A Visitor’s Guide to Gambling in Canada

Canada is a great country for gamblers, and you should have a blast there.

Canada is known for its long winters and natural beauty, but few people know that it’s a great place for gambling as well. Canada is one of the pioneers in online gambling and has tons of great gambling establishments. All the casinos in the country are operated by the state and offer a very uniquegaming experience. People who come to the casinos in the country are often surprised by how clean and civil they are. This is only one of the reasons why every gambler should come to Canada at least once in their life. If you are thinking of visiting Canada and love gambling, here are a few things you should know.

Online Gaming in Canada

Online gambling is very big in the country and it is home to one of the most respected regulatory bodies in the world, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. One of the best things about online gambling in Canada is that the government doesn’t have strict restrictions about what casinos can serve players in the country. 

There are plenty of international casinos that can be accessed from the country and there’s a strong chance that you’ll be able to play at your favorite casino while staying. If you want a quick list of online casinos that are accessible to Canadians, you should check out bonus.ca. This is a great list to check whether you’re a resident or just thinking of visiting.

The History of Gambling in Canada

In case you didn’t know, Canada has a very long gambling history that dates back to the days settlers first arrived in the country. There’s even evidence that natives used to gamble using sticks before the arrival of settlers. The first documented evidence of gambling in the country does start with John Cabot’s arrival in 1497, however. He introduced playing cards which led to games like Faro being developed. Faro then evolved into games like blackjack and poker. The colonists also introduced dice and games like barbotte became very popular.

Gambling in the country was always tolerated but it only started to be regulated around the late 1800s in the country. There were no set rules until the 1970s when the federal government decided to leave the power to legislate gambling to the provinces. From this day, provincial agencies started building different gambling institutions. Casinos are still fairly new to many provinces in the country, and most of the major casinos were built during the 1990s, which is why most of them have a very modern feel.

Today, most decisions regarding gambling are left to the players and the government has a very liberal approach towards it. 

Gambling Laws in Canada

The first official laws regulating gambling were introduced in the 1870s when various statutes regarding gambling were added to the Criminal Code. In 1910, pari-mutuel on horse races was legalized as well as games of chance for non-profit causes.

The laws were changed again in 1970 and this is when we saw the first casinos being erected. The first casino in the country was built in Winnipeg in 1989. Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Ontario, and Nova Scotia followed suit.

The country doesn’t see illegal gambling as a real issue and illegal gambling stings are pretty much nonexistent. This isbecause the government sees it as a victimless crime and would rather spend its resources elsewhere. This is also why many casinos and gambling establishments operate in a sort of grey zone in reserves all around the country. These gambling establishments are under the jurisdiction of the reserves and are well-known by the general public which sees them as an integral part of the gambling landscape.

Who’s the Main Regulating Body in the Country?

The Canadian Gaming Commission is the organization that is responsible for regulating gambling activities in Canada. The organization offers different resources to players and local governments and also helps resolve any issues and disputes that may arise. The Canadian Gaming Commission communicates with the government, media, and the public to make sure that the industry is well represented and understood.

You should know, however, that provinces are the ones that have the last word on everything that has to do with gambling. This includes online betting, casinos, and lotteries. Rules change slightly from province to province, but they are basically the same wherever you go. However, it would still be wise to learn about the rules in different jurisdictions before you start gambling in the country.

What to Do If Something Happens

If you experience any issues when playing either online or offline, know that there are plenty of things that you can do to get recourse. The very first thing you should do is contact the Canadian Gaming Commission. You can also contact the regulatory body that licensed the casino or an organization like eCogra. Organizations like these will fight on behalf of players and make sure that they’re compensated. Commissions take fraud allegations very seriously too and will do everything to protect their reputation, so you can expect them to act very fast on the matter.

Canada is a great country for gamblers, and you should have a blast there if that’s why you’re going. Take the time to learn a bit about gambling in the country first and try as many establishments as you can while you’re there.