Last updated: 

The History of Gambling and Online Casinos in Ontario

Today, everyone can enjoy games in Ontario online casinos without any problems. And you can also do it right now, but... Do you know how it all began? After all, the history of gambling in Canada is interpreted differently on different sites. Which information is accurate and which is not? We have thoroughly studied the history of gambling, and we can safely say that there was something special at each stage in the history of online gambling in Ontario.

Now, without wasting time, consider the online casino history, highlighting only its most important stages.

Taking a Step into the History of Online Gambling

To be sure, gambling in Canada is not a fresh pastime by any stretch of the imagination. Do you have any idea of how long games of chance have been around? Indeed, they predated the advent of online gambling sites by a big shot. The earliest evidence of gambling in the area dates back to 1497. John Abbot first documented gambling among indigenous peoples. Of all, the technology was quite rudimentary back then. Tribal games were very different from modern parlour games. Although it is now illegal in Canada, gambling was a popular pastime long before the country was formally established.

Taking a Step into the History of Online Gambling

Historical Periods of Complete Gambling Prohibition

There were both highs and lows in Canada's casino industry. Maybe you didn't realise this, but gambling wasn't always legal in that part of the world. For instance, in 1892, the government outlawed all types of gambling. The Canadian government deemed gambling illegal. Thus the Criminal Code outlawed the practice across the board. Unfortunately, the situation did not continue for very long. In 1900, the law started to tolerate various forms of gambling. The first to make a comeback was bingo and raffles, but only for good causes. After a decade of wrong guesses, punters finally hit the jackpot at the track. After another 15 years, gambling events at exhibits and fairs were legalised.

As the number of lotteries increased, the government altered the rules in 1969. Following the regulatory shift, lotteries became a viable option for funding targeted initiatives. The first event, a lottery to raise money for the Olympic Games, was held in 1974.

An Overview of Gambling in Contemporary Canada

Canada's gambling past is intertwined with both brick-and-mortar establishments and virtual casinos. If you haven't heard, Canada has one of the world's most profitable casino entertainment markets. Yes, there are hundreds of places where people may go to enjoy casino-style games and shows. Furthermore, we can assure you that Canadians have a passion for online gambling. They choose the more traditional casino games like Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, and Baccarat. However, players flocked to online casinos in droves when they realised they could play digital versions of their favourite table games.

A wider variety of games and seats at virtual tables are now available to gamers around the country. When a brand-new online casino launches, it always has lots of new games and features for its customers to enjoy. However, this doesn't imply that there aren't any locations that can be reached by land in the nation. On the contrary, land-based casinos may draw tens of thousands of people annually, making them one of the world's most visited tourist destinations.

Timeline of Online Gambling

To that end, when did internet gambling first appear on the scene? That's right; the year 1996 is the correct answer. Even though the original online casino only had a few games to choose from, it was a massive hit with gamblers. Since several online casinos opened their virtual doors that year, it is often considered the beginning of the modern era of gambling. InterCasino, one of the earliest and most well-known casinos, is still active today. Did you know that the same year saw the debut of Canada's first online gaming regulator? There was already a regulatory body in place, the Mohawk Territory Kahnawake Gaming Commission, to keep tabs on and police traditional forms of gambling inside the territory. Many gamblers first found the concept of playing casino games online bizarre. Punters had to get used to opening browsers instead of strolling into some iconic land-based sites.

But things evolved rapidly after that. It took only a few more years for the online gambling market to see the growth it deserved. One of the world's most profitable industries was established after 2000 when hundreds of venues introduced their digital counterparts.

Land-Based Casinos: A Brief History

The transfer of gambling regulation from the states to the federal government was legalised by new legislation enacted in 1985. Thus, hundreds of land-based casinos sprung up across the country. The new legislation made it easier for owners to shop in several Canadian provinces. Different gambling regulations apply in various Canadian areas. Some casinos are privately owned, while others are in the hands of the state. In any event, they are trendy even now.

Gambling in Canada: What Next?

Canada's gaming industry has become one of the most lucrative in the world. It brings in billions of dollars annually for the economy. Because of the market's size, international software companies frequently make agreements to distribute their products there. As a result, Canada is a primary global market for casino entertainment.

You can't deny the awe-inspiring nature of it; Canada is a rich ground for anyone seeking this type of entertainment due to the variety of materials and options available. There is little question that Gambling in Canada will continue to develop in popularity and strength in the future.

Thanks to such an essential familiarity with the history of casinos, you will be able to understand better all the processes that take place in online casino games. We hope you enjoyed this material.

Best casinos to play online in Ontario

Ranking Casino Advantages Withdrawal time & limits Play
1 jpc_white-160x160s

JackpotCity Casino

  • Large portfolio of live games
  • Well designed website
  • Huge range of games

Must be 19+ to participate. T&Cs apply. Play Responsibly.

Withdrawal time & limits

24-48 hours

C$4,000 per day

PLAY HEREGo to JackpotCity Casino
2 playojo-1-160x160s

PlayOJO Casino

  • Huge selection of slot titles
  • A lot of payment methods
  • Great support team
  • No playthrough reqiurements

Must be 19+ to participate. T&Cs apply. Play Responsibly.

Withdrawal time & limits

0-24 hours

C$5,000 per transaction

PLAY HEREGo to PlayOJO Casino
3 partycasino_stacked_whitepink-160x160s

Party Casino

  • Great mobile app
  • Solid selection of live dealer games
  • Fully licensed by AGCO

Must be 19+ to participate. T&Cs apply. Play Responsibly.

Withdrawal time & limits

0-24 hours

C$20,000 per month

PLAY HEREGo to Party Casino
4 leovegas-2-160x160s

LeoVegas Casino

  • Over 2,500 slots
  • Jackpot games
  • Mobile app

Must be 19+ to participate. T&Cs apply. Play Responsibly.

Withdrawal time & limits

0-24 hours

C$10,000 per day

PLAY HEREGo to LeoVegas Casino
5 ruby-fortune-white-160x160s

Ruby Fortune Casino

  • Great game selection
  • Lucrative bonuses
  • Excellent mobile application

Must be 19+ to participate. T&Cs apply. Play Responsibly.

Withdrawal time & limits

0-72 hours

C$4,000 per week

PLAY HEREGo to Ruby Fortune Casino


Gilbert has a Business Analytics degree from the University of Waterloo. For now, his duty is to analyze the online casino business processes to find out what to improve.