As 2023 comes to an end, it’s a good time to look back at significant events in Canada’s casino and online gaming areas. It also helps us think about what could happen next year (in 2024). This year brought lots of important things, changing how the world looks.
A national Ipsos survey in January showed that many Canadians feel too much about gambling advertising. This has led to demands for new rules and regulations. This was more noticeable in places like British Columbia and Atlantic Canada.
The announcement of the $1 billion Great Canadian Casino Resort in Toronto in March caused quite a stir. The Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSIFN) were outraged by the announcement. They were concerned about the Great Blue Heron Casino in Port Perry’s declining attention and market share.
In the same month, Coolbet, a company that runs online casinos and sportsbooks, stopped its business in Ontario. They gave market competition as one of the main reasons for it.
April celebrated a big moment when Ontario’s regulated online gambling market turned one year old. It showed a hefty $35.5 billion in total bets for the year, showing Ontario’s place in North America’s online gambling business.
Approximately 40 submissions were received by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario in May as they reviewed modifications to the province’s advertising standards. The goal was to reduce ads for gambling that attract kids and groups in need. The new rules, which will start in February 2024 and be announced in August, are set to go into effect.
In June, the Canadian Gaming Summit by SBC focused on how fast Canada’s gaming industry is growing. Over 2000 people attended this big meeting.
In August, there were changes in leadership at AGCO. Dr. Karin Schnarr became the new CEO and registrar after Tom Mungham left his position.
In the third quarter, Ontario’s online gambling market grew a lot. Based on Canadian gaming news, people made $14.2 billion in bets overall during this period, even though there was a slight drop in total money made from gaming when compared to last quarter.
In November, a Mainstreet Research study in Quebec showed that many users of Loto-Québec Espace Jeux mainly bought lottery tickets. This caused talks about changing Quebec’s rules, with big companies supporting ending the Loto Québec business.
Midway through 2024, the Kindred Group will decide to stop using the Unibet brand in North America, which is a significant decision.
In December, iGaming Ontario proposed a centralized self-exclusion system. This plan aims to boost responsible gambling habits. At the same time, Manitoba’s new leaders said they want to increase gambling. This will help fix money problems in this province.
All these changes together show that it was an exciting year for the Canadian casino and online gaming businesses. With changes in rules, market adjustments, and new directions, the future for this growing area seems exciting in 2024.