With Canadian officials currently voting on whether or not to legalize single-game sports betting, let’s explore the history of gambling legalization in Canada. While you are waiting to bet on sports try your luck on slots and casino games at Cookie Casino Canada.

Gambling has evolved over the years and continues to develop as the industry expands and becomes more sophisticated. Games of chance were first being played in Canada as far back as 6,000 B.C. with the arrival of Native Canadians. 

Prior to the formation of Canada as a nation, Italian navigators witnessed Native Canadians gambling in the late 1400s. The Natives would throw pebbles and sticks and bet on the outcomes. Since then, gambling in Canada has come a long way now, taking place in mega-casinos and online, giving Canadians access to the latest technology and betting options in the world.

Criminals Use To Run Gambling In Canada

Just like in the US, Canada’s early gambling was controlled by criminal groups after betting was banned in 1892. Criminals found it was easy money to make as the government essentially handed them a monopoly on gambling by making it illegal. 

These organized criminals found thousands of easy customers willing to bet with them. One particularly successful criminal group was the Italian mafia based in Canada who ran their own lottery and sports betting operations in the early 1900s and made millions in profit.

The Canadians backtracked on its earlier decision and started making small concessions to allow some games of chance, such as the lottery, to be legalized, but most forms of gambling remained illegal.

Charity Played A Major Role In The Legalization Of Gambling In Canada

The first step the Canadian government made in legalizing gambling was by allowing charities to host raffles, lotteries, and bingo nights. Charities were allowed to hold these gambling events as long as the money was used to benefit the organizations.

In 1920 it was no longer just charities who could get away holding legal gambling nights, horse racing tracks started being allowed to host lotteries and raffles, and before long, Canadians could gamble at fairs and different public exhibitions. 

In 1970 there was a monumental change in the legality of gambling in Canada. The government altered the criminal code making it legal for the government to run a state and federal lottery. The funds were ordered to be directed to charitable causes and to pay for the upcoming Olympics.

Nowadays, gambling in Canada is legal and completely regulated by the government. Canadians can now enjoy gambling in casinos that are found throughout the nation or in the comfort of their own home on online sites. However, they still can’t make wagers on single sports matches. This will be decided by a bill that will be finalized in late 2021.

Canadians have shown a love of gambling, with an estimated 60% playing games of chance and 15% betting $100 a month. No longer do gambling operators have to use their proceeds to fund charities, and they are able to run for-profit businesses.