Online gambling is a huge market worldwide, providing an estimated $66.67 billion of global revenue in 2020. While across the world there are different gambling laws, many countries enjoy the freedom to access casino games online as they choose.
Canada has had a murky history when it comes to gambling with the law lacking clarity on many of the specifics. That being said, residents across Canada are today able to enjoy online gambling from thousands of providers. As for Montreal, all activities are overseen by the Quebec Alcohol, Racing, and Gaming Commission.
Below, we’ll take a look at Montreal's thriving casino market, including the best casinos in Montreal and discuss what the future of casino games looks like for the city.
Montreal’s casino landscape
As each province is in control of local gambling laws, Montreal falls under the local jurisdiction of Quebec. The Quebec local authorities have allowed gambling games of chance since 1970, with more and more brick-and-mortar casinos popping up over the past few decades.
There are a number of forms of gambling allowed in Quebec, from horse racing to lotteries, sports betting, bingo and charitable games, video lottery terminals, and of course, casinos. Quebec has 9 land-based casinos that are popular with both locals and neighboring residents.
As for online gambling, residents of the French speaking region are a little more restricted. While Quebec residents are currently able to lawfully access a range of Canadian online casinos, including government owned Espacejeux, authorities are soon to change these rules.
Recently, licensing authorities in Quebec have announced plans to block any online gaming site that’s not approved and licensed by Loto-Quebec. With this being said, the laws in Canada for online gambling are still a grey area, with many residents being able to access online casino sites from offshore providers, without facing any penalties.
Online casino laws in Canada mean citizens can gamble with offshore providers.
The top casinos in Montreal
With 9 casinos located in the Quebec region, the city of Montreal hosts many of these venues. As North America’s top hosting city for events, Montreal is the location of the famous annual Cirque de Soleil, as well as being host to the summer Olympics in 1976, and playing host to Expo 67; considered to be one of the most successful world fairs of the 20th century.
As for casinos, we’ve listed some of Montreal’s best casinos below.
Casino de Montreal
With a 3 ½ star Yelp rating, Casino de Montreal is one of the most popular land based casinos in the Quebec region. Located on Notre Dame Island in the borough of Ville-Marie, not only is it the largest casino in Canada but it also offers the complete entertainment experience.
As well as being home to one of Canada’s best casino facilities, Casino de Montreal also features games shows, a number of restaurants, cabaret, a number of bars and frequent tournaments. As for the actual casino, it is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and has a huge variety of casino games available.
Playground is a well-known poker club in Kahnawake that was established in 2010. Today, the establishment is recognized on a global scale, with Canadian residents travelling from nearby regions to visit the venue.
Playground features over 70 poker tables, 400 electronic gaming devices, and a Rail Coal Fire Bistro. The venue is licensed by local authorities and is one of the premier go to destinations for poker players in the area.
Jilly’s is a popular pool hall in Montreal, providing 24-hour gaming, live shows and a restaurant. With bottle service and cabaret shows, a visit to Jillys provides one of the most entertaining evenings that Montreal residents can find.
The popularity of online casinos in Canada
While the law is murky when it comes to online casino use across Canada, the majority of Montreal and wider Canadian citizens are able to access online casinos from offshore providers, as well as one licensed by local authorities.
Thanks to technological developments like the widespread capabilities of 4G and now 5G, more and more people across Canada are now able to enjoy online casino games from a portable device. This means that players can now access their favourite casino games at any time and almost anywhere, from snowcapped mountains (if there’s a Wi-Fi signal) to the morning commute or even just from the comfort of the sofa at home.
More Canadians can now access casino games via mobile phones.
What types of online casino games are available?
There are a huge number of online casino games available as today’s online casino market has become highly saturated. As a result, there’s now a huge amount of competition for online providers to attract and retain regular customers. This has meant that providers have needed to come up with innovative ways of keeping players.
Some of today’s available online casino games include:
Live Dealer Poker
Online video slots and themed slots
Overall, the casino market today is thriving in Montreal. With a variety of brick-and-mortar casinos in the area and a number of online casino providers available to residents, the future of casinos in the French speaking city looks promising.