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 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: , , , , , , , ,

Jan 25

What happened to Nova Scotia gambling awareness funds?

What Happened to Nova Scotia Gambling Awareness Organization?

All across Canada, gambling is big business, especially for the provincial governments that profit from it. Gambling proceeds make up a remarkable portion of the revenue that funds education, health and community projects all across the country. It makes sense that, while gambling addiction is a concern, governments would want to keep that money rolling in. But some people were outraged to learn, months after the fact, that Nova Scotia has quietly done away with direct funding for its long-time gambling awareness program.

No More Funding for Nova Scotia Gambling Awareness

The program in question, Gambling Awareness Nova Scotia (GANS), is no in operation. The NS government didn’t mention it was doing away with the organization. In fact, no one seems to know exactly when GANS was stricken from the legislative record. What we do know is that it’s gone, and it has been for a few months, at least.

Bruce Dienes is the chair of a non-profit group, Gambling Risk Informed Nova Scotia, that strives to minimize the social harms of gambling within the community. Dienes said he learned of GANS dissolution in the fall of 2020, and that regulations for the program were officially altered in October.

When Dienes contacted the Department of Health and Wellness to inquire about it, he was told that “new information” had surfaced, indicating that the relationship between gambling and mental anguish, depression and anxiety, is far broader; the idea being that the funds once allocated for the prevention and treatment of gambling would better served funding the broader mental health spectrum.

Consolidating Nova Scotia’s Mental Health Budget

The government’s media relations advisor, Marla MacInnis, confirmed that GANS funding will be pooled into the province’s overall mental health and addictions budget, which comes to around $300 million per year.

“Problem gambling often occurs with other mental health and addictions issues, and due to the stigma, people often initially seek help for other issues,” MacInnis defends the government’s decision. “It’s best if people can access support that addresses these issues together.”

Dienes disagrees. “The idea that this is new information is ridiculous,” he said. “We’ve known this for decades.” He believes the choice to do consolidate funding was a much more calculated one, primarily aimed at resolving the “profound lack of funding for mental health in Nova Scotia.”

Research Favors Problem Gambling Services

Igor Yakovenko is a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at Dalhousie University. He says that, according to research, one of the common barriers between problem gamblers and treatment programs is a lack of information; especially information regarding where to turn for help in the first place. In his expert opinion, Yakovenko believes harm reduction and problem prevention programs are the most effective resources for curbing and curing addiction.

“We need services and public health resources that minimize problems from developing in the first place or, if you’re already gambling, they prevent you from escalating that gambling,” Yakovenko told CBC News.

This comes on the heals of the Atlantic Lottery Corporation’s (ALC) intent to expand its New Brunswick online casino to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The ALC’s online casino presents gamblers with the ability to wager amounts up to 40x higher (up to $100 per play) on online games compared to legal restrictions that limit a single bet on VLTs to no more than $2.50. All things considered, some would say there’s no better time for programs like Gambling Awareness Nova Scotia to remain funded and heavily promoted.

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Jan 11

How Canada banks can promote safe online gambling tools.

New Horizons 2021: Banks Promote Safe Online Gambling Tools

The British Columbia Lottery Corp (BCLC) is one of the world’s most respected gaming regulators where problem gambling prevention is concerned. The regulator is the proprietor of the award-winning GameSense program, “supporting healthy play” among the provinces recreational gamblers for nearly ten years now. GameSense has been so highly commended over the years, it was integrated into Manitoba Gaming Control Commission’s extension of the BCLC PlayNow.com website in 2013, was adopted by both the Alberta Gaming & Lottery Commission and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in 2015, and became the model for a multitude of other US state lottery organizers thereafter.

BCLC has hosted the New Horizons in Responsible Gambling conference each year since 2013. One of the main topics is social responsibility, and the mission to ensure GameSense remains ahead of the game in Canada’s battle to extinguish gambling addiction. On the agenda for New Horizons 2021 is an exploration of ways banks can assist in that goal.

Canada Banks to Promote Safe Online Gambling Tools

One of the primary features of GameSense is its use as a voluntary self-exclusion tool. Gamblers who are aware of compulsory behavior are able to sign up for self-exclusion through the GameSense website, thereby giving land-based and online gambling operations permission to prohibit them from accessing games or placing wagers.

During a New Horizons pre-conference discussion last week, attendants heard how banks could be offering a similar service to their members.

Canadian Banks Could Promote Gaming Self-Exclusion

Natalie Ledward is the vulnerability manager at London-based Monzo Bank Ltd. She led a discussion at a BCLC-hosted webinar entitled, Banking on a Different Perspective: The Financial Industry’s Role in Safer Gambling; one of two pre-conferences leading up to New Horizons 2021.

Ms. Ledward told attendants of a collection of digital tools and support resources Monzo Bank provides its customers, each aimed at tackling the harmful impact gambling can have on individuals. The idea is to promote a safer gambling experience, in which the player has more awareness and control over their habits; all very similar to what GameSense provides to so many customers of Canada’s live and online casinos.

In 2018, Monzo Bank introduced a voluntary self-exclusion program for its members. Those who chose to use it would have their account blocked from making any gambling-related purchases. Banks already have the technology to do this, using specific merchant codes provided by major credit card companies to categorize different types of purchases.

“Banks play a huge role in identifying people’s spending habits,” said Ms. Ledward. “They have the opportunity to be the first to find out about their customers’ gambling behaviours and can begin to offer those customers help.”

Will Banks Succeed Where Casinos Have Failed?

It’s no secret that problem gamblers have continued to gain access to gambling products, even after signing up for voluntary self-exclusion; especially where land-based casinos are concerned. Even in British Columbia – the birthplace of GameSense – casinos are notorious for “accidentally” letting an excluded gambler onto the casino floor. The problem is obvious. Casinos make too much money off problem gamblers.

Banks have no vested interested in an account holder’s continued wagering. Quite the opposite, in fact. They would much prefer their members stick to healthy investments. Providing safe online gambling tools is just another way they can help their members make smarter decisions.

“Banks show a great degree of pro-activity already,” said Simon McNair, a session panelist and policy advisor for London’s Behavioural Insight Team. “Controlling gambling behaviour, especially more problematic behaviour, is absolutely in-part a money-management issue. Helping customers to that end will have numerous benefits – from helping people to keep their accounts in good standing, preventing people falling into debt, or to helping them to pay down debt.”

A second pre-conference leading up to the 2021 New Horizons is scheduled for January 27.

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Jan 01

Gateway Casinos Canada generously supporting local communities with $78,000 in charitable holiday donations.

Gateway Casinos Canada Supports Local Communities with Holiday Giving

It’s New Year’s Day, and the holiday season is in full swing. 2021 has finally arrived, and with it comes the delightful spirit of giving. One of Canada’s most prominent gaming corporations, Gateway Casinos, was feeling especially generous this holiday. In an effort to shed the joy of “better, brighter days ahead”, the company is supporting local communities with tens of thousands of dollars in charitable donations.

Gateway Casinos Canada Donates to Local Soup Kitchens and More

In a news release on Thursday, December 31, 2020, Gateway Casinos announced that its annual charitable activities looked a little different to close out this tumultuous year. Normally, the holidays are a time of anticipation for the Canadian corporation’s 8,000+ employees, who look forward to actively supporting their local communities and non-profits over the holidays.

“Unfortunately, this year has been very different as all our properties are closed and the majority of our employees remain unable to return to work,” wrote Gateway in a statement.

Despite the challenges faced by the gaming industry over the last ten months, Gateway professed its pleasure in being able to make holiday donations to the communities in which it operates.

“Collectively we have donated more than $78,000 to local food banks, Christmas bureaus and non-profit organizations throughout our communities,” said the Canadian entertainment and hospitality group. One of the company’s charitable recipients was the Sault St. Marie Soup Kitchen Community Centre in Ontario, a non-profit organization that provides a food bank, free daily meals, after-school children’s programs, and other beneficial services.

Looking Forward to Better and Brighter Days Ahead

Gateway Casinos have always played an active role in benefiting the communities in which they operate. In October 2019, the company hosted a fund raiser for Northern Critters in Need. Gateway staffers volunteered to organize a Howl-O-Ween Pet Photo Costume Contest to raise money and collect goody bags filled with pet-friendly items, like dog and cat food, treats, and toys. Last February, employees of Gateway Casinos Canada got together again to help raise nearly $61,000 for breast cancer research.

Exactly one yer ago today, Gateway announced its annual holiday campaign had raised enough money to donate $130,000 to local communities and charities. That total was higher than this year’s donations, but Gateway is hoping to get back to “better and brighter days” in 2021, enabling them to provide more support than ever in the year ahead.

“As we near the end of the holiday season, we are all reflecting on the extraordinary and difficult year that has now almost come to an end,” said Gateway in its New Years Eve release. “We know 2020 has been exceptionally difficult for all Canadians,” the statement continues, “but with news of vaccines beginning to rollout we look ahead to better, brighter days ahead.”

With most Canadian casinos still closed to the public, or opened with heavy restriction on capacity and game accessibility, Canadians are still being encouraged to take their gaming pastime online to Canadian mobile casinos, where they can experience the same entertainment from the comfort and safety of home.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , ,

Mar 10

All new Pickering Casino Resort to open in GTA next month.

Pickering Casino Resort Opens in Toronto Area April 2020

A huge celebration will take place just four weeks from now. Great Canadian Gaming (GCG) has announced it will host the long-awaited grand opening of its newest casino next month. Situated just east of Toronto, the all new Pickering Casino is sure to attract a lot of attention from both locals and tourists.

Construction crews are still on site, working at full speed to complete the final stages of the build. GCG is confident that the project will be completed by the second week of April; so confident they’ve set an official date for the grand opening. It’s a launch several years in the making, and one that comes with additional phases in the months ahead.

Pickering Casino Resort Grand Opening April 8, 2020

GCG has scheduled a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Wednesday, April 8, 2020. The mid-week party date was intentional, no doubt, as these events tend to come with door prizes for the first however-many guests. Hosting the celebration on a Wednesday should cut down on the number of tourists, making it more convenient for locals to enjoy the festivities.

The grand opening celebration is expected to draw a decent amount of attention as the city’s residents have been hearing about this project for the last few years. No doubt thousands of locals will be eager to explore the property and see what GCG has spent so much time, money and effort putting together.

It was initially believed that the opening of Pickering Casino would spell the end of Ajax Casino at Ajax Down. After all, the new Pickering site is only a 10-12 minute drive from the Ajax gambling destination, also managed by GCG. However, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG) decided to keep the Slots at Ajax Downs, thereby preserving racing venue, as well as the jobs of many of that location’s employees. The attraction to Pickering’s new casino will be a) its proximity to Toronto, and b) the availability of live dealer table games.

According to the official website, the Phase One launch will include “over 2,000 Slot Machines, 100 Live Table Games, and 167 Live Dealer Stadium Gaming terminals.” Restaurant menus are said to offer fine dining, pub fare, an “upscale buffet”, and more.

Opposition Still Wary of Market Saturation

The Grater Toronto Area (GTA) is already home to several gambling facilities. Many did – and still do – argue over the need for new gambling property in the Durham region. GCG may have dibs on most of the area’s gambling revenue, but the owners of Casino Rama aren’t so pleased with the situation.

Casino Rama, located 115km north of Toronto, was opened in 1996 by the Chippewa of Rama First Nation. For more than two decades, it was the area’s largest and most visited casino; among the most famous in all of Ontario, outside of the Niagara Falls region. Now, its owners fear the property will eventually be unable to sustain operations as they lose patrons from Ajax, Markham and Pickering. Additional expansions at GCG’s Casino Woodbine and Great Blue Heron Casino in western GTA don’t bode well for them, either. And no doubt it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Hotel and Arena to Open by End of 2020

Before the year is out, construction on Phase Two of the Pickering Casino Resort should be complete as well. When it is, the property will be welcoming the first guests to its 275-room luxury hotel tower. Adjacent to that will be a 2,500 seat arena, promising to host year-round concerts, theatre performances, and other live events.

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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.

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Jan 09

Realistic impact of Canadian online betting with international sites.

The Realistic Impact of Canadian Online Betting with International Websites

It was more than two decades ago now that the online gambling industry skidded across the proverbial tarmac to its launch. Times were far different in the 1990s. Computers, and the internet in particular, were still striving for mainstream household status. Security technology was nowhere near as advanced as it is today. Legal restrictions were virtually non-existent. At that time, everyone who trusted internet gambling enough to partake in its immaturity did so with operators all over the world.

Today, with global online and mobile gambling businesses generating billions of dollars each year, most governments are encouraging – if not legally mandating – residents to do their iGaming with a locally regulated operator. Odds are, if you live in a jurisdiction where internet gaming is legal, your government is taking steps to keep your wagering dollars within their jurisdictional borders.

Canada is one such nation. Every province that delivers a home-grown iGaming service (all but Alberta and Saskatchewan) encourages local play. The difference between Canada and some other jurisdictions, including numerous European and US states, is that Canadians can gamble at any website they wish. In Canada, iGaming is legal for players whether the online casino is locally regulated, or internationally operated. Freedom of choice is fantastic, but as is true of most things in life, every choice you make has an impact.

Canadian Online Betting with Offshore Sites

Our government tells us we should never gamble with offshore websites. So what is it that makes these websites so bad? According to provincial governments, there are three primary problems. We’ll take a look at these claims and dissect the reality of each situation.

#1 No Benefit to Provincial Coffers (True)

First and foremost, offshore sites aren’t providing our provinces with any revenue. The government has stated many times that millions of dollars are flowing offshore due to Canadians gambling with international websites. There’s no arguing with them on this one. They are 100% right.

If you lost $100 at BC’s PlayNow online casino, that money goes to the BC Lottery Corp, which reinvests it back into BC communities. If you lose $100 at Maltese-licensed Royal Vegas Casino, that money never sees the Canadian light of day again.

#2 Lack of Regulation / Player Protection (False)

Canadian provinces say international gambling websites are not regulated, and that they do not protect players from the potential harms of gambling. To address that first point, international gambling sites are, indeed, regulated. They just aren’t regulated here in Canada. The most reputable ones are regulated in European jurisdictions (UK, Malta, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, etc.), where player protections are actually more strict than Canadian law.

For instance, in the UK, licensees are required to monitor all gambling activity and intervene when at-risk behavior is detected, encouraging players to take a break and think about the potential consequences of their spending. Voluntary self-exclusion and deposit limits can be set by players. Regular software audits and fairness certification is mandatory. This is hardly different from the GameSense program promoted by most Canadian provinces.

#3 Offshore Gambling Sites are Illegal (False)

On several occasions, our provincial government’s have gone so far as to say international gambling websites are illegal. Anyone with a basic understanding of the English language, and the patience to read the relevant text in the Criminal Code, knows that’s not true.

Online casinos games, poker games, bingo games, etc. – these are not illegal. We can play them at Canada’s land-based casinos, as well as some of the nation’s provincial online casinos, so long as we are physically located in the province that offers them. We can also play them at international gambling websites, despite those claims.

Province’s like to call them illegal because it is illegal for them to offer some of those games. Take single-event sports betting for example. The Criminal Code says single-event sports betting cannot be authorized or presented to Canadians. It is illegal to do so. However, the law does not states Canadians can place single-event sports bets. The penalty of law lies with the receiver of the bettor, not the placer of the bet.

Offshore betting sites are not bound by Canadian law. If single-event sports betting is permitted in the country that regulates the website, it can be offered to Canadian players without consequence. Therefore, it is perfectly legal for Canadians to bet on sports, so long as the bets are placed with an international sportsbook.

What’s Better – Domestic or International iGaming?

That is a question that can only be answered by the person doing the gambling. If your home province offers an iGaming website that meets all of your needs and wagering desires, by all means, utilize its services. At the least, your losses will go back into the community. If you want more from your iGaming experience, so long as you only gamble at reputable, strictly regulated websites, you will be perfectly protected, and are not doing anything illegal.

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

Jan 07

Top live dealers casino websites for Canadians in 2020.

Passion for Payouts: Top Live Dealers Casino Sites for Canadians 2020

We’re kicking off the New Year with a fresh list of top-tier live casino operations welcoming Canadian players. Live dealer games are preferred for their realistic experience, closely mimicking that of a land-based casino – as close as you can possibly get on a computer or mobile device. There are real live dealers, operating real table games, with multiple real players joining in the action.

Here in Canada, we are limited in the number of online casinos we can play at. Some provinces are privy to locally-regulated gambling websites, but only two of them have live casino games. There are many more highly reputable and strictly regulated international offerings, but only so many have a good live dealer presentation.

Top Live Dealers Casino Sites for Canadians

Normally, a “top” list of anything has 3, 5, 10, or maybe 20 of the best whatever you’re listing. I’m going out of the box with this list and giving you the “Top 4”. Yes, four of Canada’s best live casinos in 2020. Why four? Because I couldn’t possibly cut this list down to three, and there really isn’t a fifth worthy of inclusion.

I’m also not giving the operators a number ranking. I don’t feel that any one is better than another. They all have differentiating qualities that earned them a spot on this list. For instance, the first two, PlayNow and PlayOLG, are both home-grown operations. Then again, they’re ring-fenced to their local provinces, limiting who can access them. The second two, LeoVegas and Royal Vegas, are open to all Canadians, but present very different live gaming options. With that being said, let’s get right to it…

PlayNow Live Casino – BC and Manitoba Only

PlayNow is a great iGaming operation built, maintained and regulated by the provincial government of British Columbia. Through a player sharing contract with the BCLC, Manitoba residents are also able to partake in PlayNow’s internet gambling activities. For residents of these jurisdictions, the degree of security and player protections can’t be beat.

The PlayNow Live Casino is powered by the industry’s #1 Live Casino brand, Evolution Gaming, and includes live blackjack, infinite blackjack, baccarat, eSqueeze baccarat, roulette, auto roulette and ultimate Texas holdem. That’s not a bad assortment, but it doesn’t include any of Evolution’s immensely popular game show-style productions.

EspaceJeux Live Casino – Quebec Only

Similarly, Espacejeux is the online gambling operation of Loto-Quebec – home grown and locally regulated by that provincial government. As such, security and safety are unquestionable, but only residents of Quebec can sign up an account and place wagers. That’s good for Quebecois, as is the implementation of Evolution Gaming’s world class live dealer software. On the negative side, the only live games are standard blackjack and roulette, baccarat, and Control Squeeze baccarat.

LeoVegas Live Casino – All Canadians Accepted

LeoVegas is an internationally operated casino brand, regulated in multiple jurisdictions. LeoVegas is licensed in its home country of Sweden, and also holds gaming licenses from Denmark and Malta. It is powered by more software brands than I’d care to count; somewhere in the neighborhood of 50. Several of those software studios offer live casino games. As such, this website presents, by far, the largest live gaming menu of any competitor.

There are – and bear in mind, some of these numbers will appear as duplicates due to multi-categorization – 48 live roulette games, 31 live blackjack games, 18 types of “card games”, 16 private Chambre Séparée (high roller) tables, 16 “VIP” tables, 11 live baccarat tables, 7 live “game show” style options, and 5 live poker variants; 23 of which are ‘Fast Play’ titles.

Royal Vegas Live Casino – All Canadians Accepted

There are some who would argue that “less is more”. By this, I mean having so many options – as many as LeoVegas presents – can make it harder to actually pick one. It’s not just a theory, but a scientific fact. Studies have shown that being offered chocolate, vanilla or strawberry ice cream makes it easy to pick one, whereas 30+ flavors can actually cause stress, anxiety, and an accelerated heart rate. Why such difficulty? People tend to fear that they won’t (or didn’t) choose the best option, and it leaves a bad taste in their mouth – pardon the pun.

If you prescribe to this ideal, then I present to you Royal Vegas Canada. Licensed in Malta, this operator only employs one live casino supplier, but it’s the world’s best – also proven by statistical data – Evolution Gaming.

Evolution has won the eGR Live Casino Supplier of the Year Award for the last 10 years straight. It’s almost as if they’ve figured out the perfect formula for live dealers casino games, and they’ve kept it as confidential as Mr. Krab’s secret formula for the “Krabby Patty”.

Royal Vegas accepts players from all over Canada. It’s also one of the few international sites that is approved to process payments via Interact eTransfer. Live casino games include blackjack, roulette, double ball roulette, baccarat, casino holdem, 3 card poker, Caribbean stud poker, private tables, game show tables, and their signature “Party” tables.

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