Explore Canada’s Casino Landscape: From Famous to the Undiscovered
Casinos in Canada have never been more popular. But why is this the case? In this Canada casino guide, we’ll be looking at the recent trends that have put casinos on the map. We’ll also be looking at some of the best Canadian gambling destinations, from the biggest names in the business to a few hidden gems you might have missed on your last gaming trip.
- No Better Time to Be a Canadian Casino Fan?
- The Big Players
- Casino de Montréal – The Jewel of Quebec
- Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort – A Modern Entertainment Hub
- River Cree Resort and Casino – Indigenous Gambling Exemplified
- Casino Regina – Gambling with a Historic Twist
- Casino Rama Resort – Ontario’s All-in-One Destination
- The Hidden Gems
- Something for Everyone: A Diverse Casinos Landscape Waiting to Be Explored
No Better Time to Be a Canadian Casino Fan?
Canadian casino fans are spoiled for choice these days. Thanks to a number of recent trends, Canadians can choose from more – and better – options for spending their gambling dollars than ever before. There are a few reasons for the recent boom, including:
- Evolving attitudes: Gambling was once a taboo subject for much of the population. Today, more people than ever like to gambling recreationally in one way or another. This includes a much more diverse group of players in terms of age, gender, race, and other identity groups, all of whom feel welcome at casinos in Canada.
- A more open market: Historically, gaming was banned in many provinces, while restricted to limited options such as lotteries in others. Today, new legislation has opened up gambling markets for casinos in places they could never exist before. To learn more about how this happened, check out our guide to Canadian gambling history, which covers the evolution of legal gambling in Canada.
- Positive economic impact: More communities are welcoming casinos to their neighbourhoods after seeing the beneficial economic impact of Canadian casinos. As a result, casinos are ending up in trendier destinations, making them more desirable and available to those who wouldn’t normally visit a casino on its own.
The Big Players
We’ll start our look at the top Canadian gambling destinations by looking at some of the best well-established venues in the country. These facilities are often created by major brands, and offer the rich, deep variety of experiences that you’d expect from a big-budget resort.
Casino de Montréal – The Jewel of Quebec
The Casino de Montréal is the largest casino in Canada, offering players an unparalleled variety of gaming options. Along with over 3,000 slot machines, there’s also a large choice of both traditional and electronic table games, as well as a poker room.
That isn’t even getting into the truly unique options you’ll find at Casino de Montréal. Arcade is a skill-based gaming area that uses images projected onto the floor to create six different immersive games, each with three varying difficulty levels. You can also check out “The Zone,” a hosted gaming area that allows communal play of popular electronic table games.
But the games are only part of the appeal. Casino de Montréal is also an experience, offering grandeur that will impress non-gamblers who never touch a slot machine. Consisting of two former Expo 67 pavilions and a third annex, the facility is located on the beautiful (and purpose-built) Notre Dame Island, making this a must-see attraction for all visitors to Montreal.
Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort – A Modern Entertainment Hub
Opened in 2004, the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort has emerged as one of the most prominent attractions in the area that overlooks the famous Horseshoe Falls near the Canadian/American border.
While the Fallsview Casino is known for a lot more than gambling, nobody will feel cheated for a lack of gaming choices here. The casino itself takes up approximately 19,000 square meters of space, with more than 3,500 slot machines and 130 table games, including its poker room.
What truly makes the Fallsview stand out, however, is everything else you’ll find throughout the resort. If you want to catch a shot, both the Avalon Theatre and the OLG Stage host top-tier music and comedy events all year long. Between gaming sessions, you can eat at award-winning restaurants and dozens of shops at various price points. For longer stays, a luxury hotel is available on site, while business clients can take advantage of extensive meeting and convention space.
River Cree Resort and Casino – Indigenous Gambling Exemplified
Conveniently located just outside of the city of Edmonton, the River Cree Resort and Casino offers one of the most enjoyable indigenous gaming experiences in Canada. The casino features nearly 1,400 slot machines, as well as around 40 table games and a 12-table poker room.
River Cree pays tribute to the Enoch Cree Nation, the First Nations tribal group that owns and hosts the resort.
The real attraction here may be the atmosphere. The design mixes traditional indigenous art with a modern look, providing visitors with a unique and pleasant experience throughout the resort.
Those looking to catch a show can check out The Venue, which often hosts mid-level musical groups and popular comedians. The resort also features a four-star hotel with 249 rooms, with the proximity to Edmonton making this an excellent option for those who want to do some gambling while they also visit the city. For more information, you can check out our complete review of River Cree Resort and Casino.
Casino Regina – Gambling with a Historic Twist
Located on Saskatchewan Drive in Regina, the Casino Regina is located in the city’s former union station. That building is now well over a century old, giving this venue a truly historic feel and a fascinating past that lives on through this day. In fact, Union Station was designated as a heritage site in 1991, owing to its historic importance to Regina.
As a result, this isn’t a purpose-built casino like some of the others on this list, and the venue isn’t quite so massive. Still, there are over 800 slot machines, 35 table games, and a small poker room. You can also catch entertainment at the Show Lounge, or eat at the Union Station Restaurant + Bar, which pays homage to the historic building and the Canadian railway system.
The historic nature of the building makes this a prime destination for anyone visiting Regina.
Casino Regina still puts on Union Station historic tours, and visitors can still see a schedule board in the central hall, which shows the final arrivals and departures from the day the station closed in 1990.
Casino Rama Resort – Ontario’s All-in-One Destination
Casino Rama is the largest First Nations casino in Canada. Opened in 1996, it is located in Rama, Ontario, boasting over 2,500 slot machines and 110 table games for players to choose from.
One of the best reasons to make your way out to Casino Rama is to catch some great entertainment in between your gaming sessions. The Entertainment Centre can hold over 5,000 viewers and has hosted some of the most popular music, magic, and theatre performers in the world.
If you’re into MMA, the casino has previously hosted cards for both the UFC and Bellator.
While you’re here, you can stay on the Rama First Nation in a luxury hotel that features 292 deluxe suites. You might also want to book a relaxing day at the hotel’s spa, which is open seven days a week, or check out the hotel pool, which has adults-only swimming hours early and late in the day.
The Hidden Gems
Not every great Canadian gambling destination is a huge resort operated by a major gaming company. There are a number of hidden gem casinos in Canada that are well worth your time and money to visit, especially if you want to go somewhere that’s a bit off the beaten path. Here’s a look at a few smaller and independently run casinos in Canada you might want to try.
- Aseneskak Casino, Opaskwayak – Billing itself as casino “The Best Little Casino in Canada,” the Aseneskak Casino is located in the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in northern Manitoba (northwest of Winnipeg). With a heavy emphasis on First Nations art and culture, there are also 172 slots and other machines you can play while you’re exploring the newly redesigned gaming floor.
- Elements Casino, Mohawk – The Elements Casino Mohawk offers up more than 1,000 slot machines to viewers, while also including a high-stakes room that caters to players who want to bet as much as $5 per spin. There are also restaurants, lounges, and other attractions here. However, the real reason to visit is the location, which is at Woodbine Mohawk Park. This means you can watch standardbred racing throughout the year, providing a great way to gamble outside of the casino as well.
- Casino Dene, Cold Lake – Located in Lakeland, Casino Dene offers one of the most popular indigenous tourism options in Alberta. The Casino features over 250 games, ranging from slot machines to table games and even a poker room. Visitors can stay at a modern hotel that still evokes an authentic First Nations feel, while free entertainment available nearly every Friday or Saturday night adds a festive nature to the festivities on weekend trips.
- The Starlight Casino, Vancouver – The Starlight Casino is hardly a tiny venue, featuring over 900 slot machines and 54 table games alongside a popular racebook that offers betting on horse racing from around the world. However, the most unique attraction here may be the roof, which consists of over 8,000 glass panes to create a starry atmosphere on the casino floor. Whether grabbing a meal or checkout out the Solar Arena for electronic table gaming, the dazzling views aren’t to be missed.
Something for Everyone: A Diverse Casinos Landscape Waiting to Be Explored
As this list shows, the culture of casinos in Canada is diverse, rich, and tremendously varied. The next time you’re considering a night of gambling, we recommend checking out both the country’s most famous casinos as well as some of our hidden gems.
If you’re looking for advice on planning a trip to any of these Canadian gambling destinations, check out our casino road trip guide, which has helpful tips for taking a road trip with a gaming twist. Meanwhile, if you’re looking to enjoy casino gaming without getting to a major venue, take a look at some of the newest mobile casinos that will let you play your favourite games on your phone while traveling by train or bus – or even while you’re sitting at home.