Land-based vs. Online Casinos: What do Canadians prefer?

Did you know that around 76% of adult Canadians engage in gambling? That represents about 30 million people. The gambling industry in Canada is huge. It is estimated that the industry currently takes over CA$17 billion in annual revenue, with an increase of 4.9% each year. Seeing as Canadian casinos generated around CA$2 billion in the early ‘90s, that is highly-impressive growth indeed. Of course, one major contributing factor in the increase has to do with the advent of online casinos. There is no doubt that online gambling has steadily increased in Canada in recent years. But does that mean Canadians prefer visiting online casinos rather than land-based ones? 

Land-based Casinos

Betting in land-based casinos has been one of Canada’s favourite pastimes for many years. And despite the increasing popularity of Canadians playing all types of slots, table games, and jackpots at a top casino online, it does not mean that land-based casinos are not still thriving. For the moment, at least. Canada has 100 casinos, and some of them welcome around 30,000 visitors every day. It is not just the older generations that are visiting brick-and-mortar casinos in Canada. According to, their latest statistics from 2014 show more than half of Canadian-millennials visit casinos once or twice a year, and 19% visit at least once a month.

However, each Canadian province has its own gambling regulations, so you will not find any land-based casinos in New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and Labrador. The most popular casinos can be found in Quebec, Alberta, and Ontario. Indeed, Ontario is home to two world-famous casinos: Caesars Windsor and Niagara. Are land-based casinos in Canada still profitable for their owners? Yes, they are. The entire revenue of the 100 casinos is around CA$145 million annually.

Online Casinos

Online gambling has become increasingly popular in Canada. Indeed, the country is ranked number eight in the world for online gambling. But like the laws for land-based casinos, the regulations concerning online gambling are not uniform across all provinces. Due to these local, provincial jurisdictions being able to follow their own laws, some provinces have decided to tap into the industry by launching their own online gambling sites. So far, Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Saskatchewan have set up sites. But there are far more online casino websites in Canada than just those. Canadians actually have access to more than 2,000 online casinos.

Although Canadians still love to play at real-life casinos as well as virtual ones, there is undoubtedly a shift towards playing games online more. And once you learn the following statistic, you may be tempted to shift yourself. Out of all the online casinos in Canada, players have registered over 96% in wins, compared to land-based casinos where the return is less than 60%. The largest jackpot ever won online in Canada was from a slot game called Mega Moolah. The lucky winner took home a staggering CA$7.5 million.

Do Canadians prefer land-based or online casinos?

Although both land-based and online casinos continue to be popular amongst Canadians, research performed by Research and Markets found that the gambling industry in Canada is gradually shifting from traditional gambling to online gambling. The ease of access, convenience, and higher returns in winnings are all crucial factors for why Canada’s online gambling is steadily increasing. Meanwhile, although land-based casinos are still showing healthy profits, their revenues are actually slowly decreasing each year.

The younger generation is leading the change from real-life casinos to internet casinos. As successive generations use computers, mobile devices, and other technologies, more and more, online gambling will undoubtedly grow to be more popular than land-based casinos over the coming years. Whether traditional bricks-and-mortar casinos can survive the rise of online casinos remains to be seen. But it is unlikely that the famous Caesars Windsor casino will be closing down any time soon.

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