Why lottery is legal in Canada?

Malini VK - Infobite  Aug 5, 2020

Why lottery is legal in Canada?

Entry point:

  • Once the British rule ended in Canada, it was a new country craving for economic development.

  • Historically, Canadian economy has been based on trading natural resources. But that was not enough, and the country wanted some other real means of income. That is when lottery came into picture.

  • Provinces that needed money for public causes conducted lottery after getting permission from their provincial legislature.

A short ban:

  • Canada became a profitable country in some years, and they did not have to rely on the lottery for public works.

  • It was considered less socially acceptable and hence the Canadian government decided to create laws to stop all sorts of gambling and gaming. Canadian criminal code officially banned gambling in 1892.

  • But the ban did not last long. Here and there raffles, bingos were allowed for charitable works.

The Re-entry:

  • Canadian government began to see more value in lotteries. In 1969, the criminal code was amended, and lottery became legal provincially and federally.

  • Quebec was the first province to administer lotto operations. Other provinces quickly followed Quebec. Lottery was in provincial level as an income for the provincial governments.

National level:

  • The first National lottery in Canada was held in 1974 to raise fund for the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

  • The ticket cost $10. Nine lucky women from Quebec city shared the jackpot of $1 million tax free. Twenty-five thousand others claim prizes ranging from $100 to $500,000, totaling over $8 million. Two and a half million lottery tickets are sold generating over $15 million for the Montreal Olympics. That was a major win for the Government.

Modern Lottery:

  • Lotto 6/49 and Lottomax are the nation-wide lottery games today. They are conducted by Inter-provincial Lottery Corporation (ILC).

  • On top of that, Provincial level games are administered by the below 5 regional organizations.

  1. Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC).

  2. Loto-Quebec.

  3. British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC).

  4. Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).

  5. and the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC).

  • Lottomax is the main jackpot which is capped at $70 million.

  • Government is taking the lottery game on a more controlled level hoping people's livelihood is not risked. It is a win-win anyway for both at the end of the day.