New research undertaken as part of the most comprehensive study ever conducted on the economic impact of gaming in Canada reveals that the more than 135,000 Canadians are directly employed in the gaming industry, the country’s largest and economically significant entertainment industry.

Factoring in the indirect and induced impacts of economic activity in this sector, the total number of full-time jobs supported by the gaming industry in Canada swells to more than 267,000. For 2006, this translated into more than $11.6 billion in labour income, paid to employees in the form of wages, salaries, and supplementary income.

“Gaming has grown significantly over the past decade to become an essential pillar of the entertainment industry in Canada,” said Mr. Rutsey, President and CEO of the Canadian Gaming Industry (CGA). “It is now demonstrably clear how the majority of spending in the industry goes directly back to Canadians in the form of paycheques, construction in communities, and revenues for the programs and services and charities that we value.”

Ontario leads the pack with 102,236 jobs created and sustained by the industry, followed by Quebec (51,636), Alberta (43,342) and British Columbia (32,246). The numbers include direct employment in gambling operations, employment in gambling-related government and charity organizations, and employment in professions that service and support the gambling sector.

“The breadth and depth of the industry is significant,” said the study’s author Robert Scarpelli, Managing Director of HLT Advisory Inc. “We’ve always known that employment in gaming operations was robust, but the total impact of the industry surprised us. After validating the results with the Statistics Canada’s Input-Output Model, we now, for the first time, have a picture of the industry’s full impact right across the country.”

The new research released today marks the first time that detailed analyses of the employment and economic impact of the Canadian gaming industry have been broken out by province. It is also the first time that researchers and policy makers have been able to obtain accurate jobs data generated and validated by rigorous Statistics Canada modeling.

“There are innovative companies generating tremendous economic value and career opportunities in all corners of our country” said Mr. Rutsey. Many of these companies and the individuals they employ have become leaders in the international gaming industry.”

The research released today is the second phase of a comprehensive analysis of the economic impact of gaming in Canada and was undertaken by HLT Advisory Inc. is a leading provider of research and information to the Canadian and international hospitality, leisure and tourism industries. The first phase, released last April, outlined the economic contributions of the gambling industry to government programs and services and charities.

Study findings include:

  • The gaming industry contributes $15.3 billion to the economy directly, with most of this revenue ($8.7 billion or 57 per cent) going to support government programs and services, as well as to charities. $6.6 billion (43 per cent) was spent to sustain operations, paid out as salaries, and used to purchase goods and services.
  • The industry’s investment in current capital construction is approaching $10 billion, with the largest portion of that investment (49 per cent) occurring in Ontario.
  • From the perspective of the hospitality sector, gaming is just behind full-service restaurants (at $17.2 billion) and on par with limited-service restaurants (at $15.4 billion) in terms of economic contribution. Gambling also places ahead of accommodation services (at $14.3 billion) and air travel (at $11.9 billion) with Canada’s two major airlines.
  • The industry generates approximately $721 million in non-gaming revenue, such as food, beverage and entertainment.

The Canadian gaming industry contributes more to the promotion of responsible gaming than any other jurisdiction in the world, according to the study. Canadian provinces currently spend approximately $74.3 million on problem gambling treatment, research and awareness prevention initiatives. In addition, $16.0 million is spent in the area of responsible gambling initiatives,bringing the total to more than $90 million annually.

The Canadian Gaming Association represents the gaming industry’s leading operators, manufacturers, suppliers and other stakeholders nation-wide.

For more detailed information on the economic impacts by province and on the study methodology:

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