Online casino gaming in Canada has been through a great transformation over the years, with individual provinces gradually forming their own ways to regulate and oversee the gameplay. Ontario, in particular, has come on leaps and bounds, predominantly using the Lottery as a way to raise funds for organisations across the province, including hospitals, protecting the environment and various other charities.
Government and Gambling
Closely following Quebec’s success in 1969, the Ontario government created their own way to regulate Lottery games in 1975, called the Ontario Lottery Corporation (OLC). The province introduced its first Lottery game – WINTARIO – in the same year, with the proceeds being used to promote physical fitness, sports, cultural and recreational activities through the Ministry of Culture and Recreation. In fact, a total of $6 million was paid to the province after the game’s debut.
Policies were tightened, and in 1994, Ontario’s first brick-and-mortar commercial casino was built in Windsor. To allow this to happen, the province had previously enacted the Ontario Casino Corporation Act, which pulled together a year of operating policy and program development, to ensure the government was ready for this new venture. The following year, the Ontario Casino Corporation (OCC) was formally established.
Whilst Lottery remains at the heart of gaming in Ontario, the Canadian province has continued to develop and offer all kinds of gaming options such as Slots, Bingo and table top games. Along with it, the governing officials have gone through several name changes before finally merging into the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) that residents recognise today. This new brand promised to create an exciting yet safe and responsible environment for casino gaming to take place.
Eventually, the move was made to online gaming in this part of the country, with sports betting and Lottery taking the lead. Meanwhile, brick-and-mortar casinos continued to flourish. Ontarian cities were finding themselves battling it out to be the next host of a new casino – with the City of Vaughan making its pledge of interest in 2013. Citing two potential locations, the city was eager to be listed as a casino hotspot. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be and they lost out in the voting process.
Because of this, being able to play online has become even more important for the gamers of Vaughan. Playing online allows Vaughan residents to get their casino fix, safely and from the comfort of their own home. They get to say goodbye to the restrictions of their city, and hello to the freedom that comes with playing online.
Ontario isn’t the only province in Canada that has taken steps to legalise their own online casino site. The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) organisation is in operation in Alberta, monitoring gambling and substances throughout the province. Casino gaming is made easy by the facilities on Play Alberta, the province’s only regulated online gaming site. Again, similarly to Ontario, all profits generated from gameplay on this site are fed directly back into Alberta’s General Revenue Fund to aid support programmes and other services that the general public rely on in their day-to-day life.
Alternatively, in Quebec the gameplay is regulated by the Quebec Alcohol, Racing and Gaming Commission. Starting at just simple games of Lottery, before moving onto more popular table games and Bingo, the gambling scene in Quebec has come a long way. Still overseen by the commission, Quebec also has its very own online casino site Espacejeux which offers all of your favourite casino games, from the comfort of your own home.
The introduction of regulations has overall had a positive effect on the Canadian gaming scene. Rules and regulations are what keep players safe – and by keeping things strict, gaming fans have an even better experience.
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