Canada is popular for its array of highly volatile online pokies. Although there are provincial differences in gambling culture, more than 60% of adults in Canada gamble, with an almost equal percentage not admitting they’re addicted or problem gamblers.
Hence, regulating gambling and gambling addiction requires first-hand and accurate information. Relying on up-to-date statistics will make controlling this risky pastime a lot easier and convenient for regulatory bodies, personal coaches, and behavioral counselors.
In this article, our goal is to offer some insights into gambling stats from Canada. We’ll explore the figure from a global point of view in terms of how many people gamble as well as estimated gambling proceeds that go into national and provincial governments in Canada.
What’s more, we’ll also touch down on gambling addiction, its social and individual consequences, and what social issues gambling can spring up, including debt, poverty, bankruptcy, domestic and workplace violence, depression, and more.
But here’s the truth: with increasing sophistication and advancement in technology, gambling control authorities and regulators must step up to be ahead of technology and devious tactics of operators on how this addictive activity can be put under check, especially among the young population in Canada and elsewhere.
Problem Gambling: Figure from Global Record
A recent World Health Organization, WHO’s stats on gambling indicates that of the 1.6 billion gamblers in the world –that is about 26% of the world’s population- more than 350 million – are problematic gamblers. By implication, a quarter of the world’s gambling figure is problem gambling. Now, let’s look at the consequences of gambling addiction in terms of loss from global facts. A 2016 study indicated that the total annual loss to gambling hit 400 billion US Dollars.
The distribution of this 2016 figure showed that more than a quarter (USD100 billion) of the total annual global loss in gambling came from lottery, casinos, and instant scratches, and other gaming machines.
Generally, the highest number of problem gamblers comes from Asia, with North America standing in-between Asia and members of the European Union, who rank last in problem gambling.
It has to be said, however, that the social harm gambling causes are not dependent on the status of the gambler. Put differently, moderate and low-risk gamblers cause as much ill as the high-risk or addicted ones.
Identifying Problem Gambling: What to Look For
Discerning a problem gambling isn’t a walk in the park. Experts from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) have identified four clinical symptoms that point to a gambling disorder:
- Urge to raise excitement level by increasing gambling stakes.
- Anxious and restless attempts to regulate gambling.
- Rationalizing problem gambling by attempting to break even.
- Using Gambling as an escape.
Although per Opus-ULETH, the rate of involvement in gambling slowed down between 2002 and 2018 in Canada and this provides a pass mark for Canada in the area of bringing awareness to its teeming gambling population on the danger of excessive gambling. Despite the success achieved within the stated period, the Great White North has seen a surge in the figure of gamblers and losses to gambling on EGMS and lotteries, and casinos since then. As it stands, a gambler in Canada loses circa $503 annually to gambling as against the $453 peak.
While the Association has attempted not to include criminal behavior as one of the consequences of gambling disorder, the fact cards in Canada speak voluminously to the contrary. Canadian psychological and psychiatric scientists rather believe that there’s a link between crime and gambling disorder to the extent that criminal tendencies are a consequence of addiction and not necessarily a craving to harm.
Canadian Gambling Stats
Now, let’s come back home and take a look at the gambling statistics for the great White North. Canada is ranked the world’s 8th country for online gambling, with the number of Canadian gamblers sitting at $19.3 billion. Since peaking in 2011 at USD15.84, the Canadian gambling sector has remained bullish with the current figure standing at USD14.04.
In terms of annual income generated by the Canadian national government, the figure per gambler rose from $453 in 2002 to USD503 in 2018. From 78 in 2002 to 147 in 2018, the number of electronic gambling machines (pokies) for racetracks and casinos has risen significantly given the initial legal and regulatory restrictions placed on gambling in Canada. Generally, only 0.6% of the Canadian gambling population constitutes the problem gambling circle while 2.7% are risky gamblers. These figures, truth be told, are far below the global average.
Of this 2.7% risky gambling category, it has to be said, Canadians older than 15 form about 2% with circa three-quarters of the Canadian population have been involved in gambling in one way or another. Concerning consequences, there’s not so much difference between addiction to online gambling and traditional form of gambling.
What this means for the gambling control authorities and gaming regulatory bodies in Canada is that they’ll need to up the ante and not let their guard down in the area of ensuring responsible gambling. This way, they can focus increase awareness on the need to prevent underage gambling while controlling addiction. If not, the figure might escalate, thus leading to more severe social and health damage.
Records of Annual Losses in Gambling
No doubt, the chance of getting gambling stats through bookies and operators is incredibly difficult. Relying on the privacy and confidentiality clause in their operations, many gambling operators and sportsbooks won’t share stats and information about their bettors.
Much of the information is generated from third-party ombudsmen like the Ontario-initiated Winner’s Circle, a program designed to motivate gamblers to release information about much they have invested in gambling periodically. To know how much do this, the Circle by way of reward, categorized loyal gamblers into “standard,” “silver,” or “gold” statuses.
This method has helped to find out that a problem Canadian gambler lost as much as a whopping $701, 000 in a single gambling year. Breaking this figure down means the gambler lost as much as $2,385 in a single visit to EGM, lottery or casino. The figure accumulates up to 294 visits in a year.
After the highest came another eye-watering $636,000 annual loss by a gambler over 92 visits to EGM. This is the second-best gambler on the list of highest gambling losses in the recent past. Analyzing the figure, the gambler lost more than $6,000 per visit. The Winner’s Circle program revealed that the top 10 gamblers on its list lost an average of $455,000.
How Canadian Provinces Fare in Revenue and Loss from Gambling
Generally, in Canada, more than 65% of Canadians are involved in lottery, with 36% opting for instant scratches and 22% favor casinos. Of these stats, more than 50% are slots lovers. For example, Ontario –with the highest Canadian population – has the biggest revenue from gambling with about $3.8 billion accruing to the state. Next in that order is Quebec with around $2.73 billion in revenue and then British Colombia with $ 1.2 billion. What these figures also imply is that gamblers lose $3.8 billion, $2.73, and 1.2 billion US Dollars to gambling in each of these states.
The total revenue accruing from gambling in 2007 stands around $13 and $16 billion, with lottery the biggest revenue contributor while video lottery and other betting options account for a small proportion. The significant revenue change from the past was due to the increasingly changing gambling behaviours among the gambling population.
Gambling Stats: Gambling Age and Age Distribution
Generally, the legal gambling age in Canada is 19; some other provinces such as Ottawa, Quebec, Manitoba, and Alberta set the gambling age limit at 18, perhaps to accommodate more young people. Based on ranking, Canada occupies the 8th position in online gambling, with many more online gambling sites and casinos springing up every year. Detailed information about which can be found on the website https://greatcasinoonline.com/new-online-casinos/. Despite the increasing number of new online casinos and gambling sites, Canada is one of the countries with very stringent laws regulating gambling in the world. This accounts for the Canadian’s choice of foreign online gambling sites.
Per Casino Canada, most people who engage in gambling fall between the age bracket of 35 and 50. According to stats, people who are 40 years plus prefer Bingo while younger gamblers choose more dynamic online gambling. Slots favorites are people who are 55 years or older.
By default, everyone can guess that there are more than triple of male gamblers than their female counterparts. Per NCBI, Core, men are given to gambling and substance abuse than women because they use these disorders to deal with other psychological challenges. So, rather than seek emotional help, men in some cultures will rather direct their energy towards social-deviating activities like alcoholism and gambling. While some in a cultural system, women are discouraged or legally prohibited from taking part addiction-enhancing activities
Canada is one of the countries in the world that doesn’t encourage gambling. Although the use of gaming appears to be a way of changing public perception of gambling, the country has significantly separated issues. And rather than mincing up issues, the country has effectively called a spade what it is.
Responsible gambling defines Canada’s gambling industry and the regulating authorities are not leaving anything to chance. Canada has set the pace on how many countries can effectively deal with gambling disorders among their population, particularly the vibrant youth population.