If you are keen to play at a Casino in Canada, you’ll have plenty of choice. You can visit a physical casino or take your choice of playing at a massive variety of online casinos. No two casinos are quite the same. So, it’s a good idea to figure out what you are looking for before you make your choice.
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Table of Contents
Established online casinos
The first ever online Casino was InterCasino, it was launched in 1996 and was the start of a multi-billion-dollar industry. Although it was rare that a physical casino would move entirely online, quite a few game providers started developing more of their games purely for the online customer. For example, Bally Entertainment has existed in one way or another since the 1930s.
By far though, most of the biggest online casinos have only been around for the last decade or two. Although not necessarily the best-known casinos in the world, Gaming Club, English Harbour Casino and InterTops all share the honour of being some of the oldest online casinos.
New Online casinos
Older casinos obviously hold great experience and earn their reputation. But sometimes new casinos bring innovation not always visible to their older counterparts.
You’ll find benefits of playing at casinos new and old. So, it’s worth having a look at what’s an offer out there. We try our best to keep you up to date, so be sure to check in regularly to find out about the newest and best online casinos in Canada.
Land based Casinos
Physical casinos have been a fixture around the world for hundreds of years. The Casino di Venezia has been around since 1638 (although its location has changed).
You won’t find land-based casinos everywhere in Canada. It all depends on the regulation of each province. Most are based around Niagara Falls.
Casino Niagara is one of the best-known land-based casinos in the country. It’s been thrilling players since 1996 with over 95 thousand square feet of gaming space.
If you want a big night out, there’s nothing quite like the glitz and glam of a brick and mortar casino with your friends. The best ones come complete with award winning restaurants, hot bars and pumping night clubs.
Differences between land based and online casinos
Quality casinos can be found in all forms in Canada. New and old, online and offline. There are some obvious differences between land based and online casinos. The obvious one is distance, an online casino is anywhere you are. A land-based casino is a physical space that you actually need to go to. Some of the differences are a little more subtle but will still affect your experience.
Eating and drinking
Land-based casinos have all sorts of rules when it comes to eating and drinking. Some may not allow it at all. Others may encourage you drinking and offer free beverages right at your table. Food can also vary, from nothing on offer to award winning chefs.
Of course, on the flip side, if you are playing online, you can eat and drink exactly what you wish.
The dress code at casinos has changed over the years. Casinos used to be all about the glitz and glamour, people dressed up to go to the casino, much like they did to go to the theatre. But times have changed. Dress codes can vary, but generally unless you find yourself in the most up-market of casinos you’ll be able to wear pretty much what you want.
If you really want to ensure your comfort, your best bet is to play online. Wear what you want and play from the comfort of your couch.
We’ve already touched on it, but the most obvious difference between an online casino and one that is land based is the access. In order to get to a brick and mortar casino you’ll need to travel. Depending on the casino there are a variety of modes of transport to get you there. You might get there via car, bus or train.
On the flip side, if you play at an online casino, all it takes is a simple click on your electronic device. Where you play is completely up to you.
Enter a physical casino and you’ll be able to enjoy the vibe. Physical casinos spend a fortune on the layout, buildings and décor to create an energetic and fun atmosphere. One where you might feel like anything can happen.
Without physical cues, it might be tricker for an online casino to set themselves apart from the rest. One of the biggest ways they do this is by offering special bonuses. And none is more sought after than the No Deposit Bonus. It gives you the chance to play games completely for free. Something not available at most land-based casinos.
You’ll be able to receive support at both a physical and a land-based casino. But they will vary. In a land-based casino you’ll be able to reach out for help from most members of staff. Depending on what assistance you need you might be able to approach the help desk, ask a croupier or the wait staff.
At an online casino, assistance is generally more immediate. Depending on the casino, you can contact customer service via a helpline, live chat or email. Some are available 24/7, while others hold strict office hours.
Unless you are going to an incredibly exclusive private physical casino, chances are you won’t be able to protect your privacy. Most brick and mortar casinos have countless security cameras and require you to present photo ID. So even without spending a single cent your identity may be recorded.
At online casinos there are multiple ways to protect your privacy. First of all, you can choose to play for free, not providing any personal details. Even if you want to play for real money your identity will be better protected. Why? Because online casinos use SSL encryption technology to protect your personal and financial information.
Currencies and language
You can also further protect your information if you chose to use a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. Generally, cryptocurrencies are only available at online casinos. In fact, if you want to play in any currency other than Canadian Dollar, you’ll be better off using playing at an online casino.
At physical casinos you’ll probably be able to find staff who can assist you in English or French. Play at online casinos and customer service and games will be available in multiple languages.
The variety of games varies both at online and at old school casinos. Some casinos will specialize in only one sort of game, such as slots or table games. While other casinos can include specialty games such as Bingo or Keno.
You’ll also find some games that are more common at physical casinos. For example, Craps is common in casinos in North America, but less so at new online casinos.
Special rewards offered by old and online casinos vary. Usually only high rollers receive special benefits at physical casinos. For example, if you’ve been spending lots of money at a casino you might be rewarded with free drinks, meals or even comped hotel rooms.
Rewards at online casinos tend to be more bonus based. You can benefit from Free Spins, Free Bets, Reload Bonuses, Cashback and much more.
Differences between new and old online casinos
The differences between new and old casinos doesn’t just relate to physical and online casinos. Even in the online world there can be a massive difference between casinos that have been around for a long time and those that have only recently joined the industry.
Older established casinos have had more time to build their reputation, develop relationships with game providers and understand players.
On the other hand, newer casinos often bring innovation, and their small size means they can move quicker on industry trends.
Variety of games
Generally speaking the longer a casino has been around the more games the casino will offer. But this isn’t always the case. Some older casinos may have decided to only focus on one type of game, for example, progressive jackpots.
Over time older casinos have had more time to build relationships with developers, so they might benefit from exclusive games and in-game promotions.
That being said, new casinos often have the opportunity to partner with newer studios. Newer studios might be keen to make a name for themselves, so it might be ideal for them to work together with a newer casino.
Older casinos have had more time to grow. Growth often leads to an online casino being able to hire more staff. More staff means more people available in the customer service department. And also means that more channels will be available to customers, at more frequent hours. But growth, also means more customers.
Newer casinos might have a smaller service department, but with a smaller customer base there might actually be less customers per agent, leading to more attention.
This could also go either way. New Casinos have the benefit of being small and more adaptive. Being newer also means they are generally less set in their ways and more open to innovation. Sometimes new casinos are started specifically because the founder of the new online casino have developed some sort of technology that they believe may change the industry.
That’s not to say that old casinos don’t embrace or even develop new technologies. Many established online casinos have large research and development teams just for this purpose. At the end of the day it all depends on the focus of the casino.
Like any new business, anyone starting a new casino needs to be aware of industry trends. We have our finger on the pulse of the casino industry. By knowing about trends in the industry we’re able to tell you about if new casinos really are as good as they say they are. Most new casinos try to push the idea that they know the world of casino. If they do, they’ll be aware and offer at least a few of the following trends.
Evolution of payment methods
It’s not so long ago that the only payment options available at casinos were debit and credit cards or bank transfers. The rare casino would accept checques, although this obviously came with its own set of challenges. In recent years cyber criminals have become more and more sophisticated, leading players and online customers in search of better and more secure payment methods.
Being a technologically advanced industry, casinos have helped pave the way for plenty of new payment methods.
The best known eWallet is probably PayPal. But for whatever reason PayPal isn’t often available at Canadian casinos. Basically, an eWallet uses a third party to protect your financial information. This is useful not only for security but also speed of access. Examples of eWallets commonly used at new online casinos are EcoPayz, WebMoney, Jeton and InstaDebit.
Pre-Paid Cards offer another way to ensure the security of your financial information. In certain ways it is the most untraceable. You can purchase Pre-Paid cards at a variety of outlets including gas stations, newsstands, convenience stores and newsstands.
Buy one with cash and there is no way to trace it back to you. These are useful for making deposits at new online casinos, but can’t be used to make withdrawals, as there is no where to withdraw your money to.
Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies
One of the biggest innovations over the last few years are cryptocurrencies. There are actually several casinos in Canada that encourage payments made by Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
A few casinos will also accept via Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin, Litecoin and Tether. But the most common is still Bitcoin. Many casinos actually encourage dep
osits made with Bitcoin, offering special Welcome and Reload Bonus for customers who use this payment method.
Perhaps no longer the newest innovation in online casinos, its still evolving by the day. Live Dealer allows players to enjoy a physical casino without leaving their couch. Games are actually played live with real croupiers at real tables. HD cameras help to bring you right into the action. You can also use live chat to converse with the dealers and other players at the table.
More recently developments have allowed casino to offer special bonuses at dedicated Live Dealer tables.
This is a completely new type of slot game. The first one was released in 2016 and has only gotten better over the years. Older slots only allowed a limited number of ways to win, this all comes down to the static number of reels and lines.
Megaways offers a new format. Instead of static lines and reels all can expand, allowing for hundreds if not thousands of ways to hit a win. The best know Megaways is the Rainbow Riches Megaways Slot, but you can also try Kingmaker Megaways Slot, God of Olympus Megaways Slots and Valletta Megaways slot.
VR Based games
As of writing there aren’t any VR Based pay for real casino games, but we are sure they are just around the corner. New online casinos are bound to be developing new ways to play casino games, and why not combine a game that is already popular in other forms of gaming. Word has it that Microgaming already has an impressive set of VR games in the works.
Online casinos will soon be able to offer you a truly immersive experience, stick with us and we’ll let you know as soon as it happens.
What to consider when choosing a new casino
There are literally thousands of casino games out there. And hundreds of casinos housing them. Every day new casinos join the mix. So, choosing a new online casino can be daunting. At Bonus Ninja we try to keep up to date with everything out there, if there is a new great casino out there, we’ll let you know about it.
So, when a new casino joins the online community, what sort of stuff do we look into?
One of the very first things we look into when reviewing a new online casino is if they are legally compliant. When a casino is started, it must meet certain regulations in order to claim a license.
Licences can be issued by several international bodies. It’s useful to note that not all are created equal. For example, the UK, Isle of Man and Gibraltar licences tend to be the most respected internationally.
If online casinos want to be based and licensed in Canada they must be based in Quebec, in the Kahnawake Mohawk territory.
Why is regulation important? Simply put, if you want to entrust your money with any entity, you want to know your money is safe. Being legally compliant is the bare minimum to ensure this.
We’ve discussed this a little already. There are plenty of innovative payment methods offered to casino players. When deciding on a new casino online, payment methods are another important aspect to look into.
Different casinos offer different methods, some offer multiple options, while others only offer one or two. A few casinos even focus on only one payment option. For example, there are a few online casinos in Canada that only accept Bitcoin as a payment method.
The Welcome Bonus is usually your first real contact with a new casino, so you’ll want it to be a good one. Since there are so many casinos out there, the competition is rough. But that’s a good thing for you. Over the last few years bonuses have been getting better and better. When you join a new casino, you can often benefit from not only a multi-tiered welcome bonuses, but also from extra gifts such as Free Spins.
After you’ve accepted your first welcome bonus, you’ll want to know that the casino has still got plenty to offer you. A good casino will offer you regular promotions, often weekly if not daily. The more you play at the casino, the better the offers you are likely to receive.
It’s also a good idea to check out special offers around the holidays including Christmas and summer times.
Ease of access
To really enjoy a casino, you want to know that it will be easy to use. There are a few things we look at when checking the ease of access. For example, how quickly the site loads, the ease of navigation, access to cashier and if it is adaptable for both mobile and desktop.
If there is a game you really like, you’ll want to know that it is available at your new casino of choice. Some casinos choose to go for massive variety, while other prefer to offer a special niche of games. You may be wondering what games are actually on offer. Pretty much any casino will offer at least a few slots and table games.
Some only have games from a single provider. Others may offer speciality games such as Keno, Bingo and Scratch Cards. You’ll also find casinos offering Video Poker, Progressive Jackpots and Live Dealer Games.
Established vs new game studios
We’ve told you all about new casinos vs old casinos, but at the end of the day, casinos are nothing without their game developers. Some casinos may develop a few games themselves; but most rely on companies who specialise in creating new casino games.
If you are an old hand at casino, you may recognise some of the biggest and best developers. You might even go out of your way to only play games from a specific studio. But is there a difference between old and new developers?
The old guard
These are the big players, the ones you are sure to have heard of. Most have been around since the start of online gaming, sometimes even having their roots in companies providing games and machines to physical casinos.
The Swedish megalith, NetEnt (originally Net Entertainment) has been churning out casino games since it was founded in 1996. Arguably the most successful casino game developer studio in the world.
NetEnt created some of the biggest casino games in the world including Starburst and Gonzo’s Quest. They also have their very own Live Casino and a special mobile platform known as NetEnt Touch.
Microgaming have long claimed that they developed the very first online casino software all the way back in 1994. Like NetEnt they are home to one of the biggest games in the world, Mega Moolah. Mega Moolah is the biggest and most successful progressive slot, often with a jackpot reaching the multi-million dollar mark.
That doesn’t mean they slack off when it comes innovation, they been working on special VR technology which we hope will take the market by storm in the near future.
Founded in 1999, Playtech is a silent giant. They may not self-promote quite as much as the rest of old guard. But in some ways, they are even bigger. They provide gaming software to more casinos than any other developer in the world. Much of the time you won’t even know that the games have been provided by Playtech.
Unlike other developers who might have their fingers in several pies, Evolution only focuses on one thing. When it comes to Live Casino, there is no bigger provider than Evolution.
Their games are broadcast via a high definition video link from their specilised casino floors. A little more recent than the rest on our list, Evolution has only been around since 2006. But, they have always been ahead of the pack, including being the first Live Dealer to offer mobile games back in 2012.
New in town
With all the giants we’ve already mentioned it might be understandable to think that it would be impossible for a new player to make their name in the industry. And don’t get us wrong, it is. But there are a few special studios that have really managed to make a name for themselves despite only being around for a handful of years.
Another gaming studio brought to you from Stockholm. Since their start in 2013, Elk Studios have kept heads turning. Specialising in slots, they started making their name by focusing on mobile first. Their games are quirky and offer interesting twists to what can be a tired concept.
In such a short time they have managed to rack up a whole string of rewards. Including winning Game of the Year in 2017 for Wild Toro.
2013 was a big year for brilliant new game studios. Yggdrasil pride themselves in never reskinning a game, but rather taking extra time to create something brand new. They may release less games than their established counterparts but pretty much every game they release is quality, often with bonus games never seen in other games.
Real time gaming
When you think of Real Time Gaming one thing comes to mind… Megaways. One of the most innovative things to happen to slots since one armed bandits first hit the market. And it all started at Real Time Gaming. They’ve actually been around for a long time, but they only made a real name for themselves in in 2016 by creating this special type of slot.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, not necessarily. Live Casinos are expensive, keep in mind it’s not just a case of buying a game, but there are large operating costs. Costs of a Live Casino include paying the croupiers, studio time and hiring cameraman. That’s a fair bit more than what would be required to run an already designed and developed slot. A few new casinos might offer a Live Casino, but they will need substantial lump sum to manage it.
There are a few ways to ensure that a new casino is actually worthwhile. It’s always a good idea to look at regulation, to look at ease of access on site and to look for visual cues of quality. You can also read our reviews right here at Bonus Ninja.
That all depends on your preferences. Personally, we prefer the idea of being able to play on the go, eat and drink what we want and enjoy extra bonuses. But each to their own. Some land-based casinos can be quite impressive offering plenty more in the line of entertainment, including restaurants, bars and shows.
Both hold their benefits. New online casinos often bring innovation and adaptability, while older casinos offer an establish reputation and generally bigger budgets for promotions and bonuses. You’ll find good and bad at both. So, stick with us and we’ll keep you up to date.
You can scrounge the internet for the newest online casinos, but it could honestly be a full-time job. New online casinos are being added to the world every day. Your best bet is just to stay with us. We’ll do all the work, so you don’t have to.