History of Gambling In Canada
The gambling history in Canada is intricately linked to the Canadian Criminal Code. In 1892, a ban was implemented that declared all gambling activities with the exception of horse racing, as illegal.
This Criminal Code is strictly based on the English laws that Canada inherited at the time of its Confederation in 1867. Since then, the ban on gambling has been slowly lifted. Check out the timeline of the evolution of gambling in Canada below.
Evolution Of Gambling In Canada
- Criminal Code exemptions that permitted small scale gambling on behalf of charities were introduced over time.
- Between 1892-1969, Canadians could wager on horse races or gamble at summer fair midways, which ultimately lead to a Criminal Code amendment in 1969 that gave the provincial and federal governments the chance to use lotteries to fund worthwhile activities, such as the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
- A 1969 amendment ratified provincial governments to manage and conduct lottery schemes and endorse charitable groups to do the same under license.
- In 1985, a major amendment to the Criminal Code gave provincial governments exclusive control over gambling and allowed them to oversee computer and video gaming devices such as VLTs and slot machines.
- Since then, gambling in Canada rapidly expanded and continues to evolve faster than you can say poker.
- In 1989, the first permanent casino in Canada was built in Winnipeg. By 2003, the number of permanent facilities offering table games, slot machines, or both had grown to 76.
In 2001 alone, Canadian provinces hosted:
- 107 betting teletheaters.
- 1,880 bingo halls permits.
- 38,652 video lottery terminals found in 8,309 locations.
- 70 racetracks, including 20 "racinos" or racetracks with slot machines.
- 31, 537 slot machines.
- 59 permanent casinos.
- 32, 932 lottery ticket centres.
Gambling has grown exponentially in Canada. Its government reportedly earned $3.2 billion in 1993 from gambling and that number increased to $11.8 billion in 2003. Earnings came from government-run lotteries, video lottery terminals, and casinos. That's a huge leap from the reported $2.7 billion earnings in 1993, when governments didn't rely on gambling revenues.
Gambling And Technology
The Internet and related gadgets have paved the way for online casinos. Nowadays, thousands of online casinos dominate the casino scene in Canada. Hundreds of poker rooms and thousands of different online casinos thrive.
One of the reasons online casinos have succeeded is their convenience. Anyone can now play their favorite casino games at the comforts of their own home!
Canadians spend billions of dollars on gambling, and online casinos not necessarily based in Canada, take the bulk of revenues.
Does this mean that government casinos suffer the upshots of online casinos?
Not quite. Take Ontario for example, the government authorized building several new casinos. Private Las Vegas capitalized on the opportunity to operate casinos in Ottawa, Kingston, and Toronto among other places.
If anything, online casinos have the opposite effect on land-based casinos. They're actually attracting interest in these brick and mortar casinos, especially from players who don't really know how actual casino games work.
Online casinos were able to reach certain demographics that land-based casinos weren't able to.
Future Of Canada's Gambling Industry
We see no slowing down in Canada’s gambling industry. With all the options available, from government-run casinos to privately-owned casinos, you can pretty much gamble anywhere in Canada.
Provinces like Quebec and British Columbia now have casino sites, and Ontario is currently building one too. It's safe to say that gambling will continue to be a lucrative industry.
Whether you're a small time player who wants to try out online casinos or a high roller looking for the best casinos in town, you'll surely find something that suits your needs. Check out the latest casinos, both online and land-based and discover why Canadians love their gambling.