Motivators to Participate in Canadian Charitible Gambling

The least favourable reception to using gambling revenue to fund charities is in the Atlantic region. Consistent with other responses, Atlantic Canadians are the least willing to support the use of gambling revenues in general and for charities specifically. Only 12% of respondents in the Atlantic region favour the use of gambling revenue to fund the sector, less than those who favour individual donations (30%), corporate donations (24%), and government grants (17%).

Respondents were further probed to directly indicate the amount of gambling revenue (as a percentage) that they felt ought to be directed to the charitable sector. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (74%) indicate that charities should get at least half of the revenue from gambling (see Figure 21), with 11% indicating that charities should get all the revenue. Overall, the mean response value for respondents is 57%. This mean value represents approximately three times the current amount of gambling revenue that the sector receives.

Only 39% or respondents indicated participating in charitable gambling through charitable bingo, raffles and break- open ticket activities.3 It is from this group that charities derive their gambling funding. (As mentioned earlier, some provinces will also provide charity grants from provincial lotteries and other gambling revenue.)

Surprisingly, of those who do gamble at charitable events, few participate for the express purpose of funding charities. Rather, motivational data suggest that the funding of charities is an unintended consequence of the act of gambling for most gambling activities. As shown in Figure 22, only raffles have any significant motivational tie to a charitable purpose. High profile charitable activities like bingo, breakopen tickets, and casinos appear to draw nearly no support as a result of the charitable purposes. The act of charitable gambling is primarily a by-product of people pursuing an opportunity to win money, a means of entertainment or an opportunity to socialize.

The motivation for charitable gambling is worth examining because of the impact that charitable gambling may have upon individual charitable donations levels. If respondents view gambling as a means of making a donation to charity, it is important to consider whether increased gambling activity could lead to reduced levels of individual donations to charity. To measure this relationship, respondents were asked whether Ògambling at charitable events is not really gambling, it is like making a donation to charityÓ (Figure 23). Respondents do acknowledge this link between gambling and supporting charities. A full 61% agree with this statement, about twice as many as those who disagree (32%).

Although the motivation for gambling may be unrelated to the donations, the JUSTIFICATION for gambling losses often is the donation to charity. Whether this justification issue has an impact on the level of donation is unknown. At minimum, these data suggest that this is an area that merits further study.

Raffles – 85%
Breakopen Tickets – 13%
Sports Pools – 6%
Bingo – 4%
Lotteries – 2%
Horse Racing – 1%
VLTs – 1%
Casinos – <1% FIGURE 23: DO YOU AGREE THAT: "gambling at charitable events is not really gambling, it is like making a donation" Strongly Agree - 26% Somewhat Agree - 36% Neither - 15% Somewhat Disagree - 17% Strongly Disagree - 6% 3. Although participants might also gamble at charitable casinos but the survey data do not allow for a distinction between charitable and non-charitable casino.