Online gambling laws in Canada were far simpler before the advent of the Internet. Every province would set its own individual policy, whether it was to do with lotteries, casino gaming or bingo (horseracing being the only exception). The emergence of the Internet crossed all boundaries, making regulation a very tricky affair.
However, things have changed a great deal over the past two decades. Emergence of various efficient online casino portals that cater to Canadians are taking the entertainment quotient of these online casinos to an altogether new high! Let’s learn more about the facts related to online gambling in Canada.
Still a grey area
The legal aspect of Canadian residents playing at offshore online casinos is still not very clear. Although the companies offering such services might be found violating some law/s, no private citizen has so far been prosecuted for any such online gambling activity. At the time of writing this piece, more than 1000 different gaming platforms offer their services to Canadian residents.
Even Federal law has given provinces the liberty to operate their own online gaming websites if they can effectively prohibit the residents of the neighbouring states from playing on these platforms.
Year 2004 saw the first ever legal online Casino launched in Canada. It was operated and owned by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation and offered its services to the residents staying in the provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba. Quebec also started offering similar services a few years later.
About online gamblers in Canada
A study was carried out to find out the actual demographic make-up of the online gamblers in Canada. Although such information is changing and evolving on a constant basis, it does offer a vivid picture of the entire scenario.
To begin, any Canadian citizen who indulges in online gambling has an average income of around $ 74,600 per annum, $ 20,000 higher compared to other non-gambling citizens. This income is also considerably higher than that of other international gamblers, telling a great deal about the strength of the Canadian economy.
The average age of these online gamblers was found to be 35.5 years, quite in line with the gamblers who play at brick and mortar casinos in the country. However, this age bracket is much younger compared to the average international standards. Apparently, online gambling in Canada appeals more to younger age groups.
A person gambling on the Internet in Canada is more likely to be a male, as this gender contributes 82.4% of all online gamblers in the country. This figure is very different from the international figures, wherein women are more active gamblers on the Internet.
Talking about the different territories and provinces of Canada, online gambling has varied popularity in different areas. The lowest number of online gamblers were found in Prince Edward Island. On the other hand, British Columbia and New Brunswick had the highest figures. Residents of Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Manitoba also showed a relatively low amount of interest in online gambling. Last but not the least, the online gamblers in Canada were found to be more educated than their fellow countrymen!