Most British Columbians Bought a Lottery Ticket in the Past Year

Two thirds want the government to do more to deal with the negative effects of gambling.

Vancouver, BC [September 20, 2019] – A majority of British Columbians bought a lottery ticket in the past year, with a sizeable proportion of players anticipating a “big win” in the process, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, almost three-in-five residents (58%) say they bought a lottery ticket in the past year.

Lottery ticket buyers in British Columbia are divided in their expectations on the game itself. While 41% do not anticipate they will win anything, 38% say they expect to get “a small prize” and 21% foresee winning “a big prize”.

“The youngest lottery ticket buyers in British Columbia have bigger dreams than their older counterparts,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While only 24% of those aged 18-to-34 do not believe they will win a prize, the proportion rises to 40% among those aged 35-to-54 and 50% among those aged 55 and over.”

British Columbians found other ways to gamble in the past year. Almost half (48%) bought a Scratch & Win ticket, more than a third (36%) attended a casino, and about one-in-five (19%) visited the website.

Fewer residents of the province played poker (or other card games) online (12%), placed bets on a sporting event with a friend or relative (10%), through SportAction (9%) or on a horse race (5%) in the past 12 months.

Sport bets with friends or relatives are more popular among British Columbians aged 35-to-54 (15%) than among those aged 55 and over (5%).

When asked directly about casinos, three-in-five British Columbians (61%) believe these venues bring tourism dollars and create jobs. Conversely, 27% feel casinos increase gambling addiction and lead to more crime and traffic.

Almost nine-in-ten British Columbians (88%) think people will continue to find ways to gamble even if it was made illegal, and two thirds (67%) believe the government should do more to deal with the negative effects of gambling.


Results are based on an online study conducted from September 11 to September 14, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

Photo Credit: GoToVan

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.