How Gambling in Canada has Changed due to COVID-19

Canada is one of the most popular countries in the world for gambling, so it’s not a surprise that the gambling industry is on the rise, and has been so since the popularity of the Internet. Here you can find more facts about gambling in Canada and how it can be beneficial for you.

How many land based casinos are in Canada?

or click on icon the map
193 total

How Many Canadians Participate in Gambling per Year/Month

60% of gamblers

Around 60% of all Canadians play on a regular basis

40% play for fun

Around 40% play free games online

<$100 per month

Gamblers spend on average, around $20-$100 per month on gambling


How Much Money Do Casinos Make?

$31 Billion per year

The whole gaming industry earns around $31 billion per year.

$145 Million per year

Individual brick and mortar casinos earn around $145 million CAD on a yearly basis.

10-15% Taxes paid by casinos

Casino businesses pay 10-15% of their income to the government.

How has Covid-19 Changed the Industry

More people access online casinos rather than land based ones.

Land based casinos consider cashless payments for their customers.

Casinos will introduce temperature checks for all visitors.

All customers and personnel are to wear masks.

All surfaces are to be wiped between uses and on a regular basis.

Plastic screens are normal to separate players in the casino areas.

Disinfectants, wipes and other measures will be available across casino floors.

Chips and other elements needed in games will be cleaned after each night.

Most casinos will not work 24/7; they will close down for several hours in the morning to clean the whole house.

Some casinos consider providing stylus pens, so that the customers would not need to touch anything.

All Canada casinos have closed during the quarantine, smaller casinos found that reopening and allowing around 50 people to gamble due to the space available is not economically feasible.

Around 12 casinos have closed without timeline to reopen in the nearest future.

Due to the closed land based casinos, many gamblers relaxed and entertained themselves at online casinos, in fact, a lack of land based casinos in operation damages city finances and leaves people without jobs

Mental Health Issues Caused by Gambling During COVID-19 Pandemic

Gambling entertainment itself can be addictive and cause mental health issues, including anxiety, stress, insomnia, social isolation, etc. The COVID-19 pandemic amplified these mental health issues as it became the cause of increased anxiety, stress, isolation, and decreased mental well-being all across the globe. Those two factors combined together can cause a serious breakdown in mental health even in experienced and cool-headed gamblers. 

According to a pilot study by the Gambling Disorder and other Behavioral Addictions Unit of the Department of Psychiatry at the University Hospital of Bellvitge (Barcelona, Spain), lockdown together with gambling addiction can lead to severe depression. The study showed that:

What Gamblers Did After Offline Casinos Were Closed

After land-based casino houses had to close down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, regular offline gamblers had to find other ways to entertain themselves. Participants demonstrated various motivations that increased their substance and behavioral addictions.


The study shows that 56.9% of gambling participants stated that change in behavior, including behavioral and substance addictions, was caused by boredom, and increased free time.


11.2% reported change due to increased anxiety because of the lockdown.


Only 1.2% reported increased online gambling and substance abuse to fill the entertainment and habit void after brick-and-mortar casinos closed.


15% of all participants who have never gambled online before reported they have migrated to online gambling after land based casinos were closed.

Other participants could not report any clear motivation.


The Benefits of Online Gambling During a Pandemic

  • you don’t need to leave the house, be around other people, and take health risks in the crowd - you can play safely at home;
  • you don’t have to spend additional money and time travelling to a land based casino - you can access online casino sites from your apartment, or your garden chair
  • you do not need to wear a mask, gloves, and wash everything you touch in the casino - these things are not needed for playing online;
  • you do not handle chips, cards, or money which are definitely dirty - all things are digital, and you only tap on your phone or PC keyboard;
  • it is a well-known fact that house edge has always been lower for online casinos, and they offer higher wins, statistically, to web gamblers;
  • online casinos, in contrast to land based houses, are available 24/7 and do not close for cleaning hours;

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