New Brunswick has seemingly always had parimutuel wagering at harness racing tracks. It has also had the lottery since the mid 1970s. However, in 1985, when the Canadian Federal Government gave provincial governments the exclusive right to provide gambling inside their own borders, the New Brunswick Lotteries and Gaming Corporation (NBLGC) undertook the responsibility for the conduct and management of all gambling operations in the province.
The Gaming Control Branch, which is a branch of the Department of Public Safety, also became responsible for the regulation and control of provincial gambling operations. The regulation, control, and licensing of charitable gaming also falls under its umbrella.
Casinos in New Brunswick
There are two commercial casinos in New Brunswick. Casino New Brunswick in Moncton and offers slots, table games, and poker. Casino New Brunswick opened in May 2010 under the ownership of a private operator regulated by the province, Sonco Gaming New Brunswick Limited Partnership. Sonco Gaming sold the property to Great Canadian Gaming (New Brunswick) Ltd. in 2015 for $95 million.
There is now 24,000 square feet of casino floor space on the property, featuring 540 slots and eight table games.
Grey Rock Casino is located on the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation near Edmundston. It offers slots, electronic table games, and poker.
Grey Rock Casino opened in March 2015. The private operator Grey Rock Entertainment Centre Inc manages the casino. There are 160 gaming machines on site.
However, the NBLGC and The Gaming Control Branch handle the service provider agreement with the casino operators and regulation of casino gaming and all service providers.
Video Lottery Terminals
Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) feature interactive games of chance with cash prizes. They are similar to slot machines, feature reel games, and Keno. The difference is VLTs connect to a centralized computer system that determines the outcome of each wager using a random number generator.
VLTs came to New Brunswick in 1990. They are inside licensed liquor establishments, including restaurants and bars across Atlantic Canada. The Atlantic Lottery Corporation administers and operates all of the VLTs in Atlantic Canada.
There are currently 2,000 VLTs operating in New Brunswick in accordance with limits placed in the program in 2010. In 2010, the maximum number of VLT sites in New Brunswick dropped from 625 in 2010 to a maximum of 300 currently.
The Gaming Control Branch is still responsible for the regulation of VLTs in the province. This includes registration requirements for VLT sites.
New Brunswick lotteries
New Brunswick held its first lottery draw in 1976. Since that time, New Brunswick lottery operations operated have been handled by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation. This is a crown corporation owned by the four Atlantic Provinces, including New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island.
The Atlantic Lottery Corporation offers:
- Draw games
- Scratch’N Win tickets
- Video Lottery Terminals
- Pro Line parlay sports betting
- Online bingo
- Instant win games
Lottery tickets and games are available at as many as 1,000 licensed lottery retailers across New Brunswick. The most popular draw games offered by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation include:
- LOTTO MAX
- LOTTO 6/49
- Daily GRAND
- Atlantic 49
- Salsa Bingo
- Keno Atlantic
Scratch’N Win tickets
Atlantic Lottery Scratch ‘N Win games give players in New Brunswick the chance to win instantly. There several different tickets varying in price from $1 to $30.
The Atlantic Lottery Corporation’s Pro Line has allowed the people of New Brunswick to bet on sports since 1994. It is essentially parlay betting. Players pick the outcome of anywhere from two to eight games. Pro Line also offers fantasy sports, futures, and stadium bets.
The Atlantic Lottery Corporation has a website that features ticket sales for draw games, Pro Line parlay sports betting, and several exclusive online bingo and instant win games.
These games are also available in New Brunswick through the Atlantic Lottery Corporation mobile app.
There are still dozens of offshore online casino and online poker operators that accept customers from inside the province of New Brunswick. Canadian law certainly prohibits companies from operating online gambling sites on Canadian soil. However, the legality of offshore operators accepting Canadian customers is more of a grey area.
The act of gambling on an offshore online gambling site is not against the law. Plus, the the Canadian Government and law enforcement authorities have never prosecuted an offshore casino, poker operator, or a player.
As a result, online casino and online poker operations from outside of Canada continue to accept Canadian customers, including those in New Brunswick.
There has been harness racing in New Brunswick since the 1830s. Parimutuel wagering on horse racing in Canada is regulated by the Canadian Parimutuel Agency. Additionally, the Maritime Provinces Harness Racing Commission has governed over the local industry since 1994. The NBLGC and the Gaming Control Branch have no responsibility when it comes to Harness Racing in the province.
There are three racetracks in New Brunswick:
- Fredericton Raceway
- Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John
- Woodstock Driving Club
Charitable and religious organizations can obtain a license to conduct:
- Bingo events
- Breakopen ticket sales
- Monte Carlo events
- Texas hold’em poker tournaments in the province.
Proceeds must be used for the relief of poverty, education, advancement of religion or be beneficial to the community in some other demonstrable way.
The Gaming Control Branch regulates charitable gaming and is responsible for licensing. Most of this activity has been legal in New Brunswick since 1980.