Internationally renowned Swedish software developers NetEnt have entered into a partnership with the equally illustrious William Hill. The deal will see NetEnt providing the UK online casino operator and bookmaker with its innovative live casino product, which includes live dealer versions of popular casino table games such as Roulette and Blackjack. Fans of playing casino games on mobile have reason to be excited by the prospect, as NetEnt have focused on creating a live dealer platform that is fully mobile compatible.
William Hill is an established brand on the Canadian market, offering a range of products and services from scratchcards and poker to sports betting. The company started life as a bookmaker in 1934, and has since grown into a multi-billion concern, employing around 16,000 people worldwide. Back in 2016, William Hill almost brokered a merger deal with Canada’s Amaya, now The Stars Group, but it fell through after pressure from shareholders.
NetEnt had its first foray into Canada as recently as last month, when International Game Technology (IGT) brokered a deal with the British Columbia Lottery Commission to provide games from the award-winning developers across the network of state-owned virtual casinos in the province. This latest step will no doubt lead to even more NetEnt products being accessible to Canadian players via a trustworthy online casino.
Canada Edges Closer to Legalized Sports Betting
William Hill is first and foremost a bookmaker and sports betting provider, and it’s no secret that Canadians love to have a flutter on almost any kind of sport you can imagine. Sports fans are still frustrated by the restrictive rules that outlaw betting on single sports events, and the numbers don’t lie. Every year, it’s estimated that Canadians wager a staggering $14 billion on unregulated sports betting, $4 billion of which is done through overseas online operators.
But change may be coming from an unlikely corner. Canada’s favourite sport is getting in on the act, and the government may have no choice but to follow their lead. Hockey is still the king of sports in Canada, so if it’s good enough for the NHL, it’s probably good enough for the average Canuck. The decision of the NHL to enter into a sponsorship deal with MGM may have been driven by the USA division of the league – after all, sports betting was recently legalized south of the border – but the decision will pile on further pressure in Canada to relax what are seen as draconian rules. The MGM deal is non-exclusive, which leaves the field open for the NHL to sign many more agreements with casinos, gaming brands and sportsbooks.
Industry experts point out that Canada is missing a trick when it comes to sports betting. After all, the figures show that the illegality doesn’t stop Canadian citizens from betting on their favourite sports anyway, and the government is missing out on potential millions in tax dollars. In New Jersey, the new regulatory framework has seen job creation and investment for the region.