Why Do Canadians Love Sports Betting So Much?

Canada: A Bustling Hub for Entertainment of All Forms 

The Great White North, a travel destination suited for anyone with a love of high-octane, adrenaline-pumping sport, beautiful performing arts pieces, and loud, music-packed events perfectly suited for the average party animal. It is a place of wonder for any avid traveler or even just for the average tourist, and will leave you enraptured no matter which province you visit.

Photo by Javon Swaby

This is due, in no small part, to the perspective that Canadians have towards these kinds of things, as many of them all appreciate these forms of entertainment. This is due, in no small part, to the fact that many of the major sports that are played today had their beginnings in Canada, such as hockey, basketball, and lacrosse.

With such a love for sport, it’s no secret that with it, the sports betting industry is also one of the biggest and most profitable markets, with the market being more competitive in Canada, than it is in most other countries around the world. 

However, where does this emanate from? 

Is it something that has been handed down through the generations, something that their ancestors did when they gambled on some of the earliest forms of sports, or does it have its origins in Canadian culture, given that Canada has always been known for its strong affinity for gambling and betting, even during times when gambling was illegal? 

Or, does it just reflect an inherent vice in human nature that just so happens to be more common in the land of the midnight sun?

Sports Betting In Canada: A Brief History

Today, we can easily see that sports betting has flourished into one of the biggest industries in Canada, with millions of Canadians betting on it, and more and more joining the fold as time goes on. 

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The History of Betting in Canada, is a Testament to their love of sports betting. Early settlers bet on boxing, hockey, and horse racing. As the nation developed, so did the thirst for live betting, and bookies flourished coast-to-coast in locations like Toronto and Halifax. 

In 1892, the federal government created the Criminal Code of Canada, which outlawed all gaming, though this only led to a steady rise in organized crime syndicates using this to their advantage, to tap into a new market. 

Only in 1969, when the government legalized gambling and gradually came to accept it, did sports betting begin to steadily flourish. The first formal legalization of sports betting as a market took place in the year 1985. 

The most significant development, on the other hand, was the passage of the 2021 Regulated Sports Betting Act, which made it possible to place bets on individual games across the entirety of Canada.

Governmental Promotions of Gambling and Sports Betting

The Government of Canada had quite a different view of Gambling to what it is today. 

As was previously mentioned, the Canadian Government had outlawed gambling during the early to late twentieth century, however, the Canadian Economy at the time had been faltering, with the country going through a recession, similar to what is currently the case in Canada, with prices rising and economists predicting a recession. 

Because programming had reached the point where it required funding, the markets had to be opened by 1985 so that individuals may wager and gamble as much as their hearts desired. In the 1990s, when internet casinos first began to come into their own, there were already a significant number of online casinos that had support from the government.

However, the income that went into the Canadian government was far lower than the revenue that went to the owners of online casinos. As a direct consequence of this, the Regulated Sports Betting Act of 2021 was enacted as an initiative to generate income towards the government by legalizing wagering on individual games.

Because of this, one of the reasons for the rise in popularity of sports betting may originate from, or at the very least be ascribed to, the increased promotion of gambling and sports betting by provincial governments like Ontario’s. The result of this campaign has been to increase the number of people betting across the entirety of Canada.

Canada’s Love Of Sport As A Contributor to the Rise in Sports Betting

If there’s one thing the people of Canada are passionate about, it’s sports. Whatever sport you can think of — American football, basketball, tennis, lacrosse, or golf — Canada has a robust market for it. It’s possible that the ease of placing bets on sporting events contributes to their widespread popularity. 

When you have a passion for a certain sport, it’s only natural to also like betting on that sport, seeing as how betting on sports combines a hobby with the opportunity to make money. It effectively raises the stakes for games, since the element of gambling is mixed with the already-present adrenaline rush that a person may experience from watching a sports team that they love competing in a competition.

Closing Arguments

When it comes to understanding where Canadian’s love of Sports Betting comes from, one can only speculate. However, there are at least two major ideas on why sports betting is so popular. One of these regards the government’s promotion of gambling as a way to improve funding, whilst another of these talks about Canada’s long tradition in regards to sports, and how sports betting serves to elevate that, providing an even bigger rush of adrenaline.



About Joel Levy 2586 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography