Ottawa is the capital city of Canada located in the Ontario province, and it’s the fourth largest city in the country. Ottawa has a metropolitan population of about 1.3 million.
The federal Criminal Code determines which gambling activities are allowed in Canada. Each province is responsible for overseeing the licensing and governing of gambling activities within their respective jurisdictions.
In Ottawa, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is in charge of regulating the gambling industry. It presides over charitable gaming, casino gaming, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporations (OLG), and online gaming.
There are three main casinos located in and around Ottawa. The AGCO regulates them, and the OLG manages them.
The AGCO processes applications for offering gambling related services. Those under the age of 19 are not allowed to set foot on the casino floor unless they work there.
One of the leading casinos in Ottawa is the Casino du Lac Leamy, which underwent extensive $50 million renovations in 2012, completed in 2015. They offer over 2,000 slots, more than 65 gaming tables, and one of the best hotels in Canada.
The Fallsview Casino Resort is built on a massive site that encompasses over 200,000 square feet. They host more than 3,000 slot machines and 130 table games, such as blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat.
The casino is located in a wonderful location on the side of a cliff that overlooks the Horseshoe Falls. It cost $1 billion to build and was opened for business in 2004. It was the biggest one-time investment made by the Government of Ontario in the Ottawa region. It is owned by the state and operated by the OLG.
Finally, the Rideau Carleton Raceway is a racecourse that has been open since 1962 and underwent extensive renovations around the turn of the century. This was paired with racing establishments in Ontario being allowed to start offering slot machines on site.
The OLG contributes a significant portion of revenue from their casino operations to various charities.
The provincial government made moves to privatize the OLG in 2012 as it was struggling with a budget deficit. It also looked to build more casinos in the province, including in the Ottawa area. More than 12 casinos were set to be built in the province, though this was defeated by different city councils.
PlayOLG, run by the OLG, is the only platform that offers online gambling in Ottawa.
The site offers a vast array of games, such as blackjack, craps, roulette, poker, and slots. It was initially launched in 2015 and has managed to win the residents’ support. Many people in Ottawa had turned to offshore online platforms over the years due to the absence of a home-grown platform.
The people of Ottawa love their sports. Currently, there are four major league teams based in the city – the Ottawa Senators, who are part of the NHL, the Ottawa Redblacks, who are in the Canadian Football League, the Ottawa Fury, who are in the United Soccer League, and the Ottawa Champions, which are part of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball.
Sports betting is very popular in the city. The only sports betting offering in Ottawa is called OLG Proline.
OLG Proline offers four types of betting markets. The Pro Line market allows you to predict three to six outcomes for given sporting events.
The events and odds offered are listed on the site. All of your selections need to be successful for you to win. The smallest wager you can place is $2, and the highest is $100. Currently, you can bet on:
- Canadian professional football
- American professional football
- American College basketball
- European soccer
- North American soccer
You cannot place any single bet on a given game. The odds as part of these offerings are typically poor and not competitive compared to offshore sportsbooks. To play, you need to fill in a sheet at a selected retail outlet.
There is a pool betting option that resembles a progressive jackpot. You choose your predicted outcomes for the given events, and the bet is always fixed at $5. The person who successfully predicts the greatest number of outcomes receives all of the money contributed to the pool from each ticket purchase.
There is a point spread option that allows you choose two to 12 selections and predict if the teams will cover the outlined spread.
Finally, there is a prop betting offering. You select the over/under for a given game. There are also smaller bets that you can make within the game. For football games, this comes as wagering on fumbles, completions, and sacks.
You can use the OLG Proline online betting system to view the markets, but you cannot place your bets online.
For this reason, many Ottawa residents use offshore sportsbooks to fulfil their sports betting needs.
Horse racing is the only gambling activity in Canada that is overseen by a federal authority and not by the provinces. There is a long tradition of horse racing in the country that continue to this day.
The Ontario Racing Commission supervises horse racing in Ottawa. While slot machines have been allowed in horse tracks since the turn of the century, the OLG has been talking about taking these machines out of the race tracks.
The only race track in Ottawa is the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino, which has been in operation since 1962 as an establishment and has hosted races since 1886. This is the oldest type of gambling in the country, and it is always a crowd pleaser in Ottawa on race day.
There are numerous poker rooms found in and around Ottawa. In the city itself, the only place to place poker is at the Casino du Lac Leamy. There are talks that the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino will offer poker games in the near future.
The AGCO oversees the regulation of the Ottawa lottery. This is laid out in the Gaming Control Act of 1992, which was initially brought in to put in place parameters for the rapidly expanding gambling sector.
The Gaming Control Commission of Ontario presides over the the provincial lottery’s integrity. An individual needs to be at least 18 years old to purchase a lottery ticket in a retail outlet. If you are looking to purchase a ticket online through PlayOLG, you need to be at least 19 years old.
The Ontario Lottery has been around since 1975 when the Ontario Lottery Corporation Act was enacted. In 2007, new regulations were implemented to add further player protections.
In 2010, a plan to modernize the lottery was announced. This extended the OLG’s powers and allowed it to sell lottery tickets in an online environment.
Casinos were also given the go-ahead to hold their own lotteries. These plans were first implemented in 2012, with the online ticket sales component being the first part of the process.
Bingo in Ottawa is looked after by the AGCO. You need to obtain a regular bingo license if you want to offer prizes that total $5,500 or less. For prize pools over $5,500, a special (monster) bingo license is required.
Electronic bingo was first introduced by OLG in 2005 and was initially introduced in six locations across the province.
There are currently four bingo halls located in Ottawa:
- Overbrook Bingo Palace
- Friends’ Bingo Hall
- Bingoland South
- Shanghai Restaurant
As the capital city of Canada, Ottawa is bound to provide some impressive gambling offerings. Ottawa is home to numerous top-quality casinos, including a couple of resorts that are among the best around.
A massive part of the city’s gambling offering is the PlayOLG platform, which allows Ottawa residents to play their favorite casino and table game online without dealing with an offshore operator.
It is a pity that sports betting is only allowed in an offline environment through selected retail stores.
The prominent racetrack in the province is located in Ottawa – the Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino, which is a popular pastime in the city. Overall, Ottawa benefits from one of the more expansive sets of gambling rules, especially thanks to the online platform available for residents to use.