This year, the Canadian gambling industry made a brave new leap by handing states jurisdiction to legalise single-event sports betting. The enabled legalisation of sports wagering in Canada was part of a decision to claw back revenues from the grey market, which is where locals play at offshore casinos that are only legal in other jurisdictions. Moreover, legalising sports betting takes business away from local underground bookmakers operating illegally, which are often part of crime organisations. Overall, legal sports betting in Canada will lead to more jobs, safer gambling, increased tax generation and a defunding of criminal gangs.
The changes have created a fantastic opportunity for different NFL betting markets in the future, with the whole marker expected to be worth as much as £25 billion in the years to come. This figure has been predicted as a best-case scenario, meaning that if every province decided to legalise sports betting, then the industry could be worth a staggering $25 billion. This forecast comes from a new white paper which was produced by PlayCanada, one of the flagbearers of the Canadian gaming industry.
The paper illustrated the coming years of the Canadian gambling market with legalised single-event sports betting legalised across the whole of the country, stating that it would generate billions of dollars, including millions of dollars in taxes. The only question mark over these projections is that legalised sports betting will be decentralised, and some states and territories may decide not to legalise the activity. This would create a shortfall between reality and the projections discussed above. Nevertheless, the emerging Canadian sports betting sector is one of the most significant opportunities left, an unpolished diamond among a sea of markets already being tapped.
The ban on single-event sports betting has been in place since the 1960s and follows a similar ruling south of the border in the USA, where federal law also handed sports betting jurisdiction over to individual states. New York recently joined the growing list of states to allow sports betting. Changes in both countries have created a stir of excitement among punters and local as well as foreign sportsbook operators jostling for a slice of these new legal markets.
Predictions for year three
The aforementioned white paper has made three key predictions for the market after three full years of legalised sports betting. These are:
1. The entire Canadian gambling market would reach $25 billion if legalisation is widely implemented. Around 80% of this money would be generated by online sportsbook vendors alone.
2. After crunching the numbers, the forecasts would lead to increased tax revenue between $200 and $400 million each year.
3. Ontario is tipped to be the most valuable market, estimated to generate just over $11 billion each year, equating to $800 million in operator revenues. To put this in perspective, it would be among the largest markets on the continent.