Most popular casinos to visit in or near Ottawa


Gambling is a global pastime that is seemingly on an unstoppable upwards trajectory, for the most part, thanks to the invention of the smartphone and widespread internet penetration. In Canada, it has had a long and turbulent history.

That is so because European settlers brought over with them a very conservative attitude towards this hobby. The country first Criminal Code upheld these stances, but in the late 1980s, things began to change as Winnipeg became the home to the first commercial Canadian casino.

Four years later, a large venue opened its doors in Montreal.

Today, there are eighty-nine land-based gaming/betting establishments in Canada, many of whom provide slot and table action. Twenty-nine of these are in the province of Ontario. Thus, Ottawans have a slew of gambling options in and around their city to visit.

To make things simple for locals who want to test their luck on games of chance and those looking to make the trip to Silicon Valley North wishing to partake in some gambling, in the subheadings below, we will answer the following questions:

  • Is it legal to gamble in Ontario?
  • Where can I gamble in Ontario?
  • What is the best Canadian casino?
  • What is the best casino for real money in Ottawa?
  • Who owns the casinos in Ontario?
  • Are there any Ottawa casinos online?

Is It Legal to Gamble In Ontario?

It is essential to note that gambling exists in Canada under the authority of the country’s federal Criminal Code. That said, each province monitors betting operations that happen within their bordersThe Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, founded in 1975, is responsible for all B-Town’s gaming activities. That includes horse-racing tracks and charitable gambling halls.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario regulates these reports to the Ministry of the Attorney General. It claims to do so per the principles of integrity, honesty, and in the public interest.

Canadian law doesn't prohibit betting over the Internet, as long as the websites offering such services have gotten licensed by a provincial government. PlayOLG is Ontario’s first provincially government-regulated internet gambling site. It mainly focuses on selling lottery tickets but also provides interactive casino-style products.

Ontario residents who do not fancy it are free to play at offshore sites without fear of facing any prosecution for that act.

Best Casinos to Visit in Ottawa

Sadly, according to gambling reviews, none of the best Ontario casinos are in or near Ottawa. Those can get found on the US border. Nonetheless, that does not mean that the country’s capital has no such spots worth visiting. Here are a few that should satisfy most gamblers' appetites. If they do not, real cash online casinos based elsewhere are always an option.

•       Rideau Carleton Raceway Casino – Located at 4837 Albion Road, the Rideau Carleton is Ottawa’s premium destination for 24/7 gaming fun. It is currently undergoing renovations and will soon get rebranded under the Hard Rock banner. Phase one of this process got completed in the fall of 2018. Its current floor spans almost 140,000 square feet, housing over 1,250 gambling machines and thirty-five live tables. There is even a dedicated poker room that offers low-limit Texas Hold 'Em tournaments and cash games.

The on-premises dining options here include the Constant Grind, the YOUTYU Noodle Bar, the Clubhouse, and Caffe Italiano. Since September 22, all visitors that wish to enter this establishment must present proof of vaccination (two doses). Essentially, this is the only full-blown casino in Ottawa.

•        Casino du Lac-Leamy – Situated in Gatineau, Quebec, about a ten-minute drive from Ottawa’s city center, Casino du Lac-Leamy is a prestigious gambling locale that got up and running in 1996. The Société des casinos du Québec, a subsidiary of Loto-Québec, owns and operates it, and it serves most of Eastern Ontario. Lac-Leamy provides over 1,800 slot machines and sixty-five tables. It boasts five exceptional restaurants and four bars.

The most recommended ones from each batch are Le Baccara and Club Alea. A vaccination passport and a photo ID must get shown at the door here by anyone hoping to walk into this property.

•       Le Petit Manoir du Casino – Found in the heart of the Charlevoix region in Quebec, the Le Petit Manoir du Casino is a long drive from Ottawa but one worth making, as it offers breathtaking nature and dozens of activities to spice up your holiday. The resort has a hotel with panoramic river views, a fitness room, pools and spas, and a golf course.

Those that come during the wintertime can even rent snowmobiles. The resort's casino offers a dynamic and fun atmosphere in a beautiful setting, complete with live musical performances. It is somewhat more modest than the two other venues listed but still has its decent share of quality gambling machines and tables.

It also follows all government-issued safety precautions and requires the presentation of a vaccination passport from those wishing to gain entry.

Who Owns The Casinos In Ontario?

As mentioned, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) owns all gambling establishments in Ontario. It is a Crown corporation, an entity with a mixture of public policy and commercial objectives that is 100% controlled by the Monarchy of Canada. It came into existence via the Ontario Lottery Corporation Act of 1975. We should mention that even though OLG owns and manages most casinos in Ontario, many of them have private operators, notably Gateway Casinos & Entertainment and Great Canadian Gaming.

To Wrap Up

Unfortunately, Ottawa does not possess a vast selection of land-based casinos. That may soon change, as in June of this year, Canadian lawmakers passed C-218 that allowed provinces to regulate single-game sports betting. Ontario did so this year. Therefore, given the global sports wagering boom that is going on, it is reasonable to expect that Rideau Carleton Casino will no longer be the only venue of its kind in the nation’s capital.

Per a summer 2021 report from Global Industry Analysts, the worldwide betting market will start pulling in $876 billion in revenues by 2026, as this activity becomes less taboo in all corners of the globe. The same should hold for the Great White North, where demand for wagering on sporting events and games of chance grows year on year.

About the Author
Shelly Schiff has been working in the gambling industry since 2009, mainly on the digital side of things, employed by Safest Betting Sites. However, over her eleven-year career, Shelly has provided content for many other top interactive gaming websites. She knows all there is to know about slots and has in-depth knowledge of the most popular table games. Her golden retriever Garry occupies most of her leisure time. Though, when she can, she loves reading Jim Thompson-like crime novels.