All You Need to Know About Canada’s Gambling Industry

Did you know that Canada’s gambling industry is a major contributor to the nation’s economy? A huge portion of the industry’s gambling revenue supports various government initiatives. When you gamble in Canada, part of every dollar you spend goes towards bettering society. Keep reading this guide, and you’ll learn much more about Canada’s gambling industry, such as its trends, legality, demographic statistics, and more.

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Gambling Laws in Canada

The legality of gambling in Canada varies from province to province. Each of Canada’s 10 provinces and 3 territories is responsible for regulating gambling activities within their borders. Many forms of gambling are legal throughout Canada, such as slot machines, racetracks, video lottery terminals, ticket lotteries, bingo halls, and commercial casinos. 

Is Online Gambling Legal in Canada?

Online gambling isn’t prohibited by Canadian law, but some provinces require that online venues must be licensed in order to retain legal status. There are plenty of legal online casinos that can be accessed from Canada, including CasinoChan. We are one of the top online betting venues in Canada, offering thousands of thrilling casino games and many opportunities to win big. 

What’s the Gambling Age in Canada?

In most of Canada, you can begin gambling at 19 years old. The exceptions are Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec, in which the minimum age is 18. 

Current Trends in the Canadian Casino Industry

The lasting economic impact of COVID-19 makes it tricky to evaluate the current trends of Canada’s gambling industry. However, we can take a look at the data from the past several years to see where Canada’s gambling industry was headed. It’s likely that these trends will resurface once the economy is given sufficient time to recover. 

According to a 2018 study by Aruvian Research, the Canadian gambling industry is experiencing a shift from land-based gambling to online activities. From 2012 to 2018, Canada’s gambling sector has experienced moderate growth, but it slightly tapered off during the last couple of years of the study. Another analysis from IBIS World showed that casino gambling, e-gambling machines, horseracing, bingo, and other gambling activities generated approximately 15 billion CAD per year, with a growth rate of approximately 0.4%.

The growth was measured between 2013 and 2018. 9 billion CAD of annual gambling revenue makes its way to the Canadian government and is used for charitable initiatives and community programs. Furthermore, the gambling industry supports over 135,000 full-time Canadian jobs! It’s the largest portion of Canada’s entertainment industry. 

Ontario accounts for the most gambling revenue in Canada, with a gross gambling revenue (GGR) share of 28.1%. Quebec follows behind at 20.3%. According to a report from CDC Gaming, before COVID-19, Ontario was expected to have a 12% year-on-year (YoY) growth, while Quebec’s YoY was at 2.12%. 

Canada Gambling Statistics

A total of 60% of Canada’s population participate in some form of gambling, with betting on lottery tickets being the most popular activity. 65% of Canadian gamblers bet on lottery tickets. The second most popular gambling activity is purchasing instant win tickets, sitting at 35%. 22% of Canadian gamblers visit land-based casinos, and 49% of those people always play slots. Residents of Quebec are the most likely to gamble (69% do), while residents of Manitoba are the least likely (only 50% do). 

The majority of Canadian gamblers fall between the ages of 35 – 50. Gamblers who frequently play slot machines are typically 55-64 years old. Canadians under the age of 35 are the least likely to take part in any form of gambling. 

Canada's average gambling age and type of gambling activities for 2020

Average age and distribution of gambling activities in Canada. Lotteries and scratchcards take the top spot, followed by charity ruffles and casinos.

How much do you think the average Canadian gambler spends on gambling? $100? $200? According to one of the largest global market research companies, Ipsos, only 2% – 6% of Canadians spend more than $100/month on gambling activities. According to Ipsos’ data, the average Canadian really only spends $6.75 on gambling in an average month. This amount stays relatively constant across all of Canada’s provinces.

In Canada, men are 6% more likely to gamble than women, and they are also 8% more likely to spend over $20 per month on gambling activities. 

When you compare household income levels, Canadians who make less than $25,000 per year are the least likely to gamble. 45% of Canadians who bring in $55,000+ per year spend $1-$20 in real money gambling each month. 

Gambling by Province

As mentioned earlier, Canadian gambling varies between provinces. Let’s take a closer look at gambling activities within each area of Canada. 

Ontario

Ontario contains 25 land-based casinos. Some of them are charitable, government-led venues, while others are privately-owned entities. Slot machines can be found at casinos and racetracks. Ontario contains more slot machines than any other Canadian province. It also has one of the hugest lottery networks in the entire content.

Quebec

The lottery is Quebec’s oldest form of legal gambling. There is a vast assortment of lottery games available within this province, and drawings take place daily. At the moment, Quebec residents can play at any online casino. However, this is set to change, as the province’s government has announced that they will block any gambling site that hasn’t been licensed by Loto-Quebec. 

There are nine land-based casinos in Quebec, many of which are visited by U.S. residents who live in New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. 

Nova Scotia

There are two physical casinos in Nova Scotia. This may not seem like a lot, but this province is quite small. 87% of adults in Nova Scotia play games of chance at least once per year. Nova Scotia residents can play at any online casino. 

New Brunswick

There is only one casino in New Brunswick. However, there are over 900 places where residents can buy lottery tickets throughout the province, in addition to 2,000 video lottery terminals.

Casino in New Brunswick, Canada

Manitoba

Manitoba created its own online casino, PlayNow Manitoba, in 2013. Residents of this province can play on over  1,000 unlicensed offshore websites, but PlayNow Manitoba is the only one operating within the province’s borders. 

British Columbia

The only fully legalized gambling website in British Columbia is PlayNow, which Manitoba drew inspiration from. This online venue was launched in 2004. It offers gamblers sports betting, bingo, poker, lottery, and casino game options. There are also more than 15 land-based casinos located within British Columbia, and the largest one is in Vancouver. Hard Rock Casino Vancouver contains 1,000 slot machines, a poker room, 70 table games, and 8 baccarat tables. 

Prince Edward Island

The smallest province in Canada only features one legal casino, which combines casino-style gaming with harness racing. Offshore gambling on Prince Edward Island is currently unregulated.

Red Shores Casino on the Prince Edward Island

Newfoundland 

Land-based casinos are not permitted in this province, but over 1,000 offshore gambling websites accept gamblers from here. There is, however, one legal horse racing track located in Newfoundland.

Saskatchewan

There are six casinos, 4,000 video lottery terminals, and three legal horse racing tracks located in Saskatchewan. Betting on hockey, football, soccer, baseball, and basketball is also permitted. 

Alberta

Over 4% of Alberta’s budget comes from gambling revenue, which is higher than any of Canada’s other provinces. There are about 25 casinos located in this province, most of which are considered to be charitable operations. This means that the casino divides up the profits among various regional charities. 

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Where Can You Gamble in Canada?

If you want to gamble in a land-based casino, Ontario or Alberta would be your best bet. Both provinces contain 25 casinos each! We wouldn’t recommend trying to gamble in Newfoundland and Labrador, as neither of those areas contains any casinos. 

If you are more interested in online gambling in Canada, come check out CasinoChan! Whether you want to play online slots, blackjack, roulette, or something else, we have you covered. So, what are you waiting for? Create an account at the best online casino in Canada today! 

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