Online gambling is a multi-billion industry in Canada. According to industry analyst Chad Beynon, online casinos will generate over $4.6 billion by 2030. On the other hand, American betting brands—DraftKings and BetMGM—value Canada’s iGaming industry at between $5 billion and $8 billion.
Owing to that backdrop, the right time to start an online casino in Canada is now. But where do you start?
#1: Acquire a Casino License
In Canada, online casinos are a matter of provincial concern. Nearly every province supports online gambling. But there’s a problem: the provinces run slot and table games through government-owned websites.
At the Federal level, online gambling is a legal grey area: Canada lacks clear online casino laws. This leaves Canadians with the freedom to gamble at offshore casinos. That’s alright. It means you don’t really need to find a casino license in Canada.
You can find a license in Malta, Curacao, Panama or Costa Rica. Then you can build a gambling website aimed at Canadians. The Kahnawake Gaming Reserve in Canada also provides gambling licenses in addition to hosting servers for offshore casinos that want to speed up their services in Canada.
#2: Register Your Business and Setup Offices
Contrary to popular belief, many online casinos have physical offices. You need an office to house your team of web developers, managers, marketers and customer service agents. An office also adds to your legitimacy.
However, you can’t get permission to set up a casino office anywhere without a business permit. This license is a lot cheaper than a casino license, though. But depending on the country you choose to set up your casino; you can’t receive a business license until after you qualify for a casino license.
#3: Design a Mobile-Optimized Website
One in three Canadians uses their mobile devices to play mobile games. That’s a huge percentage of the population to leave out if you don’t create a mobile-optimized website. Fortunately, creating a mobile-friendly site has never been easier.
Nearly all website builders—WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace—come with mobile-optimized templates. Of course, you can also hire a designer to create a mobile-friendly casino from scratch.
And if you have a big budget, you can create native casino apps for your iOS and Android customers. That said, focus on all the important aspects of a good website—speed, security, visuals, navigation and user experience.
Go to this page to check out the latest casino sites in Canada. Learn more about their licenses, web designs, game providers and promotions. You could even register an account at one of the sites to get first-hand experience. Later on, you can decide whether to invest in the casino business.
#4: Partner with Software Providers
Fifteen years ago, it was normal for a new casino to start with games from one software provider. Some casinos still do it. But if you want to stand out and attract a large audience, provide a variety of games.
On average, many casinos partner with at least five software developers. Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, Play’n GO, BTG and Betsoft are the biggest names in the slots and RNG table games department. But there are a lot more software developers out there.
Nowadays, table game players cherish live casinos. They love to play poker and blackjack with friends in real-time. Live dealer software is the solution, more so, software from Evolution, Playtech and NetEnt.
Depending on your goals, you can also acquire software for bingo, scratch cards and fish table games. Or you can spice up things with a sportsbook license. You need a big budget for all these licenses, though.
#5: Integrate Payment Systems
If you’re like many investors, you want to launch an online casino in Canada to make money. You can’t make money unless you have a payment gateway for your website. Many operators partner with multiple payment providers: Banks, Visa, MasterCard, Skrill, PayPal, EcoPayz, iDebit, Bitcoin and eChecks.
The explanation for partnering with multiple payment companies is simple—to provide players with variety. Also, some payment companies provide lower fees and the biggest limits to casinos than others.
Still, on payments, you need to create banking policies. What are the minimum deposits you will accept? What’s the maximum amount a player can cash out per day? Additionally, create policies about withdrawal times.
#6: Create a Promotions Page
We admit—you need a comprehensive marketing plan to grow a new casino site in Canada. At the heart of this plan is a promotions page. Many of the biggest online casinos in Canada got popular by giving out quality bonuses.
Bonuses are not a waste of money for a casino. They’re marketing tools that can bring your business more customers and money in the long term. What are the best bonuses to give out?
- No deposit bonuses
- First Deposit Bonuses
- Reload bonuses
- VIP/Loyalty programs
- Cashback programs
- Daily Quests and Missions
The secret for running successful promotions is to create fair bonus policies. You can give out a small welcome bonus, says a 100% match worth up to $100. Next, set your wagering requirements at 20x, 30x or 40x. Importantly, give players enough time to fulfill the terms.
#7: Provide Reliable Customer Service
Far too many online casinos fail because they treat their customers poorly. Yet, this is something every casino should prioritize. In many cases, players don’t need constant communication with customer service.
They expect quick, helpful replies when they ask for it. The modern casino provides feedback through a range of channels: chatbots, emails, phone calls and social media. Of course, good customer service works if you have properly trained staff.
Canada is one of the biggest emerging online casino markets. Analysts expect the country’s iGaming industry to double or triple in the next decade. That means now is the best time to get started with an online casino in Canada.
Running an online casino is easier said than done. It needs a fairly huge budget, a solid business plan and all the elements we’ve highlighted above.