian population. Now leads the pack and is the closest to issuing sports betting licenses. Apparently, the government wants to allow current operators to legalize themselves, even without a particularly great history.
The Canadian government must still publish the taxation system that will apply to sports betting. Despite several deadlines, Ontario is still debating the different tiers of tax rates.
The specific regime can be a make-it-or-break-it point for many operators’ commitment to launching in the Ontario market.
Since Ontario is so big and also the first to the race. It’s also the battleground province that will have a large say in determining how the market eventually develops.
Once Canada legalizes online sportsbook betting. It’s up to operators to figure out what the ideal user experience is for Canadian bettors.
There are significant differences between the US market and the Canadian market. As such, sportsbooks will have to realize that and reflect it appropriately.
Lessons from the United States
There’s much that Canada can learn from the legalization process in the United States. Markets without caps on licenses typically operate better than markets with a limited number of sports betting licenses.
Another lesson comes from Pennsylvania. The authorities set the tax rate too high. In return, this led to the grey market where certain sportsbooks retained a large share of the industry.
Therefore, it wasn’t worth it for sportsbooks to apply for a license to operate in the state.
Historically, Canada has been performing above expectations when it came to online activities of all sorts. The data will be in the billions and the impact, both social and economic, will be substantial.
The closeness to the US market also means operators will try and get in as soon as possible. The early days will say a lot and there will be both winners and losers.
The key is to be able to deal with the regulations; offer a good service and contribute to local economies.
Early on, customer acquisition will be tricky and costly, with everyone investing lots of cash into marketing. Firms that will survive this intact will be able to move forward and become real Canadian sports betting powerhouses.