Regional Differences in Gambling

Gambling has always been a popular form of entertainment and leisure activity in Canada. From buying lottery tickets to playing casino games, Canadians have always had a fascination with the thrill and excitement that comes with gambling. However, with the rise of online gambling platforms, the industry has grown rapidly and has become a significant contributor to the Canadian economy.

In this article, we will dive deep into the world of gambling statistics in Canada. We will explore the numbers, trends, and patterns that shape the Canadian gambling landscape. From the most popular forms of gambling to the impact on society and the economy, we will cover it all. So, let’s get started!

Overview of Gambling in Canada

Overview of Gambling in Canada
Overview of Gambling in Canada

Before we dive into the statistics, let’s first understand the overall landscape of gambling in Canada. The Canadian Criminal Code regulates gambling activities in the country, and each province and territory has its own set of rules and regulations. As of 2021, there are over 100 land-based casinos and thousands of online gambling platforms operating in Canada.

The most popular forms of gambling in Canada include lotteries, casinos, bingo, and sports betting. According to a report by the Canadian Gaming Association, the gross gaming revenue (GGR) for all forms of gambling in Canada was approximately $31 billion in 2019, with lotteries accounting for 36%, casinos for 30%, and horse racing for 7%. This number is expected to grow as online gambling continues to gain popularity among Canadians.

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the key statistics that give us a better understanding of the gambling industry in Canada.

Lotteries in Canada

Lotteries are undoubtedly the most popular form of gambling in Canada, with Canadians spending over $10 billion annually on lottery tickets. Here are some interesting facts and figures about lotteries in Canada:

  • Ontario has the largest lottery market in Canada, accounting for 36% of the total sales in the country.
  • The most popular lottery game in Canada is Lotto Max, with a record jackpot of $70 million.
  • According to a study by Statistics Canada, Canadians aged 15 and above spent an average of $92 on lottery tickets in 2017.
  • In 2020, the Western Canada Lottery Corporation reported a record-breaking $2 billion in lottery sales.

Casinos in Canada

Casinos are another big contributor to the Canadian gambling industry, with over 100 land-based casinos operating across the country. Here are some interesting statistics about casinos in Canada:

  • Ontario has the largest casino market in Canada, with 28 casinos generating over $3 billion in revenue annually.
  • The Casino de Montreal is the largest casino in Canada, with over 520,000 square feet of gaming space.
  • In 2019, British Columbia’s River Rock Casino Resort generated the highest GGR among all casinos in Canada, with over $644 million.
  • The top three most popular games in Canadian casinos include slot machines, blackjack, and poker.

Online Gambling in Canada

The rise of online gambling has significantly impacted the Canadian gambling industry. Online gambling platforms have made it easier for Canadians to access their favorite games from the comfort of their homes. Here are some key statistics about online gambling in Canada:

  • The online gambling market in Canada was estimated at $17.3 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $25 billion by 2025.
  • In 2019, online gambling accounted for 11% of the total GGR in Canada, with sports betting being the most popular form of online gambling.
  • As of 2021, there are over 2,200 online gambling platforms operating in Canada, offering a variety of games such as slots, poker, and sports betting.

Impact of Gambling on Society

While gambling may be a popular form of entertainment, it also has a significant impact on society. From problem gambling to the socio-economic implications, let’s take a closer look at the effects of gambling on Canadian society.

Problem Gambling in Canada

Problem gambling is a serious issue that affects both individuals and their families. According to a study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), approximately 3.4% of Canadians are at risk of developing a gambling problem, and an additional 2.6% have already developed a problem. Here are some more statistics about problem gambling in Canada:

  • Approximately 1% of Canadians meet the criteria for problem gambling.
  • Men are twice as likely as women to experience problem gambling.
  • The most at-risk age group for developing a gambling problem is between 18-24 years.
  • In 2019, over $10 million was spent on problem gambling prevention and treatment programs in Canada.

Socio-Economic Impact

Gambling also has a significant impact on the economy and society as a whole. While the industry generates billions of dollars in revenue, it also has its fair share of negative consequences. Here are some key statistics that highlight the socio-economic impact of gambling in Canada:

  • In 2019, the gambling industry directly employed over 182,500 people in Canada.
  • Casinos and lotteries are major contributors to provincial government revenues, with Ontario receiving over $2 billion in lottery profits in 2020.
  • According to a report by the Fraser Institute, problem gambling costs Canadians an estimated $4.7 billion annually in social and economic expenses such as job loss, bankruptcy, and criminal activities.
  • In 2018, the Responsible Gambling Council reported that over $50 million was spent on responsible gambling initiatives across Canada.

Regional Differences in Gambling

Regional Differences in Gambling
Regional Differences in Gambling

As mentioned earlier, each province and territory in Canada has its own set of rules and regulations when it comes to gambling. This has resulted in some interesting regional differences in the Canadian gambling landscape. Let’s explore some of these differences.

Ontario vs. Quebec

Ontario and Quebec are two provinces with significant differences in their approach to gambling. Ontario has a more liberal stance towards gambling, with more casinos and online gambling options available compared to Quebec. Here are some more statistics that highlight the differences between these two provinces:

  • In 2020, Ontario generated $3.9 billion in casino revenue, while Quebec’s casino revenue was $1.6 billion.
  • In terms of online gambling, Ontario has a more diverse market, with options such as sports betting and online lottery games, while Quebec only offers online lotteries.
  • The overall gambling participation rate in Ontario is higher than in Quebec, with 76% of Ontarians reporting participating in one or more forms of gambling compared to 67% of Quebecers.

Atlantic Canada

The Atlantic provinces, namely Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, have a smaller gambling market compared to other regions in Canada. However, the region has seen an increase in gambling activities in recent years. Here are some statistics about gambling in Atlantic Canada:

  • In 2019, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation reported sales of over $1 billion from lottery tickets, bingo, and other gaming products.
  • In 2020, the Atlantic provinces also saw a significant increase in online gambling activities, with a reported 31% increase in online lottery ticket sales.
  • The most popular form of gambling in this region is VLTs (video lottery terminals), with over 4,000 machines available across the four provinces.

Future of Gambling in Canada

Future of Gambling in Canada
Future of Gambling in Canada

As we have seen, the gambling industry in Canada continues to grow and evolve, with new trends and technologies shaping its future. So, what can we expect from the future of gambling in Canada? Here are some predictions based on current trends and statistics:

  • The popularity of online gambling is expected to continue to rise, with more Canadians turning to online platforms for convenience and accessibility.
  • The legalization of single-event sports betting in 2021 is expected to have a significant impact on the Canadian gambling market, with an estimated $2.5 billion in annual revenue from online sports betting alone.
  • Virtual reality (VR) technology is also expected to change the landscape of online gambling, providing a more immersive and realistic experience for players.
  • Responsible gambling initiatives will continue to play a crucial role in the industry, with more investments being made in harm reduction and prevention programs.


In conclusion, gambling is deeply ingrained in Canadian culture and has become a significant part of the country’s economy. With the rise of online gambling platforms, the industry is only expected to grow further in the coming years. However, it is essential to recognize the potential negative consequences of gambling and continue to invest in responsible gambling initiatives to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all players.

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