Economic Contribution of Online Gambling in Canada: Assessing Impact on Local Business

April 23, 2024
Economic Contribution of Online Gambling in Canada: Assessing Impact on Local Business

The Canadian gaming market is known for its more liberal approach to regulating this hobby. In essence, online gambling brands don’t necessarily need to be based in Canada if they wish to offer their services in certain provinces. This approach isn’t necessarily bad, as it gives players more options, but they explore these options at their peril.

Luckily, there is a modern and elegant solution to this potential issue. It’s called a casino review site, and it tells players exactly what to expect. One such notable reviewer is, which specializes in evaluating operators that accept Canadian players. As a result, readers can quickly uncover which brand has a higher payout percentage, the best support for cross-border payments, or bonuses that align with their gambling preference.

However, there are legitimate concerns out there that have to do with the local economy. More precisely, people wonder if the presence of foreign operators hurts local businesses. And that’s something we will discuss in detail, so stick around.

Understanding Online Gambling in Canada

The legality and regulation of gambling in Canada are tackled on a provincial level. So, it’s common in provinces that allow online gambling to have their own local operators. Here we will list a few examples:

  • Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation
  • British Columbia Lottery Corporation
  • AGLC: Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis
  • Loto-Quebec

The provincially regulated brands usually have full coverage when it comes to gambling content. In other words, players can bet on sports, play the lottery, bingo, and of course online casino games. This is without a doubt a prudent approach, as Canadians have access to a safe gambling environment, and all proceeds can be repurposed towards charity and developing the local economy.

In addition, the number of people who are betting online has grown significantly in recent years. Many Canadians now enjoy sports betting, virtual casinos, poker, and other games. Hence, the market value of online gambling in Canada is expected to reach US$4.19 billion in 2024 with a 69.4% user penetration rate.

Economic Impact of Online Gambling in Canada

Image Source: Pixabay

The economic impact of online gambling on the Canadian economy cannot be overstated. It provides a large number of jobs for people in the gambling industry. Also, it generates a significant amount of money through taxation for the state. According to Statista the tax revenue from this sector will surpass 4 billion CAD in 2024.

When it comes to employment opportunities the stats look quite positive. A study published by the Canadian Gaming Association claims that this industry has created more than 135,000 jobs both directly and indirectly.

It’s also worth pointing out that Ontario is one of the leading provinces in terms of gambling revenue. Back in 2020, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation reported a record-high $2.3 billion in profit from virtual gambling.

Impact of Online Gambling on Local Business

For a long time, it was believed that the growth of the iGaming sector would adversely affect land-based gambling. The truth is that it is only partially correct. Small retail bet shops and gambling joints don’t have as many visitors, but it’s hard to get an accurate estimate of the losses.

There are many reasons why the impact of online gambling isn’t negative. First off, big casinos provide different forms of entertainment and a more social atmosphere, so players who love this aren’t going to spend all their money online. What’s more, making gambling more accessible only increases the number of active and casual gamblers. So, these people are more likely to spend their cash in retail establishments, something they wouldn’t even originally do.

This growth in revenue is exactly what happened in US states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and others. They legalized online gambling and the number of active players grew, which had a positive impact on local businesses as well.

Impact on Montreal’s Casino Industry

The regulatory body in Montreal is Loto-Quebec, and according to their feedback gambling profits have surged. In fact, they have recently announced a big expansion of Casino de Montréal, one of the best retail gaming resorts in Canada. They will be adding a 200-room hotel and expanding lodging options in the province. For years now, this has been one of the most prime tourist locations in all of Canada so the hotel will be another valuable asset.

Back in 2022, revenue from the casino and gaming hall sector exceeded $650 million, which is almost a 97% increase from 2021. In 2023, the total revenue of Loto-Quebec was almost 3 billion CAD, this includes lotteries, online gambling, and retail casinos.

Strategies for Coexistence and Collaboration

Locally regulated brands are simply more secure and reliable, and on top of that, they allow players to support local economies. The only reason why casino gamers opt for foreign brands is because of better gaming options and possibly bonuses. As stated each province can allow or restrict the presence of these businesses, but so far Ontario has had the best approach.

They created a vetting process for foreign sites that wish to offer their services in the province. Ontario approves them, enters them into its database, and creates a revenue-sharing model for that brand. So, they guarantee for that operator and promote it, and in return get a portion of their profit.

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