Poker in Canada

poker canada

Poker and gambling, in general, is popular in various Canadian provinces to differing degrees. You might not be aware that gaming dates back to the First Nations, or perhaps even further. Some historians believe gambling began as far back as 6,000 BC. Today, you can visit Canada and enjoy many tribal-owned and casino-resort locations. As well as get in on the action online.

A Brief History of Gambling in Canada

The first actual gambling credits in Canada was 1497 year. It was the year John Cabot discovered a  native tribe playing games of chance. According to research, Cabot believed the games helped garner emotional, spiritual, mental and physical development.

By 1892, Canada banned gambling. It did not matter what forms — it was not allowed. However, in 1900, raffles and bingos were permitted. Ten years later, horseracing got permission too. By 1925, fairs were able to hold gambling events.

The 20th century was a turning point for Canada and gaming. It was not considered immoral and legislative adaptations permitted gaming. The first piece of legislation in 1969, allowed lotteries and by 1985, gambling legislative power was given to each province instead of remaining with the federal government.

The changes have led to over 31,000 slot machines, 1,800 plus bingo halls, and 59 permanent casinos. In 2001, online gambling hit a high point with the World Series of Poker showing 600 Canadian participants, and now there are over 6,000.

Types of Legalized Gambling in Canada

For land-based gaming, Canada allows casinos, racetracks, and bingo halls. They also have video lottery terminals, ticket lotteries, and various slot machines. Online casinos are a challenge for Canadian authorities because of the multiple scams. And not all provinces have legislation in place that prevents Canadian citizens from accessing online casinos. Valley games experts recommend playing only in trusted online casinos for Canada that are thoroughly tested for safety.

Casino gambling accounts for the majority of gaming in three provinces. There are over one hundred casinos in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Labrador, and Newfoundland. Montreal Casino and Caesars are some of the top casinos in Ontario, with Las Vegas-style décor and splash.

Canada is home to destination resort casinos. Visitors must be at least 19 years of age, except in Manitoba, Alberta, and Quebec where you can be 18.

For First Nation Casinos, the biggest is Casino Rama just north of Toronto.

Poker origins in Canada

Poker is even more significant than other types of gambling in Canada. In fact, some of the top names in the World Series of Poker have hailed from Canada. Jonathan Duhamel and Daniel Negreanu are two Canadian WSOP players. They each won several millions at the poker tables.

Poker all started as a series undertaking in 1995, when Mark and Andrew Rivkin began Cryptologic, one of the biggest names in online gaming software. In 1996, the brothers got InterCasino to accept their payment processing options, software, and support. From there, online poker began in earnest.

The same year, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was established as a way to regulate and license online poker rooms, and today there are 250 regulated sites. Another big moment in poker history for Canada was when Isai Scheinberg created PokerStars. PokerStars is a billion dollar plus business and one of the most significant poker sites around the globe.

In 2010, plenty happened, including British Columbia accepting online poker via government regulation, plus Jonathan Duhamel won the main event at the WSOP earning $8.9 million. Quebec started Espace Jeux, as an exclusive resident-only online poker site. Plenty has happened since then, but the significant move most recently was Manitoba launching a provincial poker site with PlayNow as the platform.

Regulation for Top Poker Sites

Texas Hold’em is the top poker game played in Canada, probably because it is associated with Duhamel and the main event of WSOP. Players can get their hands in the game, learn how to play, and earn money by visiting the online poker websites that have licenses and regulations by Canadian authorities.

PokerStars, mentioned above as a Canadian based company, continues to be on the top of the leaderboard as the best place for Canadian players to go and enjoy the various types of poker. PartyPoker, SBPoker, BetOnline Poker, and 888Poker are the other four top places.

Whether players want to learn how to play Texas Hold’em, Omaha, seven-card stud, Razz, or horse, online poker locations offer these various versions. The top overall poker games are Texas Hold’em, Omaha, seven card stud, 2-7 triple draw, and Chinese poker, but these top games include data from around the globe. Whatever you wish to play is available.