History of Gambling in Canada

A Quick History of Gambling in Canada

Canada is not often a place that people associate with gambling, which is very strange. Many will spin tales of gambling in Las Vegas, but Canada also happens to be a central hub of gambling, all of its own. There are over 100 casinos and gambling establishments up North, and a great many of them are world class locations that stand up to anything Vegas has to offer. Upon hearing that gambling is legal in Canada, many also assume that games of chance must be new to the region. But this, in fact, is also not true. Gambling has been around in Canada for a great deal longer than most even imagine.

As far back as 1497 it was discovered that some of the native tribes in the area would take part in various games of chance. No, they did not involve dice and decks of cards, but were certainly very much still gambling games. The natives considered that these games helped members of the tribe not only strengthen their minds, but also their spirits. It’s interesting to think that what occurs in large, impressive buildings and online, was being done with stones in Canada long before a roulette wheel was even invented.

Banned And Legalised In A decade

In more modern times, gambling in Canada was given a blanket ban in 1892. All forms of gambling were made illegal, and anyone caught gambling was slapped with an enormous fine and faced jail time. This ban, however, lasted for barely a few years before it was partially lifted. By the year 1900 it was made legal for certain games, raffles and games of bingo, what were seen at the time as less potentially harmful. These games were, however, were only allowed at events that were raising charity of organisations.

In 1910 the gambling laws were further altered, allowing horse race betting to take place countrywide. This, of course, resulted in a number of horse racing tracks to spring up almost overnight, some of which still operate to this very day. By 1925 the laws were once again changed, and events such as fairgrounds were granted permission to offer gambling games to customers. This made the events enormously popular, allowing them to draw many more customers than they previously could have managed. Finally, from 1969 onwards lottery games were legalised, but used only as a means to fund special government projects. The first official lottery even was held in 1974, with the proceeds used to partially fund the Montreal Olympic games.

Modern Canadian Gambling

Today, of course, each domain in Canada was granted the right to decide if gambling should or shouldn’t be legal, and as a result there is almost not a province in the entire country that does not have a casino of some description. Horse racing, as already said, is still largely popular, and very much a part of the countries culture and history. Online gambling has also been made legal, and Canada is said to offer some of the best online gambling facilities in the world, with many excellent websites available.