Sep 14

How slot machines work to spin out wins and losses to players.

How Slot Machines Work

All slot machines are not created equal. This we know. The oldest games were built with mechanical drums, while the newest models are nothing more than big cabinets, with tiny computer chips and fancy LED screens. How they determines wins, losses, and the value of payouts, cannot possibly be the same. But it’s not just a matter of technological advancement that alters they way different machines get the job done. There are actually five different methods in which a slot can determine the results of any spin. We’ll talk about each of these, and how you can tell the difference before you sit down to play.

How Slot Machines Work – In The Old Days…

The oldest slot machines were built with mechanical drums, displaying symbols on physical reels. They were built with a special mechanism that ensured each reel would stop on a random position. This was the earliest form of what we know today as a “random number generator”, or RNG.

Manufacturers knew the probability of a slot machine landing on any possible outcome, because it was a matter of simple math. Multiply the number of reels by the number of symbols to get the number of possible combinations. Multiply the number of reels by the number of a specific symbol to get the number of ways that specific combination can appear. Divide the first result by the second, and you get the probability of that combination appearing. Easy, peasy!

When Computers Took Over – Circa 1980s

About 40 years ago, mechanical slots were replaced by computers. They looked and acted the same on the surface, but a programmed microchip did all the work. Still, it wasn’t much different than the old days. Class III, electronic slots (the ones found in casinos from Las Vegas to Atlantic City) are still powered by an RNG; albeit a more sophisticated one.

These newer slots use a computer program to rotate the numbers in a very, very long algorithm. Those spins are constantly changing, with each nano-second that passes, whether the game is actually being played or not. The moment the spin button is pressed, the RNG halts. The result of that long algorithm tells the machine what symbols to place in each position, with the pay table determining the payout (if any).

Bingo Games that Look Like Slot Machines

Tribal casinos all over North America are famous for their “Class II” slot machines. They look just like the Class III variety at other casinos, the way they spin out results is completely different. You see, most tribal casinos are not legally able to offer “gambling” games, but they can offer “bingo” and “pull tabs”. So, their Class II slots are actually bingo games disguised as slots.

Every time you spin the reels on a Class II slot (a.k.a. Bingo Liner), you’re actually buying a randomized ticket in a bingo game. Once enough slots (bingo) players press spin (buy a ticket), the game automatically draws numbers. If your bingo ticket wins, the slot machine spins out a winning combination equal to the value of the bingo ticket.

Many players never even know that this is happening, because their game just looks like a slot machine. Some are even named and designed to be identical to their most famous Class III cousins. But a bingo liner will always have one distinguishable difference. Somewhere on the screen, usually in a corner, you’ll see your bingo card displayed; winning numbers highlighting as the real game takes place in the background.

Video Lottery Terminals – Spin to Scratch-n-Win

Video lottery terminals, or VLTs as they’re more widely known, are not real slot machines, either. Much like those Class II bingo slots, VLTs are the equivalent of scratch-off lottery tickets. Lottery operators from all over North America – and especially here in Canada (Tap Tix, anyone?) – developed these games to offer slot machines in jurisdictions where gambling is illegal.

Here’s how they work. The computer is packed with pre-programmed, virtual scratch tickets. Each ticket is a winner or loser, with preset prize values on the winners. When you insert your money and spin the reels on a VLT, you are essentially putting your hand in a hat and drawing out one of those tickets. Once scratched, that ticket is removed from the batch. Spin again to draw another ticket. When all tickets in the batch are depleted, a new batch is uploaded.

In this way, the lottery operator is able to control exactly how much money it takes in, and how much it pays out.

Historic Horse Racing Slots – Too Complex to Care?

Whoever came up with this idea was either a genius or a madman. It is the most complicated of all “not rely a slot machine” mechanics. Historical horse racing (HHR) games are a lot like the bingo liner slots described above, except that players essentially get to choose their own card.

So here’s how slot machines work with the historic horse racing variable. Three actual horse races from the past are randomly selected by the machine. Each race contains 10 horses, meaning there are 30 possible horses to choose from. Each race has a win, place and show, so there are 9 possible horses that can win prizes of varying amounts. As you choose horses, and the race plays out, it creates a 30-digit binary number that will look something like this: 101100010000111001001000010001

That binary number determines whether you win a prize, and if so, how much. As the player, you have the option of picking your horses in the race, or having the machine randomly pick for you. If the machine does all the picking, then spits out the results, the experience looks and feels identical to that of a slot machine.

What’s The Difference? Value to Player

On the surface, there’s not much difference at all. Underneath, however, there’s one very important thing that sets these games apart, and that’s the theoretical return to player, or RTP. The higher a game’s RTP, the more likely you are to win; (or more appropriately, the less likely you are to lose).

Land-based class III slot machines (the real ones) can carry an average RTP of anywhere from 88% to 92%, depending where you play. Their online counterparts average 96% RTP. VLTs only pay an average RTP of 88%. Class II bingo slots can pay out as low as 80%. HHRs are impossible to judge, since they’re based on pari-mutuel wagering, but the minimum is generally 80%.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , ,

Sep 09

Influence of sports on Canada slot machines online and on land.

Influence of Sports on Canada Slot Machines Online and On Land

You wouldn’t think sports betting and traditional casino games, like slot machines and table games, would have much in common. Yes, they’re both forms of gambling. And yes, both can be enjoyed at most of the world’s casinos; especially here in Canada, since single-game betting was legalized earlier this year. But the similarities end there… or do they?

In truth, sports have impacted the casino gambling market quite a bit. We’ll take a look at the influence of popular Canadian sports on different types of gambling, and how it’s helping to attract more players to the tables and machines; not just in land-based casinos, but online as well.

Sports in Canada Slot Machines Online and On Land

This is the most obvious casino gaming genre influenced by fan-based sports. Think about the types of athletics Canadians enjoy most. Of course, we absolutely love ice hockey. Seven of the NHL’s 32 teams are based in Canada. We’re also big basketball and baseball fans, home to the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies, and the MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays. We don’t have an NFL football team, but we do host our own Canadian league, the CFL, and many of us enjoy watching (and betting on) American football, too. That’s not to mention soccer, tennis, golf, etc.

These are just the most popular sports in Canada. And if you’ve been to any casinos lately – especially the online variety – you may have noticed just how many slot machines integrate these sports themes into their gameplay.

Sports Themed Online Slots

Basketball Slots - Basketball Star

All the major gambling software companies have built slots for NHL fans. We have Break Away by Microgaming, the Ice Hockey Slot from Playtech, Hockey League and Hockey Hero by Pragmatic Play and Push Gaming, respectively. There are far more basketball themed slots to choose from; Microgaming’s Basketball Star, iSoftBet’s Slam Dunk, Playtech even has a license-branded slot machine called Dennis Rodman. Dozens of baseball themes exist as well. I’ll never forget the first time I came across Microgaming’s farcical 3-reel gem, The Umpire Strikes Back.

Even Table Games Incorporate Sports Themes

Surely you’re familiar with roulette, but have you ever played Touchdown Roulette? It’s a standard American roulette game with a side bet that goes into play if the ball lands in 0 or 00. If this happens, a simulated football game is played using four spins of the roulette wheel. Each qualifying player chooses a team – red or black – and the results of the next four spins determine which team wins.

There’s an exciting Touchdown Blackjack game, too. It’s a traditional game of blackjack on the surface, played hand by hand. At the same time, players start on the 20 yard line, gaining yardage for successful splits and doubles, or losing yardage when the dealer gets blackjack. Once a touchdown is scored, the player can kick the extra point and start another drive.

The most interesting sports-themed table game I’ve seen yet is Evolution Gaming’s Live Football Studio. It’s not the football we’re used to, but rather European football; a.k.a. soccer.

Sports Themed Table Games Live Football Studio by Evolution Gaming

What they did was take the traditional Asian table game, Dragon Tiger, and gave it a sporty twist. Instead of betting on Dragon or Tiger, players bet on the Home Team or Away Team. Otherwise, the rules are identical. What makes it really interesting for football/soccer fans is that the background displays live games, assuming any are actively being played. It’s especially fun when a big game is on. The crowd (of online players) really tends to get involved as the dealer commentates on the live game.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , ,

Aug 31

Live sports betting now available at these authorized websites.

Live Sports Betting Now Available in Canada at These Authorized Websites

The wait is finally over. Locally authorized single-game and live betting on sports is not just a dream anymore. It’s not a piece of legislation moving through Parliament. It’s real, and its here, and its available right now at most provincial iGaming websites.

We’ll tell you which Canadian online sportsbooks are offering the newly regulated form of sports betting, and which types of wagers they’re offering. We’ll also offer some alternative options for those of you residing in a province or territory where legal live betting and single-game wagers are not (yet) available.

Single & Live Sports Betting in Canada

Let’s cut right to the chase. The following is an alphabetical chart that details which provinces and territories offer which types of online sports betting, if any. Note that live betting and single-game betting are Canada’s newly authorized ways to bet on sports. Parlay wagers refer to the old, multi-pick style of betting that’s been around for decades.

Continue below the chart to learn more about the individual sports gambling opportunities in each location.

LocationLive BettingSingle-GameParlay Bets
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland & Labrador
Northwest Territories
Nova Scotia
Nunavut
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Yukon

Please note that the information in the above chart is current as of writing (Aug 31, 2021). Some locations were not able to launch an expanded sports betting platform on opening day (August 27, 2021). Alberta, for example, has made clear its intentions to launch single-game and live betting options in the fall.

Alberta

All gambling activities are regulated by Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC), which operates the online gambling portal, PlayAlberta.ca. The website is not yet equipped with any form of sports betting. However, the regulators stated in early August that a full sports betting regiment would come to the website sometime this fall.

British Columbia

The British Columbia Gaming Corp (BCLC) is responsible for all gaming in the province. BCLC operates the online gambling portal, PlayNow.com. Through this website, sports fans can participate in all major forms of sports betting, including single-game bets, live bets and classic parlays. The website is also available to legal-age residents of Manitoba.

Manitoba

The Manitoba Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority (LGCA) signed an agreement with BCLC years ago to share use of its website, PlayNow.com. The shared player contract gives Manitobans access to the same single-game, live, and parlay betting options as BC residents.

New Brunswick

Part of Atlantic Canada, all gaming in New Brunswick is regulated by the Atlantic Lottery Corp (ALC). Through its website, ALC.ca, sports bettors can access everything from parlays, props, and futures, to single-game and fantasy betting. However, there is no live betting available at this time.

This information also applies to the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.

Newfoundland & Labrador

See New Brunswick.

Northwest Territories

None. While the Northwest Territories offers retail lottery and Sports Select wagering through the Western Canada Lottery Corp (WCLC), there is no option to bet online. According to the WCLC, its Sports Select platform will soon include single-game betting, but again, it appears it’s going to be retail (in-person) only.

The exact same information applies to the territories of Nunavut and Yukon.

Nova Scotia

None. Although Nova Scotia is a part of Atlantic Canada, the province does not authorize access to the region’s ALC.ca online gambling portal. All sports betting must be done in person through a retail outlet.

Nunavut

See Northwest Territories.

Ontario

All gambling activities are regulated by the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corp (OLG), which offers internet gambling options through its website, PlayOLG.ca. Last week, the Crown Corporation launched what it calls “Pro-Line+”, a new version of the original parlay-only Pro-Line platform that now offers single-game betting, as well as live betting.

Prince Edward Island

See New Brunswick.

Quebec

Loto-Quebec, regulator of all gaming activities in the province, dove head-first into the expansion of sports betting laws with the launch of in-store, online and mobile “mise-o-jeu”. You can participate in classic parlays, singles and live wagering, with a convenient mise-o-jeu mobile app for betting on the go. If you prefer to place your bets in person, you can fill out a slip on your mobile device, generating a barcode that you can scan in-store.

Saskatchewan

None. Saskatchewan has yet to prescribe to the online gambling industry. All gaming activities, including sports betting, must be conducted in person at a casino or authorized ticket retail location.

Yukon

See Northwest Territories.

Betting on Sports Outside Canada’s Regulatory Border

While other sportsbooks like theScore Bet and PointsBet are working diligently to get licensed and operational here in Canada, none have done so yet. If your home province or territory does not offer the type of online sports betting you’re looking for, you still have options.

Online gambling with offshore, internationally regulated websites is not illegal. They just aren’t regulated by any Canadian authority. So long as you’re access highly reputable, responsibly regulated sportsbooks, you have nothing to worry about.

The key to enjoying a safe and secure experience in single and live sports betting with overseas websites is to do your homework. First and foremost, identify the regulatory authority. The most reputable are the European jurisdictions of Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Malta and the UK. Anything licensed in Central America (Costa Rica, Curacao, Panama, etc.) may be circumspect.

Reputation also goes a very long way. Look for a website that has been up and running for at least a few years. Check out watchdog websites like Casinomeister to confirm there are no ongoing reports of customer abuse or payment issues. All it takes is a few minutes of your time to ensure you’re signing up and depositing with a reliable sportsbook.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Aug 16

Sports betting wins Canada access to billion-dollar industry.

New Legal Sports Betting Wins Canada Access to Billion-Dollar Industry

In just eleven days, single-event betting on sports will become legal in Canada. It is to represent the beginning of a new era in Canadian gambling laws, and the closure of a decades-old requirement that all sports wagers be placed on multiple results (i.e. parlays).

The future of gambling ushers in on Friday, August 27, 2021, more than 40 days after the federal government passed Bill C-218; the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act.

Canadians Can Bet on Sports Games Aug 27, 2021

The announcement came down the wire last week from Canada’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General, David Lametti. He made quite the show of it, too. Where better to announce such a momentous occasion than the Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario? And by the sound of it, he may be among the first to do so come next Friday.

“Provinces and territories will be able to offer single event sport betting products, like wagering on the Grey Cup, game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals, or the Super Bowl,” Lametti declared with seemingly ardent anticipation.

With a date set, the role of the Canadian government in legalizing single-event sports wagers has come to an end. It’s now up to the provinces and territories, noted in Lametti’s speech, to authorize and regulate such activities. Most have already set that legislative ship in motion in anticipation of this day.

New Legal Sports Betting Wins Canada Access to Billion-Dollar Industry

No doubt casinos and mobile sports betting operators spent a long weekend celebrating Thursday’s official proclamation. They’ve been eagerly awaiting this transition for a very long time.

Over the next five years, Canada’s gambling industry is expecting to handle near $28 billion in betting action. That’s good news for the provinces and territories that will be hosting these operations, too. They will, for the first time, generate revenue from single-sport betting in Canada. Up until now, those billions have been flowing into offshore online sportsbooks, failing to provide any benefit to local communities back home.

“These changes to the Criminal Code will allow provinces and territories to use revenues to fund programming, such as health care or education, as they do with other lottery revenues,” said Lametti.

This argument was perhaps the most convincing catalyst for change. Politicians who were formally opposed to any expansion of gambling found it hard to dispute the loss of so much revenue to international operators, holding no responsibility to the overseas markets they access.

Aug 27 it’s Legal, with Actual Launch Dates to Come

The real question is, when will Canadians actually be able to place those wagers? August 27 is the date it will become legal. That doesn’t necessarily mean provincial regulators will be ready that day. But a few surely will.

It’s safe to assume British Columbia and Ontario will be first to market. Gaming regulators with the BC Lottery Corp (BCLC) and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG) both said Thursday they have products ready to launch. Ontario’s government has confirmed that its policies are designed to create a competitive marketplace for private sportsbook operators.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , ,

Aug 06

What it Takes to Start Your Own Online Casino Business

What it Takes to Start Your Own Online Casino Business

If you’ve spent any time gambling in an online casino, you may have noticed a few things. For one, the games are extremely entertaining. There are hundreds to choose from, with rules and themes to appeal to anyone and everyone. With so many online casinos vying for your membership, there’s clearly some healthy competition in the industry. Perhaps most important of all, you’ve recognized that the house has a distinct advantage in every game.

If casino games are designed to win more money for the house than they pay out to players, wouldn’t it make sense to play on the side of the house? And what better way to do that than to own the house? With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at how to start and online casino. It’s not easy, and it’s certainly not cheap, but if you’ve got the means and the drive, it may very well be worth your time and effort.

What it Takes to Start Your Own Online Casino

While the concept above – the casino always wins, so I’ll just open my own casino – is a common theory, it’s not necessarily a realistic one, which is why most people don’t do it. The truth is, there’s a lot that goes into opening an online gambling site; much more than most people realize. It’s a lengthy, step-by-step process, and an expensive one at that. The very first thing you’ll need to do is…

Register and Host Your Online Casino Domain

The first step is to choose a domain name. It should be something quick and catchy, and directly to the point. The shorter the name, the more likely people are to remember it. Betfair, LeoVegas, PokerStars – they all meet this easy-marketing requirement.

Once you choose your domain name, you need to register it with a domain registering service. Then you have to pay a server to host it.

Even if you don’t intend to launch your casino for a year or two, registering the domain should come first. Search engines take into account the longevity of a domain when indexing. Simply put, a website created two years ago ranks better than one launched two weeks ago.

Apply for an Online Gambling License

This is going to be the most expensive step, by far. Your operation must be licensed to garner any respect from the iGaming community. Where you obtain your license from will directly impact the cost and reputability of the operation.

Some jurisdictions, like Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, pretty much anywhere in Central America, offer very little in the way of regulation. You pay a smaller fee, but sacrifice the respect of strict player protections. Obtaining a license from the Malta Gaming Authority carries much more respect, as you’ll have to comply with their high standards. But, you’ll also pay a lot more for that license.

Also consider which countries you want to accept players from. Black markets, including much of the US, require lax regulation, but could get you into trouble down the line. To accept players from the UK, the world’s most productive iGaming market, you’ll need a UK license, which comes with the strictest standards, and highest price tag. A Maltese license will grant you access to most legal markets, including Canada.

Every license comes with fees. Expect them to be in the five-figure range. Then there’s financial reporting and taxes to be considered. Think very carefully about which way you want to go here, and do your research.

Employ One or More Casino Software Suppliers

Every online casino needs an assortment of games to offer their players. There are dozens of highly respected content studios to choose from. You may wish to go with a single platform with a large portfolio of games. Or, you could employ a collection of software brands to offer more diversity. Just keep in mind, you’ll pay a separate fee for each casino suite you integrate. Then there’s always the option of going beyond csaino games and into the field of poker, bingo, sports betting, etc.

Another thing to consider is just how involved you want the software supplier to be. There are generally three options.

  1. Casino Games Only: Employ the casino suite only, granting you a license to supply its games.
  2. Games + System Platform: This option comes with the casino suite license, plus a back-end platform that administers and manages player account services.
  3. The Whole casino Package: If you take the full package, you’ll get the casino suite license, the player account system, plus integration of security features, software certification, and a dedicated customer support / tech support team.

The more you want, the more you’ll pay for it, but the less you’ll be responsible for managing in the long run. Choose a full package from a major content supplier like eCOGRA-certified Microgaming, and you can rest assured everything that needs to get done, will get done.

Payment Processing – Choose Your Banking Methods

As any avid online casino gamer knows, the security and availability of payment methods is paramount to attracting new player sign-ups. Today, iGamers expect a wide selection of banking options for deposits and withdrawals.

Some players are very picky, and will only use eChecks, or Paypal, or Instant Banking methods like Interac or Citadel. Others are esteemed supporters of the cryptocurrency movement. If you want to cater to these types, you have to supply a long list of trusted payments to hit all niche players. And of course, credit and debit cards (Visa, Mastercard, etc.) are a must.

Once again, consider your options, do your research, and know your intended customers.

Catering to the Mobile Generation

Ten years ago, the mobile casino movement was hardly a quiver. Today, it’s rushing ahead like a locomotive. You don’t have to build a mobile app for your casino, but you could miss out on an entire generation of would-be customers if you don’t.

Now You Must Build It…

With all these steps out of the way, it’s time to put all the pieces together. You may want to hire a web design team for the website, as well as a mobile app developer. That’s more money going into your project. And once you get the casino up and running, you’ll need to factor in software and licensing renewal fees, plus additional costs like marketing and employee salaries.

As I said, this will be an expensive venture. There are cheaper routes, but as the old adage goes, “You get what you pay for”. Like any successful business, the more you’re willing to invest into a quality product, the more you’re likely to get out of it.

If learning how to start your own online casino business was enough to make your head spin, maybe it’s not the right choice for you. Maybe playing those online slots and table games, despite their slight disadvantage to the player, weren’t so bad after all?

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jul 23

Anticipating the launch date for legal sports betting in Canada.

FAQ & Expected Launch Date for Legal Sports Betting in Canada

Like most major countries of the world, sports is a very big deal here in Canada. We love our ice hockey, just as Brits love soccer, Australians love Aussie rules, and Americans love baseball (and basketball, and football, and boxing – I could go on.) It doesn’t have to be hockey, though. Like Americans, we Canadians are drawn all sorts of major sporting leagues, from CFL and NFL football, to NBA basketball. (Go Raptors!)

Now, like so many other major countries, Canadians will soon have a legal and locally regulated means of betting on sports. Not just low-odds parlay bets, either, but real, bettor-friendly, single-event wagers. The kinds of bets that attract genuine sports fans. We’re talking about everything from game winners and point totals, to futures and live in-play betting.

Speaking of futures, now that the government has legalized single-game betting, what’s the future look like for Canadian sports fans?

Canada Sports Betting FAQ

This FAQ will answer some of the most common questions, including how soon we can expect live and online sportsbooks to launch in Canada. But first…

Is Single-Game Sports Betting Really Legal in Canada?

Yes! On June 22, 2021, The Senate passed Bill C-218, otherwise known as the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act. Exactly one week later, on June 29, 2021, the measure received Royal Assent, officially enacting it into law.

The Summary of the legislation reads:

This enactment amends paragraph 207(4)‍(b) of the Criminal Code to make it lawful for the government of a province, or a person or entity licensed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council of that province, to conduct and manage a lottery scheme in the province that involves betting on a race — other than a horse-race — or fight, or on a single sport event or athletic contest.”

Wait – was sports betting illegal before?

Not exactly. It was illegal for any provincial regulator to provide anything more than multi-pick, parlay betting. Provinces have done this for years, promoting it as a sports lottery. And it was illegal for any Canadian-based company to offer any form of gambling without provincial authorization. However, there’s nothing illegal about placing bets with international sports betting websites. So long as they have no physical presence in Canada, they are not bound by Canadian law.

The only real difference before and after the passage of Bill C-218 is that Canadians will now be able to place single bets with locally licensed and regulated sportsbooks (not just the international variety), and our own government will profit from it.

Will All Provinces and Territories Adopt Single-Game Sports Betting?

Most likely, yes, with the sole exception (maybe) of the territory of Nunavut. Nunavut is the only region that may choose to refrain, simply because commercial gaming has never been authorized there.

At present, Canada’s 10 provinces, plus the Northwest Territories and Yukon, offer the current parlay-style sports lottery. Most of of them also provide casino games and lotteries, either online, on land, or both. It would certainly make sense that these jurisdictions would want to work quickly to convert to single-game sports betting in the digital and retail space.

Will There Be Online Sportsbooks in Canada?

Absolutely! As previously stated, most jurisdictions already promote a locally operated online gaming portal. There’s no doubt that the new rules will be applied to both retail and online sports betting operations. In fact, some provinces were so eager for legalization, they were prepared for launch the moment the law went into effect.

British Columbia Lottery Corp (BCLC) has already made clear its intentions to launch an online sportsbook the moment they are legally capable and prepared to do so. It says it right on their iGaming portal, PlayNow.

Is There a Launch Date for Sports Betting in Canada?

This is the question everyone wants answered – when will single-game betting arrive in Canada? Unfortunately, no one is talking about actual dates yet. In fact, regulators aren’t talking much at all, except to say that sportsbooks are coming. That leaves us with little more than the obvious speculation that a launch could and should occur sometime this Fall.

Why in the Fall, you ask? Well, for one, regulatory guidelines and licensing stipulations must still be written, and there isn’t a lot of summer left to work with. Second, provincial regulators are hoping to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible, because as the old saying goes – “time is money”. And third, the 2021-22 NHL season gets underway October 12. This should light a big enough fire beneath local legislators to get the job done, post haste.

What Commercial Sportsbooks are Coming to Canada?

There’s little doubt that all of Canada’s provincial iGaming portals will launch a sportsbook. What makes this new legislation so interesting, however, is that commercial operators are being given permission to compete – not just in the retail market, like casinos, but in the virtual market. Never before has Canada’s online gambling industry been allowed to host competition within jurisdictions.

It’s too early to devise a definitive list of what companies are going to compete in this upcoming market, assuming provinces choose to let them. Licensing guidelines have yet to be finalized, and until they are, license applications cannot be submitted for appraisal. Even then, there are no guarantees – except maybe one. Canada will cater to its home-town-hero sports betting brand, theScore Bet.

Of all the commercial operators looking to expand from the US market into Canada, theScore is the only one with roots deeply embedded in the Great White North. Another highly-likely competitor is PointsBet. That company recently launched an all new Canadian Operations team, appointing CEO Scott Vanderwel and CCO Nik Sulsky. If nothing else, PointsBet’s determination to penetrate the market is indubitably clear.

Here’s a list of operators you can expect to see opening Canadian sportsbooks (in order of most-probable), and why we think they’ll be approved to do so.

theScore Bet – Based out of Toronto, theScore runs one of the nation’s most popular sports media brands. This company might as well already have the license in hand.

PointsBet – These guys have set up an entire Canadian division for their company, complete with executive figureheads. They’ll stop at nothing to get a foot in the door.

DraftKings – This brand already operates online and mobile DFS betting in Canada, and is a respected member of the Canadian Gaming Association.

FanDuel – This is another brand that already operates online and mobile DFS betting in Canada.

Caesars – A global brand, this one owns and operates Caesars Windsor in Ontario, one of the largest integrated resort casinos in the country. It’s also an active member of the Canadian Gaming Association.

Hard Rock – An American based company, they own and operate the famous Hard Rock Vancouver in BC, and will soon open another Hard Rock Casino in the Canadian capital of Ottawa. They’re also is a member of the Canadian Gaming Association

BetMGM – Because Wayne Gretzy said so

What Sports Will Be Available for Betting?

Sports availability is sure to mimic the major events already available in certain US states. As we’ve seen there, variety will surely differ from one operator to the next. You can expect to find all major sportinging events and tournaments, including the following:

  • Baseball (MLB)
  • Basketball (NBA)
  • Football (CFL, NFL)
  • Golf (PGA Tour)
  • Hockey (NHL)
  • Olympic Games
  • Soccer (European, MLS)
  • Tennis (Grand Slam)

What is the Legal Age to Bet on Sports in Canada?

The legal age to gamble in Canada varies from one province and territory to the next. The following alphabetical chart shows the appropriate age for sports betting across the country.

Provinces and Territories of CanadaLegal Betting Age
Alberta18
British Columbia19
Manitoba18
New Brunswick19
Newfoundland & Labrador19
Northwest Terrorizes19
Nova Scotia19
Nunavut19
Ontario19
Prince Edward Island19
Quebec18
Saskatchewan19
Yukon19

What Payment Methods will be Available?

Like the sports categories themselves, availability of banking options will be determined by each operator. No doubt, debit cards will top every list, just as they do now on Canada’s provincially run iGaming portals. Canadian exclusive payment methods like Interac eTransfer are sure to get some attention, along with major web wallets like Paypal. If the US market is any indication, Canada’s sportsbooks may also look to employ the versatility of a Play+ prepaid gaming card.

All in all, I believe the payment options list for most Canadian sports betting sites will look something like this:

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Play+ Prepaid Card
  • Interac Online
  • eCheck EFT
  • Online Bill Payment
  • Paypal
  • Web Cash
  • PayNearMe

Can I Still Bet at International Online Sportsbooks?

Yes. From a legislative perspective, there is still no reason Canadians can’t do their online betting with offshore operators. It’s never been illegal before, and recently enacted amendments to the law don’t change that. All they’ve done is make it legal for provincial regulators to offer the same single-game sports betting options we’re already able to access via international websites. If you’ve established a report with one of those operators, building your way up the VIP ladder as a loyal member, there’s no reason to stop now.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

May 18

Where to Begin: The most played casino gambling games in Canada

If you’re new to casino gambling, you may be wondering where to begin. Don’t feel bad – every gambler has a “first time” experience. We all had to start somewhere. Most people are far too intimidated to sit at a live dealer table right off the bat, leading us to the slots or video poker machines, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Building up a little confidence first can be a good thing.

For he most part, I believe casino gambling is an experience best enjoyed for entertainment value. To get the most entertainment out of it, you need to try a little bit of everything. Not all at once, mind you, but to get a good grasp of what’s out there, and what you enjoy most, you’ll need to spread your wings.

For beginners, I generally recommend starting out with the most popular types of games. That way, you’re most likely to find something genuinely exciting, without limiting yourself too much.

The Most Played Casino Gambling Games in Canada

You can’t go wrong playing the most popular casino games in the country. They may not all be your cup of tea, but there’s surely something fun for every Canadian on this list. After all, they are the most played games for a reason. So, without further ado, here they are…

#1 Slot Machines

Most Played Casino Gambling Games #1 Slots

Don’t look so surprised! Yes, these games draw the intimidated newbies like moths to a flame, but it’s not just their solitary nature that makes them so approachable. Slot machines are just plain fun. Manufacturers endow with them with incredibly attractive themes – everything from tropical destinations and unimaginable wealth, to hit TV shows and Hollywood films.

If there’s anything out there you genuinely love, you can bet there’s a slot machine themed around it. With crystalline graphics, enthralling animations, and exciting features, it really is hard to deny the entertainment value in a good old fashioned (or digitally modernized) slot machine.

#2 Poker

Most Played Casino Gambling Games #2 Poker

It’s true – Texas Hold’em (and other variants) draws a vast crowd of Canadian players to the felt; or the virtual felt, as the case may often be. There’s something about competing against other players like yourself that makes poker so intriguing.

Sure, the games are fun on their own, but when you know you have this much control over your destiny – when you know that your level of skill, the decisions you make, and your ability to convince someone that you have the best hand (whether you really do or not) is far more impact on your odds of winning than pure luck – it’s easy to see the appeal for live and online poker in Canada.

#3 Roulette

Most Played Casino Gambling Games #3 Roulette

None can deny the exponential thrill that takes hold when that wheel starts spinning. Your bets are on the table, and their fate is entirely up to the speed, weight, and trajectory of that little ball, bouncing and bobbling around the wheel’s many numbered columns. The adrenaline pumps ever faster as it finally makes its descent into that fateful pocket. Then, with wide-eyed wonder or the inevitable pangs of disappointment, we place more bets only to see the process repeated.

The thrill of anticipation is by far the main attraction of roulette. However, there are some things you should know before you choose this game. First and foremost, pay attention to the number of zeroes on the table and wheel. If there is a zero (0) and double zero (00), it’s the American version. It has the worst house edge of them all, 5.26%. If there’s just a single zero (0), it’s the European version, featuring a house edge of 2.7%. Better still, if it has a single zero (0) and features the La Partage rule, it is French Roulette, which features the lowest possible 1.35% house edge on all even-money bets, and 2.7% on all others.

#4 Blackjack

Most Played Casino Gambling Games #4 Blackjack

Just as roulette is loved for its simplicity, lacking any real strategy (aside from gamer selection) to increase your odds, blackjack is loved for the opposite reasons. In blackjack, players do have some control over their fate. A player’s decisions can make or break their experience. That doesn’t mean the smartest players will gain an edge over the house. The rules make that virtually impossible (without some fancy card counting techniques). But a smart player can easily achieve a house edge of around 0.25%.

It’s this knowledge that makes blackjack such a popular casino game in Canada. Not necessarily the strategic knowledge itself, but the knowledge that such strategy exists. Even knowing it’s available, you’d be surprised how many players don’t employ even basic strategy. The majority play on gut instinct. While professional may scoff at such behavior, there’s something to be said for the increased entertainment value of playing off the cuff, so to speak.

#5 Baccarat

Most Played Casino Gambling Games #5 Baccarat

I’m convinced that the popularity of baccarat (pronounced bah-kuh-rah, not back-a-rat) has everything to do with its depiction in Hollywood films. There’s nothing more dramatically suspenseful than watching James Bond play baccarat (aka Chemin de Fer) in so many of Ian Fleming’s iconic 007 films. – Casino Royale (1953), Dr. No (1962), Thunderball (1965), On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), For Your Eyes Only (1981), and Golden Eye (1995).

The game itself is somewhat complicated to learn, and yet extremely simple to play. The way the cards are dealt, and the hands are built, is based on a complex system of rules. But you – the player – do not need to understand the rules to partake. All you need to know is how to place a bet. Drop your chips on the Banker, or the Player, or if you’re feeling particularly lucky, the Tie bet. That’s all you have to do. The dealer will take care of the rest.

As for strategy, the best thing you can do is bet on the Banker – always. There’s a 5% commission on all winning Banker bets, but the rules of the game still give the Bank hand a slight advantage, reducing the house edge to 1.6%. The Player hand carries a 1.24% edge. Don’t bother with those Tie bets either. They come in at a dastardly 9.5%.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Apr 28

Burlington Poker Lotto Winner Cashes in for $100k

Burlington Poker Lotto Winner Cashes in Cards for $100,000

Ontario’s lottery program has expanded a lot over the last few decades. Since the debut of ‘Wintario’ in 1975, the ON Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG) has brought a series of new number draws to the province. Lotto Max, Lotto 6/49 and the Daily Grand are by far the most famous among them, but there are many more you can play – ten of them in all. One that doesn’t get nearly as much coverage is the Ontario Poker Lotto. Even the game’s latest winner, David Haynes, wasn’t a regular player before he cashed in his lucky cards for a cool hundred grand last month.

$100k Payday for Burlington Poker Lotto Winner

Haynes, an auto industry worker from Burlington, is a regular lottery player. In his daily travels, he makes sure to purchase tickets for all the big drawings. The Poker Lotto isn’t usually on that list, but when he saw the jackpot growing quite a bit higher, he decided it was time to play. That decision turned out to be one of the best choices of his life.

On March 4, 2021, 56 year old Haynes matched all five cards on his Poker Lott ticket perfectly. He didn’t know it yet, but when went back to the store the next day to check his tickets, his surprise was catching.

“I was shocked when I used the Ticket Checker to check my ticket,” said the Burlington lotto winner. “The store clerk was just as shocked as I was!”

In his requisite interview with the OLG Claims Centre, Haynes said his regular ticket purchases include the Pick 3, Pick 4, Daily Keno, Lotto Max and Lotto 6/49. He couldn’t be happier that on that fateful day, while buying his usual stack of tickets at the Petro Canada on the Guelph Line in Burlington, he chose to invest a few extra dollars on a Poker Lotto ticket.

What’s Next for Latest $100k Winner?

Immediately after finding out he’d won a 6-figure prize, David went straight to his mother’s house to share the good news. She was just as shocked and excited as he was. But Haynes said it still hadn’t sunk in that he had won all that money, even when he received the payout from the claims centre.

Haynes is turning that disbelief – as well as the current lockdown – to his advantage.

“I plan to sit and look at the cheque to let it sink in before taking it to the bank,” he said. Then, he’ll take some extra time to decide the best way to spend that money, but not until the country begins to reopen.

“I will treat myself more once lockdown is over,” said the Burlington Poker Lotto winner. “Until then, I’ll be the one around town with a permanent smile.”

How to Play & Win Poker Lotto

Ontario Poker Lotto Pays $100k Jackpot

The Poker Lotto is a unique $2 lottery draw that takes place every day. Instead of the usual numbers, tickets depict five playing cards, randomly selected from a 52-card deck. Each ticket has two chances to win a prize.

The first happens instantly, the moment the ticket is purchased. The ticket’s five cards are assessed, and if they make a winning poker hand, the player can instantly win up to $5,000. For an additional $1, players can activate the “All In” feature, increasing the prizes for the top five poker hands.

The second chance to win comes with the nightly drawing, held at 10:30 p.m. you’ll need to match at least two cards to win a prize. Matching all five cards unleashes the progressive jackpot. The jackpot starts at $10,000 and keeps growing until its won.

Learn more about the Ontario Poker Lotto.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , ,

Apr 23

Canadians go wild for new wildlife slot machines at online casinos.

Of all the different genres of casino games, there’s nothing that quite compares to slot machines. They are the most popular of all games in the world, occupying vastly more floor-space than all other gambling amusements combined, despite the fact that a slot cabinet takes up far less space than any single blackjack, baccarat, craps or roulette table ever could. More importantly, slots are so unique that they are capable of being developed with limitless styles, themes and payout schedules. They are the only casino games available that can pay out millions of dollars for a single play, for a cost of nothing more than pocket change.

New Wildlife Slot Machines at Canada Online Casinos

Slot machines with a wilderness motif have long captured the hearts of Canadian gamblers. Not only do we love the outdoors, we have access to an abundant variety of nature’s finest; for many of us, right outside our doorstep. IGaming studios like IGT, the world’s largest creator of physical and digital slot machines, are catering to that distinct love with more new wildlife themed slots than ever.

Kodiak’s Roar Slot by WMS / IGT

Kodiak's Roar Slot

Kodiak’s Roar is a new 5×4 reel, 1024 ways video slot from the creative minds of WMS, subsidiary of IGT. It’s loaded with features, has a max payout potential of x2,500, and offers a medium-high volatility that any true slots fan can appreciate. Its 96.2% RTP is on point with today’s average for online slots.

Aesthetically speaking, Kodiak’s Roar has a lot to offer wildlife fans. It’s main symbol is, of course, the roaring Kodiak bear. A calmer, watchful Kodiak is the wild. Other nature-themed symbols include a moose, owl, red fox, and the bear’s favorite afternoon snack, salmon.

Safari Sam 2 by Betsoft

Safari Sam 2 Slot

If you prefer something a little more off the beaten path – or at least, farther from home – Betsoft’s new Safari Sam 2 might do the trick. Launched in April 2021, it’s a suped-up sequel to the original 2012 release. This 5×3-reel video slot takes players on an adventure into the wild plains of Africa. It comes with a medium volatility, max payout of x505, and an average RTP of 96.3%. All this can be yours for a bet range of $0.20 to $100 per spin.

The game’s 3D animated graphics are a big selling point, following the adventures of Safari Sam and his trusty female sidekick. It comes with two main features – Call of the Wild and Free Spins. Call of the Wild is random, filling up to 4 reels with all wilds. 3, 4 or 5 Acacia Tree Scatters award 7, 12 or 20 free games, during which Call of the Wild triggers on every spin.

Shimmering Woods Slot by Play’n Go

Shimmering Woods Slot

Step into the Shimmering Woods, where magical crystals grow, delighting the enchanted creatures of the forest. Released in March 2021 by Play’n Go, this traditional 5×3 reel slot comes with 243 ways to win, a medium-high variance, and a profit-potential of x25,000 the bet size. Unfortunately, the RTP comes in on the low side at just 94.2%.

The base game is all about the beauty of the forest and the radiant crystals that grow from its foliage. During free spins, the reels have the potential to split from 5×3 to 5×6, boosting the paylines to as high as 7,776 ways to win, multiplied by a Cascading Wins feature.

Buffalo Hold and Win by Booming Games

Buffalo Hold and Win Slot

Netxt up on our wily wildlife-themed slots list is Buffalo Hold and Win, an adventurous 5×3 reel, 25 payline video slot with the ability to pay up to x1,000 coins in a single play. This is a high volatility slot, so the wins don’t come often, but when they do, they tend to pay in large amounts. However, it does have a slightly below average RTP of 95.91%.

The buffalo theme is one the online slots industry has put through the ringer more times than just about any other theme. It’s a simple matter of supply and demand – players demand it, so developers keep on supplying it. This one’s packed with free spins, a hold and win bonus game, and a quick hit feature.

Jaguar Super Ways by Bad Dingo

Jaguar Super Ways Slot

Bad Dingo is a small, independent studio that teamed up with Yggdrasil to build interactive slot with the latter’s patented SuperWays slots feature. Jaguar Super Ways draws players deep into the jungle, where wild cats and exotic creatures rule the land. It’s default 5×3 reels can expand up to 9×9, increasing to as many as 387,420,489 ways to win. A relatively generous 96.25% RTP combines with a medium volatility to award a massive max win of x22,457 on a single spin, costing anywhere from $0.40 to $10 per play.

Jaguar Super Ways runs on the Cacading Wins mechanic, exploding all winning symbols to fill the reels with new ones, creating up to 15 simultaneous wins on a single spin. While that’s enjoyable to watch when luck befalls, this game really falls back on its Super Ways feature – by far the most prominent aspect of the game. Jaguar paws randomly appear across the reels to trigger the feature, highlighted by a 3×3 Mega Paw symbol and the ability to open up all 9×9 reels and max pay ways.

Jaguars Super Ways was launched exclusively at Unibet Casino on April 1, 2021, and makes its way to all Yggdrasil powered online casinos on May 21.

Mega Moolah (Safari) by Microgaming

Mega Moolah Jackpot Poised to Pay at least $12.7 Million

This last one’s not new. In fact, it’s one of the oldest surviving slots on the iGaming market today, released by Microgaming circa 2006. It’s the industry’s most celebrated, highest-paying, millionaire-making progressive. The Mega Moolah is the harbinger of safari-style wildlife slot machines at online casinos, responsible for paying more than $1 billion in progressive prizes to date.

You can learn more about Microgaming’s famous Mega Moolah and other progressive online slots here.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mar 01

MP Waugh’s sports betting bill passes second reading with 303-15.

Waugh’s Sports Betting Bill Passes Reading 2 with 303-15 Vote

Canada is one step closer to legalizing single-event sports betting. Last week, a measure that had spent years undervalued in the political arena received near-unanimous consent in the House of Commons. I’m referring, of course, to MP Kevin Waugh’s (Conservative, Saskatoon – Grasswood) Bill C-218, introduced last year in an ongoing effort to decriminalize wagering on single sporting events. With C-218 garnering nods from 303 of the 318 members of the House of Commons, there’s only one step remaining before the bill becomes law, and virtually no opposition to stand in its way.

Wait… What Happened to Gov. Bill C-13?

Since November, everyone with an interest in the widespread legalization of sports betting in Canada has been awaiting the results of Government Bill C-13. That bill, introduced late last year, was a near copy of MP Waugh’s Private Member Bill C-218, which had been on the docket since February 2020. Assuming the Saskatoon MP’s legislation had been all-but forgotten, federal figureheads introduced a higher level bill to get the job done.

The first reading of Bill C-13 passed in November 25, 2020, and support was overwhelming. It marked the first time Canadians felt genuine hope that sports gambling would finally receive the legal expansion they believed it deserved. All eyes were on Parliament Hill, awaiting the new bill’s second reading slated for February 25, 2021. But before that day came, something unexpected occurred.

MP Waugh—who had decided to hold onto his measure beyond the introduction of Bill C-13, partly because its verbiage was slightly different, and also as a back-up plan, “just in case things did not proceed” as hoped—was afforded an opportunity to debate C-218 among his political colleagues. That spontaneous deliberation led to a second reading and vote on Wednesday, February 17.

Round 2: MP Waugh’s Sports Betting Bill Wins 303-15 Vote

The House of Commons displayed rare bipartisan approval for the sports wagering law. The measure was approved by an overwhelmingly popular vote of 303 to 15. And with that, Bill C-13 was no more.

The question many are pondering now is this: After all this time, what was it about Waugh’s debate that convinced so many of his colleagues to favor passage of the single-event sports betting law?

Most likely, it was the MP’s citing of statistics, which attribute lack of legalization to billions of dollars funneling offshore; money that could be so much better utilized to fund local communities and infrastructure.

“We believe, through the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), that it’s a $14 billion dollar industry that Canadian provinces and Canadians are not getting any benefit from,” MP Waugh told news media. That number derives from CGA’s estimates that Canadians spend $4 billion a year at unregulated offshore betting sites, and $10 billion more with illegal domestic bookmakers.

“We don’t get any taxes through organized crime,” Waugh said. “We don’t get any taxes through organizations like Bodog and Bet365 – the offshore sites.” If Bill C-218 makes it into the law books, Waugh said it will grant provinces, “the much-needed money to give back to sports, culture, recreation and hopefully addictions programming, which I am certainly championing along with this bill.”

How Long Before Single-Event Sports Betting Becomes Legal in Canada?

According to MP Waugh himself, single-event sports wagers could be legal as early as Spring. He believes the review, third reading, and final vote in the Senate could occur by the end of May. But it will be a bit longer before Canadians see live and online sportsbooks welcome straight bets on their favorite sports teams.

Passage of Waugh’s sports betting bill would provide provinces with the legal route to script regulations for single-event betting, which they’ll have to do before they can start the process of accepting, reviewing and approving licenses for vendors and operators of sports betting services. Some company’s, like Canada’s locally owned theScore, along with DraftKings, FanDuel and others, are already preparing for the legal shift, which could realistically see this type of sports betting on the market before the year is out.

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