Casinos and gambling in Canada

Currently gambling is legal in Canada in almost all provinces which regulate it themselves on their territories. Also here one of the most famous companies which addresses regulating and licensing persons from gambling industry - Kahnawake Gaming Commission -  was created.



History of casinos in Canada

On the territory of Canada people used to gamble already in antiquity. According to archeological studies, people who inhabited this territory used to play games in which sticks and stones were used in 6000 BC. This info was confirmed by italian sailorman and traveler - John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) who arrived to Newfoundland in 1479. In 1892 criminal code which banned all forms of gambling in Canada was established. This ban, however, did not last for long. In 1900 bingo and charity lotteries were legalized. In 1910 also horse racing joined the circle of legal form of gambling. As years were passing, laws did not change, in 1970 large changes were made in Penalty Code. Their consequence was the possibility of licensing bodies working in the gambling industry, which meant open way to create legal casinos on the Canadian territory.  First casinos which were opened in Canada were Diamond Tooth Gerties in Dawson City in 1971, than casinos in Winnipeg in 1989 and in Montreal in 1993 were opened.

In gambling industry in Canada there are over 130 thousands of citizens working

Legal regulations

Gambling in Canada is regulated based on section 201 of Canadian Penalty Code. It contains record about sanctions which threaten for illegal activity in the field of gambling. That is it when it comes to definite gambling law in Canada. In accordance with law each of the provinces in Canada is regulated and controlled by gambling on their own territory, similarly to the USA, Germany or Argentina. Such solution was introduced by Canadian government in 1985. In some provinces casinos are the property of private companies. There are around 30 of them . One of them is, established in 1992 company, Société des casinos du Québec, which is the owner of the following casinos: Casino de Montreal, Casino de Mont-Tremblant, Casino du Lac-Leamy in Gatineau and Casino de Charlevoix in La Malbaie Pointe-au-Pic.

In accordance with canadian government, each province and territory regulates and controls gambling on its own ground, similarly to USA, Germany and Argentina.

When, where and what to play in casinos in Canada

Currently, in Canada there are around 100 casinos. Casinos are found in all provinces besides Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador. In these provinces the only legal form of gambling are horse racing. The highest number of casinos is found in the Ontario province. On the other hand the largest casinos in the whole Canada is Casino de Montreal. Canadian casinos are mostly opened 24/7, smaller casinos are opened since evening to morning hours instead. In the offer of casinos player will find many types of poker, roulette, blackjack, baccarat, Sic Bo, dice and slot machines.

In Canada gambling in land based casinos in legal in all provinces apart from Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, where the only acceptable form of gambling are horse racing.

Cities in which land based casinos are found:

  •     Brantford
  •     Burnaby
  •     Calgary
  •     Carlyle
  •     Camrose
  •     Coquitlam
  •     Cranbrook
  •     Dartmouth
  •     Dawson City
  •     Edmonton
  •     Elora
  •     Fort McMurray
  •     Gatineau
  •     Gananoque
  •     Grand Beach
  •     Grande Prairie
  •     Halifax
  •     Kamloops
  •     Kelowna
  •     Kenora
  •     La Malbaie
  •     Langley
  •     Lethbridge
  •     Medicine Hat
  •     Morley
  •     Montreal
  •     Moose Jaw
  •     Nanaimo
  •     New Westminster
  •     Niagara Falls
  •     North Battleford
  •     Orillia
  •     Penticton
  •     Point Edward
  •     Port Perry
  •     Prince Albert
  •     Prince George
  •     Red Deer
  •     Regina
  •     Richmond
  •     Sault Ste. Marie
  •     St. Albert
  •     Sydney
  •     Thunder Bay
  •     Quesnel
  •     Wells
  •     Windsor
  •     Winnipeg
  •     Vancouver
  •     Vernon
  •     Victoria
  •     Yorkton


Internet Casinos in Canada

In Canada there is no unified system which regulates and licences gambling online. The government does not give licenses to casinos online, it is in hands of a given province. They however did not made special laws, which would forbid gambling online. Some of the provinces even gives own licenses. The strength in Canada when it comes to licensing gambling online is Kahnawake Mohawk territory, where in 1996 Kahnawake Gaming Commission was established. Kahnawake Gaming Commission is also a host of numerous Internet servers with websites dedicated  to gambling which are available around the world. Canadian players may use licenced casinos online in their province, if such exist, or they may use overseas websites offering play in English or French. Websites are accepted in both canadian dollars and american dollars.

Kahnawake Gaming Commission  currently licences 50 operators, to which subordinate more than 250 websites with gambling online available on the whole world.

Legal regulation

When it games to regulating gambling online, it is similar as in case of land based casinos. Canadian penalty code does not predict penalties for gambling online, to theoretically it is not forbidden. Provinces, on which territories casinos are set up,  decide about legalising them. Only authorities of given province are empowered to offer gambling online to its citizens, some of them offer games online such as British Columbia.


Moviestar asked to leave casino Caesars Windsor.

Popular American actor Ben Affleck does not have lack for casinos. In April 2014, after being caught on counting cards while playing Blackjack, the actor was asked to leave Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. Casino workers claimed that he is a professional player and should leave casino. May 31st also was of bad luck for Affleck, this time in different casinos. The situation repeated itself in canadian Caesar Windsor in Ontario state, from which Affleck was asked to leave after 20 minutes of play. According to casino workers, the actor was playing for incredibly large amounts of money and was behaving unpredictably. It seems that Affleck likes gambling too much, which is not appreciated by his wife - Jennifer Garner, and also, as it can be seen, it is not appreciated by casinos which are visited by actor.

“Keno scandal” in Casino de Montreal

In April 1994 student from Canada, Daniel Corriveau won 600 thousand dollars while playing in canadian keno. The player guessed 19 out of 20 numbers, 3 in a row, during one night, which turned out to be suspicious for casino workers. He claimed that number sequences in game are based on mathematical theory of chaos, however as it turned out later, random number generator failed. As it came out later, that on the opposite of other casinos which are opened 24/7 in Montreal, keno was turned off for the night and turned in in the morning. Because of that each morning the generator gave out exactly the same number. Daniel Corriveau discover that and that’s how he managed to win over casino.