How Much Money Do Canadians Spend A Year On Gambling?

August 8, 2022
Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

It is no secret that gambling is one of the most lucrative sectors of the entertainment industry. However, in the Great White North, this rings even truer. Statistics show that 6 in 10 Canadians gamble regularly, with 3% of Canadians spending up to $100 a month on it. But exactly how much revenue do these gambling activities generate?

Net Worth of Canada’s Gambling Industry

Many Canadians partake in some form of gambling, whether it be the lottery, bingo, sports betting, or casino games. According to the Canadian Gaming Association, the country makes up to $33 billion per annum through gambling alone, making a total revenue of about $13 billion. Due to the current exponential growth of online betting, this figure is expected to rise considerably in the next few years.

Experts speculate that the government could make even more money if they took a leaf from the USA’s books and removed the stringent online gambling laws that are in place. Because the law specifies that gambling providers within the country need to obtain a provincial license before being able to operate in any province, many gambling investors are hesitant to build betting establishments in Canada, leading to a loss of potential revenue.

All the same, the annual per capita expenditure of Canadian citizens on gambling is an astounding $826—a figure higher than that of the United States. With 200+ land-based casinos, over 70000 slot machines, and over 32000 lottery terminals, Canada earns its spot as the eighth country in the world when it comes to the amount of money spent gambling.

Common Forms Of Gambling in Canada

Gone are the days when land-based casinos were the dream. Canada, like the rest of the world, is slowly abandoning physical casinos and moving towards online ones. Even before the virus hit in 2020, the popularity of brick-and-mortar casinos had been dwindling in favor of online gambling. Most people prefer to go online, pick a casino with the help of a Canadian online casino guide, and start playing. Statistics indicate that when wagering online, most Canadians go for online sports betting. In general, however, lotteries are by far the most common type of gambling, with close to half of the country playing lottery games each year.

Following closely when it comes to popularity are scratch cards and raffle games. After these are the classic casino games like poker, baccarat, blackjack, and roulette. Slots are also relatively popular among Canadians.

Gambling Statistics According to Age, Gender, Region, and Income Level

The national data shows that there is a notable variation in gambling preferences among Canadians that aligns with age, region, gender, and income level. Women, for instance, are slightly less likely than men to gamble at all. Only 57% of women partake in betting activities, as opposed to 63% of men. Women are also more likely than men to gamble from their phones, and they are usually inclined to play scratchies or bingo. On average, men also dedicate more money to betting than women do. They are more likely to spend $20 – $100 on it each month, while women only spend about $1 – $20.


Surprisingly enough, Canadians with incomes between $25,000 and $55,000 spend more money wagering, while those with incomes above $55,000 spend less. Those with incomes below $25,000 generally do not gamble.


Gambling is seen more often in Canadians between the ages of 35 and 54. Older people are more likely to play physical slots, while young college-age people often favor online slots and casino games. Older people are also slightly more likely to spend more gambling.


Although there are far more gambling facilities in Ontario, Quebec has the highest rate of gambling in the country. The provinces most unlikely to gamble are Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Canada Compared with the Rest of the World

The amount of money Canadians spend each year gambling is impressive when you consider that the entire country has a population of just about 38 million people. Very few countries come close to topping the per capita revenue made from betting activities here in the Great White North. Canada has $568 gaming losses per adult, per year, a number that only Australia, Ireland, and Singapore can beat. Indeed, Canada is the gambling capital of North America.


Undoubtedly, gambling holds a special place in the hearts of many Canadians. Online wagering is gradually earning the favor of most bettors in the country, with brands like BetMGM, Caesars’, and FanDuel slowly becoming household names. Although more than half of the population frequently gambles, problem gambling is not much of an issue as there are government bodies working to steer gamblers away from addiction.

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