NetEnt Gets British Columbia LicenseDavid Burgundy | 17 May 2017
In Canada’s latest gambling news, Swedish developer NetEnt has just been granted approval from the British Columbia Gaming Policy and Enforcement branch to offer its mobile casino games to local players. The firm will be offering its full portfolio of games through the British Columbia Lottery Corporation more than a year after it left the Canadian market due to a change in regulations.
British Columbia is the fifth largest province in Canada and houses the third largest population by state. The BCLC controls all gambling activities within the province, including the provision of online and mobile gambling services through its state-governed PlayNow.com casino domain.
The authority has recently posted its latest financial report as well, showing impressive figures for the period in review. The BCLC generated revenues of over CA$3.1 billion in the year ended March 31, 2016, showing increased acceptance from Canadians of regulated iGaming opportunities.
Canadian Re-Entry Is Significant Step In Firm’s Expansion
NetEnt CEO Per Eriksson has recently commented on the BCLC’s approval, noting that his company is pleased to be moving forward with regards to its expansion strategy. Eriksson also said that NetEnt is currently focussing on expanding its presence into new regulated markets, and its re-entry into Canada has been a positive step.
While NetEnt has officially been given the go-ahead to re-enter Canada, it is important to bear in mind that the firm only has permission to operate within the British Columbian market at the present time. Each Canadian province has its own unique iGaming regulations, forcing providers to apply for individual state licenses before they can offer mobile games nationwide.
Confusing Regulations Drive Away Operators
NetEnt’s reappearance in a Canadian market has come as something of a surprise, after the company withdrew its games from local Gaming Innovation Group-owned brands like Betspin, Guts and Rizk without warning in May 2016.
However, the Stockholm-based developer soon announced that it would be applying for a British Columbian license later last year, despite never revealing the official reason for why it left the local iGaming market to begin with. It is speculated that the confusing state of regulations in Canada may have driven the firm’s decision.
NetEnt has not been the only mobile gambling supplier to pull out of Canada over the past few years, either. iGaming and betting brand Ladbrokes left the market in 2014, noting that Canada was not a significant contributor and voicing concerns over Canadian regulations. William Hill also left in May last year, citing regulatory difficulties as its primary motive.