Online gambling and F2P games in Canada: portrait and trends

Wednesday, 23 November, 2022 - 13:20 to 14:50


The arrival of the 'online' universe combined with the explosion of new technologies has allowed a new category of games to grow rapidly: hybrid games. Sometimes associated with gambling, sometimes with gaming, these games, also known as Free-to-Play (F2P) games, are at the junction of these two worlds and raise questions about their addictive risk. Their immersive character, reinforced by the insertion of financial microtransactions, creates a context that favours loss of control. This raises important questions about the gamification of gambling games and the gamblification of video games. Furthermore, it brings up concerns about potential harm to the gamer, particularly in the context of the current health crisis and the public health measures. Based on a Canada-wide survey of 3 837 individuals (1,209 F2P gamers, 1,124 online gamblers, and 1,504 F2P and online gamers), this presentation aims to 1) provide a portrait of the F2P gaming and online gambling practices of the Canadian population during the pandemic, and 2) explore the similarities and distinctions between F2P games and online gambling practices.

Results indicate that the frequency, spending, and time spent on online gambling has increase for many gamblers since the pandemic. It also shows that the frequency of play, frequency of microtransactions, average spending per microtransaction and average duration of gaming episodes have increased for many F2P gamers since the pandemic.

The findings raise questions about 1) similarities and differences between these two categories of games 2) public health issues related to theses games and 2) regulatory issues related to the gambling and gaming industries.


Presentation files

23 5B 1320 Annie-claude Savard_v1.0.pdf1.22 MBDownload



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