Evolution Of The Canadian Gambling Industry

Gambling has a long, rich history in Canada. For decades, its very existence was highly contested. The casino industry has traveled a long road to becoming the booming online realm that it is today.

In 2022, a fresh world of casino games is available at the tap of a finger, thanks to the rise of mobile gambling.

There’s more than one reason why modern players are migrating from land-based casinos to the online realm, which you’ll soon discover. Join us as we journey back in time to find out exactly how far the casino industry has come.

The Formation Of Canada

Evolution Of The Canadian Gambling Industry

A few hundred years after colonization, the laws were somewhat less strict, but gamblers still did not have full freedom. Gambling became part of Canadian culture up until 1892 when it was banned completely. Religion and strict morals were weighing heavily on the minds of legislators at the time. This did not work out as planned as it allowed criminals to establish and operate illegal betting houses. In the year 1900, the government made a few changes to allow bingo and raffles, but only if they were for charity. Thereafter in 1910, horse race betting was made legal.

Up until 1969, legal gambling in Canada consisted of pari-mutuel horse betting, charitable bingo, lottery schemes, and games of chance at town fairs. Eventually, more liberalized social ideals and a governmental desire to explore new revenue streams led to significant changes to Canada’s gaming scene. To get the ball rolling, parliament legalized lottery schemes in 1969, allowing both the federal and provincial governments to conduct lotteries.

The Gambling Expansion

Gambling laws in Canada were changed further in 1970 to allow provinces to oversee gambling within their borders. Quebec was quick to recognize the new legislation’s potential, and it quickly became the first region in Canada to establish its own Crown corporations to oversee provincial lotteries and horse races. The local community welcomed these corporations, and other provinces soon sought to emulate Quebec’s success.

Evolution Of The Canadian Gambling Industry

In 1971, Manitoba established its own lotteries, and Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia followed suit. The four provinces collaborated in 1974 to launch the prestigious Western Canadian Lottery Foundation. The Canadian government then created the Olympic Lottery Corporation in 1973 to raise funds for the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. The surge in interest in gambling also resulted in the establishment of the country’s first commercial casinos.

In 1989, Winnipeg welcomed the country’s first commercial land-based casino. Soon after, another one opened in Montreal in 1993, and casinos began to spring up across the country. Today, gambling establishments can be found all over Canada. Gambling laws in Canada can vary significantly between provinces.

Each province in the Great White North has its own set of acts and regulators that govern the activities associated with games of chance. The minimum age for gamblers and the types of gambling permitted in each province varies. Canadians need to be aged 19 and up can to enjoy themselves in a land-based casino or sign up at the best online casinos in Canada. Only Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec permit 18-year-olds to gamble.

21st Century Gambling In Canada

Technological advancements in the 21st century transformed the way in which Canadians gamble. This led to the introduction of online versions of popular card games and slots with various themes and mechanics at casino sites. Land-based slot machines and Video Lottery Terminals introduced gamblers to more user-friendly and fun methods of playing their preferred games of chance. With the increasing prevalence of the internet in daily life, casino sites soon began to surface.

In 2004, British Columbia started letting people buy lottery tickets and bet on sports online. In 2009, it added poker, and in 2010, it added casino games and bingo to its site. Manitoba, Quebec, Alberta, and Ontario all offer the same kinds of online gambling. On the East Coast, the Atlantic Lottery Corp. is in charge of selling lottery tickets and bingo online for the Maritime provinces.

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However, this region does not yet offer online games like poker, blackjack, or slots. With the exception of Saskatchewan, every province has moved toward online gambling over time.

Until 2010, most online players gambled on their desktop computers. The online gambling industry in Canada has grown over the last two decades, as mobile devices have become more accessible. More than half of all players in Canada now play slots and card games on their mobile devices. If you’re on the go, you’re probably carrying your phone in your pocket. This makes it the most convenient way to play online games nowadays. Mobile Casinos are user-friendly, jam-packed with games, and as dependable as their desktop counterparts.

Private casino operators, compared to state-run ones, are not permitted to operate online casinos within Canada’s borders. Fortunately, Canadian residents can now join offshore licensed gambling sites and play their favorite games there. This is one way in which technology has helped bridge the gap in making online betting much more accessible. Canadian players looking to gamble online can use Maple Casino to find the best options in terms of game variety, bonus offers, mobile compatibility, and much more.

Impact Of Covid-19

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, online casinos in Canada are more popular than ever. Prior to the pandemic wreaking havoc on the world, online gaming in Canada was not as popular in the gaming industry. When the pandemic began, however, traditional casinos closed their doors to protect players across the country.

This led to a rise in online gaming communities as more people moved to online casinos and casino games. Canadians interested in gaming are coming to realize that playing casino games online is more convenient and easier than at a traditional casino.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the gaming industry has been forced to modernize much faster than expected. Canada is just one prominent example of the virus’s impact on the online gaming community, particularly the rise of online casinos. More than ever, we are seeing increased interest, investment, and momentum in the Canadian casino industry.

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It is expected that the popularity of these casino sites in Canada will only grow in the coming years. Furthermore, the online gambling market in Canada is currently evolving as a result of new gambling laws.

The New Normal

In February last year, the Canadian House of Commons passed Bill C-221, also known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Act. It essentially amended the Criminal Code. This legislation aims to alter the way the Canadian government views and regulates online gambling in individual provinces.

As a result, rather than Canada governing this sector as a whole, provinces can now establish their own ground rules. Since the government passed the bill, Ontario has become the first Canadian province to regulate betting sectors popular around the world.

To further improve legislation in Canada and give more gambling options to players, Bill C-218 came into force in August 2021. This bill legalized single-event sports betting, which was previously not allowed in Canada. This also meant that Canadian provinces opened up the online gaming market to more competition, giving equal opportunities to the private industry.

At the end of 2021, the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority came to an agreement with the provincial government to launch online gambling. The only province previously without an online casino has now come to the party as well.

Recently, a growing number of casino sites have also begun to accept cryptocurrencies as a payment method. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and a few other popular digital currencies are accepted for deposits and withdrawals. The primary benefit of these currencies is the complete anonymity they offer. Players tend to feel more at ease transferring funds to casino accounts through crypto.

If you miss the ambiance of a real physical casino, online video casinos are a great alternative. Live dealer casino games are delivered via live streaming and allow you to interact with the dealer in real-time. Thanks to the gambling industry’s digital evolution, you can now have a full-fledged gambling experience from the comfort of your living room. Additionally, operators have begun to introduce virtual reality casinos where players can walk through the casino halls, and get the full casino experience.

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Final Thoughts

Nowadays, internet access is fast, cheap, and global. Mobile devices are inexpensive and readily available as well. These factors now make it possible for anyone to play at Canadian online casinos. Despite the fact that Canada has struggled throughout history to legalize gambling, it has grown significantly during the course of the pandemic. With so many different types of online casino games and features available to players in 2022, you can expect the online gambling industry to continue expanding.

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