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The development of gambling in Canada


Canada is one of the top gambling destinations with some of the best lotteries, video slot machines and horse races in the industry. But things weren’t always that smooth for the Canadian gambling industry. In fact, at a time, betting on a roulette wheel was considered illegal. But somehow, things changed. This article on the takes you through the development of gambling in Canada.

Brief history of gambling in Canada

The development of gambling in Canada can be traced far back as 1492 when John Cabot and his crew of explorers stumbled across a Native tribe playing games of chance. After that, different forms of gambling were adopted in Canada. This act continued until 1892 when the Canadian Criminal Code had all forms of gambling banned. However, in the early 1900s,  bingo and raffles were permitted to help raise funds for charity. Later on, fairs and exhibitions were allowed to hold gambling events. This was until 1969 when the government began to rely on regulated lotteries to raise additional funds. Between 1974 to 1985, changes were made to the Criminal Code to allow for not only casino gambling, but other gambling games like horse racing, lotteries, and so on. Today, Gambling is widespread in Canada with hundreds of gambling venues and thousands of online casinos.

Land-based casinos in Canada

When thinking of gambling destinations in Canada, Ontario comes to mind. This province has the highest number of land-based casinos in the country. While there are about 21 casinos and four casino resorts in Ontario, only one has gained so much popularity as one of the best casinos in the world. The Caesars Windsor in Windsor is basically Ontario’s biggest offer. A few years ago, the establishment invested $439 million into the rebranding and renovating of the casino. This investment seemed to have paid off as it gave the casino a new face and a new name. Presently, it is one of the best destinations for seasoned and beginner gamblers.

Moving on from Ontario, there are still some gambling spots in other places in Canada that offer not only casino games but also good entertainment. In Niagara Falls, you will find the Casino Niagara and the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. There is also something for gamers residing in British Columbia. The Lake City Casino in the Okanagan Valley offers all the thrills and fun you would ever want. Other notable casinos still in British Columbia are the St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino and the River Rock Casino Resort. These casinos are located in the Rocky Mountains and Richmond B.C respectively. Quebec also has something to offer and that is a gorgeous casino set in a historic riverside hotel. The Manoir Richelieu casino is a place to relax, enjoy live performances, eat great food, and cash out winnings.

Online casinos in Canada

At first, online casinos seemed like a bad joke with faulty navigation systems, poor user interfaces, and a lot of mistrust on the payment structure. Well, it has been more than 20 years since the first online casino came to being and the number of online casinos keeps rising. Currently, there are more than 2,000 gambling websites in the industry. Canadian Players in search of the best online casinos can browse through CasinoBernie to find the best options available in terms of games library, bonus offers, mobile compatibility and many more. Online Casinos are often licensed by different gambling authorities to ensure industry standards are observed at all times. Some of these licensing bodies include:

  • Malta Gambling Authority
  • United Kingdom Gambling Commission
  • Gibraltar Gambling
  • Swedish Gambling Authority
  • Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission

Current gambling laws in Canada

The development of gambling in Canada and gambling laws aim to not only regulate the gambling industry but also to ensure responsible gambling and protect the players. Each province has its own gambling laws with age requirements and operational requirements that must be met before a casino, whether land-based or online can be allowed to operate in the region. Listed below are the gambling laws in 3 provinces in Canada.


As at the time of writing this article, it is completely legal to play casino games offline and online. Players are also allowed to gamble on foreign online casino sites without restrictions whatsoever.


Quebec is another province in Canada that allows residents to gamble to their satisfaction. Quebec is currently home to 9 land-based casinos which are all open to anyone 19 years and above. The laws in Quebec also allows players to access online Casinos within or outside the country.

3.British Columbia

With over 15 land-based Casinos available, the laws in British Columbia also allow residents to play all their favourite games. In terms of online gambling, PlayNow is the only official online gambling site in the province. Nonetheless, there’s no law restricting players from accessing online casinos based abroad.

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