Following the launch of the Ontario online sports betting and igaming market on April 4, SBC Americas has spoken to Max Bichsel, Vice President of Business Development for OntarioBets.com, to examine the Canadian market and what the future holds for the country as more provinces regulate sports wagering.
SBC: What kind of variations will sports betting have in Canada compared to the US?
Max Bichsel: The US has a wide and deep range of sports betting options specifically in the markets, futures, and props available to customers. I anticipate many operators’ Ontario products to be just as strong.
SBC: What does the legalization of sports betting mean for Canadian markets?
Bichsel: Ideally, other Provinces in Canada will observe the success we anticipate Ontario to earn and take steps to regulate sports betting and online casino. Similar to what we’ve experienced in the US for years as neighboring states begin to pass legislation soon after a successful launch.
SBC: Do you see operators avoiding particular provinces due to certain regulations?
Bichsel: Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I suspect all operators that do business in Ontario will enter other Provinces as long as there is proper regulation.
SBC: What does an operator need to do to stand out in the Canadian market?
Bichsel: The main difference between Ontario versus the US is the amount of competition. With dozens of competing brands in Ontario, operators must differentiate themselves not only with a breadth of products but also with user experience. This includes, but is not limited to, an intuitive registration process, simple deposit and withdrawal functionality, and a keen focus on real-time customer service.
SBC: Responsible gaming is at the forefront of all market expansions. Is the Canadian market doing anything different to address responsible gaming?
Bichsel: Ontario is following the lead of many other properly regulated jurisdictions by placing the onus on the operators. By having first-party data and a direct relationship with consumers, operators are best placed to employ responsible gaming services to ensure safety and protection.