Wagering money on an event’s uncertain outcome is a favorite pastime of many, and Canadians are not people to shy away from this activity. The country’s gambling market includes casinos, bingo halls, video gaming machines, lotteries, and sports betting.
Canada’s Relationship With Gambling
In 2020, the largest gambling market fell to the Asia Pacific, accounting for 38% of revenue. Next up was North America, with 29%, and that includes Canada. Although land-based casinos aren’t the first thing that you think of when you picture the Land of Maple Leaf, the country boasts a robust gaming industry.
Canadians have access to many brick-and-mortar establishments, racinos, and gaming parlors. Even restaurants and bars feature slot machines for their patrons in some provinces. Besides that, this polite population also enjoys unrestricted access to online gambling sites. What’s the state of the gambling industry in Canada today? Let’s find out.
Globally, 350 million people have worrying gambling habits, and Canadians aren’t spared from this fault. Canada is home to 220,000 addicts, and even though this isn’t a significant number compared to its overall population of 38 million, it’s still an issue worth keeping an eye on. While most wager small amounts here and there, others end up losing more than $500,000 per annum.
Interestingly, a whopping three out of four Canadians participate in some form of gambling. In terms of gender demographics, it is a male sport. The population’s favorite forms of betting include lotteries and scratchies. Altogether, the country generates around $16 billion in revenue from the industry as a whole.
Gambling in Canada is legal as long as it’s with a company that’s licensed or managed by the government. However, laws and regulations on the industry may be confusing as they change according to territory or province. For example, Saskatchewan and Quebec have differing minimum age requirements to play in a casino.
One recent change that received a lot of attention is the legalization of single-event sports betting in Canada. This came into effect in August of 2021. Despite many participating in the act (illegally) prior to the rule change, Canadians are nonetheless breathing a sigh of relief.
While Canadians are able to wager their money on casino websites, the regulation of these companies is somewhat sketchy. That being said, online gambling companies can operate and welcome Canadian players under a number of international licenses.
Canadians are spoilt for choice when it comes to online casinos. Popular iGaming sites include Jackpot City, Spin Casino, 888 Casino, Wheelz Casino, and Bet365 Casino. Over 19 million citizens actively gamble online, and the country ranks eighth on the list of top spenders. Although many enjoy land-based establishments, the number of people turning to their online counterparts is climbing due to ease of access.
Another fast-growing sector in Canada is eSports betting. Because there are currently no domestic eSports wagering sites, Canadians rely entirely on overseas bookies. The younger population bets on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Dota 2, and tournaments like the DreamHack and ESL series.
Canadians will see a more extensive range of games to bet on as time passes. Now, sports games like FIFA and NBA 2K operate their own leagues and tournaments, and let’s not forget the popularity of Fortnite betting markets.
Gambling Isn’t Going Anywhere
Betting on outcomes is an activity that dates back to the Paleolithic period, and if it is still going strong today, you know it’s here to stay. Canadians who love a bit of risk-taking need not move anywhere. By the looks of things, they’ll be able to enjoy their favorite hobby for years to come.