BC Lotto Players Have Win Expectations

According to a new poll, most British Columbian lottery players expect to win something, even if it is something relatively small. Most don’t have unreal expectations, but most want something for the trouble of playing lotto games in the first place.

People do play with the hopes of winning.

Survey Says, Party 1

Research Co. surveyed lottery players from British Columbia.

The first question was: Over the past year, have you done any of the following activities?

  • 58% bought a lottery ticket (62% male, 55% female)
  • 48% bought a Scratch & Win ticket (46% male, 49% female)
  • 36% attended a casino (37% male, 35% female)
  • 19% visited the PlayNow.com website (23% male, 15% female)
  • 12% played online poker or another online card game (17% male, 9% female)
  • 10% placed a bet on a sporting event with a friend or relative (16% male, 5% female)
  • 9% placed a bet on a sporting event via SportsAction (15% male, 3% female)
  • 5% placed a bet on a horse or greyhound race (8% male, 3% female)
  • 22% none of the above (17% male, 26% female)

For those who did buy a lottery ticket in British Columbia, they were asked: Which of these statements comes closest to your own point of view on buying a lottery ticket?

  • 41% I don’t expect to win any prize. (40% male, 42% female)
  • 21% I expect to win a big prize. (23% male, 19% female)
  • 38% I expect to win a small prize. (37% male, 39% female)

The third question was: Some people believe that casinos bring tourism dollars and create jobs for union workers. Other people believe that casinos increase the number of gambling addicts and lead to more crime and traffic around the area. All things considered, which side do you agree with most?

  • 27% definitely tourism and jobs (32% male, 21% female)
  • 34% probably tourism and jobs (37% male, 32% female)
  • 18% probably increase addiction, crime, and traffic (18% male, 19% female)
  • 9% definitely increase addiction, crime, and traffic (6% male, 13% female)
  • 11% not sure (8% male, 15% female)

Survey Says, Part 2

These were agree/disagree statements that tried to determine general sentiments about gambling.

Statement 1: It is the right of the individual to gamble, regardless of the consequences.

  • 23% strongly agree (25% male, 21% female)
  • 44% moderately agree (47% male, 42% female)
  • 18% moderately disagree (17% male, 20% female)
  • 7% strongly disagree (6% male, 8% female)
  • 7% not sure (5% male, 9% female)

Statement 2: The government should do more to deal with the negative effects of gambling.

  • 26% strongly agree (25% male, 27% female)
  • 41% moderately agree (44% male, 37% female)
  • 17% moderately disagree (15% male, 18% female)
  • 5% strongly disagree (6% male, 3% female)
  • 12% not sure (9% male, 14% female)

Statement 3: People will continue to find ways to gamble even if it was made illegal.

  • 51% strongly agree (51% male, 51% female)
  • 37% moderately agree (37% male, 38% female)
  • 7% moderately disagree (8% male, 5% female)
  • 1% strongly disagree (2% male, 1% female)
  • 4% not sure (3% male, 5% female)

Research Takeaways

For most answers, there is not a giant chasm between male and female opinions, but the differences are interesting as a side note.

As for the overall answers, more than half of the population gambles in some way, with only 22% not having done any gambling whatsoever in the past year. Lottery tickets are the most popular form of gambling, as it is also the most accessible on a regular basis.

Many of the bettors expect to win something. Younger people tend to have more optimism about winning.

Research Co. President Mario Canseco noted, “There’s a sense of optimism. Most of them are saying, ‘I want a small prize. I just want to get a loonie or something.’ Whereas Generation X, it’s a little trickier. You have one in four of them saying, ‘I want to win a big prize.’ Obviously, that would be fantastic, but it’s not something that’s going to happen all of the time.”

The vast majority of British Columbians believe that casinos deliver benefits to communities, with only 27% seeing the negative possibilities.

In addition, most people believe that people should be able to make their own choices about gambling, though many feel that the government should be doing more to prevent addiction and other negative effects of gambling.

An overwhelming majority do not believe that prohibition is not the answer to gambling issues, as 88% believe people will find a way to gamble even if it is outlawed.

Survey Details

A total of 800 adults in British Columbia were contacted for the survey from September 11-14, 2019. The margin of error is plus/minus 3.5%.

Canseco has been analyzing and conducting public research polls since 2003 in the public and private sectors. He holds a Masters of Journalism degree from the University of British Columbia, which followed his Bachelors in Communications.



Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. From her days in the WPT offices to covering summers of WSOP tournament action, she also followed gambling legislation to Washington D.C. and women-only poker to the Bahamas. Meanwhile, she lived in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for many years before moving back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Now, Jen travels less, writing about poker and online gambling from her home with her two dogs watching her every move. In her spare time, she follows politics, works on her never-finished novels, and learns Italian in the hopes of retiring to Italy someday.

If you want to know more, you can follow Jen on Twitter @WriterJen


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