Canadians gambling more
By Paul
Canadians are increasingly getting into gambling, with gambling revenues contributing $7 billion ($10.7 billion Canadian) to federal and provincial coffers in 2001, almost four times the level of net revenue in 1992, Statistics Canada reports.

That increase is only a partial reflection, as it does not include First nations –run casinos and bingo palaces, nor charity casinos or Internet casinos, Statscan senior analyst Henry Pold said.

Lotteries, casinos and video-lottery terminals contributed $3.92 billion ($6 billion Canadian) worth of profits to Canadian governments last year, up considerably from the $1.11 billion ($1.7 billion Canadian) in profits in 1992.

“Obviously, there's a maturation of the gambling industry in this country,” said Jason Azmier, a senior policy analyst who studies gambling at the Canada West Foundation, a non-profit public-policy research institute based in Calgary. “But there continues to be growth as more people become aware of what's out there.

“It's a reality that it's another form of revenue generation. We surveyed Canadians on this and the majority are very supportive of using gambling to generate revenue if it keeps their taxes low,” Azmier added.

On average, Canadians over the age of 18 spent $424 on gambling in 2000, Statscan said. But that number varied from a low of $106 per person in the three territories to a high of $536 in Manitoba.

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