Statistics of gambling in Canada

Statistics of Gambling in Canada

Why is statistics info important? Well, because experts gather around and investigate something for everyone to understand it better. And since our passion is gambling, we look at casino industry statistics to unveil some of the curiosities that hide behind the numbers. On this occasion, we will not tackle online casino statistics, just offline data gathered by relevant surveys and authority reports.

Game Preferences

The most popular gambling activity by far in the Great White North is betting on lottery tickets. The participation rate is 65%. This is followed by instant win tickets (36%), while 22% of all Canadian gamblers visit casinos. An Ipsos Reid Lottery & Gaming study from 2013 reveals that 49% of all participants said they always play slot machines when they visit a casino.
graphic - lottery ticket sales

Combining the spending potential of the respondents, it turns out that most of the money is spent on slots. Lottery tickets follow, and then card games such as blackjack and poker. Of course, these reports do not include sports betting, something that’s extremely popular among Canucks. Nevertheless, a lottery slip is the god most Canadians pray to. Lottery is so popular and embedded in the nation’s mentality that most people don’t even consider it gambling.

Age Distribution

The legal gambling age in Lumberjack Country is either 18 or 19, depending on the province. The youngest gamblers make for a small population. Statistics show that young Canadians between ages 18 and 24 are more interested in Xbox and PS gaming than casinos. In a 2016 research, 59% of respondents aged 18 to 34 admitted that they participated in lotteries, instant win or scratch tickets in the previous year. The largest single age demographic falls between 20 and 29 years of age.

Overall, the majority of the Canadian gambling community includes bettors in the range of 35 to 50. Bingo players are usually older than 40, and slot players are normally between the ages of 55 and 64. Interestingly, all other age ranges cannot compete with the senior slot players in terms of quantity. Are we even surprised? Didn’t think so.
graphic - age distribution who gamble in canada.

Provincial Stats

Casino gaming industry statistics can be filtered by province in Canada. That’s exactly what we did and we’ve got an interesting landscape of provincial cultural preferences. It also becomes obvious how accessibility to particular types of gambling affects provincial participation rates.

Enough “I-know-science” talk, and let’s review the numbers! VLT’s are allowed in Manitoba, but not in Ontario. Participation rates for these two provinces are 21% and 2%. When we look at bingo, we can see that it is generally more played in the Canadian Atlantic region.

Quebec sports 10,000+ gambling venues (casinos, lottery outlets etc.). It’s safe to say that it is the province with the most gambling opportunities. Gambling participation in Quebec is 66%, while in Ontario the percentage reaches 83. Out of CA$17.3 billion that Canadian gambling industry generated in 2017, 43% was generated in Ontario. It is, after all, Canada’s most populous province.

Problem Gambling and Addiction

You know how people that have a problem often claim that they don’t? With problem gambling many people are in denial, or feel like they can’t stop even if they wanted to. A small 2% off all gamblers in Canada admitted having occasionally thought about themselves as problem gamblers. On the other hand, 15% of them never thought they were being excessive with their gambling privileges. Some of the typical signs of problem gambling are:

  • The person rather gambles than do something he/she used to enjoy
  • Constantly late for work or school or other obligations due to gambling
  • Bills start piling up because the person forgot to pay them or spent the money of betting
  • The person is no longer up for socialising with friends and family. He/she would rather watch cards hit the felt or a roulette ball drop
  • Mood swings out of nowhere
  • Boredom when not gambling

The Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario reports an estimated 3.2% of Canadians dependent on gambling. Ouch!
graphic - gambling addiction in canada

How much money do Canadian players spend on gambling?

Now let’s get to the fun part. In reality, how much money do Canucks spend on their favourite casino games?  National data claims that 60% of the nation’s population partakes in gambling. Out of this number, 43% spends between C$1 and C$20 per month. Approximately 14% will spend between C$20.01 and C$100 on a monthly basis. No more than 3% will stake over C$100 per month.

That’s not so bad. What’s interesting is the spending potential of Canadian millennials. This was investigated in 2014, and the research shows that millennials will spend C$123 on average playing card games, namely poker. That’s just what they’ve reported for their last visit to a casino.

Men vs. Women: who gambles more?

Without knowing any casino statistics, one would assume that men are more into gambling than women. That is completely true if we just look at online gambling, where more than 80% of gamblers are male and barely 17.6% are female. Non-internet stats paint a different picture, a more balanced one. While 43% of women claim they take no part in gambling, 37% of men say they do not spend any money on placing bets. Bottom line, more men gamble than women, but the difference is not as nearly as high as one would expect.

Canada’s sustainable growing gambling industry

Estimations say that at least 76% of Canadian adults engage in some form of gambling. As of 2017, that percentage stands for almost 30 million Canadians. The acceptance of gambling is culturally widespread and the government sees gambling sector revenues as substantial. In other words, Canada is gambling heaven. While in it, players are not bothered by the numerical data. Taking a step back, getting the handle on the figures may put certain habits in perspective. Statistics of gambling can be fun and useful, if you look at it the right way.

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What are the current gambling trends in Canada?
One of the greatest trends, and one of the most praised ones, is the fact that gambling revenues are used to drive employment and economic growth in the country.
What is the rate of problem gambling in Canada?
The stats of problem gambling in Canada show a range from low of 0.04% in Quebec to a high of 1.4% in Manitoba. The rate in Saskatchewan is 1.2%.
Is gambling addiction harmful?
It can be. Addiction to gambling may affect a person’s life in a negative way. That’s why in Canada problem gamblers are advised to take up counselling. That’s how they can regain control and find a long-term solution to their addiction. There are many national, non-profit charitable organizations dedicated to safety and awareness among gamblers.
What was the total revenue in 2019 of the gambling industry in Canada?
The total revenue in 2019 of the gambling industry was C$15 billion, with annual growth remaining stagnant from 2014 through to 2019.

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