Sep 20

How to pick the best casino games to play for your personality.

How to Pick the Best Casino Games to Play by Personality

Well over 100 million people visit casinos every year in North America (with the exception of 2020, of course). It’s an extremely popular past time for adult vacationers; especially those who don’t have young children in tow. From the Hard Rock Vancouver, to MGM Las Vegas, Borgata Atlantic City to Casino de Montreal – billions of dollars are spent gambling in the US and Canada every year. And that’s just at land-based casinos.

For every casino goer, there’s always a ‘first time’. When planning that very first trip, some players want to dive right in, playing a little bit of everything. Others might be a little more cautious, picking and choosing the games they feel would best suit their personality. If you’re one of those – if you’re wondering, “Which casino games are right for me?” – please continue reading.

How to Pick the Best Casino Games For You

As you probably know, there are many different types of games in the casino. Slot machines dominate the gaming floor, and with good reason. They are by far the most popular games of all. But they might not be your cup of tea. Then there’s blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, video poker, and a slew of other games to consider.

In the following text, we’ll describe these games very briefly; just enough that you can get an idea of whether each one suits your style. Based on this information, you should be able to decide which games are worth trying, and which ones are not.

Slot Machines – They’re a “No-Brainer”

slot machines

Anywhere from 70-90% of the casino floor will be made up of slot machines. Players just seem to love them! The reason is simple. They require absolutely no knowledge or forethought to play. Insert money. Push button. Cross fingers. It really is that simple. Win or lose, it’s all up to luck.

If you’re looking for a ‘no-brainer’ game that you can enjoy playing, without having to think about what you’re doing, slots are for you. Don’t feel bad though – that’s not an insult in anyway. Remember, the vast majority of casino goers prefer slot machines. They are designed for sheer entertainment, and in that regard, they do deliver.

Baccarat – Win, Lose or Draw

baccarat

Pronounced “bah-kuh-rah”, this is the easiest table game you’ll ever play. As easy as a slot machine, except that you do have to make one decision – which hand to bet on. You won’t play the game. You don’t receive any cards. The dealer does all the work, based on a set of house rules. You only have to pick which hand you think will win.

That being said…

The game involves the dealing of two hands – the Player hand (but it’s not really yours), and the Banker hand. You choose to bet on the Player, the Banker, or a Tie between the two. The Tie is a sucker bet, so just don’t. The Banker has a higher chance of winning than the Player, so you should always bet on it.

So, strategically speaking, if you play baccarat, you should always bet on the banker, making this game just as simple as any slot machine. Drop your banker bet, cross your fingers. If you want to appear more sophisticated, without actually putting any thought into your game, choose baccarat.

Roulette – Easy as 1, 2, 3…34, 35, 36

roulette

Roulette is another game that takes virtually no skill to win (or lose). The only thing that makes this game more complex than slot machines or baccarat is that there are so many different ways to bet. You can drop your chips on a single number, two numbers, three, four, or six numbers, or you can make bigger group bets involving one-third or one-half of the numbers; except for that pesky 0 (and 00 in American Roulette), which is where the house gains its edge.

If you are looking for a more exciting game, with a communal (multi-player) atmosphere, but again, no mental strain, roulette is a good option. Please don’t play American roulette though. That double-zero also nearly doubles the house edge from 2.7% to 5.26%.

Keno – If You Like Playing the Lottery…

keno

If you’re going to the casino for the first time, keno games are an absolute waste of time and money. You might as well stay home and buy a few scratch off lottery tickets. Your odds of winning will be about as good, and you’ll save a lot of cash in travel expenses.

The game consists of 80 numbers on a 10×8 grid, labeled 1 thru 80. Your job is to pick 1 or more numbers that you believe will be randomly chosen by the game. The house edge can vary from one game to the next, depending on the pay table. However, a survey of keno games in Vegas once returned a variable house edge of anywhere from 20% to 35%, depending on the amount of numbers selected.

Those are horrible odds – the worst of all casino games. However, if you really enjoy scratching lottery tickets, or watching lotto numbers get drawn on live TV, maybe you’ll have enough fun playing to get your entertainment’s worth. Just because I don’t recommend it doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it.

Craps – Not as Hard as it Looks

craps

The most intimidating of all land-based casino games is craps. It’s actually not a hard game to play. There’s just a whole lot of bets, with a whole lot of rules as to how and when they win or lose. Add in a crowd of very excitable people, and it can dissuade any newcomer from getting in on the action.

The truth is, it’s a very easy and fun game to play, once you figure out what’s going on. My advice would be to learn more about craps. Play online first, or download a craps trainer app. By the time you learn the betting system, you’ll either love it or hate it.

Blackjack – Play it Right, or Don’t Play It

blackjack

This game requires more mental capacity than any other. Not only should you know how to play with proper, basic strategy, you need to be able to do it in a timely manner. If you’re not playing with basic strategy, you’re only lowering your chances of wining the game. Basic strategy isn’t difficult, but it is situational. Every variation in the rules, the pay table, even the number of decks in use, can impact the correct decision for every opportunity to either stand, hit, split, or double down.

If you aren’t willing to learn blackjack strategy, don’t bother playing blackjack – at least, not in a live, multi-player setting. You’re just going to piss a bunch of other people off. Again, it’s not that hard to learn, but it does take constant mental fortitude on your part. We’ll talk more about card game strategy in a moment. First, there’s one more game you need to consider.

Video Poker – Take Your Time, but Play it Right

video poker

To me, video poker blends the best qualities of blackjack and slot machines. You get the low-edge benefits of playing with perfect strategy, combined with the solitude and relaxation of the slots. By making the correct decisions on every hand, you’re maximizing your chance to win. Yet, there’s no rush to make any decision.

You can look down at a strategy card between every play. Or, you can use a video poker strategy app, inputting your hand with each new deal and following its advice, play by play. No one cares. You’re not wasting anyone’s time. And some of these games carry a super low house edge – as low as, if not lower than blackjack.

Important Note about Casino Card Game Strategies

This last bit of advice applies to any and all card-based casino games that allow you to make a decision after seeing the initial hand. Whether it’s blackjack, video poker, pai gow poker, Caribbean stud poker, 3-card or 4-card poker, casino hold’em – whatever the game, if you can make any decision after placing your initial bet, listen up.

For each and every hand dealt, there is only one strategically correct decision to be made. That decision is the one that proffers the maximum probability of a positive outcome. It doesn’t mean you’re going to win, or that your odds of winning will be better than 50/50. Actual odds are circumstantial, determined on a case by case basis. But regardless of true odds, using basic strategy to achieve maximum probability is strongly recommended. Otherwise, you’re leaving your chances to fate, and fate is known to be less than kind, especially when it comes to casinos.

If you’re not physically or mentally prepared to put forth that kind of effort, these are not the best casino games to play. For someone else, maybe, but not for you.

Lastly, if you’ve read over each of these game descriptions and are still on the fence about what to play, there’s a simple way to find out for sure, without risking any money in the process. Simply visit an online casino, sign up a free-play account, and practice any game you wish. They are the same games, with the same odds (except slots – online slots pay out better; even the real money ones).

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

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: , ,

May 28

Where can I get paid to play games online?

Besides Casinos, Where Can I Get Paid to Play Games Online?

This is going to sound crazy, I know, but bear with me. There are actually companies out there that pay real money to play games on your mobile phone or tablet. Download games, play them, get paid – it’s that simple. I’m not talking about online casinos, either. You don’t buy anything. You don’t deposit any money. There’s no risk involved whatsoever.

If you’ve heard this before, and had some bad experiences, you’re not alone. For as many real paying game apps on the market today, there are 10x as many apps that don’t pay, or make it so hard to earn anything that it’s not worth it. I know, because I’ve used many of these apps myself. The good ones really are few and far between.

Where Can I Get Paid to Play Games Online?

Let’s start with the stuff you really want to know – which apps pay out. Here’s a quick list with brief descriptions for each.

Mistplay – Earn a Variety of Gift Cards

MistPlay Get Paid to Play Gaming Apps

Mistplay is my go-to app for earning free gift cards. I’ve been using this app for years, and never had a problem with it. They offer a very wide variety of games, catering to all types of players. They offer war strategy and city building games, tile matching games, cooking/ restaurant service games, card and board games, brainy word games, social casino slots – you name it, they have it.

Each game comes with a different point-earning level. The higher the level, the more points you can earn for playing it, and they rack up faster than you might think. You can cash in once you have as little as 400 points, but I suggest waiting until you have 3,000. That gets you a $10 gift card, where as it takes 1,800 to get $5. thus 3,000 gives you the best value.

As for types of gift cards, there’s a lot. If you want spend-anywhere cash, take the Visa gift card. Other options include Amazon, PayPal, Google Play, Uber Eats, Xbox, GameStop, Playstation, Apple, Starbucks, eBay, H&M, Nintendo, and Spotify.

The only problem with Mistplay – and it’s a big one – is that it’s only available for Android devices.

Rewarded Play – Earn Amazon Gift Cards

Rewarded Play Earn Gift Cards for Playing Games

Rewarded Play is another great gaming app that gives you free gift cards. This one awards points for the time you spend playing, and for achieving certain goals in those games. For example, a slot machine game might award points for reaching levels 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100.

You’ll need 45,000 points to exchange for a $5 Amazon gift card, but it doesn’t take long to get there, especially if you have multiple games downloaded. Plus, if you earn 5,000 points on consecutive days, you receive progressively larger bonus points (up to 5k) each day. I earned my first card after just two days, and have cashed in for well over $150 so far.

Only thing is, they only pay in Amazon gift cards; nothing else. If you like Amazon as much as I do, that shouldn’t be an issue. And, once again, you won’t find this app on the Apple Store – Google Play (Android) only.

SwagBucks – Earn Cash and Gift Cards

Swagbucks Make Money Playing Games and More

SwagBucks is an app that’s gotten far better over time. I downloaded it years ago, and while they did pay out, I wasn’t impressed. Back then, you had to take surveys to earn money. Anyone with experience taking online surveys knows that they can be tedious, boring, extremely time consuming, and you aren’t always able to complete them. The good news is that swagBucks has evolved into a variety rewards app. Surveys are still available, but you can also do things like play games, watch video ads or movie trailers, use their search engine, and/or earn cashback rewards on all your online purchases.

Everything users do converts to points, known as SBs. You can then exchange SBs for cash or gift cards. 100 SBs = $1, and you’ll need at least 500 SBs to convert to cash/gift card. Visit the Rewards Home and you can often find deals on gift card exchange, such as a 12% discount (2200 SB) on a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Lucktastic – Earn Real Cash or Gift Cards

Lucktastic App Win Money Playing Free Scratch Cards

Lucktastic has been around for a long time. You may have even seen their ads on television. It’s a scratch-off lottery ticket app that’s absolutely free to play. You scratch tickets to win prizes. Just like real lottery scratchies, you’ll lose more than you win, but at least these are free. Cash prizes range from $2 up to $1,500 per ticket.

All winnings are collected in your Lucktastic Wallet. Once you reach $5, you are eligible to exchange that for real cash in the form of a cheque in the mail. You can also choose a gift card, or tokens, which you can use to play more games and enter cash prize drawings.

You can get this app for Android or iOS devices. Unfortunately, it’s only available to players located in the United States.

21 Blitz – Free Blackjack Tournaments for Real Money

Free Blackjack Solitaire Game with Chance to Win Real Money

21 Blitz is a unique style of blackjack that combines 21 with solitaire. Card counting skills will really come in handy here! If you’re a blackjack player and want to fine-tune your counting skills, or just want to play for fun, Blitz 21 is a good option. As for making money, you’ll need some real skill.

When you first start out, you’ll get paid to play games they call ’21 Solitaire’. You get $2 free for playing 25 rounds. It’s not enough to cash out, but you can use it to compete in real money tournaments against other real players. The $1 tournament cost $0.60 to enter, and you play against one other person. But be warned – I only suggest doing this is you’re really good at it.

Due to an ultra high 20% rake, you’ll need to win way more than 50% of your matches to actually make money. If your cash balance runs out, you’ll have to make a deposit to keep playing for cash prizes. Think twice before you do, because you’re odds of winning real online blackjack are far better.

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: , , , ,

Jan 13

Inside Look: ALC online casino comes to New Brunswick.

Inside Look: ALC Online Casino Comes to New Brunswick

Take a step back in time to nearly a decade ago – February 2011. That was when the New Brunswick Lotteries and Gaming Corp (NBLGC) first showed documented interest in launching an online casino for its adult population. They had already begun talking with the Atlantic Lottery Corp, which was in the process of filing draft regulations to expand further into online gambling.

The ALC, which supplies regulated gaming services for all four Atlantic provinces – New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island – was unable to get those regulations passed. Despite consistent lobbying within the provinces, no progress was made over the next nine years. And then, with no prior notice, residents woke up one morning in August with access to a New Brunswick online casino, courtesy of ALC.

A Look Inside ALC Online Casino New Brunswick

The quiet, overnight launch of internet casino gaming on ALC.ca was a surprise to just about everyone. The start-up came with a small variety of games from digital gambling powerhouse, International Game Technology (IGT); 34 online slot machines, 7 table games, plus IGT’s famous Game King, a dynamic virtual machine that features 9 of the most popular video poker games. ALC promises many more games to come, but for now, you can see the complete list of what’s available below.

Full List of Games (current Jan 13, 2021)

ALC Slot Machines
  • Anchorman
  • Cats
  • Cleopatra
  • DaVinci Diamonds
  • Double Diamonds
  • Doubleplay Super Bet
  • Elephant King
  • Foxin’ Wins
  • Ghostbusters Level Up Plus
  • Golden Goddess
  • Endless Treasure
  • King Kong Fury
  • Little Green Men Nova Wilds
  • Lucky Tree
  • Mad Mad Monkey
  • Medusa II
  • Medusa Megaways
  • Merlin’s Millions
  • Pixies of the Forest
  • Raging Rhino
  • She’s a Rich Girl
  • Siberian Storm
  • Spartacus Gladiator of Rome
  • Sphinx Wild
  • Starmania
  • The Big Easy
  • The Demon Code
  • The Mask
  • Wheel of Fortune On Tour
  • White Orchid
  • Wild Play Super Bet
  • Zeus
  • Zeus III
ALC Table Games
  • Baccarat
  • Blackjack
  • Blackjack Multihand
  • Let it Ride
  • Fortune Pai Gow
  • Roulette
  • Three Card Poker
ALC Video Poker (Game King 9-in-1)
  • Bonus Poker
  • Bonus Poker Deluxe
  • Deuces Wild
  • Deuces Wild Bonus
  • Double Bonus Poker
  • Double Double Bonus Poker
  • Jacks or Better
  • Joker Poker
  • Triple Double Bonus Poker

Who Can Play at ALC Casino Online?

Anyone physically located within any of the Atlantic provinces of Canada is welcome to sign up an account and play the full variety of games in “demo” mode. However, only players in New Brunswick, age 19 and above, are able to deposit and bet real money.

Ways to Move Money In and Out

The ALC website accepts the follow methods of payment.

Deposits: Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Interac and Web Cash.

Withdrawals: Interac, Cheque

Note that ALC offers an optional weekly deposit limit as part of its Responsible Gaming protocol. Players can set, increase, or decrease their weekly deposit limit by logging into the website, then choosing My Account > Play Responsibly, and entering a new limit. It takes 24 hours for a limit increase to be approved, whereas decreases take effect immediately.

What About the Other AC Provinces?

Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are not currently able to gambling at the ALC online casinos. It is open only to eligible players located in New Brunswick. The ALC recently announced its intent to expand into Nova Scotia and PEI, likely to occur sometime in 2021. There are no known intentions of launching the ALC casino website in Newfoundland and Labrador at this time.

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

Feb 10

A Question for the Modern Ages: Is Gambling Legal in Canada?

Question for the Modern Ages – Is Gambling Legal in Canada?

A simple question such as this deserves an equally simple answer. In today’s modern age, there are many different types of gambling. It would be easy to convolute the problem with legal jargon and complicated interpretations of the law, but I promise you, I won’t do that.

As an avid enthusiast of online gambling, I’ve spent more than enough time researching the Canadian Criminal Code to understand its meaning. Fortunately for you, as a career journalist in the field, I’d like to think I can translate it in a manner that is as easy as possible to understand.

Q&A: Is Gambling Legal in Canada?

The short answer is, Yes!, gambling is legal here in Canada. However, that is a vague question. There are many different types of gambling. I have no idea whether you’re referring to casino gambling, poker games, bingo, sports betting, horse racing, lotteries, raffles, etc.

Most of these are legal in some capacity, with restrictions. In the following sections, we’ll discuss each type of gambling, and just how legal it is.

Note that all of these laws extend into the online gambling realm, at least to some extent. To be thorough, I’ll give you a brief summary of online gambling laws to start.

Legality of Online Gambling in Canada

Is Online Gambling Legal in Canada

Online gambling is legal in Canada. Internet gambling sites come in two varieties – Provincialand International. Either way, both are legal.

Provincial online casinos are only available in B.C., Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, and only accept player’s who reside within their respective borders. International online casinos are located offshore, regulated by their own jurisdictions.

So long as an offshore operator does not have a physical presence in Canada (offices or servers on Canadian soil), they are not illegal.

Casino Gambling Laws

Casino games are legal in Canada, so long as they are conducted in a licensed gaming facility, or with a provincial charity-gaming permit. There are more than 100 commercial casinos in the country, from Quebec’s Casino de Montreal, to British Columbia’s Hard Rock Vancouver. We also have tribal casinos, like the Bear Claw Casino in Carlyle, Saskatchewan.

Charities are able to host “casino night” events, where table games like roulette and blackjack can be legally held, so long as the right permits are obtained from their provincial government.

As for online casino gambling, there are hundreds of legal, reputably licensed operators in Europe that accept Canadian players.

Poker Gambling

Poker-based card games are also legal in Canada. A commercial casino, poker room or charity may host poker games, and collect a “rake” (profit) for doing so, as long as they have the correct license or permit. Home poker games are legal, as well, but no rake (profit) can be taken by the host / home owner.

Online poker is also legal, either through provincially or internationally regulated websites.

Bingo Halls / Charity Bingo

Bingo games are among the most popular forms of game-based fund raising in the country. Again, with proper permits, bingo games are perfectly legal. Some Canadian casinos, especially the tribal variety, are famous for hosting organized bingo games.

Online bingo – same as casino and poker – can be done at provincial or international gambling sites.

Sports Betting in Canada

Canadian sports betting laws in 2020 are a topic of great import. As the law stands now, only provincially-run, parlay-style betting is permitted. It is conducted much like a provincial lottery. In fact, some provinces actually call it the Sports Lottery; others call it Pro-Line. In parlay wagering, bettors must select a number of correct picks from various sporting events, and they must all be correct to win anything. The payout is high, but the odds are higher.

It is for this reason that so many Canadian sports bettors are turning to offshore, online sportsbook operators – remember, these are not illegal in Canada – to place single-event bets. There’s a strong push in the federal government to pass a single-event sports betting law, but until that happens – of ever it does – most sports wagering dollars are flowing offshore.

Horse Race Betting

Horse racing is the oldest form of organized, legal betting in Canada. There are tracks all over the map, from B.C. to Nova Scotia. You can place bets at these tracks, at offsite betting locations across the country, or via online racebooks.

Lotteries & Raffles

The second oldest form of legal gambling are the national and provincial lottery games. The first drawings were held in 1973 to help raise money to pay for the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. It was a huge success, raising $230 million from 1973-76. Lotteries have been helping to fund government budgets ever since.

Online lotteries are legal in Canada, too. Most of our provinces sell online lottery tickets to drawings, as well as the scratch off variety. Tickets for international lotteries can be purchased from offshore websites.

Raffles are most often held as charitable events; legal with appropriate permits.

Conclusion & Brief Word on Internet Gambling

By now, you should have more than enough information to answer the question; Is gambling legal in Canada? However, before I wrap this up, I have to issue a brief warning about gambling over the internet.

If you do not live in a province where online gambling is locally regulated – or if you choose to gamble at internationally regulated websites – please do so with caution. Not all offshore operators are reputable. Stick to websites that are licensed in major European iGaming jurisdictions, like Isle of Man, Malta or The UK. They are held to the strictest standards, and are considered the absolute safest, most secure operators in the world.

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

Dec 12

Is PlayOLG the safe secure online casino Ontario players should trust, or are there better options out there?

Is PlayOLG a Safe Secure Online Casino Ontario Players can Trust?

For more than two decades, Canadians have had access to a seemingly unlimited supply of online gambling websites. It’s not really unlimited, of course. There are nearly 5,000 known iGaming websites in existence. About 25% of them welcome Canadian players and CA$ deposits. How do you know if you’re choosing the right one, when there are 1,000+ sites beckoning?

As of 2015, a lot of Ontario’s internet gamblers have made the easy choice, signing up an account with PlayOLG.com, the official online gaming destination of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG). Being mandated, regulated, and operated by our own government certainly offers some assurances, but is it the best option? Let’s take a look at the most reasons to sign up for local iGaming.

PlayOLG is a Safe Secure Online Casino

By far the most advantageous feature of PlayOLG is the fact that it’s run by the same government that is responsible for enforcing the gambling laws of Ontario, and Canada as a whole. OLG is going to do everything in its power to ensure players are protected, just as they aim to protect the players of their walk-in casinos on land. The regulatory body invokes the highest standard security measures to keep player information safe, secure, and out of the hands of those who might use it for harmful purposes.

This is the exact same protocol undertaken by the world’s most distinguished, internationally regulated online casinos. The difference is, we don’t always know which offshore casino is distinguished, and which ones aren’t. We can do a little research to find out, or, we can take the quickest route to safety and join PlayOLG.

It’s a perfect short-term solution for those of us leading busy lives; a classification that covers 99.9% of Ontario’s population, aged 19-60. But is it the best decision in the long-term?

Are There Better Options for Ontarians?

This is a relative question with a relative answer. If PlayOLG offers everything you desire out of an online casino, by all means, take full advantage of its fast-track to supreme security. There’s a lot to be enjoyed by members of the home-grown iGaming website.

PlayOLG has (at time of writing) 110 casino games to choose from, including 90 traditional slots, 5 progressive jackpot slots, 11 table games and 4 video pokers. As an added perk, you can purchase all of your number-draw lottery and instant win tickets directly from the website or mobile app. If these features satisfy all your iGaming needs, there’s no reason to go anywhere else.

You’ll even have access to a rather generous welcome bonus worth up to $300 in bonus credits. Furthermore, no offshore website is going to match PlayOLG’s astonishingly-low wagering requirements of 10x WR on the bonus amount only. (Learn more about the PlayOLG Welcome Bonus here.)

With all these perks you may be wondering, what do internationally regulated gambling sites offer that PlayOLG doesn’t?

Benefits of Taking Your iGaming Overseas

There are a few good reasons why so many Ontario players have continued doing their iGaming with offshore operators. At one time, it was the promotions that drew players overseas more than anything else, but now that Ontario offers the same level of generosity – if not more – there are only to notable perks for outsourcing your online gambling.

The first is game variety. International online casinos offer anywhere from a few hundred to over one thousand games. It all depends on the software brand(s) they employ. Royal Vegas Canada, for instance, only licenses software from two companies; Microgaming for its RNG-based games, and Evolution Gaming for its live casino content. This may not sound like much, but Microgaming has more than 900 games in its ever-growing portfolio, and Evolution is has been number-one supplier of live dealer casino games for 10 years running.

It’s hard to beat that kind of content, but LeoVegas Mobile Casino does. LeoVegas operates under the philosophy that more is always better. They employ more than 50 different software brands – including Microgaming and Evolution Gaming, as well as the IGT and Scientific Games brands licensed to PlayOLG – to deliver thousands upon thousands of games to their customers.

The second benefit is access to different forms of gambling you can’t find on PlayOLG. Offshore online casinos are not restricted to following the letter of Canadian federal law. They can supply everything, from online poker and sports betting on single events, to international lottery drawings, to skill-based arcade games.

Conclusion

As I said, the correct choice is a relative one. If you’re looking for minimal gaming in a guaranteed safe secure online casino environment, PlayOLG is a fantastic choice. If you want more out of your gaming experience, and don’t mind doing a little research to find the most trusted offshore casino brands, you’ll find the international iGaming landscape to be incomparably well endowed.

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

Dec 06

Ontario is raising the stakes w/ a PlayOLG welcome bonus package worth up to $300 in free casino credits.

PlayOLG Welcome Bonus: Ontario Raising the Stakes w/ New Player Incentives

I remember it wasn’t all that long ago that I was reporting on the lack of promotional offerings at any of Canada’s provincially regulated online casinos. The laws were defined in such a way that incentives were unlawful, making it impossible for these operator’s to compete with their internationally-regulated rivals overseas. That is clearly no longer the case.

Provincial governments soon discovered that, without a promotional package, their own citizens had no interest in partaking in the meager offerings of home-grown iGaming sites like Ontario’s PlayOLG. It wasn’t until amendments to the law gave these online casinos the option to promote welcome bonuses and other incentives that players began taking notice. Now, the promotions are so attractive, they easily rival those of offshore operations.

PlayOLG Welcome Bonus Package Worth $300

PlayOLG, the iGaming platform of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG), has a lofty newcomer bonus on its menu. First-time depositors are invited to take advantage of three consecutive deposit bonuses, each delivering a 100% match of up to $100.

Each offer may be redeemed by entering the corresponding bonus code:

  • First Deposit earns 100% up to $100 bonus match with promo code: first
  • Second Deposit earns 100% up to $100 bonus match with promo code: second
  • Third Deposit earns 100% up to $100 bonus match with promo code: third

Promotional Terms To Be Considered

As always there are certain conditions attached to the redemption of a bonus, and the fulfillment of wagering requirements before any winnings can be cashed out. In this case, PlayOLG has attached the following terms:

  • Minimum qualifying deposit to receive a bonus is $15.
  • Minimum deposit to receive the full $100 bonus is $100.
  • Only residents of Ontario who are 19 or older are eligible to redeem a welcome bonus at PlayOLG.
  • The player’s cash deposit will be credited to their “cash balance” account.
  • The player’s bonus will be credited to their “bonus balance” account.
  • The combined total of the “cash” and “bonus” balances shall be displayed as the “total balance” while playing eligible games (see Eligible Games and Wagering Requirements below).
  • The welcome package promotion detailed above expires on January 31, 2020.

Eligible Games and Wagering Requirements

PlayOLG’s new player bonuses come with some of the most generous wagering requirements (WR) the industry has ever seen. Players are only required to complete WR of 10x the bonus amount. If the full $100 bonus is claimed, 10x WR would require play through of $1,000 in bets.

That’s far more attractive than the average 40x play through of a deposit and bonus combined. However, there is a 30 day expiration period. WR must be completed within the 30 days or the entire bonus will be forfeit. The same forfeiture applies if the player attempts to request a cashout before completing WR.

Long story short, these are the easiest wagering requirements you’ll come across – don’t mess it up!

Eligible games, and their percentage-based contribution towards WR, are as follows:

PlayOLG Games WR %
Slot Machines 100%
Instant Win Games (Casino) 100%
Fast Poker 50%
Blackjack Games 10%
Texas Hold’em Games                           10%         
Let It Ride 10%
Sic Bo 10%
Three Card Poker 10%
War 10%
Baccarat Games* 0%
Roulette Games* 0%
Video Poker Games* 0%
Lottery Games* 0%

*Only funds available in the player’s “cash balance” will appear as their “total balance” when playing any game that counts 0% towards WR contribution.

For the complete PlayOLG welcome bonus rules, please visit the website directly.

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

Sep 11

Winning the lottery is all fun and games, until the bank runs dry.

Winning the Lottery is All Fun and Games, Till the Bank Runs Dry

How many of you out there have ever dreamt of winning an enormous, multi-million dollar lottery prize? I’d be willing to bet most of you have. Anyone who has bought a lottery ticket has surely considered what they would spend all that money on if they ever struck it rich.

The list often starts out the same. We would buy a new house, or pay off an existing mortgage. We would buy a new vehicle. Maybe even two of them – one for practical purposes, and one for joy riding. Most of us would designate a portion of the money to help out others, either paying off the debts of family, granting cash to loved ones, and/or donating some to a worthy charitable cause.

These are the things most of us say we will do if ever that fateful day comes. Sometimes, we throw in college funds for the kids or grand-kids. We may even promise to invest a large portion, ensuring our wealth continues to grow for generations to come. But just as our dreams of becoming a lottery winner are usually only fantasies, for many people who actually win the prize, those honorable intentions go up in smoke.

When Winning the Lottery Isn’t All Fun and Games


Once a player wins the lottery, we don’t usually hear anything more about them. They go on to live their lives, for better or worse. The only cases we hear about far down the line tend to be those with extreme endings, and unfortunately, those extreme endings are rarely good.

There are at least two dozen tales of “riches to rags”, in which lottery winners suffered a terrible fate. These are some of their stories…

Fast and furious financial burn…

By far the most common reason for ruin is burning through all of the cash in a fast and furious reign of exotic purchases. Luxury homes, sports cars, personal jets and yachts, elaborate vacations – the most expensive things life has to offer can drain millions in just a few months time.

Evelyn Adams was once considered one of the luckiest women in the world, winning a pair of lottery jackpots in 1985 and 1986, worth a combined $5.4 million. She spent it nearly as fast, spending, gambling and giving it away. She now lives in a trailer.

Gerald Muswagon blew through the $10 million he won in 2011, spending it on himself and a fast-growing list of ‘friends’ who showed up nightly at his new party house. A few years later he was broke, working on a farm to support his girlfriend and six children. In 2018, he hung himself in his parents basement.

Sharon Tirabassi won Canada’s $10.5 million Lotto Super 7 jackpot in 2004, and managed to sift through the entire sum in just two years. She paid no attention to dollar signs, by anything and everything her heart desired. Countless homes, cars, vacations and handouts later, her seemingly bottomless barrel of wealth dried up. In 2013, she was back to riding the bus to work to suport her children.

The young and the reckless…

Mickey Carroll and Callie Rogers are two of the youngest lottery winners of all time. Mickey was 19 when the young Brit collected his £9.7 million winnings in 2002. He tore through the cash so fast, he earned the nickname ‘Lotto Lout‘. Most of it was spent partying with drugs and prostitutes. The rest was lost on exorbitant material purchases.

Callie suffered a similar fate in 2003 when she won £1.8 million. She was only 16 at the time. Excessive partying, plastic surgery and lavish purchases left her penniless. In August 2019, she was calling for the UK to raise the age limit for lottery ticket sales, and despite now making just £12k/yr as a caregiver, says “I am the the happiest I have ever been.”

Generous to a fault…

Every lottery winner in history has been bombarded by friends and family, all hoping for (if not demanding) a hand out. It’s one reason so many winners find their families torn apart. You’re either too stingy, and everyone hates you, or you’re too generous, and the money disappears.

Jack Whittaker, Janite Lee and Billie Bob Harrell Jr. all fell into the latter category.

Whittaker won a $314 million Powerball jackpot in 2002. He was a generous man all his life, and once he had the ability to help so many people, he couldn’t stop himself. Jack was passing out huge stacks of cash to family members, friends, strangers, the local church, and leaving king-sized tips for everyone from diner waitresses to strippers.

Lee’s story was similar, following an $18 million haul in 1993. She gave to charities, social causes, education and political campaigns. She was originally receiving annuities, but changed her agreement to a lump0sum for the remainder. By 2011, she was $2.5 million in debt and filing for bankruptcy.

Billie Bob Harrell Jr won the Lotto Texas for $31 million and immediately began donating fantastic sums of money to his church and individual members of the congregation. Combined with purchase of new homes and cars for he and his wife, and all of their family members, the money was gone, and his marriage over, within just two years. Harrell Jr. was so distraught, he committed suicide.

Lottery money – the root of all poison…

Suicidal tendencies are the only reason some lottery winners turn up dead. Ibi Roncaioli and Urooj Khan were both poisoned after their would-be-fortunate windfall.

Ibi won a $5 million jackpot in Canada in 1991. She and her husband were already doing well; he being a gynecologist. But after the win, Ibi became a reckless problem gambler and alcoholic. In 2003, she dies. In 2008, her husband, Dr. Joseph Roncaioli, was convicted of her murder. The horrid tale that finally emerged was that Mr. Roncaioli poisoned his wife after discovering her expensive double life.

Urooj Khan’s fate was similar in as much as he died of a lethal dose of poison in 2012. However, his fate between winning the lottery and dying was entirely different. In fact, the Chicago businessman dies just weeks after he won – before he received a single dollar of his $1 million winnings. At first, his death was reported to be natural causes, but his family insisted on an investigation into the 46 year old man’s sudden demise. An autopsy found the true cause to be cyanide poisoning. His murder case remains unsolved.

Drug addiction leads to destitution…

Having a sudden and seemingly endless supply of money can certainly lead to irresponsible behavior. Sometimes that behavior can harm more than the lottery winner’s finances. Drug abuse is unfortunately and exceptionally common. When it stems from, and/or leads to, addiction, it can be all the more devastating.

In 1989, when the crack cocaine epidemic was as its worst, Willie Hurt won the Michigan Super Lotto for $3.1 million. He was already suffering from an addiction to the drug, and having access to so much money only fueled the problem. Within two years, his life was in shambles. He was penniless, undergoing divorce proceedings, and fending off a murder charge after allegedly killing a woman during one of many drug and alcohol binges.

In 2001, Kentucky resident David Lee Edwards won the Powerball for $27 million. He and his wife were so excited, they literally blew through $1 million a month for the first year. It was irresponsibly innocent at first – exotic cars, a mansion, a personal plane. Five years later, these materialistic things no longer satiated their appetite. Both fell into a deep drug addiction from which they never recovered. In 2013, at just 58 years of age, David died alone in the care of hospice.

Death and deception…

Sometimes, it takes a monumental shift in one’s circumstances to reveal who they really are. The truth isn’t always pretty. That’s what happened when these people won the lottery.

In 1996, Thomas Rossi was a happily married man – or so he thought. One day, out of nowhere, his wife, Denise Rossi, demanded an immediate divorce. Shocked and utterly confused by her marital discontent, he soon found out that 11 days earlier, Denise had won an $11 million lottery. She was hoping to divorce Rossi quickly enough to keep all the cash for herself.

The Pennsylvania Lottery paid out $16.2 million to William ‘Bud’ Post in 1988. He also suffered from the unfortunate irresponsibility of greed, buying anything and everything he desired all at once. Another chunk was lost to his long-time girlfriend, who successfully sued him for her fair share after he dumped her in favor of the cash. His own brother hired a hitman to kill him hoping to inherit a portion of the money. Post lost it all. He was $1 million in debt within a year, and according to the most recent reports, is now a product of the welfare system.

Then there’s Jeffrey Dampier, winner of a $20 million Illinois Lottery jackpot in 1996. He wasn’t a terrible investor at all. In fact, following he and his wife’s amicable divorce and 50/50 split of the winnings, he remarried, moved to Florida and opened a very successful popcorn business. Jeffrey was very generous with his new wife’s family, ensuring they never went without. He was especially helpful towards her younger sister Victoria, who he subsequently began having an affair with. Eventually, Victoria grew tired of Jeffrey – but not his money. In 2005, Victoria’s new boyfriend came up with a plan, and she was all too willing to help. She called Jeffrey, faking car trouble to lure him to a secluded road. There, she and her beau demanded he turn over his wealth. When he refused, they murdered him.

Good luck turned bad…

Lisa Arcand of Massachusetts thought she had it all figured out after she won a cool $1 million playing the state lottery in 2004. She did everything you would expect, buying a new house, going on a couple of well-deserved (if not a bit exorbitant) vacations, and most importantly, investing in her future. Lisa followed her dreams by opening a restaurant in her hometown. Unfortunately, the business bombed. Within four years, all of the money was gone and she was forced to close up shop.

Roger and Lara Griffiths had it even worse. They were a happily married couple with a daughter, living a typical life in Great Britain, when they suddenly won a £2.19 million jackpot prize. It changed their lives forever, but not for the better. Roger spent copious amounts of money chasing an adolescent pipe dream of becoming a rock star. Needless to say, that didn’t pan out. Lara became an instant high-class shop-aholic, buying a lavish home, exotic cars, designer clothes, jewelry, and anything else her heart desired. The two sent their daughter to an expensive private school. Like Lisa Arcand, they also thought it wise to invest in a business, pouring hundreds of thousands into a posh salon. Ironically enough – after their carefree lifestyles led to bitter divorce – the former Mrs. ended up working at the very salon she once owned.

If you didn’t think their bad luck could get worse, think again. Alex Toth of Florida could have lived comfortably for the rest of his life after winning a $13 million lottery. He did what most of us would consider the smart thing, taking 20 years worth of annual payments instead of a smaller lump sum. However, that worked out to an ominous $666k per year. Whether that figure had anything to do with her unfortunate future is hard to say, but the story is far from a happy one. Alex soon left his wife, agreeing to split the money with her. He then began squandering away his portion as fast as it came in. So fast, he didn’t bother to pay the taxes on it. After being charged with tax evasion by the IRS, the penniless Mr. Toth checked himself into a mental institution. He died in 2008 at the age of 60.

Do You Really Want to Win the Lottery?

There are many more stories like these – stories of drug overdoses, contract killers, families ripped apart by greed and irresponsibility. It makes you wonder if its worth winning the lottery at all, if you’re better off where you are now?

Personally, I’d still want to win, and odds are everyone who reads this will say the same. What I would recommend, however, is that you put a bit more planning into your future, should your ticket ever come up a multi-million dollar winner. Maybe not quite so much planning as Bon Truong of Edmonton, Alberta, who just claimed his prize after purposely sitting on a $60 million winning ticket for 10 months – but far more than the people detailed in the above context.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , ,

Sep 03

Edmonton man plays the same lottery numbers for 30 years, then waits 10 months to Cash in $60M winning lottery ticket – on purpose!

Do you consider yourself to be a patient person? Do you take the time to think things through – I mean really think them through – before making and acting on a big decision? If you’ve answered, “Yes”, I’d be willing to bet you’re still nowhere near as patient and financially disciplined as 55 year old Bon Truong of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

If you haven’t already heard in the ‘strange but true‘ section of your favorite news media portal, Bon Truong is the latest winner of Alberta’s Lotto Max. Its name is derived from the fact that players can only win a maximum of $60 million as the jackpot prize. That’s exactly the amount Truong won in the October 26, 2018 drawing. But he’s just now receiving his $60 million prize.

Truong Finally Cashes in $60M Winning Lottery Ticket

Edmonton Man waits 10 Months to Cash in $60M Winning Lottery Ticket

No, Truong isn’t related to any lottery retailer employees, forcing a long and drawn out investigation. He didn’t lose his ticket in the couch or under his car seat. He didn’t even get in an accident, sending him into a coma for the last 305 days, only to wake with just weeks remaining to cash in that 8-figure prize. It was not fate that forced him to wait, but rather an extreme degree of patience.

You see, Bon Truong isn’t your typical gear-grinding Canadian, waiting for his ship to come in, then giving his boss the finger and dancing his way to the bank. Truong is a man who was raised in Vietnam, then came to Canada as a refugee immediately after the Vietnam War. He arrived here with nothing but what was left of the clothes on his back.

Bon Truong has worked hard every day of his life since. He worked to save money and buy a house. He worked to raise his family, keeping them fed, clothed, and educated. Most of all, he worked to teach his family the importance of hard work; that anyone who works hard enough can persevere over any situation.

So after nearly 30 years of buying the exact same lottery ticket, featuring the exact same numbers – all numbers important to him in some way – when he looked at the television screen and saw those numbers come up on that fateful day in October 2018, he knew he had won. But he did not react.

He sat quietly for a few minutes until his body calmed, then he called his wife and said, “I win”. He did not say how much he had won, and since his reaction was not one of great excitement, she did not ask. Truong wrote his name and phone number on the back of the ticket, as instructed, then placed it in a locked safe.

Week after week, month after month, Truong sat on the ticket, thinking about what to do with all that money, preparing himself and his family for a drastically different future. He decided paying the mortgage would come first, and that a holiday would come last, but he’s still not sure on the in between. Odds are, Bon would still be thinking and preparing for the future if the expiration date on the ticket weren’t drawing so near. Winners have only one year to claim their prize, less it be donated back into the lottery system.

But alas, Bon Truong did turn in the winning lottery ticket and claim his prize. The Edmonton landscaper says he will return to work. “I’m still young. I’m still strong,” he told reporters at the prize claim center. He also said he doesn’t intend to tell his children yet just how much he’s won, as he wants them to retain the value of a strong work ethic. “Maybe after 10 years or 20 years I’ll tell them,” he said.

written by Grameister777