History of Gambling in Canada - The Gambling Timeline

Gambling HistoryLike most developed nations, gambling has a long and rich history in Canada. Even before European settlers landed in the late 1400s, there is evidence of native Indians playing games of chance for thousands of years before.

While gambling went through its periods of prohibition, today's Canadians have a wide variety of legal gambling options available to them.

A Timeline of the History of Gambling in Canada

  • Explorer John Cabot discovers Canada and begins to explore the vast, sprawling landscape

    Along the way he finds Native populations playing games of chance. The games were not geared towards winning money, or trading items, but rather helped the person grow emotionally, spiritually, and mentally.
    1497
  • More settlers arrive in Canada from Europe and bring traditional casino games to the country

    Card games, dice, and other variations become a form of entertainment for the settlers and their families.
  • Gambling has become a part of new Canadian culture and tradition, but not everyone liked it

    This resulted in underground gambling dens and illegal mob like activity to operate the games for money.
    1892
  • Opinions on gambling again shift for the better

    Bingo, raffles, and horseracing becomes a legitimate activity for Canadians. By 1925, fairs and town exhibitions can begin to hold gambling events.
    1900-1925
  • All Canadian provinces accept the reality that Canadians have turned gambling into a pastime and recreational activity no different from sports.
  • The first ever lottery is announced and helps to raise money for the Montreal Olympics

    Provinces began to adopt their own lotteries and horse racing terminals.
    1974
  • Gambling in Canada becomes a multimillion dollar industry and shows no signs of slowing down.
  • The very first land based casino opens in Winnipeg, Canada.
  • The very first land based casino opens in Winnipeg, Canada.
    1993
  • Perceptions and images of gambling have changed in the last 20 years

    It has shifted from an almost underground and undesirable activity to a pastime people discuss openly. As social acceptance of gambling has shifted in a positive light, the number of Canadian casinos has ballooned to over 100 by 2010. Millions of players from around the country partake in gambling activities ranging from charity events, horse racing, sportsbetting, lotteries, and of course slots and table games.

The Future of Gambling

Several Canadian provinces currently operate their own online gambling sites complete with games, lotteries, scratch cards, and bingo. Every year the doors to a new casino open, and the facility is welcomed by the community and gambling enthusiasts alike. When it comes to casinos and gambling, the future looks bright. More than likely exciting innovations, exclusive tournaments, and new adaptations will be coming to Canada's players.
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