32% of Canadian Millennials Gamble Online Every Year
In 2014, nearly one in three Canadian Millennials (people aged between 18 and 34) took part in some part of gambling online – a significant rise in the 18% figure that did so in 2012.
But what is causing this trend and what are millennials choosing to play?
The Rise of Online Gaming
Like many service-based industries, the age-old activity of gambling is moving online.
Obviously, placing a bet is nothing new. For decades and centuries, people have been playing poker and chasing lottery prizes – while we’re sure you’d also find cavemen wagering fruit for who could throw a stone the furthest. Gambling is ingrained into human culture. Indeed, gambling is a growing $13 billion industry in Canada alone.
So how is this changing for the connected tech-focussed generation? And what exactly are they betting on?
What are Millennials playing?
Well, actually, while the way in which millennials are gambling is changing, what they’re actually staking on isn’t.
Poker is one of the most popular forms of iGaming in Canada, while many other people are betting on their favourite sports teams or chasing lottery jackpots. Playing lottery online even allows Canadian players to go for foreign lottery jackpots, such as buying American PowerBall tickets, without the need to cross international borders. Lottoland has made this possible very recently.
And for how exactly they are playing, it’s no surprise to hear that they favour smartphones. In fact, smartphone penetration rate in 2017 in Canada is at 65%, and expected to grow further. Canada’s video-game industry is third worldwide, in fact – a tech-forward nation is more likely to be interested in high-tech gaming.
Gambling in Canada
While people obviously need to be mindful of staying in control of their spending habits, many youngsters view online gambling – whether it be poker, sports betting or lottery – merely as a form of entertainment.
Gambling in Canada, like many things, falls under provincial jurisdiction. This meant all regulations were clear and black and white – that is, until the inception of the wonderful thing that is the internet.
The thing with the internet is that services based in other countries are suddenly available everywhere else too. And it’s no different with gambling. Indeed, most online gambling companies are actually based in just a handful of territories, including the likes of Gibraltar, Malta and Cyprus, amongst others.
But is it legal for Canadians to use the online gambling services provided from other countries? Absolutely yes. Canadian players bare no legal risk when gambling online.
The grey area of the law falls at the feet of the providers themselves, although almost every province is now open to online gambling – with the exception being Saskatchewan. Provinces would rather stand to profit and regulate the industry by offering a more welcoming experience (unlike that found in the United States) and enjoy the financial benefit that it will bring, instead of fighting a fruitless battle and losing control of regulations, which would put players at greater risk.
On the whole though, while the arena in which people are gambling is changing, their habits remain quite the same.