From the bright lights of Vegas to the glamour of Macau, the world is filled with luxury casino hotspots that attract some of the biggest high-rollers from across the globe each year – and bring in billions of pounds in revenue as a result.
But one nation that might not immediately spring to mind when planning your next casino getaway is Canada, which has been quietly making a name for itself over recent years and has slowly but surely become one of the most underrated destinations for gambling and gaming lovers with a pretty penny to spare.
Pre-Covid, the country was experiencing a tourism boom, which was fuelled just as much by its string of luxury casino openings as it was the breath-taking lakes, picturesque mountain landscapes and vibrant cities Canada is becoming known for.
With in-casino gambling here legal from the age of 19, young gamblers and millennial millionaires, in particular, are favouring the up-and-coming nation as a casino destination of choice. While in many of the world’s more prominent casino hotspots, 21 is the minimum legal age for entry, here the nouveau riche – many of whom have made their considerable wealth online at a young age – can sidle up to the roulette table without any red tape, and play for all they’re worth.
Of course, it’s not just the young and wealthy who are feeling a pull towards Canada for their next luxury casino fix, and many of the world’s most prominent high-rollers are beginning to seek solace in quieter and more understated destinations. While there is no denying that they are unafraid to play big, not all of them savour the attention that comes with doing so, and the prospect of being able to play in a more laid-back environment is an attractive one.
The digital boom
With most land-based casinos forced to close their doors for much of the past year due to ongoing lockdowns, it has put something of a dampener on Canada’s casino tourism boom – but the industry has continued to grow in spite of such limitations. Many of the country’s biggest name casinos have taken the opportunity to launch into the online space in a bid to maximise profits regardless of the current global situation, bringing themselves firmly into the digital age and keeping them at the forefront of their customers’ minds even while closed.
Joining numerous existing online-only offerings, they’ve upped their game when it comes to customer service and user experience in a bid to hold onto the high-rollers who play with them regularly, which has seen online competition in the gambling world become fiercer than ever. With everything to play for, we’ve seen VIP packages become more extravagant than ever, and the introduction of AI technology has up-levelled the entire experience for players, making signing up, getting started – and of course, cashing out those all important winnings – easier and more seamless than ever.
Some of the best online casinos that accept Canadian players have reported making some impressive gains over the past twelve months as a result of their quick thinking and adaptability – but what does this mean for the future of land-based casinos in Canada?
The good news is that as global lockdowns ease and travel restrictions are lifted, we can expect to see our favourite bricks-and-mortar venues bounce back quickly. Thanks to their quick thinking in the face of the initial wave of the pandemic, they have succeeded in maintaining a valuable relationship with their customers, many of whom will be only too happy to come back and play in person once it’s possible to do so. Whichever way you look at it, there is no match for the real-life experience that comes with playing at a land-based casino, and the glitz, glamour and sophistication will likely retain its allure for the long-haul.
In the meantime, Canadian players will likely continue to get their fix online, and even after the pandemic has passed, we expect to see this market go from strength to strength. The ease and convenience of being able to play remotely, from anywhere, is in high demand and is in line with the burgeoning trend of recent years towards greater accessibility. With today’s fast-paced, always-on-the-go lifestyles, it’s essential for businesses to be online, and we can expect to see more of Canada’s leading providers levelling up their apps to reflect the latest technology as time goes on.
The bottom line
Online or off, there is little denying that Canada is quickly becoming a hotspot for gamblers and gamers alike, and its vibrant and exciting, yet understated entertainment scene, will likely have a key role to play in boosting luxury tourism once international travel restrictions have ended. So, if you’re seeking out a lower-key luxury casino destination for 2021 and beyond that offers the whole package, then look no further – because Canada has got it all.
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