In the latter part of 2018, European online gambling behemoth Unibet (owned by the Kindred Group) made its first foray into the US online gambling market by signing partnership deals with several casinos in New Jersey. The move came on the heels of the New Jersey state legislature passing a new law that legalized the use of online gambling sites by the state’s residents.
With as many as 25 states having already approved or looking at introducing legislation regarding online casino and sports gambling, the pressure is building for the Canadian Government to follow suit. Currently, online gambling providers are banned from operating on Canadian soil. Any notion about Unibet entering Canadian market directly is a bit premature. However, there is no law prohibiting Canadians from gambling online with online gambling sites that are operating out of other countries. The primary European Unibet online gambling site is available to Canadian gamblers. In fact, the website offers the Canadian dollar as one of its primary currency options.
At no point in the past has the Canadian government shown any meaningful support for online gambling. With that said, there’s possible change in the air. With bordering states like New York, Michigan and Wisconsin currently working on legislation that would expand gambling access within each state’s respective borders, Canadians are heading south across the border to gain access to online gambling options. While doing so might not necessarily be legal based on certain state laws, it’s not stopping highly motivated Canadians.
For the Canadian Government, this is a growing problem. The millions of tax revenues that are flowing from Canadians into US coffers has caught the attention of pro-gambling advocates who are looking for an angle to force the Canadian government to start moving towards online gambling legalization. With the Canadian government falling deeply into debt, the time to consider expanding gambling access might be getting nearer than most people might realize.
In recent years, Unibet has shown an affinity for aggressively pursuing new markets. It’s a good bet that if the Canadian government were willing to open the online gambling door to Canadian land-based gambling operators, Unibet would be one of the first online gambling providers to pursue at least one partnership deal with at least one major Canadian land-based gambling provider.
Unibet was first introduced to the European gambling community in 1997. The company was started by a gentleman named Anders Strom, who came to Europe from his native Sweden on his way to setting up residence in London. The company began offering online gambling services in 1999. As of today, the company operates 13 brands, including Maria Casino, Stan James, 32Red, iGame and the proprietary Unibet website. They also maintain a number of content partnerships with gambling operations located all over the globe.
The company currently boasts of over 1,000,000 unique customers while operating in 100 countries. In 2016, Unibet Group PLC changed its operating name to the Kindred Group. The company maintains it headquarters in Malta where they operate under licensing provide by the Malta Gaming Authority.