The Rise of Gambling in Canada

Although we view America, and Las Vegas in particular, as the home of gambling and betting, Canada's gaming industry is on the increase and business appears to be booming. In 2017, Canada took CA$17.3 billion in gambling revenue, a huge amount for any sector, and it looks like the increase won't be stopping any time soon. 

Although there are lots of forms of gaming, land and online casinos are still the most popular form of gambling in Canada. There are currently over 100 casinos operating in CA and there are more and more 'big' casinos being created, such as the Hard Rock Casino and large-scale resorts like the River Rock Casino Resort, tempting visitors to more than just the games. It appears that more people are wanting the James Bond-esque glamour of huge, glittering casinos where you can make (or lose) millions in one night - Las Vegas has also been an influence, with many casinos also offering shopping and new stage shows to watch every night.

One of the reasons for the popularity is that the legal gambling age in Canada is 18, or 19 in a few provinces, instead of the 21 years of age that most states in America require. There is a larger pool for the gambling industry to appeal to, and it seems to be working; Great Canadian Gaming, the gaming and entertainment company, reported a 90% increase in their revenue for its second quarter of 2018. Probably unsurprisingly, Ontario is the largest contributor, producing 43% of Canada's gambling income - this can be explained because Ontario is the most populated of all provinces.  

Online gambling is also increasing. Where, previously, many online casinos and gaming providers limited Canadian access, the expansion is allowing for more access, which isn't just good for revenue but for the player too. Here is the link to a website where you can learn more about gambling, with up-to-date tips and bonuses for online casinos - you can also play with Canadian dollars, using a Canadian banking system, so it's looking up for anyone in the Great White North. With over 24 million smartphones in Canada, the increase of gaming is unsurprising because now you don't have to go to a casino, which may be far away and costly to travel to.

There is also the expansion of government-owned lotteries which can generate additional revenue, primarily in the leisure sector, without increasing taxation (therefore much more palatable to politicians). Charity lotteries are also very popular in Canada, with $750 million worth of charity lottery tickets being bought in 2011, and 23 charity lotteries in Ontario alone. However, there are doubts about whether enough of the money made in these games actually goes to the charity that people believe they are donating to. 

Whether or not they are appropriate for charity, there can be no doubt that Canada's gambling industry is huge and looks set to continue growing as fast as new games, and casinos, can be created. 


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