Canada Online Gambling Market

Canada iGaming Market Overview and Infographic


After 1900, bingo and casual raffles were allowed for charitable events only, and a decade later, horse racing was legalized. The breakthrough came back in 1985, when gaming machines, such as slots, were made legal. A decade later, casinos started to appear on the scene, as gambling operations started to become more popular among local players. Local gambling laws, however, are considered complicated, just like other parts of the world.

To this day, several forms of land-based gambling activities and most forms of internet gambling have been legalized by the government. Companies are not allowed to operate any online casinos, sportsbooks or poker rooms within Canada, but there’s a twist – most offshore gambling servers are located on the Kahnawake native reserve, which is a territory of the country, therefore, making online gambling legal.

Canada – Land Of The Free

Canada has one of the most relaxed gambling laws in the world, due to lots of loopholes established through the Kahnawake native reserve. As a result, almost all online gambling sites are legal and thrive within Canada. With over 44 horse tracks, racing is one of the most popular gambling sports in the country. Race-goers flock to the local racing tracks in their thousands, week in and week out.

The Canadian online betting landscape is a mixture of American Sports and Canadian sports. The most popular sport that Canadians bet on online is hockey. The natives have grown up with the game, and with seven Canadian teams in the National Hockey League, the game is the national treasure. Both the MLB and NBA feature Canadian teams, therefore, betting on these leagues is extremely popular.

The CFL (Canadian Football League) is also a regular betting option for Canadians. Another sport that attracts big numbers in betting is Lacrosse. In fact, Canada has the biggest pool of wagers for the sport in the world. Football is the next best (especially in the World Cup years).

Stats, Facts and Figures

Gambling provides a revenue of €12.4 billion a year in Canada. This is thanks to approximately 87,000 electronic gaming machines (EGM’s, including slot machines and VLTs), 33,000 lottery vendors, 60 permanent casinos, 250 race tracks, and 25,000 licenses to operate bingos, raffles, and short-term casinos. This past year has seen over 75% of Canadian gamblers. Per year, more than €831 is spent on gambling by the average Canadian family.

Official Licensing Body In Canada And Licensees

The Canadian Gaming Association is the governing body for Canada and the Criminal Code Act gave individual provinces within Canada the authority to license and regulate gambling in their own regions. Presently, the Commission licences over 50 online gaming operators, representing an estimated 250 online gaming sites.

Did You Know?

The Super Big Bertha was the world’s largest slot machine, measuring at over 2 meters wide and 2.5 meters tall. Built in the early 1950s, Bertha cost over €83,000 to build and the odds of hitting the jackpot on its eight reels with 20 symbols each is 1 in 25 billion. A woman won €830,040, in 2001, Ontario, Canada, but that was far less than the €830,040,000 jackpot that was never won.

Canada iGaming market Infographic

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All figures are given in EUR for ease of comparison. 1 EUR = 0.89 GBP / 1.20 USD as of 01/01/2018.

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