How Ontario Became Canada’s Premier Gambling Destination
Canada is a vast country that most often gets attention for its natural attractions such as Niagara Falls, Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies, and famous ski resorts. But nature and outdoor recreation lovers aren’t the only travelers flocking to Canada these days. Casino tourism is also on the rise and most gamblers are heading to Ontario to place their bets.
Is Gambling Legal in Ontario?
Gambling is legal in Canada, however, the laws and regulations vary by province and territory. Gambling is primarily regulated and overseen by provincial and territorial governments rather than the federal government. The Canadian government allows each of its provinces to regulate gambling separately, so you will find differences depending on where you travel within the country.
Many provinces and territories in Canada have legal casinos where you can play slot machines, table games like blackjack and roulette, and poker rooms. You’ll also find lotteries, scratch-off tickets, and various draw games like Lotto 6/49 and Lotto Max around the country.
Betting on sports events is also legal in Canada and in 2021, Canada passed legislation to allow single-event sports betting, giving provinces like Ontario and territories the authority to regulate it.
Ontario allows sports betting, and residents can place bets on sports events through various legal channels, including retail sportsbooks and online platforms. Ontario has an especially rich history of horse racing, and there are racetracks and off-track betting facilities in the province.
Ontario became the first province in Canada to legalize a regulated online gambling market where you’ll now find an ever-growing list with legal online gambling sites within the country. The legal minimum gambling age in Ontario is 19 years old. This applies to all forms of gambling, including casinos, lottery ticket purchases, and sports betting.
The Popularity of Online Gambling
Upon its regulation and legalization in Ontario, online gambling became incredibly popular and widely practiced, so much so that it saw nearly $1.5 billion in gaming revenue and around $35billion in total wagers during its first year.
Like in many other parts of the world, online gambling is only growing in popularity in Ontario. Several factors have contributed to the popularity of online gambling with travelers, especially the convenience factor which allows players to access their favorite games and betting options from the comfort of their hotel or via mobile devices while commuting.
Online gambling platforms typically offer a wide range of games, from slot machines and table games to sports betting, providing players with a diverse gaming experience. You can also often benefit from online gambling promotions, bonuses, and loyalty programs. And lastly, licensed and regulated online gambling sites provided a secure and safe environment for players with many protections in place.
How Ontario Started an Online Gambling Revolution in Canada
The legalization of online gambling in Ontario started in the summer of 2021. Bill C-218 was passed by the Senate on a national level and it opened the doors for global gambling operators to come to a new market.
Canada was an appealing option for them since there was no competition in this fresh new market. It was Section 207 that allowed the provinces to regulate this type of activity for themselves and allowed Ontario to invite all these betting establishments to the Canadian market. Ontario already possessed nearly 30 land-based casinos and numerous off-shore betting sites.
With the clear affinity of the people in the province, the officials reacted and offered its people online gambling that is now perfectly legal. The result of that decision is a huge number of gambling sites now being offered in Ontario.
Now, there are more than 60 online casinos and betting sites with all the necessary licenses and regulations to operate in the province. This demonstrates how Ontario is driving the Canadian online gambling trend because not a single other province has, at least not to this date, gotten near Ontario’s level of gambling it now offers.
The Appeal of Land-Based Casinos in Ontario
Attention gamblers, before you come to Canada you have to prepare yourself to see some pretty impressive land-based casinos. And some of the finest in the nation are located in Ontario, where they compete with the mighty Niagara Falls for attention.
Located in Niagara Falls, Casino Niagara is one of the oldest and most well-known casinos in Ontario, offering a wide range of slot machines, table games, and a poker room. Also situated in Niagara Falls, Fallsview Casino Resort is a luxurious casino with an extensive gaming floor, entertainment venues, restaurants, and a stunning view of the famous falls.
Meanwhile, Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino is situated in Windsor, across the Detroit River from Detroit, Michigan. Toronto’s Woodbine Casino is one of the largest casinos in the Province, the Great Blue Heron offers gambling in a picturesque lakeside setting, and Casino Rama Resort has become a popular destination for concerts and shows.
The Benefits of Ontario’s Online Casinos
Besides the appeal of land-based casinos, online sites and mobile apps are attracting more and more players. The reasons for that are easy to comprehend. The Canadian market was very interesting to global leaders from the iGaming industry, and that is both casino operators and software developers for the games.
Companies that developed some of the best games in the past decades are the ones responsible for the products that are offered in Ontario’s online casinos. They have rigorous quality assurance of their games, and when you add the bonuses and promotions for existing and new players to that, you have a winning combination.
In online casinos, you can play all the casino classics such as blackjack, roulette, poker, slots, and baccarat. And many different versions of these games are available with just a couple of clicks.
The offer of gambling establishments in Ontario, both online and land-based, has become appealing to people all around the world. This province exercised its right to legalize and regulate gambling activities and it paid off.
Besides being blessed with endless stunning natural landscapes and wildlife, there are many things to do in the big cities such as visiting some of Ontario’s fine casinos. Gambling has become part of the nation’s culture, and it’s no wonder that travelers too are now embracing Canadians’ love to place a bet.
As one of the fastest growing industries now and the need for people to have the liberty to combat inflationary pressures by testing their luck and hopefully winning big, it seems like Canada’s gambling craze will only continue to grow.