Gambling in Canada has existed long before the country was even called so, making it not such a new phenomenon to make an appearance. The country was born in the year of 1867, but long before it bore such a name, natives of the land were testing their luck with various different forms of gambling games. In the year of 1497, the Italian navigator and explorer, Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot), discovered a native population in the lands who played games of chance with each other. Such games were said to help with their physical, mental and spiritual growth, and upon digging further into it, he discovered that they had existed in one form or another since as far back as 6000 B.C. At this time, it’s fairly obvious to note that dice and cards were not part of the repertoire of products used to play, and instead, the scene took on games involving sticks and pebbles.

In the year of 1892, the Canadian Criminal Code banned every form of gambling, although this particular law did not last for a long time. Perceptions on gambling changed quite quickly, and at the turn of the new century, bingo and raffles were permitted for charitable reasons. Horse racing would be added to the legal games 10 years later, and in 1925, fairs and exhibitions were given the right to hold gambling events on their premises. The Canadian government also saw great value in lotteries, so these were also made legal by 1969, with the first official lottery game being held in 1974 in order to raise funds for the Montreal Olympics of that year.

Over the proceeding years, provinces were granted more and more leniency in order to run lotteries, horse races, video slot machines and casinos, and as such, today, the country offers such establishments in nearly every province. While the casino/government relationship in Canada still varies from province to province, they are still considered big business in the country, and they saw a dramatic rise throughout the 90s and onwards. This, of course, led on to the online gambling sector.