History of the Development of Gambling Business in Canada
Even one of the most liberal countries of today had strict gambling laws, let’s see how this hobby evolved throughout Canadian history.
15:05 19 October 2021
Today gambling is one of the most popular hobbies among Canadians. They love wagering on sports, playing slots, and some of the best poker players come from Canada.
The country itself is very stable and much of its citizens have disposable income, which is why the topic of gambling isn’t as controversial as in some other less developed countries. Here we will present an overview of Canadian history that details how gambling became so popular.
Settlers and Natives
Believe it or not, the British pioneers actually learned about games of chance from indigenous people. People who lived south of Niagara played a game with sticks called Slahal, and some tribes are still playing this game today. The rules are quite simple and the game is played between two teams. One team is supposed to exchange or hide sticks/bones among themselves, and then the other team needs to guess where these sticks or bones are.
However, the Canadian government actually completely banned gambling activities during their early stage. Moreover, it stayed like this until the early 20th century or 1900, which is when they started to loosen their grip a little bit. At that time citizens were allowed to play the lottery or bingo in order to collect money for charity. Apart from that, there were no drastic changes for almost a hundred years.
Gambling Becomes Legal
It wasn’t until 1999 that Canada decided to legalize gambling, and even then it had some limitations. Still, the provinces were allowed to have casino businesses and sports betting operators. Only 10 years after or in 2009 Canada decided to ban online gambling, luckily it was up to provinces to figure out on their own how they wish for gambling to be regulated. So, in 2010 British Columbia actually opened an online casino, and there was also an online poker room available in Quebec.
Online Gambling in Canada
Today, online gambling businesses are illegal in Canada, however, citizens are allowed to gamble online. In other words, the act itself is fully legal. There are also a lot of canadian casinos online, but these are owned by companies in foreign countries. Their bonuses, language, games, and currency are optimized and adapted for the Canadian market and users. However, players from Canada don’t only play slots and table casino games at these foreign platforms they also turn to them for sports betting.
Online sports betting is legal in Canada, but operators do not offer single event bets. A new regulatory body was recently established to allow the operators to expand their offer and include single event betting, but still, some of the foreign platforms simply have better options. That being said, these gambling laws really differ based on province, much like in the US where each state has the autonomy to regulate the way they see fit.
Canada is actually known for its land-based casino resorts. Some of the most beautiful and stylish establishments can be found in British, Quebec, and Ontario, and they even rival the institutions that are available in Las Vegas. Moreover their gambling revenue today is around 30 billion Canadian dollars, which is among the highest gambling revenues in the world.
These big brands are also integral for the development of other industries, as they are sponsoring sports clubs. In that sense, it is very similar to the situation in the UK. It’s also possible that they will get more involved in sponsoring eSports events.
Future of Online Gambling
It’s tough to say whether online gambling will be entirely legal in Canada at some point. We are seeing that countries all over the world are actually working on making the activity legal, but it will always come down to people and what they want. Currently, things are working out fine, it’s just that a lot of potential tax revenue that could be going to the government is actually going into the pockets of foreign operators. Given the liberal philosophy and since each province has a say in the matter it’s entirely possible that in some parts of Canada there will be online casinos that are owned by domestic companies.
This was a short overview of what gambling History looked like in Canada. Of course, it’s always important to remember that regardless of whether this activity is legal or not, it’s up to users to approach the activity responsibly.