Canadian Gaming Association – Study on VLT Gaming in Canada
March 16, 2006— VLT gaming in Canada is well-regulated and operated with a high degree of public accountability, according to a fact-based, research report commissioned by the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA).
The study shows that, since its inception, VLT gaming has returned almost $20 billion to provincial government programs and services across the country. The study also notes that Canadian provinces currently spend a total of $75 million annually on problem and responsible gambling programs — more than any other jurisdiction in the world.
“Our study finds that VLT gaming in Canada is well-run and well-regulated by Crown agencies with a high degree of public accountability,” said the report’s author Robert Scarpelli of HLT Advisory Inc. “It offers fair games in safe, age and access-controlled environments and raises significant revenues for key government programs and initiatives. The research also confirms that VLT gaming programs in Canada have been built upon sound principles of economic development, combating illegal activities, and the generation of non-tax government income.”
The Canadian Gaming Association retained HLT Advisory Inc. (HLT) to research and document the historic development and current state of video lottery terminal (VLT) gaming activity in Canada.
“We think it is important for people to have a clear, comprehensive picture of how VLT gaming developed across the country,” said William Rutsey, President and CEO of the CGA. “The research shows that VLT gaming is well-run and well-regulated, that it has improved with stakeholder input, and that Canada is leading the way with responsible gaming programs”.
The report shows that VLT gaming in Canada has evolved and matured since its introduction in the early 1990s, with a gradual stabilization of growth.
Since 1991, VLT gaming in Canada has generated over $25 billion in revenues. During this 14 year period, provincial governments received approximately $18 to $19 billion of this total, and site holders have received approximately $6 to $7 billion.
Today the overall gaming industry in Canada is over $14 billion in size as measured by annual revenue. The broad sectors of gaming include lotteries, bingos, casinos and electronic gaming devices (such as VLTs). VLTs account for almost 22 per cent of this total.
Canadian provinces currently spend a total of $75 million on problem and responsible gambling programs. This includes approximately $62 million on problem gambling treatment, research and awareness prevention initiatives and more than $13 million in the area of responsible gambling promotion. Canada spends more annually in this regard than any other jurisdiction in the world.
Eight provinces in Canada operate VLT programs: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Quebec. While Ontario and British Columbia do not permit VLT gaming, they do allow electronic gaming devices at racetrack facilities (termed “Slots at Racetracks” in Ontario and “Racetrack Casino” in British Columbia).
The CGA speaks to important national and regional issues as the voice of the industry.
The CGA’s mandate is to create a better understanding of the gaming industry by bringing facts to the general public, elected officials, key decision makers and the media through education and advocacy.
“This study is an important step forward in fulfilling our mandate of creating a better understanding of the gaming industry and the issues that affect the thousands of businesses across the country that depend on it for their livelihood,” said Mr. Rutsey.
The report’s authors, HLT Advisory Inc, provide specialized consulting and support services to the Canadian and international hospitality, leisure and tourism industries including gaming, lodging, travel/tourism, recreation, sport, entertainment and public assembly venues.
For an online version of the report, including province by province information, please go to www.canadiangaming.ca.
Vice President, Public Affairs