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Brief Overview of Gambling In Canada

These days world governments seem have gone mad about online casinos and overall iGaming industry prohibitions and restrictions. Countries with a strict regulatory gambling policy somehow turn a blind...

These days world governments seem have gone mad about online casinos and overall iGaming industry prohibitions and restrictions. Countries with a strict regulatory gambling policy somehow turn a blind eye to all restrictions and generate the largest gambling revenues. For example, China, where gambling is officially prohibited under the criminal code, is the world’s top gaming market with revenue reached $22.2 billion; the US where gambling is semi-restricted generated $22 billion by the end of 2015. Blurred Canadian online casinos regulation holds the 8th World Rank by revenue with $1.8 billion in US dollars.

Brief History of Gambling In Canada in the 1970s

Up to 1970, any type of gambling activities was illegal in Canada. In 1969 with the office reclamation by the Liberal Party under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau the House of Commons finally achieved to pass the gambling amendments. What's interesting, Pierre Trudeau was previously the Minister of Justice who was perpetually striving to amend some aspects of the Criminal Code considering gambling considering gambling issues. As part of implementing the decision by the government, federal authorities were forced to assign competence in the gambling matters to local provincial regulatory authorities.

Quebec Gambling Pioneer

Quebec was first to take advantage of reached amendments. Quebec immediately set up two Crown corporations (one of them was Loto-Québec) to control and conduct horse racing and provincial lotteries. The rest of provinces supported Quebec model. In the following decade, four more Canadian provinces established their own regional lotteries. In 1971, Manitoba established its own lottery, Alberta and Saskatchewan - in 1974. British Columbia created its regional lottery in 1974. Moreover, British Columbia joined Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta in establishing the Western Canadian Lottery Foundation. In 1973 Canadian federal government founded the Olympic Lottery Corporation to back up financially upcoming Montreal Summer Olympic Games in 1976.

Go With the Political Flow

During following several years with the change in political doctrine from liberal to conservative, changes in the attituded towards gambling policy were also made. At the end of the 1970s, the progressive conservative government required from provincial authorities to return for $24 million annual payment as compensation. Such state of matter lasted for 4 years.

When The Liberal Party of Canada once again took the office in 1980 the wind of change blew. Provinces tried to argue federal government decision in court. But Progressive Conservatives under Brian Mulroney reclaimed the office by winning a solid parliamentary majority (largest in the history of Canadian parliament).

How Things Work Today

Since June 1985 provinces undertook to pay 24 million CAD annually to the federal government according to the 1979 agreement terms. And finally, in 1985 new package of gambling amendments were passed. Provinces were allowed alone or in partnership with other provinces to conduct and operate lotteries. In other words, Canadian provinces were granted the exclusive authority to operate and/or license particular sorts of gambling.

In the 30 years since the 1985 amendment, in 2015 $2 billion total revenue was generated in the Canadian gambling industry. Today, lotteries are still huge moneymakers for Canada's both provincial and territorial budgets. Gambling in Canada has expanded to include ticket lotteries, horse racing, charitable gaming (including bingo), casino-style gamblingBusiness Management Articles, video lottery terminals. Yet not all these forms of gambling are available everywhere in Canada.

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I'm Adam Lane, project manager at I've been present in online gaming industry for past several years. 

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