Unlike land-based gambling dens, online casinos in North America have seen tremendous growth since their inception. The beginning was somewhat rocky. However, after jumping over a few hurdles, online casinos thrived in this jurisdiction thrived, and it looks like there’s no turning back.
We’ll try to break down the heavy data into bite-size chunks to shed some light on how this industry has grown.
Before the Beginning
Gambling was a matter of contention in North America before the 90s. It took strife between the people and the governments to come to a consensus regarding the provision of gambling services legally.
Push and pull finally came to a halt when signs of civilization were seen in 1994 when Microgaming, the giant game software provider, set up the first gambling software.
A year later, Cryptologic released the concept of data encryption, which would grow into an integral part of the online betting business, now that a significant chunk of security relies on this software. The move created an opportunity for investors to take advantage of the invention for online gambling purposes.
Antigua took the first step to usher the realm of virtual gaming into gambling, and InterCasino was its way in. Several other casinos within the Caribean region followed suit the same year.
North Americans were stoked by the new phenomenon and didn’t waste time trying it out. At the time, gambling was not legal in most states in this region. The regulatory laws were not comprehensive. They addressed the brick-and-mortar gambling scenarios, failing to consider online casinos.
Fortunately for the curious gamblers, this loophole worked in their favor, allowing them to join as many sites as their location could allow.
The UK Started The Trend
The UK quickly went with the flow, and its first online casino went live in 1996. Nevertheless, it took this nation eleven years to set up another online wagering den. The gambling regulations were clear, especially regarding internet betting services for Britons.
The Gambling Act of 2005 was monumental in opening the floor to business people that wanted to diversify into online betting. All gambling institutions had to register with the UKGA before going live.
The early lead in the wagering scene would soon prove to be a menace to gambling adults in the UK, who would use all their financial resources to enable the addiction. The UK government took time before coming to the rescue, but in 2020, the reinforcement of the credit card ban (for gambling purposes) regulated problem gambling.
Canada’s Staggering Moves
Of all North American countries, Canada is taking a back seat in online gambling. The federal government does not license online casinos but still allows each province to amend laws in its favor.
Additionally, the Canadian government did not make efforts to amend laws that prohibit offshore gamblers. The country’s stand on this type of internet gaming is unclear. However, the law states that the government won’t take criminal action against offshore providers targeting Canadian gamers.
One province has moved towards legalizing gambling within its airspace. Ontario has taken up the challenge and hopped into the online betting chariot.
The establishment of iGaming Ontario is an excellent move toward ending the stalemate that otherwise burdens the Canada online casino industry.
Nevertheless, the restrictive gambling laws do not hinder Canadians from giving internet betting a shot.
The USA Reluctantly Hops In
While the UK was busy signing online gambling into law, the US justice department broke down any grey areas that could potentially lead its citizens to bet online. The wire Act of 2000 explicitly denied any on or offshore gambling sites the permission to offer their services to Americans.
If they knowingly offered gaming opportunities to bettors within America’s borders, these entities would face prosecution. Many congress sessions led to tabling the matter, and in 2018, the USA finally had a chance at enjoying the illicit activity thanks to the supreme court’s judgment.
This body overruled the 1992 professional and amateur sports protection act, which stated that sports betting was within the scope of limited wagering options on the internet. The department of justice insisted that the activity was illegal in the USA.
However, since the federal state governments make the final laws regarding their country’s stand on betting on the internet, they settled for in-state betting. Nevertheless, the gambling scene has expanded significantly, with 48 states enabling the activity fully or partially.
The Growth Spurt
By 2018, most North American countries were already in the gambling tent, and the online wagering scene was slowly beginning to pick up. Thousands of internet betting dens sprung up, offering their services to interested individuals indiscriminative.
Most betting sites provided varying gambling options, leading several gamblers to join the betting scene. Mobile gaming was one of the contributing factors that led to the growth of internet casinos in North America. Everyone with access to a mobile gadget could effortlessly engage in wagering activities anywhere.
The less costly service rates were another factor that boosted this industry’s increase. Quick accessibility, cheap rates, lucrative freebies, and attractive games made it impossible even for recovering addicts to ignore this offer.
However, most people were busy at work, so gambling was put in check most of the day. The gamechanger came when the pandemic hit, and everyone went home to avoid increasing the number of infections. With nothing to do other than watching news updates and eating, North America’s population turned to online gambling.
The global gambling industry’s value in 2019 was $53.7 billion. In 2020, it grew to $64 billion. Research indicates that the sector is bound to grow by a minimum of 12% each year until 2025. The inclusion of cryptocurrency into this mix makes it even harder to estimate the total growth of iGaming for the past few years.
But since more online casinos mushroom each day, it is safe to say that North Americans are not about to stop gambling anytime soon. The increase of this market will stop at nothing to beat other revenue-generating activities in the online entertainment industry.