Navigating the Competitive Tides: Coolbet’s Strategic Withdrawal from Ontario and Resilience in Canada’s Grey Markets

Jack Redlumber
October 11, 2023
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In a bold strategic move resonating through the gambling industry, Coolbet has announced its exit from the fiercely competitive Ontario gambling market. This decision underscores the complex landscape of regional gambling markets and highlights the company’s agility in navigating legal frameworks and market dynamics. While retracting its operations in Ontario, Coolbet continues to maintain a presence in Canada’s grey markets, capitalizing on the opportunities within the nation’s less-regulated spaces. This article delves into Coolbet’s journey from its origins as a modest casino in Iceland and Norway, its growth trajectory, and its pivotal markets, including its stronghold in Iceland.

Coolbet’s Origins and Meteoric Rise:

Coolbet, renowned for its transparent operations and customer-centric services, planted its roots as a small-scale casino enterprise on the chilly shores of Iceland. The company quickly gained popularity among local bettors, owing to its unique approach of providing more control and insight to its users, a stark contrast to the industry’s typically opaque operations.

Not long after, Coolbet expanded its reach to neighboring Norway, tapping into the Nordic affinity for gambling, and leveraging the region’s technological infrastructure and high internet penetration. The company’s emphasis on a user-friendly experience, coupled with the integration of cutting-edge technology, positioned it as an industry innovator.

The business model thrived in these regions, and soon, Coolbet was scaling up its operations and branching out, both in terms of geographical market and the diversity of gambling options offered. Through strategic marketing and an array of engaging betting options, the company transformed from a local favorite to a notable player in the international online gambling arena.

The Strategic Exit from Ontario:

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, recently overhauled its online gambling laws, prompting a surge of international operators trying to secure a piece of the lucrative market. The region’s gambling space quickly became saturated, sparking fierce competition, and driving up the cost of customer acquisition.

Coolbet, amidst this intense competitive environment, assessed the sustainability of its operations in Ontario. The company weighed the escalating operational costs against the potential long-term returns and decided to strategically withdraw from the Ontario market. This move was executed to conserve resources and refocus efforts on more promising markets, where the competition is less severe and the regulatory environment more favorable.

Persistence in Canada’s Grey Markets:

Despite the retreat from Ontario, Coolbet hasn’t entirely abandoned its Canadian ambitions. The company identified an opportunity within Canada’s grey markets — regions where gambling laws exist in a state of ambiguity or are under-enforced. Here, Coolbet continues to operate, serving a niche of Canadian players who are drawn to the brand’s unique offerings.

In these grey markets, Coolbet leverages its reputation for transparency and security, key factors for players in markets that lack comprehensive regulatory oversight. Their tailored approach, which respects the nuances of each market, continues to be a significant driver of their sustained success in these areas.

Iceland: A Market of Paramount Importance:

Among the array of markets Coolbet serves, Iceland holds a special place. Despite its small size, the Icelandic market has consistently shown robust engagement levels. The country’s strong internet culture, coupled with its citizens’ discretionary income, makes it an ideal environment for online gambling.

Coolbet’s early establishment in Iceland gave it a first-mover’s advantage, allowing the company to entrench itself deeply into the local gambling culture. The brand has become synonymous with online betting for many Icelanders, making it a market Coolbet is particularly keen on maintaining and nurturing.


Coolbet’s journey reflects the adaptability and strategic market evaluation necessary for modern online gambling enterprises. Their withdrawal from the Ontario market is not a tale of defeat but a strategic repositioning. By focusing on the grey markets within Canada and nurturing its foundational markets like Iceland, Coolbet continues to prioritize sustainability and strategic growth. This approach, rooted in understanding the nuances of each market and agility in the face of industry changes, sets Coolbet apart as it charts its course in the unpredictable seas of the global online gambling industry.

Author Jack Redlumber

Jack Redlumber is a professional online casino player hailing from Quebec, Canada. Born with a passion for gambling, Jack has carved a remarkable niche for himself in the world of online casinos. Known for his expertise in slots and poker, he has become a force to be reckoned with in the industry.