Major Gambling Provider Returns to Canadian Market
After exiting the Canadian market in 2016, major gambling provider has NetEnt returned to British Columbia online casinos. Read to find out more.
Following approval from the British Columbia Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB), a major gambling software provider will be returning to British Columbia’s online casino scene as was confirmed on May 11th 2017. The software provider, Net Entertainment (more commonly known as ‘NetEnt’) and more specifically the NetEnt Americas division, will be regulated by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), a Crown corporation owned by British Columbia itself. BCLC is responsible for the legal provision of gambling services in all of British Columbia, and so NetEnt naturally falls under its jurisdiction.
This news comes almost a year after NetEnt originally announced its departure from the Canadian gambling market, initially pulling out from major online casinos like Guts and Rizk, and then other online casinos following suit later in the year. William Hill Casino, for example, pulled out in May 2016 as well. While no official reason was provided for this exit, it has been generally assumed that the ambiguous and somewhat shaky Canadian gambling regulation laws are at fault.
In Canada, each province has its own gambling regulations, which makes the overall picture a bit patchy and complicated for big gambling companies. These companies usually seek out regulated markets, which they know are safe and secure for both their business and for the players engaging in their products.
NetEnt President and CEO Per Eriksson comments that, ‘I am very pleased that we have reached yet another important milestone in our expansion on regulated markets. We are the online casino supplier with the largest presence on regulated markets in terms of number of licenses and certifications that we hold, and entering the province of British Columbia in Canada is another important step for us’. As can be clearly evidenced from the statement, serious gambling companies place great importance on regulation. However, the Canadian government as of yet has not given much importance to the standardization of the market and to creating a more amenable environment for these gambling companies.
In some ways, this lack of regulation can be seen as a positive thing. As this particular article from Casinos.co explains, other markets, like the daily fantasy football and fantasy sports markets, greatly benefit from the lack of regulation, contra the persecution they are currently facing in U.S states. However, looking at the bigger picture, major gambling companies like software providers and affiliate companies can bring in more revenue and contribute significantly to the national economy. BCLC itself brought in $3.1 billion in the year ending March 31st, 2016. Portions of the BCLC revenue go towards supporting the communities, health care and education. Fantasy sports markets, between the U.S and Canada, pull well below this amount.
The iGaming industry is a worldwide player in contributing towards the development of many countries’ business sectors. More regulation could not only see companies like NetEnt extending their reach, but it would also encourage other companies to invest in the Canadian market. The industry brings with it profits and job opportunities wherever it goes, and would be beneficial to any province that accepts it.