Canada’s Provincial Online Gambling Revenue

A decline in fervor among the players has led to a decline in gambling revenues at traditional offline facilities. However, increasing access to technology and comforts of home is compelling Canadians to move towards online gambling. Canada makes its way to the top ten list due to its moderate gambling laws, making it one of the highest-ranking countries for online gambling. 

The following article thus analyzes the gambling expenditures and net revenue net income thus generated across the diverse provinces and territories of the Canadian Federation. As a gaming association, Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis (AGLC) strive to maximize financial returns and uphold the legality and integrity of gaming activities. 

An Analysis of Gambling Expenditures:

A company’s net revenue is the remaining amount after deducting commissions, discounts, returns, or allowances. Compared with the net revenue, the company’s net income refers to the amount the business makes after deducting the expenses, including the salary of the employees or the wages of the workers, and the cost of supplied goods, raw materials or fixed capital, and taxes.

Over the past five years (from 2016-2021), the net income and net revenue from various gambling formats in Canada have seen a sharp plunge in the last year of 2020-2021 after earning a steady return for three years from 2016-2020. The picture becomes more vivid as we witness the data provided by the net revenue and net income by province and territory of Canada in the past thirty years. 



Here, the graph ascends during the inceptive years as gambling starts becoming more and more popular across the country, and the revenues from gambling cross the $ 10,000 million mark with the beginning of the 21st century. However, the surge has remained steady for years due to dwindling and often changing laws and regulations of gambling. After the onset of the global pandemic due to Covid-19, related lockdowns, and nationwide restrictions, dependable income through various gambling channels takes a dive of approximately fifty percent from its previous earnings. 

During the years, we also see a minor jump in revenues and income between 2015 and 2019, briefly crossing the streak of $ 15,000 million due to surfacing technology and related gambling platforms. 

Provincial Gambling Revenues:

So far, the statistics reviewed the net revenue and net income generated over 30 years through gambling in the country. Since there are ten provinces and three territories in the Canadian federation, the earnings equation becomes nuanced as we further divide these earnings among the provinces and territories. 

All ten provinces and territories, except New Brunswick, registered millions in revenue and income. However, New Brunswick missed the mark of similar earnings, and the territories of Yukon (YT), Northwest Territories (NT), and Nunavut (NU) registered below $ 10 million from gambling.

The figure speaks for the year 2020-2021, where two of the most populous provinces of the Canadian federation Ontario (ON) and Quebec (QC), record the highest amount of net revenue and are only behind British Columbia (BC) and Alberta (AB) in the net income generation through commercial gambling formats. 

Despite the record income generation from individual provinces, these earnings become significantly lower during the global pandemic, with the most populous provinces registering equally noteworthy depressed earnings. Since March 2020, venues have been closed with Covid-19-related restrictions, affecting these crowded gambling venues. However, some gambling venues like estate-based casinos, VLTs (Video Lottery Terminals) in bars, and lounges kept shutting down with the rise in covid cases and re-opening as the cases decreased during the entirety of the year 2020-2021 in almost all the Canadian jurisdictions or provinces.

Due to similar restrictions across administrative departments, net revenue and net income from some provinces are either not reported yet or are not yet available, rendering the comparison asymmetrical. In 2020-21, the general trend for net income was significantly low for all provinces, with Yukon (YT) being the only exception, as compared to 2019-20.   

Aiming the data towards the revenue generation from gambling spending per adult or per capita, see a similar trace of net revenue and net income. In terms of per capita net revenue, Ontario (ON) and Quebec (QC) produced the least, while Saskatchewan (SK) and Newfoundland, and Labrador (NL) produced the most. Similarly, in terms of per capita net income generation,  Alberta (AB) and Newfoundland & Labrador (NL) topped the list of provinces.

A Breakdown of Formats of Gambling Spendings:

The diverse sources of net revenue and bet income generation from gambling include:

  1. Lottery- also bought in the form of Commercial Lottery Tickets (such as interprovincial lottery games, sports lottery tickets, or instant lottery tickets)
  2. Casinos- played in the form of Commercial Casino Gambling through slot machines and casino table games
  3. Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) are gambling avenues in bars, restaurants, and designated gaming parlors. 
  4. Online Casino-Style gambling games or Online Commercial Lottery Tickets.

As the online gambling formats continued their growth trajectory since 2015 and became more than twice during the pandemic, the net revenue generation through commercial lottery tickets secured the top rank. At the same time, they suffered the maximum losses due to the closing of Casinos and VLT venues. 



As a result of the introduction of online gambling in the Alberta (AB) province, the first net revenue was included in 2020-21. Among the online gambling platforms in Alberta, Play Alberta is the only one regulated by the AGLC. And insights into the earnings induced by gambling formats follow the same trajectory as Alberta. 


Canada has a long history of recreational gambling. For an amateur gambler, gambling laws and regulations may seem baffling at first as they vary from province to province and in territories, often posing questions regarding their legality. However, there is a steady rise in net income and net revenue generated through gambling in Canada, only taking a plunge during the global pandemic, where we see an upswing in online gambling and a dwindling future of Casinos.  

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