The Economic Effects of the Online Gambling Industry In Canada

The Economic Effects of the Online Gambling Industry In Canada

At least 19 million Canadians are actively gambling, thus contributing to the country’s current ranking at number 8 in online gaming. Interestingly enough, it has been estimated that roughly 200,000 Canadian residents are employed by the gambling industry.

But it isn’t all just fun and games. Regardless of some people’s sentiments towards gambling, the economic benefits of Canadian online casinos and the gaming industry simply cannot be underestimated. In fact, it has grown to be one of the largest industries in Canada.

So what are the facts and stats? How exactly have online casinos influenced economic growth and what does the future have in store for Canadian players? Let’s find out!

How Much Is The Canadian Gambling Industry Worth?

Since 2016, the market size of the gambling sector in Canada has shown a steady rise, peaking at C$14.72 billion in 2019. However, due to recently imposed lockdown measures, this sector has declined a bit in 2020 with an estimated value of C$14.08 billion. Here are some interesting facts about Canada’s gambling market:

  • It occupies the largest segment of Canada’s entertainment industry.
  • It directly supports 135,000 full-time jobs (and 270,000 indirectly).
  • It generates almost C$9 billion annually to fund government and community programs and services.

Consumer tastes, market demand, and overall outlook on gambling experienced a drastic change in recent years. The size and growth of gaming in Canada reflect that, particularly the increase in the availability of legal gaming options. But what’s really encouraging to hear is that Canadians are willing to use gambling revenues to fund a variety of government obligations, including debt repayment.

If you want more industry-specific research and data on such topics, the Canadian Gaming Association serves as a national clearinghouse. Overall, Canada enjoys the economic benefits of gaming due to the greater freedoms and few regulatory policies for the gaming sector. Compared to the US online casino market and other nations, the gambling culture in Canada is far more relaxed.

Massive Revenue

The growth in revenue for the gaming industry shows no signs of stopping. In 2017, the industry generated a whopping C$17.1 billion in revenue. The revenue from gaming alone was C$16.1 billion. This also includes another C$1 billion from services, such as food and beverages at the casinos. The government gets a share of revenue through taxation.

The nature of the gambling industry creates a thriving environment for other businesses, particularly the hospitality sector. This includes full-service restaurants, limited-service restaurants, accommodation, and air travel.

But gambling is not without its downsides. This prompted the Canadian gaming industry to contribute to other more unorthodox sectors. Since responsible gambling is a big concern, millions are annually spent in research on gambling addiction and treatment.

Employment Opportunites

Employment Opportunities

As we mentioned, 200,000 Canadians are employed directly by the gaming industry. Pair that with the indirect effects on the economy and job creation, and the number of people employed or supported by the gaming sector increases to over 270,000.

The industry spends over C$12 billion in labour in the form of wages, salaries, and allowances with an average annual salary of approximately C$65,000. As gaming continues to grow, more Canadians will gain opportunities to make money and provide for their families.

Due to taxation, 40% of the gambling income goes back to Canadian citizens in some way. The province of Ontario is at the forefront in terms of gambling jobs created due to comparably more relaxed rules towards gambling.

An Overview of Canadian Online Casinos

Overview of Canadian Online Casinos

Canada has no shortage of brick-and-mortar casinos. First Nations know what we’re talking about. However, many Canadian residents nowadays opt to gamble online via online gaming websites like Worst Casino Reviews. After all, not everyone has access to land-based casinos and those that do live close to them are still migrating online gambling sites for reasons such as:

  • Convenience
  • Availability of casino games and sports betting
  • User-friendly platforms
  • Generous welcome bonus packages for new players
  • Regular special promotions
  • Timely customer support
  • Flexible payment options, etc.

Several Canadian provinces run their own online casinos and you can place wagers online through a number of government-approved betting outlets. We have to note that the laws around online gambling in Canada are somewhat complex, especially when it comes to offshore online casinos. However, nothing clearly states that gambling online is illegal.

Better regulations are needed, though. Players aren’t 100% protected by Canada’s gambling regulations when gambling online. Let’s say you want to withdraw your money but the casino operators fail to meet your request. Or you can’t take advantage of your welcome bonuses or deposit bonuses for some inexplicable reason. What do you do then? That’s why we suggest finding the best online casino sites because they’re licensed through other jurisdictions.

Fortunately, many online casinos nowadays ensure a safe and secure gambling experience, offering deposit and withdrawal options in Canadian dollars. This eliminates the need for currency exchange rates or conversion fees. And if you prefer to gamble on the go, there are mobile gaming sites available as well as online gambling mobile apps.

It was only recently that brick and mortar casinos were the real deal in Canada. That is not the case today. With over 2000 gambling casino websites in the country, registering over 96% in wins, it comes as no surprise that so many Canadians have shifted their focus away from land-based casinos. By the way, they are estimated to return less than 60% wins, so go figure.

If you’re curious about the biggest jackpot, a player from Finland has won on the progressive slot, Mega Moolah in 2018 – a whopping $20 million!

The prospects of such gains are no doubt tempting, especially since the government doesn’t tax gambling returns. However, for those who do treat gambling as a full-time profession and register consistent wins, the taxman will come a-knocking.

The Economic Impact of Sports Betting

The Economic Impact of Sports Betting

Sports betting is a multi-billion-dollar industry in Canada. Approximately 14 billion dollars in gross wagers are made on an annual basis. But sports betting is often in the grey zone. Most are being wagered through illegal bookmakers and online offshore betting companies.

This may explain why sports bettors and regulators alike can look forward to betting, especially on single events which were deemed unlawful. With the Royal Assent now granted, sportsbook operators can apply for licenses, ushering in a new generation of online sports betting in Canada.

Essentially, the passage of Bill C-218 brings Canada into line with the way legal online sportsbooks operate. Before that, the only way bettors could enjoy legalized sports betting in Canada was through parlay betting offered by provincial lotteries. A parlay (or accumulator) is a bet on two or more outcomes. All your selections must win for you to receive a payout.

Single-game wagering was mostly reserved for offshore sports betting sites. Those who wanted to take part in sports betting in Canada wasn’t spared from potential risk. Such sites were deemed unregulated, so bettors had no legal recourse in case they were involved in a dispute with the sportsbook.

In short, Bill C-218 represents is a tremendous shift for Canadian sports betting sites. Established international sportsbooks are now equipped to work with provincial partners and obtain a license to operate on a territory-by-territory basis.

If we consider the potential economic benefits of legalizing sports betting, Canadian legislators need only look to the USA for inspiration. Numerous states now see significant streams of revenue from this particular source. It has been estimated Canadians wager more than C$14billion each year through offshore sports betting sites. That’s 37 times more than the C$375million staked on lottery parlay offerings. That’s A LOT!​

Money Transactions at Legal Online Casinos

Money Transactions at Legal Online Casinos

A huge number of legal Canadian online casino websites are actually based outside the territory. This may affect completing payments. For instance, Visa may be the most-used credit card option, but even some of the best online casinos and sports betting sites do not accept them.

Restrictions should also be considered, which may result in players having to set up an account with a third-party money transfer website. Some casinos prefer wire transfers, while others require the payments to be made through a list of accepted payment methods.

Deposit Methods

Here are the two most common deposit methods used for making online casino deposits in Canada.


Citadel is among the most preferred online casino payment methods due to the fact that it doesn’t reveal any personal or banking details to third parties. All that online casino players are required to have in order to use Citadel is a valid bank account. Additionally, all information filled in by the player when registering an account is protected thanks to encryption technology that is normally used by financial institutions all over the world.


Visa is without a doubt one of the leading online casino deposit methods. That, paired with the fact that Visa products are accepted in more than 150 countries basically means that owners of the card are provided with the opportunity to use it everywhere. All players need to do is visit the deposit section of the casino website and fill in the fields required.


MasterCard provides diversity and a high level of security. The fact that the products of MasterCard are accepted all over the world makes them one of the most preferred methods of payment. The major difference between Visa and MasterCard is that Visa allows players to make a withdrawal of their casino winnings, while MasterCard does not. Any prepaid card has a limit, which cannot be surpassed, which is good for limiting your gambling.


The greatest perk of Instadebit is that players are allowed to deposit money and withdraw winnings instantly to and from their online casino accounts. This is great because most payment options require too much paperwork or take too much time until the transactions are processed. Isntadebit is fast and easy to use, plus the payment system provided by the brand is secure enough in order to guarantee players maximum satisfaction.


Another commonly used payment method by Canadian citizens, that offers a regular plastic pre-paid card that can be used for all kinds of online and offline purchases. No personal or bank account information needs to be disclosed. PaySafeCard can also be found as an electronic voucher, which is also fast and easy to work with. No bank account number is required to be filled in when making payments or online casino deposits with the system.


Considering it has upheld its reputation as the national debit payment processing system for nearly half a century, Canadian players are somehow prompted to use it when gambling in a casino online. What makes it so appealing is minimum fees, top-notch security, and little to no lag time. Essentially, the company functions as a direct payment processor, facilitating transactions between bank accounts.


Players can use this service to process payments by turning to its direct online banking option, or alternatively, its inherent e-wallet service. The former allows iDebit users to complete transactions straight from their online banking service, simply by specifying the recipient bank number and the amount. As for the e-wallet service, account registration is necessary to enable funding via regular online banking.

Canadian Gambling Industry: Summary

Canada is, without a doubt, one of the countries with perspective real money gambling policies and practices. They invest A LOT in the gambling industry, and the increase in employment rate and local economy attests to that. This expansion is influenced by several factors, such as modern technology, the difference in public perception, and global innovation in the market.

But large-scale gambling is not without its shortcomings. Particularly, problem gambling is huge in Canada. It comes with the territory. As it is, 1-2% (600,000 people) of adults in the country suffer the effects of problem gambling and online casinos only exacerbate that issue. Fortunately, numerous entities in Canada provide timely support for those who need help dealing with this prevalent problem.

dice title stripAlessia Tremblay


"Alessia is an independent casino expert. Total gamer. Avid social media maven. Professional tv fanatic. Writer. She started working with WCR, writing independent casino reviews. Alessia has been with us from our beginnings. She was born in 1990, Toronto, Ontario"