Canadian Online Gambling by the Numbers

Zoe Walker - EditorZoe Walker - 14 April 2020 in Features
Canadian Online Gambling by the Numbers

Canada has a liberal approach towards gambling in general and the same can be said about their outlook towards online gambling as well. With online gambling being legal and regulated, Canada has one of the biggest online gambling markets in the world.

Canada is a hotbed for a number of online casino operators from all over the world. Unlike their neighboring country, The United States, Canada’s economy substantially benefited from the legalization, regulation and taxation of online gambling.

When it comes to land - based casinos, Canada has two well established and renowned casinos that are located in British Columbia and Ontario. However, online casinos seem to be growing in popularity in recent years and Canada boasts one of the world’s pivotal gambling jurisdictions, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission which is based in Kahnawake just outside Montreal. Kahnawake Gaming Commission Licenses online casinos and poker sites.

Now that we have established that Canada has taken a liberal approach towards online gambling and that it is one of the biggest online gambling markets in the world which is also home to a gambling regulatory authority, let us dive into some of the data and numbers that make up the Canadian online gambling industry.

How many Canadians gamble online?

Canada is ranked number 8 in the world when it comes to online gambling and that is a reputable rank when you take into account how many different countries allow online gambling. Some states in Canada even have state owned online gambling websites, namely, Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.

In Canada, it is estimated that a staggering 18.6 million Canadians are actively gambling. Please note that these are active users, and the total number of users (anyone from Canada that registered an account at a gambling website) could be a much higher number.

Another recent study concluded that at least 76% of Canadian adults indulge in Gambling in one form or the other. If you take 76% of the Canadian population (as per 2017 census), that amounts to nearly a staggering 30 million Canadians.

Simply put, approximately 30 million Canadians gamble.

Do Canadian millennials play at online casinos?

Yes, Canadian millennials do make up a good amount of the 18.6 million active Canadian gamblers. A recent study showed how many times millennials visited online casinos and here are the findings.

Of the millennials that visited online casinos:

  • Star 53% of millennials visited online casinos two times or less in a year.
  • Star 17% of millennials visited online casinos at least once in a period of 3 – 5 months.
  • Star 19% of millennials visited online casinos at least once per month.

People tend to associated online gambling and online casino games with older generations and not millennials, however, the numbers have made it clear that even the younger folk in Canada enjoy online gambling. However, games like Bingo and slots are more popular in older players while games like live poker are enjoyed predominantly by younger Canadians.

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How much do Canadians spend on online gambling?

The total value of the Canadian gambling industry as estimated in 2010 was a massive $11.6 billion US dollars (CA$ 15.1 billion). 2010 was a decade ago, and things are bound to have increased many folds since then. There isn’t a more recent study to reference from.

However, it was also estimated that the Canadian gambling market would grow by at least $15.5B per annum. If we were to extrapolate the worth of the gambling market in 2020 using this rate of growth, it would amount to the below:

  • StarValue of Canadian gambling market in 2010 - $11.6 billion.
  • StarPer year growth - $15.5 billion.
  • Star# of years since 2010 – 10 years.
  • StarGrowth since 2010 – 10 * $15.5 billion = $155 billion.
  • StarTotal value of Canadian market as of 2020 = $11.6 billion + $155 billion = $ 166.6 billion.

In fact, one of the main reason’s states like Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia came out with their own online gambling websites was because Canadians spend as much as $20 billion on just online gambling every year, and the states obviously want a piece of this pie.

It is estimated that Canadians spend $4 billion a year at online casinos based offshores (foreign operators).

And

It is estimated that Canadians spend $16 billion a year at online casinos based in Canada.

Let us now take a look at the average spend per player, each time they visit a casino:

  • Star Canadians spend $40 on average if they played card games like poker.
  • Star Canadians spend $38 on average if they played table games like roulette/craps.
  • Star Canadians spend $38 on average if they played blackjack.
  • Star Canadians spent $38 on average if the played slots.

Male Vs. Female Canadian online gamblers

An overwhelming 80% of Canadian gamblers are men. However, it is interesting to note that more Canadian women use their phones to gamble than Canadian men. Canada is the only country in the world where women use their phones to gamble more than their male counter parts. Nearly 40% of all Canadian women who gamble, do so via their smart phones.

Which online casino games are popular amongst Canadian players?

Slots are the most popular online casino game category in Canada with 19% of the casino’s visitors opting to play slots.

  • Star Table Games come in second with 11% of visitors opting to play table games.
  • Star Electronic table games are third with 9% of visitors opting to play electronic table games.
  • Star 8% of online casino visitors play Poker.
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