The past few years have been testing for Canadian lawmakers. Online casinos have forced Canadians to reflect on gambling laws. From 1969 when lotteries were illegal in Canada, to today, where the Canadian gambling industry is worth CAD$15 billion dollars annually. The Canadian casino journey has been long.
History of Gambling in Canada
Canada has a rich gambling history, in 1497 John Cabot discovered a native population who played games of chance. The games were believed to help with physical, mental and spiritual growth. Canadian gambling at the time involved sticks and pebbles, but the basic gambling concept remained the same.
Fast forward to 1892 the Canadian Criminal Code was born and banned all forms of gambling. The Code evolved with the times and legalised bingo, raffles and horse racing by 1925. Lotteries were illegal until 1969. Over the year Canada has given provinces the rights to run lotteries, horse races, video slot machines and casinos.
Gambling Stigma in Canada
Canada’s gambling industry is in the medical of political, legal and regulatory turmoil. Canadian’s generally take a negative approach to illegal gambling. Their perceptions change when the government legalises the activity. Online Gambling was though to be a criminal network which would rob people of their money but just clicking on a button. You would not be able to complain or lay charges as illegal gambling is a criminal offence on its own in Canada. Casino players were put off by online casino games. It makes more sense to gamble at a land-based casino.
Canadian Land-based casinos
Almost every province in Canada has a casino today. The casinos are big tourist attractions. In some provinces, casinos are owned and operated by the government. Some Canadian provinces allow private enterprises to operate government-owned casinos. Land-based casinos are a big revenue stream for Canada.
The Future of Online Casinos in Canada
In 2010, British Columbia’s Lottery Corporation launched the first online casino in North America. More provinces have followed British Columbia’s online gambling venture. Canada has relaxed gambling laws. The laws played a role in the rise of online casinos in Canada. The relaxed laws helped online gaming shed its negative image.
Now provinces have revenue opportunities thanks to online gambling. The revenue could come from license fees and taxes. The good news for casino online players is that Canada does not tax lottery or gambling winnings.
Canadian online casino players are always just one button away from enjoying their favourite online casino games. The instant access to online gambling almost guarantees a rise in Canadian online casino revenue.