Although Canada is not considered the world’s capital of gambling, the casino business is thriving there. The Canadian government is very flexible in regulating this industry. It is no wonder that gambling is becoming increasingly popular in all the states of the country. Let’s look at how it all has started and what’s happening in the online gambling business at the moment.
Gambling History and Its Development in Canada
Indigenous people played a variety of games of chance before the British pioneers came to the country. However, settling here, they banned this entertainment. The laws were somewhat relaxed a few hundred years later; however, gamblers didn’t have total freedom of action.
In 1900, citizens were allowed to play bingo for charity. Since 1970, other game variations have gradually been introduced. In 1974, the first lottery to fund the Montreal Olympics was held. And in a couple of years, the first commercial casino opened in Winnipeg. In 1999, the Canadian government officially legalized gambling. The provinces could organize offline and online lotteries and open casinos.
Online gambling was banned until 2009. One year later, the province of British Columbia opened an official online casino, and an online poker room appeared in Quebec. In the following years, several more states opened their own online casinos or commercial online lotteries. But there are still provinces in Canada where this entertainment is banned.
The Current Legislation Status
Just like in the United States, gambling laws may differ significantly in each of the Canadian provinces. Each of them also has its own gambling commission, which regulates gambling entertainment. Different provinces differ in the minimum age of gamblers and the types of gambling being locally allowed. Of course, in most Canadian states, it is allowed to play casino games if you are 19 years old (or older), but in the provinces of Alberta, Quebec, and Manitoba, the age limit has been lowered to 18 years.
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Specs of the Canadian Gambling Market
One of the interesting features is that the Irish, who make up 13% of Canadian citizens, are the primary target audience for local and international bookmakers.
A classic example is that in Quebec, where betting can be made from the age of 18, while in Ontario, people of 19 years old or older can make bets without breaking the law. Some provinces authorize the work of private lottery operators; in some states, there is only a state-owned company.
However, the most striking feature of Canadian betting is that users cannot play single bets. This means that the bet must be made on several events at once. As a rule, we are talking about combined bets on three or more sporting events. Only in this case, you can make the max out of your betting effort.
How Will It Develop?
Legalization of the right of users to place bets on the outcome of one event (single), as well as revision of Ontario’s betting legislation, once again emphasized the need to alter the general rules of the industry. At the same time, Jake Pollard, an expert on this issue, believes that the positive attitude of Ontario may not influence other provinces in Canada.
In late February, the Canadian House of Commons passed Bill C-221, also known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Act. As a result, the ground was prepared for revising the rules and lifting the ban on ordinaries. This move has allowed Ontario to become the first Canadian province to regulate betting operations common to most jurisdictions around the world.
The bill was initiated by Brian Mass of Windsor West Ontario. It is significant that this was already the third attempt to legalize bets on certain sports in the country. Consideration of the bill was supposed to take place in the lower house of parliament, but this was prevented by the coronavirus pandemic.
The purpose of the bill is to amend the Criminal Code. Thus, each individual province will be able to independently reform legislation and start licensing operators. Globally, the measure will allow the market to be liberalized in the usual format. Passing the law would also mean moving away from the outdated approach to industry regulation that makes betting on a single sporting event illegal. What will this give to gamblers? They will get total freedom of action and will be able to do anything without breaking the law. This is what will already happen in the near future.