Interesting Facts About the Canadian Gambling Industry

The gambling scene in Canada has progressed in leaps and bounds from where it used to be. The industry now features a vibrant market built upon a vast population and an increasing supply of high-quality casino operators. Despite this popularity, there are multiple intriguing facts about gambling in Canada that punters may not know. Some of these interesting gambling statistics Canada are essential and could potentially change how you view the industry. Let’s cut to the chase and find out fascinating facts about the Canadian Gambling industry.   

Canadian Gambling History

For decades, gambling in Canada was listed as an illegal activity. However, as the 20th century wound to a close, many anti-gambling stances eased, paving the way for legal forms of the activity. In 1970, Canadian legislation approved provincial jurisdiction for gambling, allowing the country’s provincial and territorial governments to control betting activities. Manitoba was the first province to house commercial brick-and-mortar casino operators, with Alberta, Quebec, Ontario and others soon following suit. Presently, over 200 casino operators are scattered across Canada’s provinces; Ontario and Alberta alone are home to about 50 of these facilities. 

Trends in Canada’s Online Gambling Industry

The first legal online casino in the Great White North launched in 2004, a period when land-based casinos were starting to peak. Around that time, there were over 50 provincial brick-and-mortar casinos and up to 30,000 slot machines in the Canadian industry. Tech limitations in the early 2000s meant that iGaming options weren’t easily accessible, and in the cases where they were, they offered nothing similar to the brick-and-mortar experience. A 2007 survey revealed that only 2.3% of Canadians participated in online gambling.

However, barely five years after that survey, experts estimated that punters had begun to spend over $30 million annually at online casinos. Technological innovations make online gaming in Canada significantly more prominent today. Over half of the country’s population participate in online gaming, with sports betting and slots standing out as the favourite categories. When it comes to domestic online casinos in Canada, Ontario and Alberta are once again the dominant provinces, joined by Saskatchewan and British Columbia. 

Favourite Gambling Games of Canadians

Considering how diverse the gambling sphere is, it would be strange if Canadian punters had equal levels of adoration for every gaming category. Sports betting is the most widespread gambling activity in the country, primarily due to the prevalence of ice hockey and horse racing. Online slot titles are by far the most common options at online casinos in Canada – studies show that over 70% of Canadian gamblers play them regularly. These titles are fancied because they’re entertaining, require zero skills, and are easy to master. 

Blackjack, roulette and other table games that require skill and strategy are not as trendy, with only 18% of casino goers playing them. Poker appears to fare much better than other table games, pulling over 50% of punters, largely thanks to its special cult following. Live casino games are also beginning to attract many casino goers with their unique blend of convenience and immersive interactive gameplay. Live table games are especially popular with older gamblers, as it does the best job of recreating the familiar atmosphere of land-based casino table games. These trends from the Canadian gaming industry are more or less in line with gambling percentages in the global industry. 

Canadian Gambling Revenue and Socio-Economic Influence

Canada’s gambling industry is now capable of going toe-to-toe with many other countries in terms of revenue and general economic influence. The country’s gaming business occupies a significant chunk of the entertainment scene, creating over 260,000 employment opportunities, including up to 135,000 full-time jobs. The most convincing evidence of the industry’s spirited zest is the revenue it pulls. Canadians spend over $17 billion annually in online and land-based domestic casinos. Throw in the $4 billion spent in offshore online casinos, and we’ve got over C$30 billion spent annually on gambling activities in Canada. This gaming revenue is particularly essential for the Lumberjack country’s economic growth, as they fund several government programs. 

Demographics within the Canadian Gambling Industry

As you would expect, and as is the case across the globe, every Canadian demographic group enjoys slot titles. This fact rings particularly true for punters above 35 years, with several reports showing that gamblers between ages 55 and 64 play online slots almost exclusively. Surveys also reveal that table games are real hits for gamers in the 18-34 demography. As for location, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia deliver the highest number of punters and boast the most frequented casino operators in the Great White North. 

Statistics show that gender distribution figures in the Canadian gaming industry are skewed towards the male population. 80% of Canadian gamblers are men, many likely to fall in the 30 – 55 age bracket. This group, ranging from young adults in college to working-class citizens, are regulars at online casinos but also favour sports betting. Many of them visit socanadiancasino to get comprehensive insight about high-quality online casinos around them before deciding on where to gamble.  

Legal Frameworks of Gambling in Canada

Because provinces and territories regulate gambling in Canada, there’s no one-size-fits-all rule regarding what’s allowed and what isn’t. Every unique casino in Canada must adhere strictly to the laws and regulations dictated by the region in which they operate. The same goes for punters, who must pay attention to the form of gambling that’s legal in their province as well as the age limits. 18 is the legal gaming age in Alberta, Quebec, and Manitoba, but all other seven provinces require citizens to be at least 19 before they can gamble. 

Other Exciting Gambling Facts in Canada

Here are some other interesting facts about gambling in Canada that haven’t been otherwise covered in this article: 

  • Quebec is home to the Casino de Montreal, the largest casino in the Great White North and one of the biggest on the globe. The facility sits on Notre Dame Island in the Ville-Marie borough in Montreal. The Montreal Casino has been around for nearly three decades, and it houses over 3,000 slot machines and up to 100 tables, with an estimated 18,000 patrons every day (Pre COVID-19 figures).
  • The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) doesn’t tax players on their casino and lottery winnings on the condition that they aren’t professional gamblers. This means you do not have to pay taxes on your casino and sportsbook winnings in Canada. 
  • The biggest payout in Canadian online gambling history stands at around C$20 million. The lucky winner decided to remain anonymous, but they earned the win on a Mega Moolah jackpot in Zodiac Casino back in February 2018. Mega Moolah is also responsible for many of the previous biggest wins recorded in the industry. 


Canadians are a reasonably hearty, easy-going bunch, and that reflects in their approach toward gambling. Many consider the activity as nothing more than an entertaining hobby – a great way to relax and have some fun. But it’s not only about the fun. Classic sayings such as “don’t wash your hands before you play” or “don’t touch another gambler’s shoulder” point towards a desire to win and earn cash while having fun. Thanks to the stability of the country’s economy, several working-class individuals have access to dispensable money that can fund their gaming. The gambling industry in Canada is now a multi-billion dollar business, and from every indication, it’ll only get bigger. 

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