Canada Gambling History
History of Gambling in Canada
Gambling was first brought to Canada by the early French settlers, though by 1892 Canada had imposed a complete ban on gambling in all provinces. Since that time, the government has been gradually lifting the ban.
The Criminal Code of Canada first allowed certain forms of gambling back into circulation by reforming the law to create a charitable gaming exemption. Small scale gambling activities were allowed, leading to an amendment of the Criminal Code in 1969 that gave provincial governments the opportunity to offer federal and state-run lotteries. These lottery programs were utilized to fund various needs of Canada, such as the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.
As the 1970's rolled around, Quebec had established two separate Crown corporation - one to supervise provincial lotteries and the other to supervise horse racing. The citizens of Quebec had long sought legalization of gambling, therefore welcomed the introduction of these corporations with open arms.
Seeing the rampant success of Quebec's new systems, other provinces quickly jumped on the band wagon. Manitoba established a lottery system in 1971, followed by Alberta and Saskatchewan. British Columbia conjoined with the Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta lotteries in 1974, establishing the now famous Western Canadian Lottery Foundation.
Casino gambling worked it's way back to legal status as well, with casinos now operating legally in all provinces with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
The specific gambling laws distinctly differentiate between the types of casino gambling machines that are and are not legal in individual provinces - Slot Machine and Video Lottery Terminals (VLT's). Slot machines are legal in all of the provinces, aside from those listed above where casino gambling is prohibited. VLT's, on the other hand, are legal in all provinces except for British Columbia and Ontario.
Canada now retains a massive revenue whose rapid growth began with further amendments to the Canadian Criminal Code in 1985. Gambling has since become an enormous business in Canada and continues to grow with increasingly profitable success.