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What Does Gambling Bring to the Canadian Economy?


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Canada may not quite be the world power of its neighbour to the south but its economy is by no means insubstantial.

With a GDP of almost $2.1 trillion a year it stands as the ninth largest in the world, positioned between Russia, another close neighbour, and Italy.

Key sectors include mining, manufacturing and service industries. In recent years technology has also started to play a more significant part, boosted by government aid for start-ups.

There’s another booming area of business that crosses over several sectors and, in doing so, gambling competes with several other entertainment sectors.

The size of the industry

In 2021 the size of the Canadian gambling industry was $12.54 billion and it is currently showing an annual growth rate of around 12%. This puts it on a par with the film and television industry in the country, however this is not currently showing anything like the same rate of growth.

So we can expect to see an increasing gulf grow between these two very different kinds of entertainment going forward.

The growth of the industry can be put down to the fact that individual provinces are gradually starting to permit more and more gaming options under their control. In addition, the growth of online casinos and other forms of betting are also having a significant effect.

So who’s playing?

Looking into the figures, it throws up some very interesting insights. For example, it’s estimated that around 19 million adults in Canada participate in some form of gambling each year.

Looking at the gender split, men are marginally more likely to gamble than women with the respective percentages being 68.8% and 60.4%.

In terms of the minimum permitted age for gambling, the general rule across the country is that all players must be at least 19. However, as provinces are allowed to set their own limits over the activity in their particular region, this is 18 in Manitoba, Quebec and Alberta.

Digging a little deeper into the demographics, it’s households with higher levels of disposable income who tend to participate the most. However, there may be a few warning signs that the increasing interest rates and the rising cost of living may soon put more of a squeeze on this group.

The games people play

In common with most countries where betting is legal, it’s lotteries that are the big money-spinners in Canada. These are run by two organisations that cover the country, the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation and the Western Canada Lottery Corporation. Not only do the lotteries offer players the chance to win life-changing sums, they also raise around $1.25 billion a year in revenue for the government.

As already mentioned, online casinos and other forms of activity including poker games are also becoming more and more popular. As a result, an increasing number of major global operators are now offering their services to the Canadian market.

But perhaps the biggest change of all in recent years has been the 2021 ruling allowing betting on single sporting events. Canadians are very keen on sports whether it’s hockey, horse racing or football so now that many provinces are starting to permit sports gambling, rapid growth is anticipated.


Gambling also contributes greatly to the Canadian economy in a number of less direct ways beyond raising taxes and contributing to the GDP. One of these is in providing direct employment to an estimated 182,500 Canadians. What’s more, these are relatively well-paid jobs in the main with an average income of around $65,000 a year.

In total this amounts to a very considerable $11.9 billion in labour income.

This figure rises even further when you also start to take into account the many ancillary industries that also serve the gambling sector.

These are exceptionally wide ranging and include businesses across numerous specialisms. Examples include printing companies such as Nanoptix Inc. of New Brunswick who produce lottery tickets and the work apparel company Unisync Corp. which supplies uniforms for many of the 8000+ employees working in brick and mortar casinos.

Casinos themselves, and there are over 100 across the country, also provide business opportunities for everyone from food and produce suppliers to the energy companies that power them.

So, as you can see, gambling in its many forms has a very important role to play across the whole Canadian company.

As we move forward, this role is set to become even more significant offering revenue-raising opportunities for the government and employment opportunities for working Canadians.

Much will be fuelled by advances in technology and we can expect to see the online casino and sportsbook sector continue to grow and make ever-greater contributions to the economy.

And it’s also the fans of gambling who will also enjoy all of the benefits that this ever-widening choice will bring them.


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How Online Casinos Are Able To Create Community

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If computer gaming can be social, so can online gambling. The social aspect of gaming now also translates to online gambling, as the two have many similarities. Online casinos are not preferred to land-based casinos for  convenience but because they can be a way to socialize with others. With these new dynamics, creating a community at these online casinos is possible.

The History of The Social Aspect

Historically, gambling has also acted as a social activity. As a pastime activity, people have taken casinos in a more social context. People have sat in groups, playing poker and blackjack together, drinking coffee or alcohol together. It wouldn’t be appropriate not to mention how gambling has also been a concern of people whose family members or friends have suffered social costs because of their gambling addiction. But for those who are able to avoid addiction, the gambling practice can become a way to interact with other people.

Online gambling has become a space that takes on different areas like technology and discourses. Therefore, new online casinos are taking on the role of the facilitator for discussion, like the casinos at, where people can also find free spins and bonuses along the way. These casinos, therefore, make sure to incorporate social elements in the games.

Online Casino Chats

Those who cannot access brick-and-mortar casinos for geographical reasons cannot play poker and have the social aspect simultaneously. But with online casinos, this is no longer a concern. Today, many games include chats where people can exchange tips and comments and share conversations in general.

Because many online casinos host tournaments, the atmosphere can often get heated, and this is where the chats will overflow with comments. The discussions follow specific guidelines so people can participate without being judged or harassed by other players. Many of these players also return to the same online casinos because of loyalty programs, where they are rewarded with bonuses for their loyalty. This can also create a sense of community.

Forums And Discussions

Outside the online casinos, some forums and discussions encourage gamblers to engage in conversations about everything gambling or betting-related. Whether it is poker, slot machines or roulette, there is undoubtedly a forum for that. Here, people discuss how to play keno, bingo promotions, or sports results for betting. This is also great for people who have specific gambling questions, as many forums are visited by gambling experts, who have the answers for nearly everything. The forums become a form of community, as it is often the same people who will visit the forums.

Social Gaming on Facebook

An example of how online gambling has spread to social media is the example of social gambling on Facebook. Facebook is well-known for being a platform for all sorts of games. But this time, Facebook offered users to participate in online gambling, as a gaming company operated a poker game back in 2014. Here, players in certain countries were able to gamble with real money.

Furthermore, Facebook users could buy goods in games through the virtual currency called Facebook Credits. Since Facebook is a place of community, gambling becomes linked with a sense of community.

Creating Poker Clubs

A way to create community through online casinos is by creating gambling clubs. The idea of a poker club isn’t new, but there might not be many clubs for people who play online poker. All it takes is gathering our friends, an internet connection and a knowledge of the poker rules. Running a poker club this way doesn’t require a physical casino, as it can be hosted in the comfort of our own home.

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Online Casinos in Canada: A Thriving Digital Landscape

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The digitisation of various industries worldwide has transformed markets far and wide, and Canada is no exception. Among many digitally transformed sectors, one that has piqued the curiosity and interest of Canadians recently is the realm of online casinos. This intriguing ascent of the Canadian casino online industry has prompted us to delve deeper into this world of virtual betting and understand its implications for Canadian society.

A Brief on Canada’s Online Casinos

The surge in online casinos in Canada did not occur overnight. It evolved slowly and meticulously, as Canadians warmed up to the idea of online betting, eventually taking the Canadian internet world by storm. The availability of online casinos has brought a revolution in the nation’s gambling habits, overcoming the restrictions of traditional brick-and-mortar betting houses and providing an experience that is as exciting and even more convenient. Many websites, such as West Island Blog’s overview of Canadian casinos online, explain the digital casino phenomenon comprehensively, providing Canadians with valuable insights into online casinos.

The Boom of Online Betting

Internet connectivity and digital technology together have woven an alternative casino universe online, available at the fingertips of Canadians. The boon of convenience, coupled with the advent of mobile banking and digital payment portals, have encouraged the surge of these virtual betting platforms. The pandemic lockdown further spurred the growth as land casinos had to temporarily close down.

The Legality Aspect

As legal entities, online casinos in Canada operate under specialized laws which are both provincial and federal. While it’s legal for Canadians to participate in online gambling, including overseas platforms, running an online casino within Canadian borders is strictly regulated.

The Economic Dimension

The online casino industry’s impact on Canada’s economy is significant and ever-increasing. With its robust growth, the online betting industry has contributed to employment through tech jobs it creates in areas such as software development and cybersecurity.

Protective Measures for Canadians

The government has set up regulations to protect Canadian players. Any online casino operating in Canada has to maintain suitable licenses and fairness certificates from recognized bodies.


With an increase in digital transactions comes the risk of cyber threats. However, most online casinos incorporate advanced encryption technologies, two-factor authentication, and secure payment gateways to ensure user safety.

Gambling Awareness

Canada is vigilant about problem gambling. Several organizations offer help to those struggling with gambling addiction, ensuring the fun and entertainment of online betting does not turn into a problem for Canadians.

The Future of Online Casinos in Canada

Canada’s online casino industry is set to flourish even more in the future. Millennials, being tech-savvy, contribute massively to the growth of this digital industry. Coupled with advancements in VR technology, Canadian online casinos are set to provide an immersive, life-like casino experience from the comfort of homes.

The gaming experience

Software developers are continuously improving the user-friendly interface, graphics, and game variety, enhancing the overall experience for the players.

Decline of traditional casinos?

While online casinos have been gaining ground, it remains unclear whether the traditional casinos will steadily decline or continue to co-exist with their digital counterparts. The online casino scene in Canada is, indeed, a thrilling digital landscape. A fusion of technology, entertainment, and potential profitability, it’s a flourishing virtual world that’s shaping the future of gambling in Canada.

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