The Legality of Gambling in Canada


Whether you are a fan of gambling or not, you probably have at least heard about it. Gambling can be a social problem if it isn’t controlled, but what is the legality of gambling in Canada?

Legality of gambling in Canada

During the first years of the 20th century, gambling was considered disreputable and illegal in Canada. This was due to the Criminal Code, which made different types of gambling illegal.

Since then, the legality of gambling in Canada has improved drastically. The country’s gambling industry has grown to more than US $6,000 million a year. This revenue is used for community services.

Today, Canada has more than 100 gambling venues across the country. They span hundreds of thousands of square feet. While some of them are operated by private companies, the majority are owned by the government.

Some provinces have stricter rules than others when it comes to gambling. For example, in Manitoba, the minimum age for gambling is 19 years old. In Quebec, the minimum age is 18 years old.

Social impact of gambling on Canadians

Despite the rapid expansion of gambling in Canada, studies have largely neglected to examine the social impact of gambling on Canadians. The social history of gambling in Canada has followed a trajectory similar to that of Britain. However, the rise of medical discourse and the putative harmfulness of electronic gambling machines has generated public debate.

The gambling industry is now more willing to intervene than in the past. Gambling revenues can be directed to beneficial causes. However, the industry lacked safeguards for problem gamblers.

Consequently, the social history of gambling in Canada has been characterized by rapid expansion, public policy concerns, and the absence of regulatory uniformity. Moreover, the ambiguous Criminal Code gambling statutes created significant uncertainty and led to a lack of uniformity in gambling regulation.

The current investigation aims to address four key research goals. It is designed to generate new scientific knowledge about gambling. It will provide a better understanding of the social impacts of gambling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study will use a sequential explanatory mixed-method design. It will include a quantitative cross-sectional survey of Quebec residents who gambled in the past 12 months, and a qualitative study of the impacts of the pandemic on health and gambling.