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COVID-19 Shifts Gamblers Focus to Online Casinos in Canada

COVID-19 Shifts Gamblers Focus to Online Casinos in Canada

Published by Programme B

COVID-19 shifts gamblers focus to online casinos in Canada

The coronavirus pandemic has greatly affected the gambling industry on a global level. This is due to the closure of casinos and lottery venues and the suspension of sports events which allowed betting to take place. In Canada, so as to adhere to public health precautionary measures, all operations in land-based casinos and bingo halls have been halted. This has led to lockdown with many people staying indoors so as to avert the spread of the disease.


Left with no other option to physically place their bets, many gamblers shifted their focus towards online gambling sites. Recent reports have shown that online gambling has exploded in popularity since the lockdown started. However, gambling online comes with its own safety issues. Our recent pick is, to choose the best sites to safely play online. Each casino is carefully reviewed and rated making it easy for players to find the safest sites.

How COVID-19 has fuelled online gambling

Not many people are used to staying indoors for long periods of time. The lockdown cut people off from their regular outdoor activities, workspaces, and classes. This led to many people experiencing feelings of boredom, anxiety, and even depression. The coronavirus pandemic was not only a threat to people’s health, but also to their work and relationships. Hence, these feelings, together with the online shift of most interactions, brought about the urge to sign up at an online casino.

Another way in which COVID-19 has fuelled online gambling is through the ban on sporting events and the closure of casinos. The huge crowds at sports venues and casinos were quickly seen to be hotspots for the disease spread. Therefore, they had to be avoided by all means. Major sporting tournaments, such as the Olympics were suspended, leaving ardent gamblers and sports fans at a loss. The recent dramatic increase in traffic at online casinos shows that players have fully embraced online gambling instead.

Facts on the popularity of online casinos in Canada

This migration from land-based gambling to online gambling has been evidenced by increased traffic at online casinos. A recent study carried out on the transactions of Canadians showed a 68% increase in online spending right after the commencement of the lockdown. Because of this, online casino operators have reported a spike in revenue on their sites during this period. Moreover, projections from insiders in the casino industry suggest a further increase of about 13.2% by the end of 2020.

The behavior of casino players has also changed in a big way. Canadians who were already involved in gambling changed their habits and gambled for longer periods during online sessions. Compared to a similar period in 2019, data from gambling operators have indicated that games like online slots have witnessed a spike in the number of players. Additionally, the number of wagers recorded for poker and virtual sports, and the number of gaming sessions per hour has increased compared to 2019.

Gambling addiction

A study by the UK Gambling Commission discovered that a considerable proportion of online gamblers usually get addicted. The addiction is partly due to the fast-paced nature of online gambling. Unlike e.g. betting on a sporting event, where players will have to wait for the final outcome, bets on games can be placed quickly, one after the other, chasing either wins or losses. Easy card payment options, rather than cash-in-hand, means debts can accumulate quickly. The availability of 24/7 gambling can also heighten addiction rates.

Furthermore, online gambling is mostly discreet. It is far more obvious if players are spending at a land-based casino than simply sitting at a computer, clicking, and scrolling. This invisibility means that others won’t realize that a player might need assistance until the gambling problem worsens. Having said that, players who feel they may have a gambling problem can seek professional assistance from a specialist. This will help in addressing and treating the root causes thereby leading to the best intervention towards recovery.

Is online gambling legal in Canada?

There is no particular Canadian legislation pertaining to online gambling since it is still a relatively new industry. Therefore, Canadian players won’t be committing an illegality by playing casino games online. This is irrespective of whether players are playing the games for occasional fun or on a regular basis. In addition to this, the earnings obtained by gambling online are not taxed. Although this does assume that such gambling is undertaken purely for entertainment purposes and not as a means of employment.

Players from Canada are not prohibited from gambling at overseas online casinos. In fact, many of them accept Canadian players. Players wishing to try their luck with some of these casinos can check out the list of safe sites on Each of these casinos has to undergo a detailed rating process, ensuring Canadian players can be confident that their choice is safe and secure. is is particularly important, given that online casinos can advertise through the mainstream media, and Canadians keep signing-up in droves.

Safety and security when gambling online

Players should always deal with a casino that will guarantee the security of their personal and financial data. With thousands of gambling websites available online, it can be quite difficult to choose the best among them. While most casinos can be trusted, there are a few rotten eggs that are neither safe nor trustworthy. To separate the wheat from the chaff, there are a number of factors that should be considered. Some of these factors are discussed below.

Licensing and regulation

Simply put, if an online casino isn’t licensed by a reputable body, players should not risk their money by signing up there. All trustworthy casinos should have legitimate licenses. Therefore, this should be the first thing to look out for when choosing a gambling site. The importance of this is for protection against fraud and an entire host of related issues. Some of the top licensing bodies include the UK Gambling Commission, the Malta Gaming Authority, and Curacao eGaming.