Finding Canadian Casinos with Dedicated Poker Platforms1 month ago
Online poker has been in the news in Canada of late, with at least one national operator having announced that local players will soon have access to the iconic brand’s gaming services.
This is good news for poker fans, who have had to cope with the relative decline of the vertical ever since its halcyon days of the noughties.
Of course, there are other online casinos in Canada that also boast dedicated poker platforms, as we can see from this 888 Casino review. We’ll explore this below, while appraising the platforms that offer poker to their players in 2021.
Is Online Poker Legal in Canada?While the full legality of online gambling in Canada represents something of a grey area, the landscape is considerably clear when it comes to games of skill such as virtual poker.
More specifically, it’s explicitly legal in Canada for international brands to offer a host of iGaming verticals to natives, including online slots, live casino titles and video poker games (including real-time and competitive tournaments).
While restrictions exist for local operators, licensed lotteries are also able to offer poker games to customers, alongside other online verticals that are legal within the jurisdiction.
As we’ve already touched on, PokerStars and its iconic platform is also being opened up to Canadian players, with this having not historically been the case. This will open up even more opportunities for both casual and competitive players alike, who can participate in safe and immersive tournaments with lucrative cash prizes.
A Brief Look at Online Poker in CanadaIf we look at the overall gambling market in Canada, we see that this is projected to reach a cumulative value of $4.6 billion by 2030.
All iGaming verticals (including poker) should account for $2.4 billion of this total yield within the time-frame, assuming further legalisation of the market and the rollout of more defined online gambling laws.
Of course, poker accounts for a relatively small percentage of this total market, at around 5%. To this end, just 3.5% of all gambling Canadians regularly play card games such as online poker, with this similar to the numbers reported in the dominant UK marketplace.
More specifically, the online poker vertical generates less than 5% of the online gross gaming yield (GGY) in the UK, while the discipline has also declined sharply through 2021 to date.
The total GGY for poker was down a whopping 19.8% at £5.9 million in June, for example, while online slots continued to become increasingly dominant in the market.
With this trend also prevalent in Canada, it’s clear that poker remains a niche, albeit popular, vertical that appeals largely to a cult following of players.
The Best Canadian Casinos With Dedicated Poker PlatformsOK, we hear you ask, but which casinos in Canada offer the best online poker platforms? Here’s our breakdown of the top three:
- #1. 888 Casino: We’ve already touched on 888, which boasts its own dedicated poker room and one that’s considered to be the best on the market. This is home to some exceptional gaming options, from XL Championship Tournaments and progressive knockout competitions to iconic games such as 7 Card Stud, Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha Hi-Lo. Currently, this platform also runs a grand total of eight lucrative promotions for players, which can be deployed across standard and live poker iterations depending on their precise terms and conditions.
- #2. Bet365: Next up is Bet365, which is another major international brand and one that offers access to a vast range of poker games, tournaments and iterations. This site is also renowned for its easy and competitive wagering requirements (which enable you to recoup more of your hard-earned winnings). It also boasts highly responsive and interactive customer support, so you can quickly contact agents if you have issues with a particular game or transaction.
- #3. PokerStars: One of the newcomers on the block, this platform offers a genuinely competitive proposition to poker players, including £20 ($30) in free play for new registrants. This poker platform purports to have the highest traffic volumes of any such site in the world, while millions in payout are guaranteed on a weekly basis. When you also throw in great promotions and excellent software, this is definitely a platform that you should consider as a poker player.
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