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Canadian Casino Heritage and Lingo

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--January 10, 2022.

Canadian Casino Heritage and Lingo
Canada’s casino and gambling industry has gone through a huge transformation over the years, turning into a multi-billion-dollar business. An industry that started with animal bone games thousands of years ago has transformed into lots of online casinos to choose from. As such, Canada is hailed as one of the countries where some of the earliest gambling games were conceived.

Canadian Casino Heritage
For many centuries, gambling games were played in small, unofficial gatherings long before online casinos first appeared. Like the history of online casinos, it’s hard to tell when Canadians started betting on different games. However, the first record of gamblers playing games of chance in Canada goes back several thousands of years ago.

Indigenous Canadian people played games of chance using animal bones to compete against each other in a game known as Slahal. The game is still played in casinos today and it features several aspects like a sacred ritual and recreation activities to win money from it.

Ban on Dice Games in the 14th Century
In the 14th century, Canada was a territory of England. Under British rule, gambling activities were promptly outlawed in Canada when England prohibited different dice games. The reason behind this was that Richard III believed the game was too distracting for the soldiers and wasted their time. As a result, all the dice games were banned.

Native Tribes Playing Card Games in the 15th Century
Playing card games became prevalent when the Chinese invented paper around 2000 years ago. As such, the first card games were likely played in Korea and China, but it’s still unclear when the Canadians first started playing these games. Nonetheless, the Canadians were recorded playing cards in the late 15th century when John Cadot visited the East Coast and found native tribes playing games of luck using cards.

Pari-Mutuel Betting and Some Games Allowed in the 20th century
In the late 19th century, the Canadian Criminal Code enforced by the English common law was still in place and allowed gambling under several conditions. Two decades later (1910), an amendment was made to allow pari-mutuel betting. This betting system involves collecting all the bets in a pool, translating to gamblers wagering amongst themselves.

This betting system is mainly used when wagering on horse races. This amendment also allowed occasional games of chance where proceeds were used for charities and religious purposes. Throughout the years, most casino gaming laws were amended and remained relatively unchanged until 1970 when several amendments paved the way for a multibillion-dollar industry.

The Rise of a Multibillion-dollar Business

Changes in gambling laws in the 70s helped to pave the way for the rise of a multibillion-dollar industry. These changes in the law allowed provinces to implement their own gambling laws and in 1985, sports betting finally became legal in Canada. However, single-game betting was still illegal.

In 1989, Canada’s first land-based casino opened its door in Winnipeg. Another land-based casino followed suit in Montreal in 1993, with other provinces like Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia following a few years later. Several jurisdictions also placed video lottery outlets in their provinces, generating millions annually.

Over the years, Canada’s gambling industry went online, making it easy for gamblers to enjoy their favorite casino games at the comfort of their homes. That has helped the Canadian gambling industry to grow, with over 19 million people in the country regularly partaking in wagering. As a result, Canada’s gambling industry reported over $2.6 billion in revenue in 2020.

Canadian Casino Lingo
Some of the most commonly used terms in Canadian land-based and online casinos are:

Bankroll
Bankroll refers to the amount of cash that you set aside for your gambling activities. For most players, that’s the total amount of money you can afford to risk playing casino games.

Croupier/ Dealer
A croupier or a dealer is the person employed by the casino to assist in conducting games, especially distributing bets and payouts. In Canada, croupiers are required to get a gambling license before commencing employment.

Double or Nothing
Double or Nothing is a popular type of bet that’s even money. That means you’ll double your money when you win or get nothing when you lose. An example of such a bet is odds/even or red/black bets in roulette.

House Edge
The casino establishment is also known as the house. As such, the house edge indicates the business’s advantage in winning every game. Keep in mind that casino games always give the casino a certain advantage. That’s why casino players say that the house always wins.

Whale
Casino operators love whales. Whales are essentially the super-wealthy gamblers who visit casinos with huge amounts of money and wager on different games. Such kinds of players enjoy betting large sums of money and they hardly care whether they win or lose provided they have fun.