Betting in all forms is on the rise, with multiple Canadian provinces implementing more laws. Just look at Ontario. Until recently, this province didn’t permit online gambling at all. Now, there’s a booming industry with tens of casinos and sportsbooks springing up. There are strict regulations here, at least, but this is not the case in other provinces, such as British Columbia, where any given bookie accepts all Canadian bettors. Added to this are the numerous campaigns showing potential players where to play.
And herein lies a big problem. Ads.
Many players, at least in person, are able to regulate their gambling habits. When playing directly alongside friends and family, it’s easier to curb the desire to place big bets or to continue long past the time a bankroll has been used up.
Switch to a computer or mobile phone where the player is alone, and it’s an entirely different story. Without the watchful eyes of other players, some Canadians are succumbing to riskier online gambling habits. And Canadian casinos are making it very easy.
Live dealer games, in particular, enable excessive gambling habits. With multi-seat tables, players are able to sit down and play as more than one player, perfectly legitimately. Of course, this can result in players steaming through their bankrolls, losing money faster than they can win it back.
The problem isn’t just with casino games, though. Now that single-sports betting has been legalized in Canada, sports betting is also becoming a rising issue. And it’s getting worse in the younger generation, too, with some bettors starting far earlier than they should.
Legalized in 2021, this was done in order to take back from the criminal black market gambling that was going on unchecked. It was also an attempt to claim back the $10 billion industry. And it seemed to have worked in that there has been an uptick in the amount of betting that goes on. But at what cost has this occurred?
Younger players are now exposed to gambling options on a regular basis. Advertising is almost out of control, with radio stations even announcing the latest odds for sporting events to daily listeners.
Everywhere one looks, there is some form of gambling talk available. As such, this normalization is becoming a bad influence, and more awareness of sports gambling is needed.
Some provinces are at least taking note. As mentioned, Ontario has some of the stricter rules in place here. For instance, the state has banned athletes from being used in advertising any games within the province. However, these restrictions aren’t actually coming into effect until 2024. This leaves vulnerable players open, particularly in provinces that aren’t so strict. Will the other provinces follow suit? Only time will tell.
But it does seem that there is some awareness now. More and more Canadians are weary of gambling ads. Even a survey from IPSOS showed that more than 50% of Canadians feel that ads for gambling are just too much. It might not be enough, though. With revenue in the billions, it comes down to the Canadian government to step in and do something about it.