Newfoundland and Labrador is probably the least progressive province in Canada when it comes to gambling.
There has been parimutuel wagering at a single horse racing facility, now known as the St. John’s Racing and Entertainment Centre, since the 1960s. However, without any government aid or funding from further gambling operations, the Newfoundland and Labrador horse racing business appears to be on its last legs.
A second form of legal gambling came to came to the province in 1976 with the introduction of the lottery. That same year marked the launch of the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, which combines lottery operations in four Atlantic provinces:
- New Brunswick
- Prince Edward Island
- Nova Scotia
- Newfoundland and Labrador
In 1985, the Canadian Government gave provincial governments the exclusive right to provide gambling inside provincial borders. The Canadian Criminal Code was amended, and provinces that wanted gambling set up regulatory bodies to oversee provincial gambling operations.
Video Lottery Terminals legalized
Newfoundland and Labrador authorized legal Video Lottery Terminal (VLTs) gaming in 1991. Right from the outset, VLTs were limited to only liquor-licensed establishments in the province.
In 1996, newly developed Video Lottery Regulations limited VLTs to just five terminals per site. At the same time, Newfoundland and Labrador lawmakers passed policy preventing the introduction of permanent casinos in the province.
In 2005, the provincial government conducted a study that revealed the highest incidence of problem gambling was among VLT players in the province. The government of Newfoundland and Labrador decided to implement a five-year VLT reduction strategy in addition to further promotion of responsible gambling.
Initiatives included reducing the number of VLTs by 15 percent. Sites also reprogramming VLTs to slow down the speed of play. By 2007, nearly 200 VLTs were removed from bars and lounges in the province.
Newfoundland and Labrador currently has close to 2,10o VLTs at bars and lounges. The net government operated gaming revenue from the VLTs reaches over $60 million annually.
The VLTs feature reel games and Keno. The Atlantic Lottery Corporation in Newfoundland and Labrador oversees the industry.
Newfoundland and Labrador Lottery
The Atlantic Lottery Corporation runs lottery operations in all four Atlantic provinces in Canada.
Newfoundland and Labrador has almost 1,200 lottery ticket outlets across the province.
The Atlantic Lottery Corporation offers:
- Draw games
- Scratch’N Win tickets
- Video Lottery Terminals
- Pro Line parlay sports betting
- Online bingo and instant win games
In 1992, the province placed a ban on advertising of Atlantic Lottery Corporation lottery jackpots. However, the ban was lifted in 1996.
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 the chance to win in an instant. There are dozens of different tickets featuring a variety of sizes and styles. Scratch ‘N Win tickets vary in price from $1 to $30.
The Atlantic Lottery Corporation’s Pro Line has allowed Atlantic Canadians to bet on sports since 1994. It is essentially parlay betting, where players pick the outcome of anywhere from two to eight games. Pro Line also offers fantasy sports, futures, and stadium wagering.
The Atlantic Lottery Corporation offers a variety of internet gambling games. Tickets for draw games are available for purchase online. Pro Line parlay sports betting is available too. Plus, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation offers exclusive online bingo and instant win games.
The Atlantic Lottery Corporation also has a mobile app featuring this same online gambling product line.
However, online lottery ticket sales seems to be as far as the government of Newfoundland and Labrador is prepared to go in terms of online gambling. In fact, lawmakers in the province have previously expressed an interest in keeping online casino and poker sites out of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Of course, there are still a number of offshore online casino and online poker operations that accept customers from inside the province. While Canadian law prohibits companies from operating online gambling sites on Canadian soil, the act of gambling itself is not expressly illegal.
As a result, offshore online casino and online poker operations from outside of Canada continue to accept Canadian customers.
No Canadian player has ever been charged with a crime for gambling on an offshore casino or poker site. Plus, no Canadian province, or the federal government, has ever pursued any charges against an offshore operator for accepting Canadian players.
Newfoundland and Labrador casinos
There are no casinos in Newfoundland and Labrador. In 1996, the provincial government actually passed a policy preventing the introduction of permanent casinos in in Newfoundland and Labrador.