Canada is a country rich in history, both natural and man-made. The Rocky Mountains are an allure that sees people from around the world venturing to Canada year-on-year. However, one of the growing tourism industries is gambling.
No longer are people merely travelling to Las Vegas for their betting thrills, but they are seeking out new destinations such as South Africa, Macau, Russia and Canada. The old gambling behemoths are slowly dying and giving way to the new.
In this article we take a close look at Canada and some of the best casinos to visit in this amazing country, enjoy!
Canadian Gambling: A background
The gambling scene in Canada used to be the playground of organized crime, however that all changed in 1985 when provinces and territories were given the opportunity to legalize all forms of gambling. The creation of online gambling has proved to be a bit of moral conundrum for consumers and players alike.
Online gambling in essence is legal, but only if it’s provided by a licensed provincial government, which it almost always isn’t. Over 1,000 unlicensed sites currently offer their services in Canada, with one or two being prosecuted by Canadian provinces.
How does gambling benefit Canada?
Gambling represents a significant boost to the Canadian economy, with the industry bringing in nearly $20 billion a year. That figure is higher than France, Spain, Russia, Australia, China and Argentina, all countries with formidable gambling sectors.
These large revenues boost the governments tax income and provide jobs for thousands of Canadians across the country. Luxurious land-based casinos also draw in tourists from around the world, further boosting the Canadian economy.
The Best Casinos to Visit in Canada
1 – Casino De Montreal – Montreal
Simply known as Montreal Casino to locals, this venue is one of the largest gambling centres in the world, with a capacity just shy of 4,000 people. Gamers in this casino can avail of over 3,200 slot machines as well as 120 different gaming tables laid out over three different floors.
In homage to some of the European fore-fathers of gambling, the Casino de Montreal is known for its hospitality and staff are revered for their high levels of customer service.
The design of the venue is must-see as well. The big open windows, low floors and ornate features make this a great casino to game in.
In recent years, the rise of online gambling has seen an increase in the popularity of slot games. The Casino de Montreal has 3,000 slot machines available to visitors, ensuring that there is room for everyone, even at peak times. Slots are particularly popular with younger gamblers, who are less inclined to get involved with high-stakes games. In fact, their first gambling experience is likely to have been online, with low stakes bets, and with the huge on the range of online slots available, they are sure to find something that meets their needs.
So, the Casino de Montreal is the perfect spot for those that are serious gamblers, as well as those who are looking for a high-stakes game.
2. Playground Poker Club – Montreal
Established in 2010 this is the best venue in North America to play poker or card games regardless of whether you’re a pro or a first-timer. You could even bump into famous names such as Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Laak and Gavin Smith whilst you’re there, just maybe avoid going head-to-head with them though!
The ambience is fairly low-key and there isn’t as much choice as the Montreal Casino but it is more modern and sleek. The staff are good and there’s a feel of a purpose-built venue to the place.
3. Billiard Fats – Montreal
Ok so technically this isn’t a casino, but it is most definitely worth visiting if you’re ever in Montreal. Known to us Canadians as a dive bar. This is a real gritty venue with a cool feel and vibe.
Drinks are fairly inexpensive and the staff can be very welcoming and hospitable. In terms of gaming there are slots available to use and on certain nights they stage poker games. If you’re looking for pure gaming then this isn’t your place but if you’re looking for fun you should check it out!
It’s definitely one of the best places to visit in Canada if you’re casually visiting and fancy a flutter. Not only will you enjoy the fun of playing poker, but you’ll soak in some of the best authentic Canadian culture by mixing with real locals, instead of high-rollers from out of town.
4. Casino Niagra – Toronto
No visit to Canada is complete without taking in the Niagra Falls, the only waterfall site in the world that betters the awe and wonder of Iguazu falls in Argentina. This casino caters predominantly to poker players, but if you’re not much of a bluffer, fear not.
There are over 1,300 slot machines available to play, all tailored to varying levels of skill, from the seasoned gamer to the first-time punter. There’s a paltry 10 table games ranging from roulette to blackjack, but the main boon for sports fans is the sports-wagering area which encompasses a wide range of sports from soccer to ice hockey.
Over the weekend there is the allure of live music on Friday’s and Saturday’s to take your mind of the money you may have lost at the blackjack table.
Canada is a country that you could visit for four weeks and never feel truly done with. There are a plethora of things to do in the country, and it isn’t just al snow and moose, there’s so much more to this vibrant country.
South of the Canadian border is the world Mecca of gambling, Las Vegas. However, Canada offer something to gamblers that Las Vegas can’t – an unpretentious environment to enjoy gaming responsibly, rather than being caught up in the ‘glitz and glamour’.
Gambling isn’t everything to Canada, but it is certainly part of what’s making the country more appealing to foreign tourists.