Game of chance in Canada is an example of wise and profitable cooperation between the government and business. Here, casinos and game-of-chance houses were legalized in 1999. In 1974, the Canadian government held the national lottery to raise money to finance the Olympic Games.
After that, raising enough money, the government understood that it is a nice way to make some dough.
General description of game of chance business in Canada
The entire game of chance is regulated by national criminal legislation, its articles 204, 206, and 207, which describe the allowed and prohibited types of game of chance, horse races, and sweepstakes.
Every state passes own legislation acts, which define the allowances and disallowances. This defines what is prohibited in game of chance in a specific state. Totally, in the entire country, there are 114 ground-based casinos, 12 horseracing tracks, 8 bingo halls, and 1 bookmaker.
You can play in two casinos with the direct view at the Niagara Falls, which roars just in some hundreds of meters from you.
Taxation of winnings is zero – for players, who do it for fun and don’t have game of chance as the main source of regular income (like professional poker players). Latter are taxed.
Unlike game of chance in the US, here, a minor amount of houses belongs to Indians (only one casino), whilst in the US, it is about 50% of the business of game of chance in the country.
Also, it is possible to find the Electronic Gaming Machine halls, which are small locations (usually, bars and restaurants) with slot machines installed – people there have fun without the need to go to a full-fledged casino.
Division of the game-of-chance business by province
There are 13 states in Canada, and they all define the minimum age to be allowed to gamble (18 or 19 years), availability of online game of chance (in some states, online is prohibited, in others – only national lotteries allowed, and in the rest – all online game of chance is allowed, but the latter are in minority). Also, the types of game of chance are defined, allowing or disallowing specific types (casino, slots, horseracing bets, offline lotteries, bingo, poker machines).
In total, there are 1,776 card games tables, 220 poker tables, and 57,150 slot machines. The biggest game-of-chance state is considered Ontario – it has 32 casinos (out of 114 in the entire country), 666 card tables, 87 horse tracks, and 26,022 slot machines.
Income from the game of chance
Game of chance in Canada brings billions of dollars. Each year this amount grows on average (it is expected that 2020 will be an exclusion). In 2017, the total revenue was 17.3 billion Canadian dollars (13.5 B in American), while a few years before that – 13.7 billion (Ontario’s contribution to this number is about 40%-50%. Ontario, as the largest game-of-chance province, contributed 6 billion Canadian dollars this year). The growth of the latest years is about 2%-5%, depending on the year. Most part of the income is made thanks to citizens of Canada, then go Americans visiting Canada to gamble, and then the rest.
The Canadian revenue is still lagging behind the one made in the USA, which is $40 billion roughly.
Online game of chance in Canada
The list of Internet games of chance in Canada is big and offered to citizens of legal ages.
The allowed games differ from state to state. Thus, in British Columbia, only Ingenio is prohibited, whilst Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia allow only scratch cards, bingo, and lotteries.
Ontario holds the biggest number of online + offline card tables (1,101) of all states.
It is possible to play online game of chance in every state if you’re using an offshore casino, registered out of Canada. If you want a Canadian casino, not-governmental one, it would be legal only in a handful of states. However, there are no known real cases of being fined if you play the online casino in the state, where it is prohibited.
Until 2009, it was a complete prohibition of online casinos and other online game of chance but things have significantly changed. British Columbia launched own online casino in 2010, Quebec did so in 2010, too, and Manitoba had theirs in 2013.