BUSINESS

Canadian stats disprove notion that gambling preys on lower classes

TAGs: Alberta, gambling figures, quebec, Saskatchewan, Statistics Canada

Canadian-Stats-Disprove-NotionNumbers compiled by Statistics Canada show that Canadians spent $13.75B on gambling in 2009, up slightly from $13.67B in 2008 and $13.7B in 2007. All of these numbers dwarf the totals from 1992, when total gambling expenditures amounted to only $2.73B. Provincial-specific figures for 2008 (the latest year available) reveal that average household spending on gambling was highest in Saskatchewan at $720, followed by Alberta at $645, with the lowest total occurring in Quebec at $390.

Also, contrary to the widely disseminated notion that gambling is a regressive assault on the lower socio-economic classes, the figures show that both gambling participation and expenditures actually increased with income. In households with incomes of less than $20,000, 51% gambled in 2008; whereas, among households with incomes of at least $80,000, 78% gambled.

These figures make for interesting reading, but there’s one bit of info that this linked story gets wrong, specifically, when it repeatedly uses the pejorative term ‘offshore’ when referring to online gambling sources not originating with the provincial governments. The writer would do well to remember that Canada itself is ‘offshore’ from England, where many of these respected private international operators are licensed. Read more.

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