Canadians Partake in Gambling

Gambling is a pastime whose popularity has been on the rise across the world. Canadians have patronized casinos for a long time. However, more players are moving away from traditional brick-and-mortar casinos in favor of online casinos.

With many people idle at home, the allure of entertainment and the possibility of striking it rich drove more people into trying out online casino gambling. As the traffic to the brick-and-mortar establishments dwindled, online casinos saw their clients increase. The Canadian gambling industry experienced a similar trend. For Canadian punters, the market for online casino services is expected to grow in the foreseeable future.

Gambling Statistics

Wagering is a popular pastime in Canada if statistics are anything to go by. Canada is ranked sixth in the world among the countries that spend the most money gambling. Canadians generate about $643 million in revenue annually from gambling. These statistics make it the gambling capital of North America. The per capita spending of Canada’s gamblers is $ 824.68, which is higher than what their counterparts in the US and UK combined spend.

According to 2022 statistics, Canadians spend a whopping $16 billion at casinos in the country. This figure does not include the $4 billion that they spend within offshore casinos. These figures make the gambling industry a leading player in the economy. Indeed, almost 20 million Canadians gamble. With the country boasting a population of about 38 million people, these statistics are pretty impressive.

The demographic with the greatest number of punters is 35-54. This group is also more likely to have more disposable income compared with college students. The younger players are, however, more inclined to try out slot games in online casinos than their older counterparts.

More Canadian men than women engage in gambling. The national data shows 63% of men and 57 % of women engaging in wagering. Men also spend more money with their figures standing at  $20-$100 each month. Women, on the other hand, spend in the region of $1-$20. Women are also more likely to gamble through their phones.

When it comes to numbers, Quebec has the most gambling activity despite Ontario having more gambling facilities. The provinces with the lowest gambling activity are Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Wagering preferences vary depending on a player’s gender, region, and age. Across the board, Canadian lottery companies are some of the most popular forms of gambling for online Canadian punters.

The gambling industry in Canada has regulations that often require online casinos to obtain an operating license from the local authority. For games played across provincial borders, the local authorities in those provinces enter into a special agreement with online casinos. Saskatchewan aside, every province in Canada hosts at least one online casino. It is the provinces that set out the gambling rules within their jurisdiction.

While the licensing rules for offshore casinos are not strict, still, it is illegal for an online casino to target Canadian punters specifically.  Brick-and-mortar casinos, however, are more highly regulated and subject to penalties. In any case, online casinos have a higher return-to-player ratio (about 97%) compared to brick-and-mortar casinos (about 61%).

Another significant factor that has seen Canadian players shift from physical casinos to online ones is the ease of playing. At an online casino, a player with a mobile device can play at any time, and anywhere provided there is a reliable internet connection. Lastly, record-breaking progressive jackpots such as Mega Moolah have drawn punters into trying their luck. Several Canadian players have already won this life-changing jackpot.

The Future

One of the attractions of gambling in Canada is that the government does not tax winnings provided the player is not gambling as a full-time occupation and winning constantly. With such a conducive environment, the online casino industry is expected to continue booming in Canada. For players who enjoy the interactive ambiance at physical casinos, maybe it is time to embrace the live dealerships and video gaming offered at online casinos.

Gambling can be an addictive activity that needs to be approached with caution. About 2% of Canadian gamblers fall into gambling addiction. Luckily, there are programs in place to help gambling addicts break the habit or learn how to gamble responsibly.


The online gambling industry in Canada is thriving and is expected to continue growing. This growth is likely to come at the expense of physical casinos with their limitations. With the wide range of promotions and bonuses on offer, Canadians are spoilt for choice in choosing which casino to play at. 

With the government and the casinos reaping from the gamblers and the players hoping to strike it rich, we can expect Canada to continue as the undisputed heavyweight in the North American gambling scene. 

Last Updated: January 11, 2024 isn't liable for any financial losses from using the information on the site. Before doing any gambling activity, you must review and accept the terms and conditions of the respective online casino before creating an account.

Canadian Gambling Helpline (1-866-531-2600). Canadian Gambling Commission (416.304.7800).

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