The most honest casinos Canada has aren’t where you think they are.
Honesty and integrity are something we, as Canadians, proudly strive to achieve. In turn, we expect honesty and integrity from others, not just in personal relationships, but in business and government. Unfortunately, those qualities aren’t always so easy to come by.
For gamblers like myself, it’s incredibly important to know that the operator I’m wagering with is running an upright, reputable business. I need to trust that the odds of winning are in line with mathematical probabilities. That the slots are paying their prescribed RTPs, and that the electronic tables are dealing realistically unpredictable outcomes.
I need to be convinced that the casino I play at is operating in compliance with the laws. When I head to the cashier, I expect to be awarded my due winnings without hassle or incident. I expect this for myself, and for every other patron who graces the gaming floor, and is lucky enough to walk away with a profit.
Based on a consistent stream of negative media in the last few years, it’s hard to believe that Canada’s land-based casinos are delivering on each of these intended promises. These establishments are licenced and regulated by our provincial governments. The same governments that are supposed to protect their citizens.
These casinos are obligated to follow the letter of the law. Yet time and again, we read of brow-raising allegations, of investigations underway, of fines and penalties being imposed. How can this be?
Ignoring Anti-Money Laundering Rules?
The most recent allegations of non-compliance with provincial regulations circles around the River Rock Casino in Richmond, BC. The casino is currently under review for allegations of failure to report potential money laundering.
The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, which manages River Rock, says it follows all rules in terms of reporting large cash transactions of $10,000+. However, an employee blew the whistle on the casino, alleging that it regularly caters to high rollers. While reports of large transactions are made, rarely do these reports indicate suspicious activity, regardless of alarmingly incredulous circumstances.
3+ Years of Casino Security Breaches Revealed
Last year, the biggest stories revolved around data breaches at Canada casinos. Ontario’s Niagara Fallsview Casinoadmitted a breach that resulted in the identity theft of “a relatively small percentage” of their 4,000+ employees.
What is a relatively small percentage? They didn’t give any specific numbers. Is 10% relatively small? That’s more than 400 people who’s identities were stolen. I doubt any of them consider it an inconsequential matter.
Just a few months later, it was revealed that several more Canadian casinos had been the victims of hacking. Not only was the sensitive information of their employees and customers compromised, it had been going on for three years!
Investigators refused to identify all of the casinos involved in the security breach, but did name Alberta’s River Cree Casino near Edmonton, and Cowboys Casino in Calgary, as well as Casino Rama in Ontario.
By the time victims knew what was going on, it was too late for many. The hackers had been demanding a ransom that went unpaid. Thus they published the sensitive information of many customers and employees—especially those associated with Cowboys Casinos—on public websites.
Most Honest Casinos Canada
The stories above are only a mere fraction of known incidents in recent years. There have been many more issues, and there’s no telling how many were never publicized. After all, only Alberta law requires companies to report a data breach, and provincial regulators aren’t in the habit of willingly broadcasting the inequities of their operations.
If we can’t trust our own brick-and-mortar, provincially-run casinos, who can we trust? The answer will likely come as a surprise. The most honest casinos in Canada aren’t on land, but online. Even more surprising, the most venerable operators are far offshore.
Online Casinos In and Outside Canada
Canada is home to a few home-grown iGaming websites. British Columbia hosts PlayNow.ca (also accessible in Manitoba), Ontario runs PlayOLG.ca, and Quebec welcomes residents to play at EspaceJeux.com.
These websites are easily more trusted than the land-based variety, where every transaction and wager is recorded. Criminals can’t throw a sack of small, unmarked bills into their account in hopes of laundering it through these websites without notice.
But those websites offer a slim variety of games, and are subject to management by much less experienced operators than their offshore rivals. International online casinos date back as far as the late 1990’s. Some have been in this business for over two decades. They know how to satisfy and protect their players.
Established in 1994, Microgaming‘s software undergoes meticulous testing and certification each and every month for fairness. Launched in 2000, Royal Vegas Casino (employing the Microgaming platform) has one of the highest customer satisfaction rates in the world. It is tandem operations like these that deliver a safe and secure online casino experience Canadians know they can trust.
Royal Vegas is our editorial pick for safe Canadian gaming. Currently offering a good range of Canadian deposit options, everything from prepaid gift cards, to eCheck, instadebit and visa/mastercard. That, and a world-class gaming experience, with countless table games, strong variety, and even live dealers. The brand has been in the business for a decade long.