General Statistics About Gambling in Canada

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Statistics. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Canada is one of the largest markets for in-house and online gambling globally. The country offers an insightful assortment of statistics regarding the gambling industry. Here are some noteworthy statistics about gamblers and gambling in Canada:

Number of Casinos in Canada Keeps Growing

Since 2002, the number of Canadian in-house casinos has doubled, with the market averaging 3,4 electronic gambling machines per player, as opposed to 3,2 in 2002.

Canadians Prefer Lottery and Scratch Cards 

According to 2019 statistics, 65% of Canadians who participated in gambling played the lottery, 36% favoured scratch cards, and 22% frequented casinos. Of the casino players, over half exclusively play slot machines.

Ontario is the Biggest Gambling Market in Canada 

Ontario generates the most significant amount of gambling revenue in Canada, with the figure currently estimated at around CA$3,8 billion annually. This is followed by Quebec, which generates about CA$2,7 billion each year, and British Columbia, where the total gambling revenue stands at CA$1,2 billion per annum.

Canadian Gamblers are Mostly Between 35 and 50

Younger players prefer gambling online. They are particularly fond of e-Sports betting, while older gamblers tend to wager at more traditional brick-and-mortar casinos. Additionally, bingo players are mainly over the age of 40.

It’s also interesting to note that slot players are generally older than 55, which correlates with the slot machine boom during the second half of the 20th century. At the time, slot machines were the equivalent of today’s online gambling and younger players who enjoyed playing these carried the preferences into their advanced years.

Legal Gambling Age Varies Across Canada

In most Canadian provinces, gamblers must be at least 19 years old to gamble, except in Alberta, Quebec, Manitoba, and the city of Ottawa, where the legal age for gambling is 18. 

Canada Pulls in Sixth Largest Online Gambling Revenue Globally

There are over of 20 million active gamblers in Canada, who each spend, on average, CA$750 on this pastime each year. Additionally, a growing number of online casino websites have become accessible to local players, contributing to the impressive size of the Canadian gambling industry. Ahead of Canada, the top online casino revenue country in the world is the US, followed by China, France, Italy and Spain. 

Canadian Risky Gambling is Below Global Average

According to Ontario’s Problem Gambling Institute, 3,2% of Canadians suffer from a gambling addiction, with a further 2% admitting to viewing themselves as problem gamblers, which, although worrying, is below the global average.

Gambling Addiction Accepted as Mitigating Factor in Canadian Legal System

Problem gambling often leads to crime. Frequently, the most severe types of addiction involve felonious behaviour aimed at obtaining more money to “chase the losses.” Canadian psychologists are becoming increasingly aware that this type of behaviour results from habit rather than a desire to harm anyone. 

The American Psychiatric Association has delisted criminal behaviour from the list of gambling disorders. In contrast, Canadian experts still acknowledge a link between criminal behaviour and the disorder. 

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