Everything You Need To Learn About Gambling in Canada Statistics (2024)

Like in any other country, gambling is common in Canada. Around 75% of Canadians gamble in some form. Canadians are fond of gambling in the lottery, sports betting, casinos, and more.

Although that percentage may seem high, Canadians have their gambling industry well-regulated, and participants are low compared to other countries. 

You will learn about gambling in Canada’s statistics below.

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Highlights of the Article

  • By 2027, user penetration of the online gambling market in Canada is expected to increase by 51%.
  • The average revenue per user (ARPU) in Canada’s online gambling industry is $220.
  • 7.9% of gambling activities in Canada involved sports betting in 2018. 
  • Non-regulated businesses made up 57% of sports betting revenue in 2019.
  • 65% of regular gamblers gambled on lottery tickets, making it the most favored form of gambling in Canada.
  • In 2018, electronic gaming machines were equally popular among male (12%) and female (13%) Canadians. 
  • The Canadian Community Health Survey revealed only 2% of Canadians older than 15 have a gambling problem.
  • Canada’s gambling sector market size declined to $12.54 billion in 2021.

How Much Do Canadians Lose When Gambling?

gambling statistics canada

Canada recorded $568 of average gambling loss in 2017. Ontario saw the most revenue and losses since it has a large population of gamblers. Next are British Columbia and Quebec. 

Let’s look at the statistics below that led to such losses in Canadian gamblers:

Statistics on Online Gambling in Canada

In the online gambling world, bettors see no obstacles or limitations. Bettors prefer to gamble online because it is easily accessible. It is also cheaper and more convenient than going to a brick-and-mortar venue. 

Most of all, online gambling has a higher return on investment

With thousands of applications and websites, Canadians participate in the following online gambling activities:

Let’s see how well Canada’s online gambling industry is through the numbers below. 

1. The online gambling market in Canada is projected to increase its user penetration by 51% in 2027. 

(Statista)

User penetration is the number of product or service users over their target population. In 2023, the online gambling market experienced a 47% hit and will continue to rise.

The market is expected to cater to 20.38 million users by 2027. This means more Canadians are shifting their focus to gambling online instead of going to physical venues.

2. Online casinos had a 97% overall return rate of winnings in 2022.

(Easy Reader & Peninsula Magazine)

Online casinos are sites or applications where bettors can place their wagers on traditional casino games. Canadian gamblers prefer online gambling casinos more. 

This industry saw a 97% overall return of winnings in 2022. On the other hand, the overall return on winnings of physical casinos was only 61%. 

3. Experts expect the total annual revenue of online casinos to grow at a rate of 7.96% by 2027.

(Statista)

Since online casinos allow Canadians to easily place their bets online, the money that comes into the industry keeps increasing. By 2027, the annual revenue will be 3.3 billion US dollars.

4. The projected user penetration rate in the online casino market is 34%.

(Statista)

Canada’s online casino market has the highest user penetration rate due to the increasing interest of gamblers in the online industry.

There are also hundreds of casino websites that Canadians can choose from. Some of the best ones are:

  • Bodog
  • Bet365
  • LeoVegas
  • Jackpot City
  • Woo Casino,
  • Spin Casino

5. Casino games for smartphones and tablets reached 12.78 million downloads in 2022.

(Statista)

With many users owning smartphones and devices, mobile casino games gained traction. The most widespread type of online casino game within Canadian is slot machines.

Also, with online casino games, players do not miss the stimulation and excitement they can get from physical gambling. Casino games also have more twists and bonuses, which attract more downloads. 

6. The total annual revenue from casino games is projected to grow 7.30% from 2023 to 2027.

(Statista)

Since casino games are gaining more popularity, revenue from this industry is skyrocketing. In 2027, the market volume is predicted to reach a value of 417.5 million US dollars. 

7. The online gambling industry has an average revenue per user (ARPU) of $220. 

(Statista)

The Canadian online gambling sector offers a wide range of gambling services over the Internet. An ARPU of $220 means the industry receives that amount as revenue for each online gambler. 

8. During the lockdown, 17% of respondents in a gambling survey migrated to online gambling methods.

(Springer)

COVID-19 lockdowns restricted gambling activities. Due to the closure of some venues, usual offline gamblers switched to online gambling. However, the growth of online gambling does not mean the end of offline gambling, as Canada saw a rise from 62% to 78% in gambling rates.

Canadian Sports Betting Statistics

In 1985, Canada legalized sports betting. It is nowhere near the most popular gambling form in the country, so Canadians see sports betting advertisements on their buses and billboards. 

The sports betting industry in Canada still has potential. So let’s see the numbers that point to that:

9. 12% of male Canadians were more into sports betting in 2018.

(Statistics Canada)

Sports have always been a male-dominated industry, and men mostly enjoy it. Unsurprisingly, the most popular bettors in this gambling industry are male, unlike women, who only make up 4% of sports bettors. 

10. In 2018, sports betting made up 7.9% of gambling activities in Canada. 

(Statistics Canada)

In Canada’s gambling scene, betting on sports is more prevalent than betting on casino tables. For gamblers, betting on sports is more exciting because it makes the matches more interesting. 

 The sports betting industry in Canada can grow between $1.5 billion to $2.4 billion by the end of 2023.

(Reviewlution)

Two decades ago, the sports betting industry only had revenue of $450 million. The spike can account for the growing interest of citizens and easier access to the sports industry, primarily online.

11. Ontario closed its fiscal quarter with a 91% increase in total wagers.

(National Post)

In 2022, the province of Ontario launched its retail gaming market. This allowed private operators to create a sports-betting space for locals. 

When they finished their financial fiscal quarter on December 31, 2022, the total wagers amounted to more than $11.5 billion. That was before the Super Bowl, when the industry is supposed to see the most bets.

12. In 2019, 57% of sports betting revenue was from non-regulated online businesses.

(Reviewlution)

Only 39% of legal sports betting revenue is from “land-based” businesses. The rest, accounting for 3%, are from regulated online businesses. 

Cases like this make the sports betting industry seem more unpopular than its other gambling counterparts. But in reality, many sports betting are unregulated and not recorded.

Canadian Offline Gambling Statistics

Gambling started offline, where bettors wager through bookies or go to brick-and-mortar gambling venues. There are many forms of gambling available offline, such as:

  • Bingo
  • Lottery
  • Raffle tickets,
  • Slot machines
  • Electronic gambling machines,
  • Casino table games (ex., Blackjack and poker).

In 2017, At least 76% of Canadian adults participated in one of those offline forms of gambling. The gambling industry continues to grow offline despite the upsurge of online methods.

The number below will tell you how much:

13. Lottery tickets have a participation rate of 65% of Canadian gamblers.

(Casino Canada)

This makes lottery tickets the country’s most popular form of offline gambling. It is a Canadian favorite since it is cheap and easy to play. A single board of lottery tickets costs $3, but you can win up to $70 million with one take.

14. Lottery tickets (55%) and casino table games (10%) were more prevalent among males than females in Canada.

(Statistics Canada, Live Industry Canada)

48% of Canadian female gamblers prefer lottery tickets, while only 5% bet on casino table games. This explains the difference between the emotional components of gambling in men and women. 

Men are likelier to play casino table games like poker because they seek thrilling experiences. 

15. Bingo (6%) was more prevalent in females than males (2%) in Canada.

(Statistics Canada, Live Industry Canada)

Unlike men who are in for an adrenaline rush from gambling, women gamble to relax. Games of chance like bingo take longer to finish, making the activity an escape from reality.

16. 12% of Canadian males and 13% of Canadian females bet on electronic gambling machines. 

(Statistics Canada)

In 2022, electronic gambling machines (EGMs) were almost equally popular among female and male Canadian gamblers. EGMs can be thrilling and monotonous, which both genders seek when gambling.

 17. In 2019, over 35% of slot machines were found in Ontario.

(Statista)

Canada has over 67,000 slot machines across land-based casinos in the country. Ontario has 23,750 of those machines. This is unsurprising, as Ontario has one of the country’s highest gambling participants and revenue. 

Gambling Addiction Statistics in Canada

The country only sees a minority of problem gamblers. Still, more than 300,000 Canadians develop severe or moderate-risk gambling-related problems. That means that some Canadians are addicted to gambling activities. 

Let’s see the numbers and facts about this crucial side of gambling below:

18. Only 2% of Canadians older than 15 have a gambling problem.

(Made in CA)

No matter how low that percentage may seem, that still makes up thousands of Canadians. Problem gambling is a serious concern. It is the point where gambling activities cause disruption and damage to one’s daily life and relationships. 

The Canada Safety Council warns that addiction is linked to the following:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Poor mental health
  • Crimes like fraud, assault, and theft

 19. In 2022, 2.5% of past-year gamblers are male and at moderate-to-severe risk of gambling problems.

(Statistics Canada)

Only 1.7% of past-year gamblers at moderate-to-severe risks of gambling problems are females. This discrepancy between the male and female percentages shows how male gamblers are more invested in the industry. 

Research reveals men are more favorable toward gambling outcomes, which fulfill their sensation-seeking and thrilling needs. That results in them getting fond of the rush they get from gambling. 

20. 2.7% of Canadian gamblers from the lowest-income households are at moderate-to-severe risk for gambling problems.

(Statistics Canada)

Gamblers from the lowest-income homes represent only 53.8% of gamblers in 2021. But they are more at risk of developing gambling problems.

The highest-income families represent 71.5% of Canadian gamblers, and only 1.1% are at moderate-to-severe risk for problem gambling in 2021.

Numerous research explains this situation as indigent people’s attempt to achieve financial advancement most easily and enjoyably.

21. On average, gambling addicts in Canada often lose more than 500,000 US dollars per year.

(Reviewlution)

A 2013 study revealed that a highly problematic gambler in Canada lost 701,000 US dollars in one year. They placed their bet in the same EGM venue 294 times that year. Their average bet per visit to the venue was $2,385. 

That is how costly severe gambling addiction is.

 22. Higher rates of gambling were observed in Indigenous people than non-Indigenous people in Canada (72.4% vs. 64.2%).  

(Statistics Canada, Greo.ca )

Indigenous people are also likely to be at a moderate-to-severe risk of becoming problem gamblers at 4.5%. They are also more prone to gambling for several reasons. Some of these are:

  • To relieve loneliness and boredom
  • Considers gambling as social events that unite communities.
  • Some indigenous cultures believe that gambling welcomes spirits.

 23. Canadian problem gamblers made 31.6% of the country’s national revenue in 2019.

(Gambling Research Exchange Ontario)

Problem gamblers are nicknamed “high-revenue” because they make up most of the gambling industry’s income. Without them, the gambling world would not thrive as much.

24. Around 2% of Canadians struggle with the effects of problem gambling.

(Canada Infolink)

Canadians who gamble offline experience the effects of problem gambling less. Those who are into online gambling encounter them four times over. 

Problem gamblers’ families and friends are also affected by the behaviors and issues they face. One can assume the number of people affected by problem gambling is much higher than the reported 600,000.

25. 94% of male gamblers and 96% of female gamblers in Canada were not at risk for developing gambling problems.

(OPUS-ULETH)

Canada saw a massive decrease in problematic gamblers from 2002 to 2018. This is due to the government’s efforts to educate their population about gambling. 

Canada’s Gambling Market Growth

Gambling is one of Canada’s most extensive entertainment industries. Although they are well-educated in gambling, the industry thrives due to the increased availability of legal gambling options.

In 2021, Canada’s gambling industry generated $2.64 billion in revenue

Read on to find out how big Canada’s gambling market is and how much it is growing.

26. 45% of Canada’s gambling industry’s revenue in Canada was from online gambling. 

(Easy Reader & Peninsula Magazine)

Out of the $2.64 billion revenue of Canada’s gambling industry, $1.2 billion was generated from online gambling. Online casinos also contribute the most to the online gambling industry’s revenue. People’s interest in online gambling continues to grow, and the numbers reflect it. 

27. The market size of Canada’s gambling sector amounted to $12.54 billion in 2021.

(Statista)

Recent data shows that the market size is decreasing. In 2020, the market amounted to $12.75 billion, while in 2019, it was $14.97 billion. Statista also forecasted that it would continue to drop. 

Gambling is a type of entertainment, and Canadians are turning to alternative entertainment options, which can be cheaper and more accessible.

28. Canadians spent over $17 billion in casinos across the country.

(Canadian Gaming Industry Report)

The country’s gambling industry rakes billions of dollars yearly from their gamblers. Canadian bettors also take their gambling habits worldwide. They also spend at least $4 billion on offshore online casinos. 

29. Canadians usually spend $10 billion on single sporting events illegally.

(CBC)

Bettors place their wagers in the black market, illegally organized by criminal networks. In 2021, the federal government of Canada made single-game sports betting legal in the country. 

Doing that allows bettors to put their wagers on individual sporting events legally. This also gives the government the right to monitor this part of the industry and tax its participants accordingly.

Finishing Thoughts

The Canadian gambling industry is less significant than other countries; its market size is forecasted to decline. That is not because Canadians lost interest in the industry, but rather due to alternative entertainment options that are up and coming.

In some aspects, the Canadian gambling industry is still flourishing. Take it from Canadians’ increasing interest in online gambling, which spiked before the pandemic.

The best prediction to make about Canada’s gambling industry is where online gambling will take over. In the years to come, it might surpass traditional gambling, given its growth rate. 

FAQ

How many people gamble in Canada?

64% of Canadians aged 15 and above gambled at least once in 2017.

What is illegal gambling in Canada?

Any unregulated forms of gambling are unlawful in Canada.

Is sports betting big in Canada?

Sports betting is most prevalent in Ontario, Canada, where the industry reached $886 million in revenue.