Volume 93, Issue 85

Friday, March 10, 2000


NEWS

Don't bank on student loans

Faculty review gets top grades

ASA, MSA protest atrium celebration

Casinos a favourite for Canucks

McSorley opens NHL wounds

Increases make gas unsettling

Taking stock in the time that's left

Bass Ackwards

Caught on campus

Casinos a favourite for Canucks



By Lindsay Satterthwaite
Gazette Staff

Evidence reported by Statistics Canada earlier this week shows, for the first time ever, Canadians are spending more money in casinos than on any other form of gambling.

Kathy Marshall, an analyst with Statistics Canada, confirmed revenues from non-charity gambling increased 170 per cent, rising from $2.7 billion in 1992 to $8.1 billion in 1999. Casinos have become the largest generator of gambling revenues, exceeding video lottery terminals in 1997 and lotteries in 1998, she explained.

In comparison, lottery ticket sales have decreased from $2.8 billion in 1996 to $2.6 billion in 1998. "Lottery gambling has really levelled off in the past few years. It is a result of the increasing diversity of the gambling system," Marshall said.

Only five provinces – Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec and Nova Scotia – have legalized gambling to allow casinos, Marshall said.

Manitoba had the highest household expenditure for all gambling activities with $590, while Québec, despite the highest participation rate, had the lowest household expenditure with $360. "This trend is a result of Manitoba being one of the few provinces that offers all three types of commercial gambling," Marshall explained.

The report shows in 1992, 55 per cent of gambling-related jobs were found in Western Canada, but by 1999 the bulk had shifted to Québec and Ontario with 19 per cent and 48 per cent, respectively.

"Over 27,000 direct and indirect jobs have been created as a result of casinos," explained Anne Rappe, manager of communications for the Ontario Casino Corporation.

According to the report, the average age for both male and female gamblers was in the 45-64 range. While both males and females spend the same amount of time on most forms of gambling, men gamble an average of twice as much money as women. Men spent an average of $550 annually, compared to women who spent an annual average of $275.

Moreover, employment in the gambling industry accounted for 1.5 per cent of the total increase in employment between 1992 and 1999. Full-time hourly earnings in the industry rose 19 per cent for men from $13.58 to $16.19 and 12 per cent for women from $13.06 to $14.66.

"Twenty per cent of gross gaining revenue from casinos goes directly towards the consolidated revenue fund," Rappe said. Remaining net profits from Windsor and Niagara go to provincial programs and profits from Rama goes to the First Nations Fund, she added.

Jim Mundy, a spokesperson for Casino Windsor, said the casino's average revenue was $74 million per year. "The revenue has increased which is mostly a result of its expansion," he said.

"People from lower socioeconomic backgrounds tend to gamble more because they perceive it as an opportunity to have a life-transforming experience," said Paul Whitehead, professor of sociology at Western.


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