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Gambling habits of Quebecers

Gambling habits in Québec

A ENHJEU study [PDF] (in French only) conducted in Québec and published in 2014 found that 66.6% of Quebecers 18 years or older spent money on a game of chance at least once during the 12 months preceding the survey.

A previous study, conducted in 2009, established that percentage to be 70.4%.

Player profiles

  • Approximately 95% (97% in 2009) do not experience gambling problems.
  • 2.9% are at low risk of developing problems.
  • 1.4% (1.3% in 2009) are considered to be at moderate risk for problems.
  • 0.4% (0.7% in 2009) are probable pathological gamblers.


That translates to almost 90,000 persons at moderate risk and slightly more than 25,000 probable pathological gamblers in Québec.

Compulsive, pathological and problem gambling – what’s the difference?

These terms are often used interchangeably to describe a player's loss of control over their gambling. For most gamblers, this is a passing phase. But for others, this loss of control will only increase with time and have serious, debilitating effects on both them and those around them.

A gambler may also be identified as having a “gambling problem” or “gambling addiction.” This addiction is characterized by an increasing preoccupation with gambling and a need to bet more money more frequently, leading to spending well beyond one’s means and negative consequences all around.

How can each group of players be described?

  • Players who do not experience problems related to gambling as well as people at low risk are able to play games of chance without ever losing control of their habits. They do not suffer negative consequences relating to games of chance.


  • Players at moderate risk occasionally lose control of their gambling habits. They have started to experience significant negative consequences related to gaming habits. People around them may also be affected by a player’s loss of control.


  • Probable pathological gamblers have lost control of their gambling habits. They experience a number of significant consequences related to gaming habits in a number of areas of their lives.