Canada’s Gambling History

Gambling in Canada is certainly not a new form of entertainment. As you would expect, there have been games of chance and luck for centuries. They were around long before any form of casinos appeared.

The original record of gambling in the region dates from 1497. A person called John Abbot discovered native tribes who played games of luck and chance. It was very basic at the time and not close to the games we play now.

As expected, gambling was a popular form of entertainment even before any laws and even Canada’s formation as an independent country.

Gambling Banned

The Canadian casino scene was not always straightforward. In 1892, all forms of gambling were banned. This was due to the Canadian Criminal Code. It banned all types of gambling activities due to the fact it was considered inappropriate by the government.

Fortunately, the total ban only lasted 8 years. In 1900, the law accepted some variations of games of luck. Charities were allowed to run bingo and raffles. A decade later, people got the right bet on horse racing again. A further 15 years after that gambling events were allowed to be hosted in certain provinces.

Lotteries were very prolific, and the government changed the law again in 1969. After the changes in regulation, lotteries served as platforms for funding specific projects. The first example happened in 1974 when locals organized a lottery event to gather funds for the Olympics.

Historical Facts

Well, as we mentioned above, one of the first regulators was the Mohawk Territory Kahnawake Gaming Commission. Guess what is so specific about it? As it is still fully operational, this makes the Canadian regulator the first-ever online casino authority in the world.

Before Europeans arrived in Canada, native people played games of luck, as we mentioned. The games that they played involved gaming sticks and the name of one popular game was Slahal or Stickgame.

There is also one fact from the Klondike Gold Rush. With the discovery of gold in Yukon in 1896, people rushed to the region. During that period, one of the most popular games was Faro, a card game that the Americans brought. Unfortunately, once the Goldrush ended, so did Faro disappear in Canada.