Canadian Gaming Industry Culture - Ins and Outs

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by Connor Bergeron
| 20/11/2020
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Canada Gambing Culture

The video gaming industry in Canada has generated over $4.5 billion in 2019, turning the second-largest country in the world into a huge pawn in this emerging industry. However, Canada is known for so much more than its passion for video games. Gaming on its own is the largest segment of its entertainment industry, supporting over 135,000 jobs nationwide and generating close to $9 billion on a yearly basis. The money is used by the government to fund various projects, as well as local communities.

The demand for legal games and the ever-changing tastes of the consumers have helped the market grow considerably in recent years. Compared to other parts of the world that have banned offline and online gambling, Canadian legislators have adopted a more permissive attitude. One example here is the fact that Canadians can access online casino and lottery platforms dedicated to the residents of the provinces they live in.

The Canadian Gaming Association is the country's trade association working to continuously promote the growth and development of the gaming industry in Canada. They work by promoting the economic value of this activity with the help of researched and innovative thinking, together with the advance of open communication for stakeholders.

Brief History Of the Gambling Culture In Canada

John Cabot's journey to Canada back in 1497 is a cornerstone for the Canadian gambling history, as it represents the moment when the people of the land were first introduced to a deck of playing cards. Nonetheless, locals had their first encounter with a much more archaic form of gambling several centuries before the historical voyage. Native games that used sticks and bones from deer and other animals are considered the true pioneers of gambling in Canada.

The Klondike Gold Rush

Another important milestone is the Klondike Gold Rush during which more than 100,000 people trekked to the Klondike in Yukon, in search for gold. They also discovered the game of Faro that was played using just one deck of cards in Dawson City. Fortunes were wagered, won and lost at the turn of just one card. At the end of the gold rush, the game lost its popularity in Canada, but continued to be appreciated in the United States.

The 1892 Ban On Gambling

1892 was the year when gambling when gamblers where completely forbidden to engage in their favorite games. Nonetheless, this was difficult to do, given the long tradition of gambling in the provinces, so, not a very long time after the ban, some forms of gambling were deemed legal again.

In 1900, raffle and bingo games became legal for charitable purposes. The same happened with betting on horse races shortly after.

By the year 1969, the Canadian government understood the value that lottery games had and decided to change the law and enable federal and provincial governments to run their own lotteries. The proceeds were used to support local communities and national projects. For example, a lottery was organized in order to support the Montreal Olympic Games of 1976.

Land Casinos In The Provinces

The provinces gradually gained more power and they were allowed to manage their own casinos, horse races and slot machines. The seventies were a turning point here, helping set the grounds for the multi-billion industry as we all know it today. The first land casino opened its gates to the public in 1989 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, followed by a casino in Montreal, Quebec a few years later.

Nowadays, the Canadian gambling industry is more lucrative, versatile and rich as ever. You can find land and online casinos, lottery and bingo halls, horse race betting or sports betting in almost all provinces. Lots of passionate players choose to travel for many miles to reach heir favorite luxury casino resorts for fine entertainment and gambling options. In fact, lots of them prefer Canadian land casinos in the detriment of Sin City or Atlantic City venues. For example, Caesars Windsor is probably one of the most popular casinos in North America, and many claim it has surpassed big Vegas casinos. With more than $500 million spent on refurbishing the casino a few years ago, you can imagine the extraordinary amenities and gaming solutions it can offer.

Canadian Gambling At Present

Lots of Canadians continue to express their love for native games even today, even though more recent game developments in the last century tend to dominate the industry. Barbott, craps, poker, scrabble, Balderdash (a word and idea type of game), board games like Trivial Pursuit, the Munro 6-Man Table Top Hockey Game created in Ontario are just a few examples worth mentioning here. In fact, every year, there are hundreds of brand new games that Canadians are introduced to. Some manage to spark their enthusiasm in the long run, others are more short-lived. If you are interested in learning a more in-depth history of the Canadian gaming history, plan a visit at the Museum & Archive of Games of the Waterloo University.

Betting on sports, lotteries and casino gameplay are certainly three major points of attraction for millions of Canadians, residents of the ten provinces and the three territories. Poker, blackjack, barbotte, craps and roulette games have won over the hearts and minds of passionate gamers. However, the most popular gambling activities appear to be related to playing the lottery, with 65% of all gamblers buying tickets, whether online or offline. Next on the list, we can find instant win tickets accounting for more than 35% of all players, and 22% casino games, with special emphasis on slots that appear to the favorite of many (accounting for almost 50% of all players).

The existence of provincial casino and lottery platforms dedicated to the residents there is encouraging them to pursue their passion even further online.

Online Gambling In Canada

Online gambling in Canada can be currently considered a grey area. The laws now do not ban players to wager online. Nonetheless, they should use either offshore betting websites that are licensed and that accepts players from Canada, or domestic, provincial online casinos and lottery sites that are owned and managed by the governments of Quebec, Manitoba, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces.

With thousands of virtual casinos offshore that welcome players from Canada and a plethora of games to play and bets to wager on, Canadians are spoilt for choice and their growing interest for gaming adds to the industry every year.

Residents in British Columbia can access the PlayNow website online and play lotteries, keno, poker, blackjack, bingo or slots 24/7 or place bets on their favourite sports. The people of Quebec can take advantage of the top-notch

EspaceJeux gaming platform dedicated to residents here. Indulge in games of slots, casino, lottery, instant games, poker, bingo or sports betting and know the profits reach the local communities. Ontario has

PlayOLG as its main online gambling go-to site for residents. Find cool card and table games there, as well as lottery and slots and make sure you are 18 to be allowed to play lottery for real money and at least 19 for casino gambling. Manitoba also relies on the same PlayOLG platform and it allows its residents to freely get access to some of the hottest poker titles, as well as a rich variety of other casino games, live sports and lottery draws.

The Atlantic Lottery platform is responsible for fuelling the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island with top lottery options for their residents. Participants can buy their tickets online and enjoy regulated and 100% safe lottery products, with 100 of the profits reaching the local Atlantic Canada communities.

The Canadian province with the highest gambling rate in Quebec, with more than 10,000 casinos, lottery outlets, bingo halls and other types of gaming venues. Plus, 66% of the population participates in this form of entertainment, compared to the 83 percentile points recorded by the people of Ontario.

Mobile Gambling In The Country

Following the international trends of gambling on the go and consumers' desire to get access to this convenient form of gambling, offshore and provincial Canadian casinos online have also embraced mobile gambling. With specialized apps that can be downloaded straight onto players' smart devices or instant browser access, mobile Canadian casinos contribute largely toward the huge yearly revenues that the gaming industry is known to generate. With most casinos offering as much as $1,000 welcome packages to newcomers as a stimulus to join them and try their selection of games, there is no wonder their popularity is on the rise. Whether you are sitting in line waiting for your doctor's appoint, or you need to go on a VIA Rail train and travel someplace, you could pull out your phone or tablet, connect to the internet and access your preferred mobile casino games en route from Montreal to Toronto, hassle-free. Wagers can be placed using the Canadian Dollar and players can find a variety of Canadian-themed platforms and games suitable for their needs. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and other similar ones are also gaining more popularity in the country.

Online Payment Matters In Canada: Sportsbooks & Casinos

The heavy digitization of payment methods in the country has also influenced the way players can complete their casino or sportsbook banking transactions, including withdrawals and deposits. Consumers are looking for the simplest, safest and most convenient digital payment methods and online e-wallets and other popular payment providers like Paysafecard, Ukash, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Zimpler, EntroPay, Payforit or Interact are just a few of the most notable names here. Credit and debit cards such as Visa and Maestro are also popular casino payment methods in Canada that offer players reliable and almost instant banking transactions.

E-wallets are particularly popular among gamblers because they are extremely fast, which is essential when you only have a limited amount of time ready to allocate to your gambling inline. Plus, the most popular e-wallets on the planet can be easily connected to an e-wallet account, allowing instant fund transfers. One of the greatest advantages of using these e-wallets is the fact that withdrawals can be completed a lot faster compared to other payment methods. All casinos online that welcome players from Canada rely on and accept e-wallets for deposits and cashouts. Plus, e-wallets are excellent for players who like to take their gambling on the go using mobile casinos and mobile casino apps. Simply logging in and visiting the banking or cashier area of the casino should help immediately fuel the player's account and prepare him for more fun and potentially profitable wagers. 

The Future Of Gambling In Canada

Gambling is expected to continue to follow the ascending trend it has climbed on for a few years. In terms of pending gambling legislation, there seems to be a desire and need for even more relaxation. This would, in turn, encourage even more land and online casinos and lotteries to open.

Virtual Reality gambling is another futuristic idea that could become a reality in recent years in Canada. With Virtual Reality headsets that are already part of the video gaming industry worldwide, sports enthusiasts can expect to be able to soon root for their favourite teams in the most realistic setting, while casino gamblers can expect to place their wagers in an extraordinary live casino setting without having to leave their home for it.

Avatars are also expected to be huge in the upcoming years, as they would provide the most accurate representations of players and gamers and turning their overall online gambling experience into an even more realistic and immersive one.

Known as one of the most hardworking nations in the world, Canadians have always shown a love for gaming in all of its forms and both land and online casinos and lottery venues continue to be living proof of it. There should be no surprise that a few of the first online gaming venues that were given a licensed to work located in the country.  Since most of North America still has a ban on gambling, lots of Americans decide to turn to Canadian casinos for a good time.

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