Best Online Casino Guide in Canada
Although many people become attracted to a new casino based on the feel and appearance of the website or the lure of the free bonus, at the heart of all the best online casinos lays in the software and the marketing management behind the software. It is the software developer that delivers the quality and variety of games; the secure infrastructure that ensures personal and financial privacy; and what many players rarely consider, the administrative systems and tools that allow a qualified manager to identify and reward loyal customers. There are well over 50 software providers, but only a handful or two that truly stand out.
Microgaming - Microgaming is one of the pioneers in the world of online gambling. Its first licensee, Gaming Club, was established in 1994 and is touted as the first online casino in Canada and around the world. More than just a pioneer, Microgaming is a true innovator in an industry that is characterized by products that are fairly simple to mimic. Microgaming consistently releases exciting, new variants of online slots games, new multi-player concepts such as freeroll tournaments, and popular bonus schemes such as the free-play promotion. With nearly 500 game titles in its arsenal available for download or instant play, Microgaming sites were the first to cater to Canadian casino players and they are our top recommendation. Try the wide selection of Blackjack games or the stunning slot machines Thunderstruck II, Tomb Raider, Lord of the Rings, and Mega Moolah - one of the biggest progressive jackpot games on the Internet.
Playtech - Although it is the youngest of the software developers listed here, Playtech sites feature stunning live dealer environments as well as some of the best game graphics and features, namely their wide selection of Hollywood movie-theme slot machine games. Founded in the year 2000, Playtech over 300 titles to download (or without download for Mac). The live casino games featuring blackjack, roulette and baccarat dealers are only available on the downloadable platform. However, the popular movie-themed slots games such as X-Men, Elektra, The Pink Panther, Rocky, Cowboys & Aliens and many more are available to play for free or real money on either platform. Innovative games such as 3D Roulette and Blackjack Switch are also notable attractions.
Net Entertainment (Net Ent) - Publicly traded on the NASDAQ, this Swedish developer took a calculated risk and developed their no download software based on the Java applet technology. Their gamble paid off and this technology now powers some of the most interactive games for online casinos in Canada. NetEnt features branded games such as Alice`s Wonderland and Robin Hood, but the most impressive titles are NetEnt's 3D slots games such as Gonzo`s Quest, Jack Hammer and Blood Suckers. Net Entertainment is not well-known in Canada, but they are definitely the quite giant of the group.
International Game Technology (IGT) - In 2005, IGT purchased the UK-focused software developer WagerWorks and now builds nearly half of the land-based slot machines in the legal USA market through strategic licensing agreements. The most popular titles include The Price is Right, Monopoly slots and Wheel of Fortune. Their flash technology is more popular than the download casino, but both are available to play for free or for real money.
RealTime Gaming (RTG) - Established in 1998 in Atlanta, Georgia, Realtime Gaming was acquired by a Hastings International in 2007 and relocated to Costa Rica. The company used to produce a product dedicated to North America and, although RTG sites offer the option to play in CAD, their bread and butter is in the US market. Regardless, many Canadians continue to enjoy RTG's simple product that is easy to install and use.
Cryptologic - Originally established in Toronto, Ontario, in 1995, Cryptologic was listed on the TSX in 1998, then the NASDAQ in 2000 and now the company has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 2003. The Canadian online casino company has since moved virtually all of its operations to London, England to be closer to the majority of its operator`s target market - the UK. Over the years, poor strategic decisions have led to a slower growth than most developers, but Cryptologic continues to boast some of the best casino games in the industry such as Wonder Woman, Call of Duty and the progressive jackpot game Millionaires Club.
The Growth in Canadian Online Gambling
More than any other internet industry, online gambling has experienced the quickest growth over the last 5-10+ years. It started slowly in the 1990's, but as the word spread, more and more people began searching in Google for a new site to experience this new phenomenon. Undoubtedly fueled by the popularity of internet poker, many Canadians now head to their computer to play their favourite casino games from home. With the surge in demand, the industry has grown more impressively than many expected. The self-regulated industry now has a wide variety of software developers pumping out 3D slots and games branded after popular Hollywood movie titles; a selection of convenient payment processors to manage deposits and withdrawals quickly and securely; the use well known auditors such as PricewaterhouseCoopers to ensure safe and trusted financial and accounting practices; as well as an array independent associations that have been established to advocate ethical practices and fair gaming.
Most local land-based casinos set the payout percentage of slot machines to 85-90% (Indian reserves can be even less). When you combine this with the payout percentage of table games such as blackjack and craps, the payouts average 80-85% for every CAD spent. Comparatively, the best online casino for Canadians features 94-98% payouts on most titles and the slot machines payout upwards of 99.8%. These incredible payout rates mean you win more often which allows you to play longer with your bankroll. That not only extends the length of your gambling entertainment and the value of your dollar, it also increases your chances of winning one of those life-changing, huge progressive jackpots.
The list of competitive advantages grows when you consider cash incentives such as the signup bonus; or the benefits that the at-home privacy can offer such as using winning strategies (slots strategy, blackjack strategy chart, card counting, etc). It's no wonder the online gambling industry has grown leaps and bounds over the past 10-15 years. Even during the recession when Canadian casinos struggled with attendance and revenue, internet sites experienced tremendous growth.