Canadians Have and Have Not Enjoyed Gambling Over the Years #Canada150

Face it. There is nothing like the rush of a craps table. There’s really nothing like the rush of gambling period, which is why it is such a popular entertainment medium. Who wouldn’t want to sit down at a machine or table and double, triple, or even quadruple their money? Canadians love to try their luck in the 21st century, and although it’s always been that way, it hasn’t always been legal.


Gambling Before Canada


Gambling in what is now Canada dates back prior to Canada itself. The indigenous people gambled as far back as 6000 B.C., as discovered by John Cabot. In 1497, Cabot researched the native gambling, which was to engage in activities that not only required a bit of luck but also fostered mental, physical, and spiritual growth, and unearthed evidence that games such as these dated back centuries. Canada didn’t become Canada until 1867, but those who inhabited the land prior loved to game.


Gambling Falls From Grace


Despite centuries of chance, the Canadian Criminal Code banned gambling in 1892. Much like Prohibition in the United States, it seemed like a good idea at the time, and much like Prohibition in the United States, the law didn’t stick. By 1900, Canadians were trying their luck once again by playing bingo and participating in charitable raffles. Horseracing was permitted by 1910, and in 1925 you could gamble legally at exhibitions and fairs.


If you have ever worked in government, you understand how difficult it can be to fund monetary needs. In 1969, authorities amended the Criminal Code to allow lotteries to fund provincial and federal projects. As time went by, restrictions loosened on horse racing and lotteries, and, slowly but surely, casinos and slot machines began to pop up everywhere. Today, gambling restrictions are determined by each province.


Las Vegas North of the Border


The year 1998 saw Sin City make its way north of the border when Caesars Windsor opened its doors in Windsor, Ontario. In 2005, Caesars began a 439-million-dollar project to renovate the gambling and entertainment space. Prior to the renovation, Canadians and their visitors enjoyed gambling well enough, but now, the impressive structure is a Mecca for those who love to try their luck. Viva Windsor, Ontario!


At What Cost?


What does a mega-casino like Caesars Windsor cost to the people, however? Yes, this and hundreds of other casinos bring much-needed income into the Canadian economy, but they also place a tremendous burden on the environment. Electricity, paper, waste management, and other factors make running these facilities with a low carbon footprint nearly impossible. So, how do Canadians continue to engage in a favorite activity without feeling guilty? They go online.


Today’s Casino


The latest chapter in Canadian gambling history includes websites such as These list online casinos that allow real gambling from the comfort of your own home. When you gamble online, you not only have the same fun you have in brick-and-mortar casinos, you also stand a chance to hit it big. On top of that, you are improving your carbon footprint by gambling in cyberspace instead of at monster casinos.


Throughout history, Canadians have shown a love for gambling, and why not. Name another entertainment form that might actually pay you for having fun!

David Yin

David is a blogger, geek, and web developer — founder of If you like his post, you can say thank you here

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