Canada, like the United States, has a variety of gamblers, who face a dizzying array of options for games and stakes. So information for those consumers is vital and valuable.
But that’s where GrizzlyGambling.com comes in. The site, which has been operating for a decade, is known for its diligence in researching the options for people.
“We’re proudest of being a truthful, honest guide, telling the facts and letting people make their own choices,” Founder Russell Potvin says. “We’ve gone out and done the research ourselves, and instead of building a specific angle, we give our site visitors a complete picture.”
Potvin has experienced the industry’s turbulent growth and hyper-competitiveness, and through that has developed the mindset of operating the site in the name of player advocacy. Meanwhile, he has developed strong relationships with casino operators, which has enabled his team to arrange offers for consumers from operators catering to Canada.
Like in the United States, the federal government has taken a somewhat passive approach to gambling legalization. Gambling is legal throughout the country, but only four of Canada’s 10 provinces have set up the necessary regulations. Complicating matters is that some provinces, such as British Columbia and Quebec, operate state-run gambling sites. The murky picture brought some delay in setting up online gambling information, Potvin says.
“When I look at where Canada and the U.S. stand in the international landscape, it’s sort of middle-of-the-pack,” Potvin says. “There are worse situations with worse censorship.” Canada also has a challenge similar to the United States in dealing with tribal gaming – Canadians refer to them as “First Nation” as opposed to “Native American” – and their role.
But most gamblers leave the legal questions to the governing bodies. They’re just interested in playing – and appreciate having a site that has done much of the legwork for them.
“Before our site, there wasn’t a whole lot of information specific to Canada,” Potvin says. “The issue was that a lot of Canadians were concerned with the legal aspect and how it would be viewed upon by the government as an advertiser.”
“So a lot of people avoided that; we decided to take the plunge, and we saw there was a demand for that information,” he says. Grizzly Gambling even hired gambling lawyers to sift through the information.
People visit GrizzlyGambling.com for a variety of reasons, Potvin says.
“Some want information on what’s going on in Canada, but the majority come to play the free slots games, many of which are available without download or registration,” Potvin says. “They like the idea of free entertainment.”
The site also carries up-to-date news of the latest offers from online casino companies, who often offer sign-up bonuses to new slot players. Staffers review new slots games, noting the denomination, jackpot payouts and features that separate the game from another as a form of entertainment, and often GrizzlyGambling.com site visitors can try out the game for free without registering or having to download it. (There are also sections for those who like blackjack, roulette or video poker, with similar information on sign-up bonuses and strategy.)
Another article on the site lists the top 10 online gaming companies (Paddy Power Betfair is No. 1 at $11.9 billion), noting that the common factor among each one was a continuing effort toward innovation.
“I think people respond because we’re an honest guide,” Potvin says. “There’s enough good in the industry that if you can identify it, people will understand to avoid the negative experiences.”