In August, the Canadian market instantly became a lucrative one in the iGaming world, as the Canadian government made it legal to gamble on individual sporting events, allowing each province to create their own regulations. The Canadian government estimated that Canadians spend about 10 billion a year on single sporting events illegally, so as betting becomes legalized, there’s a big market to reach out and connect with.

As each province opens up and provides their regulations, what should you know if you’re planning on entering the Great White North?

What to Consider for Localization

Often, Canadians are quickly assumed to be similar to Americans, which isn’t always true, but does apply in certain situations. One of those is that each province is unique, like the way that each state in the US has their own regulations and demographics.

It’s paramount to use local imagery, like the Canadian flag, popular Canadian sports teams or featuring Canadian celebrities.

With that in mind, a one-sized fits all approach to your Canadian audience won’t work! One example of that is Québec, where the official language is French and where users will expect full accessibility in both English and French.

On top of that, it’s ideal to not only offer, but emphasize that local currencies are available to users (CAD), as well as local payment options. Interac is the most used payment option throughout the country, so that’s an important one to market to new users. Knowing they can use trusted local payment options like Interac will make them more inclined to trust your brand and play.

Who Should You Attach to Your Brand?

As in any other market, having the right ambassadors can help you connect with your audience by using a reliable face. We briefly touched on it above, but Canadians aren’t identical to their neighbors to the south, nor from province to province. It’ll be important to build relationships and partnerships with the right athletes or brands in each province you wish to pursue.

For example, using Québec again, you’d want a brand ambassador that speaks both English and French, and who their audience is accustomed to seeing regularly. For a sportsbook brand, that would likely mean athletes from that province, who compete in that province currently, or passed stars from either category.

However, if you plan to use the same ambassadors to enter British Columbia out west, it’s less likely those users will be aware of those athletes or have the same attachment to them. Each province is quite different, so we suggest analyzing their interests carefully and proceeding from there.

Sports and How to Use Them for More

Canadian hockey goalie

For any sportsbook looking to enter Canada, it can’t be denied that the country is hockey crazy. However, while Canada is primarily focused on hockey, it’s not the only sport that is popular there. Naturally, there are some similarities to the American market, as Canadians are also passionate fans of American football, soccer, basketball, baseball, and combat sports. On the other hand, Canada is unique in that there are also large fandoms attached to the CFL (the Canadian Football League) and curling, with both regularly showing on television.

In Canada, iGaming is still relatively new and public opinion towards gambling is everchanging. Operators can potentially use their fantasy and sportsbook brands to cross sell users to their range of products, as users were already fairly experienced with those, while they may require additional education for games that are newer to the market, like slot games for example.

Entering the Canadian market may seem like a simple endeavor, but there are a lot of factors that can make it more complex, which we’ve attempted to break down here. If operators can make efforts in these areas, by making Canadian users feel comfortable through proper localization, using the right ad campaigns with trusted ambassadors, and by attempting to educate the market on the variety of products available to them, we feel they’ll increase their chances to succeed in Canada.