Laws, Trends and Technologies in Canadian Casino Culture

In Canada, as in many parts of the world, gambling in its various forms has long been a popular leisure activity amongst its citizens, and has been subject to constant changes in legislation, as well as both governmental and moralistic attitudes towards the practice.

Due to these fluctuating laws and approaches as well as prevailing trends and technologies, gambling has taken different forms over the years, ranging from the use of sticks and bones by the indigenous communities as far back as the 6th century BCE to the current custom of glitzy nights out at Vegas style casinos.

Today, citizens are even given the opportunity to gamble from the comfort of their own homes via online slot machine style games, some state owned and 100% legal, and other less legal but un-policed gambling sites.

From Ancient to Contemporary Cultures of Gambling

It was John Cabot who, on his arrival in Canada in June 1497, discovered the First Nations methods of gambling, so unlike his own games of chance using cards and dice.

It was part of the natural way of life and is said to have had a profound effect on their spiritual, emotional, mental and physical development – conceivably not unlike the natural competitive nature of our current civilization.

It was the European settlers that brought a much more conservative attitude towards gambling to Canada. At this time most dice games were illegal under British common law, originally banned by Richard III way back in the 1380’s because he thought it was too much of a distraction for his soldiers.

Rules and Regulations

Canada’s first Criminal Code continued to uphold these rules and in 1892 all forms of gambling were strictly banned. This, however, did not last very long. By 1900 raffles and similar competitions as well as games of bingo were permitted throughout the country, and ten years after that the popular activity of betting on horse racing became officially legal.

By 1925 common agricultural events and fairs were allowed the right to make use of gambling as part of their celebrations as well, and so the laws and attitudes began to relax and governments began to see the beneficial side to gambling at

The Glamour of Gambling

By the 20th century gambling was no longer seen as immoral, and major legislative changes were put in place. Two of the most significant revisions were the legalization of community lotteries in 1969, and the transfer of gambling control from federal to provincial jurisdiction in 1985.

The revenue generated from these amounted to millions, which not only went towards important charities and state-run foundations, but also paved the way to a much grander gambling culture. It was at this time that the industry’s capital, Las Vegas, was founded which also flung open the glamorous gates to this whole new culture of gambling.

By 2001, Canada became a gambling Mecca, boasting over 31,000 variations of slot machines, more than 1,800 bingo hall permits, at least 59 permanent casinos and a whopping 32,000 lottery ticket centres. The online slots Canada offers is by far some of the best you’ll find anywhere these days.

With the ever-increasing pervasiveness of speedy internet, it would seem that online gambling is now the future of gambling, though the allure of the sparkly night-life that casinos offer is not likely to come to an end anytime soon either.