As COVID-19 continues to spread across Canada, our gaming industry is doing its part by closing down casinos, casino amenities, and community gaming centres. This is unprecedented and will have far-reaching impacts, not just on employees, but also the various businesses and suppliers that work with us.
The Canadian Gaming Association is reaching out to the Federal government and our provincial government partners to advocate for support for our industry and employees, suppliers, and operators, so when it is safe to re-open, we can return to delivering strong results for our partners and communities.
We support taking whatever steps are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. We will work with government to ensure that our industry rides out this closure and emerges as a strong employer and economic partner.
Below are statistics about the industry impact that you can use in your own discussions with government partners in the coming weeks. We will be launching a survey in the coming days to better understand the support and assistance that our industry requires to get through this shut-down.
Closure of Canada’s Casino Industry
In a 72-hour period, almost all of the 114 casinos in Canada closed down, along with more than 200 permanent bingo halls and community gaming centres.
The Canadian gaming industry provides approximately 182,5000 jobs with an average salary of $65,000.
Every month Canada’s gaming industry:
Pays almost $1 billion in employee wages
Purchases $1.2 billion in goods and services, much of that in local communities
Delivers over $765 million in revenue for government and charities
Impact on Our Economy
The majority of goods and services needed to sustain operations are produced and/or offered in Canada. This ranges from printing and publishing to communications, business and professional services, electrical and electronic products, food and beverage, transportation, finance, insurance and real estate services, as well as the construction of facilities and purchase of capital equipment.
Closing down our land-based casino industry is also a significant hit to gaming equipment suppliers, many who are based in Canada, as what is compromised due to COVID-19 is the chain reaction created through the purchase of goods and services needed to sustain casino operations which is worth $14.6 billion annually or $1.2 billion each month.
In addition to the gaming revenue generated, a further $1.0 billion comes from non-gaming revenue, through meals from our restaurants; shows in our theatres; room bookings, conferences and meetings in our hotels; and shopping at retail stores on our properties. This too is threatened.
Impact on Our Local Communities
Canada’s gaming operators are strong partners with their provincial governments and local communities, generating $9.2 billion annually or $765 million monthly for government services, local municipalities, and charitable causes.
Every month we pay close to $1 billion in wages to over 180,000 employees. The loss of these wages will have significant impacts on broader local economies, and we are thankful for the initial support from the Federal government to support employees, their families, and the small-and-medium-sized businesses we buy goods and services from.
Ensuring Necessary Support for Canada’s Gaming Industry
Canada’s gaming industry is a significant employer, purchaser of local goods and services, and a substantial provider of revenue for important government services. We understand this revenue is critically important to government. We want to ensure the industry is on the proper footing to continue fulfilling our role as quickly as possible after this crisis. But more critically, we want to make sure we have the opportunity to get as many employees as possible back to work as soon as possible.
The Government of Canada website has more information on assistance for businesses.