Land Based Casinos in Canada

Gambling has been a feature of Canadian life since the Canadian Criminal Code gave its OK in 1892, allowing racetrack betting, games of chance and some charity gambling events. In 1970 the Criminal Code was changed to give each province the authority to regulate and license gambling in the province. The first land-based casinos in Canada opened in 1989 and since then, dozens of brick-and-mortar casinos have been built throughout the country. 

Today gamers can find land-based casinos in Canada in almost every province, offering a wide range of games, land-based casino events and performances, dining options and bonus offers for high stakes and low stakes players alike. 

Lotteries and Gaming Corporations

The change in the Criminal Code of 1970 resulted in the creation of a multi-billion dollar gambling industry in Canada. The code puts the responsibility for supervising gambling activities in the hands of each individual province's finance ministry. The finance ministries, in turn, have created corporations which operate and regulate gaming activities that take place in the province. These Lotteries and Gambling Corporations operate the lotteries, race tracks betting and video lottery terminals (VTLs), gambling centres, bingo halls, charity gaming, and land-based casinos that operate in the province.  Their Boards of Directors report to the relevant province's Ministry of Finance. 

Pros and Cons of Land-Based Casinos

Every time that the development of a casino is proposed, advocates and detractors lock horns. The advocates point to the economic development that casinos bring to the area while detractors rue the social costs that promoting a potential addictive behavior can have on a community. 

There are pros and cons of playing at land-based casino Canada venues for gamers as well. Entering a casino venue, with its bright lights, friendly dealers and co-players is exciting and entertaining. But traveling to a casino and finding accommodations (when necessary) is time consuming and expensive. In addition, the casino's house edge is lowered to cover its operating costs – staffing, building expenses, property taxes, etc, resulting in lower take-home payouts for winners.

Over the last 20 years, since the introduction of the Internet, many gamers have begun to spend at least some of their gaming time and budget at Canadian online web casinos where they can play from home on their PC or mobile device and receive a higher percentage of the house edge. 

Land Based Casino Reviews

The quality of land based casinos in Canada range widely so it's a good idea to read the land-based casino reviews before you decide where you plan to play. For a short summary of Canadian casino venues and land-based casino bonus, check out these reviews of the top Canadian land-based casinos.


The Toronto Woodbine Track combines casino entertainment with the fun of harness racing excitement. Horse racing fans can enjoy both thoroughbred and standardbred horse racing events in the heart of Toronto. Woodbine has been slated for expansion as a full-fledged casino and, in addition to the hundreds of present VTLs, the casino will increase the number of slot machines to 5,000,  add 120 gaming tables such as craps, blackjack and roulette and create a poker room.  Dining and entertainment options would also be added. 


Windsor Caesars Casino, located in Windsor across the border from Detroit, draws patrons from both sides of the border. Caesar's  offers hundreds of game options including blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, roulette, craps and both traditional baccarat and mini baccarat  along with hundreds of both penny and dollar slots and multiple progressive jackpot games.

Caesars Windsor slot are powered by Total Touch technology which enables players to order cocktails as they play their slots with the touch of a button, continue their gaming and receive their drink from the bar.  Total Touch remembers each person's drink history, making it easy for gamers to re-order their favourites.

Windsor also offers sports betting at the casino’s Legends Sports Bar where participants can watch Pro Baseball, American Professional Football, North American Professional Hockey and American college football and basketball on the bar's screen.  The casino's Colosseum  brings big stars to perform for gamers and visitors alike.


The River Rock Casino in Vancouver combines gaming fun with resort relaxation. River Rock is located in Richmond, near the Vancouver airport and convenient for drivers coming from Vancouver, the Lower Mainland or Washington. River Rock offers gambling events for beginning and advanced players. The poker room features seven kinds of poker to enable each player to compete at the poker variation that he prefers, with options including Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, Texas Hold ‘Em Bonus Poker. Pot Limit Omaha Poker, Three-Card Poker, Four-card Poker and Fortune Pai Gow Poker.

Video poker options with progressive jackpots are also available.

There are over one thousand slots to choose from at River Rock with both penny slots, quarter slots and dollar slots. River Rock slot machines are based on interactive themes to provide a slots experience that meets individual interests and fantasies. Slots storylines at River rock include storylines of humor, romance, mysticism, mystery, intrigue, travel, mythology, adventure, magic, history, whimsy and more.

Games of roulette, craps and baccarat are also featured. The River Rock entertainment centre brings top acts to Vancouver and the dining options offer eateries that cater to any taste or budget.


The Great Northern Casino is one of the top Alberta casinos, featuring hundreds of Vegas style games with over four hundreds slot machines, multiple progressive jackpots and a VLT Room that features 30 terminals. The casino offers an engaging  casino experience of three-reel “spin and win” classic slot machines, hundreds of five-reel video slots or tournament play. The slots room opens at 10:00 am and closes in the wee hours of the morning.

Popular Great Northern poker games include Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em Poker and Three Card Poker  with Texas Hold ‘Em Cash games featured as daily specials with low minimum by-ins.  Every Friday there are No Limit Dealers Choice game that starts at 3:oop.m., No Limit Omaha cash games that begin at 2:00p.m.and big Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments that are held every Sunday.

$60,000 wins on poker are not uncommon at the Great Northern Casino.  Great Northern Casino boasts a showroom, lounge and multiple dining options including the Platinum Lounge which can accommodate 275 patrons in an atmosphere of fine dining before or after one of the world-class musical and entertainment acts. 

With a little research you can find the best land based casinos in Canada for your gambling entertainment.