Getting your gambling fix fixed in Ottawa

Travelling to gambling destinations has traditionally been popular, and still is to this day. But this tourism money isn’t coming to Ottawa businesses. We’re not blessed (or cursed, depending on your take on it) with many casinos in Ottawa and around Ontario. The ones we have aren’t even set in beautiful locations and can’t offer the stunning views seen at the Niagara Fallsview Casino for an example.

But why is this interesting? Well, gambling is on the rise in Canada. Online gambling, that is. Due to the COVID-19 situation, Canadian gambling habits are changing. At the beginning of May, ABACUS surveyed 1500 Canadians about their gambling habits. The results show that a total of 76% of Canadians don’t gamble at all, even still today in the fourth month of lock-down.

The remaining 24% reported the following:

  • 5% of the total population say that they gamble “more” or “much more” than they did before the pandemic started.
  • One-quarter (26%) of Canadians who gamble on a somewhat regular basis say that they gamble “more” or “much more” than they’d normally do.
  • Online casinos are the main point for gambling – 56% say they play on casinos while 41% bet on sports.
  • Since COVID-19 started, 78% of the surveyed answered that they did not gamble online before the pandemic lock-down.

Our takeaway is this: out of the 24% who reportedly gambled, 78% did not gamble before the COVID-lock-down started. It’s obvious that gambling in Canada is following the same trends as the rest of the world, and Ottawa isn’t an exception. Despite the lacking casino scene, there are ways to get your gambling fix in town.

Casinos in Ottawa

We don’t have a great selection of casinos in Ottawa. There’s the Rideau Carleton Casino and Casino du Lac-Leamy, but the Hilton Lac-Leamy Ottawas highest-rated landbased casino according to It’s easy to understand why, since the pool area and the rooftop restaurant hold international standard with beautiful views of the Ottawa River. None of the landbased casinos is rated very high, compared to the best Canadian online casinos of which many are rated 5-star. Online ratings take into consideration several factors that the physical casinos simply cannot provide, such as safety and responsible gambling measures.

Thanks to e-wallets and rigorous KYC-procedures, online casinos are seen as safer. Physical laws are rather easy to surpass. For the interested reader, the gambling laws in Ontario states the following:

“No person who is authorized to sell lottery tickets, and no person acting on such a person’s behalf, shall sell a lottery ticket to an individual under 18 years of age. Subsection (1) is not contravened if the person sells a lottery ticket to an individual relying on documentation of a type prescribed by the regulations and if there is no apparent reason to doubt the authenticity of the documentation or to doubt that it was issued to the individual producing it. No individual who is under 19 years of age shall enter or remain in a gaming site, except for an individual acting in the course of employment.” (All stated in “2011, c. 9, Sched. 17, s. 2 (2)”).

Teenagers in Dallas, Texas, are reportedly buying false ID cards so they can purchase alcohol, get into clubs and play casino. Teenagers in Canada are into the same shenanigans. A teenager in Toronto reported getting scammed while buying illegal false ID cards. The environment online prevents minors from gambling, which is a vital factor for safety.

Most Canadian are going to vacation domestically this year. While some physical casinos will remain closed, there will always be alternatives. Just make sure to stay safe and to gamble responsibly.

Header image: Loto Quebec