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Slim pickings for gambling in Labrador and Newfoundland Canada


When we say (write?) that there are literally a handful of electronic gambling machines in Newfoundland and Labrador, we mean it literally. A single location within the province holds five games, thereby making the ratio of citizens to casino games just about 106,000 to 1. Naturally, a few outlets for non-casino gaming exist in Newfoundland and Labrador, but even these pickings are slim; in short, this is one area of the world in which internet gambling is infinitely more accessible than the alternative.

Where is the place to go for gambling in Newfoundland and Labrador?

st john racing and entertainment center for excitementThe good news is that several sorts of quality gaming are available in Newfoundland and Labrador. The bad news – if you’re not closely located -- is that almost everything is in one place; that place is St. John's Racing and Entertainment Centre in Goulds.

The centerpiece here is of course the horse racing. St. John’s plays host to both harness and thoroughbred racing. Wagering on simulcast racing from tracks in Canada and around the world has been available within the facility since 2010, and the track opens at noon daily. St. John’s also boasts one of Canada’s longest-running legal poker rooms, with six or so tables playing five nights a week – Wednesdays through Sundays, to be precise.

The “Entertainment Centre” portion of St. John’s also includes what company PR laughingly refers to as the “racino”, a small area which contains a whopping five games. This collection’s lineup changes occasionally, but typically at least one keno machine is among the selection alongside maybe one video poker console and a few choose-your-own (generic) slots game kiosks.

You get the idea: Few would ever visit St. John’s to enjoy the massive selection of slots and table games (yeah, right), and this track seems to be a draw for the hardest (read: oldest) of hardcores.

The near-monopoly on gambling held by St. John’s seems unlikely to be broken any time in the near future. The last jump-scare the St. John’s folks got was in 2014, when provincial government officials were reported to be “seriously considering” casino proposals for the province, but nothing substantial came of this.

What's the province’s second-biggest gambling outlet

bingo parlors in newfoundland and labradorWe’d have to say (write?) that Newfoundland and Labrador’s second-largest gambling outlet is Cowan Plaza Bingo in St. John’s proper. Serious bingo games with surprisingly high stakes may be played her at least six nights a week. Who knew Newfoundland and Labrador was such a haven for bingo mavens?

Online gambling law in Newfoundland and Labrador

One might characterize online gambling law in Newfoundland and Labrador as well beyond conservative and nearly into anti-progressive. Gambling just does not appear to be a high priority concern for legislators in this province. In 2010, in fact, government officials of Newfoundland and Labrador came out to explicitly state that their province would *not* be considered plans to launch government licensing for online gambling – and this was within months of announcements to open up online gambling law in British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario.

Since then, crickets with one brief pause in the quietude.

Newfoundland and Labrador is one of four provinces whose gambling is regulated by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) – the others are New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. As in those others, citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador are at the mercy of ALC guidelines; these guidelines have kept internet gambling in a legal gray area. ALC representatives have publicly expressed interest in forming government licensure of online casinos at which their citizens might play legally both in 2011 and 2014.

The latter year had all the trappings of a new direction toward decriminalizing and regulating online casino play in Newfoundland and Labrador and other Atlantic Canada provinces. In a report entitled “The Competitive Reality,” the ALC chalked five years’ worth of falling profits up to online gambling.

"In recent years, we've seen an explosion in gaming technology and accessibility. Along with it came the introduction of more than 2,500 unregulated online gaming providers … Atlantic Canadians are spending millions of dollars annually on these gambling sites …. Unlike Atlantic Lottery, those sites’ profits don’t stay in the region to support our communities.”

Familiar-sounding stuff, to be sure, but even this report barely moved the needle on advancing the cause of online gambling for this province.

How to play at online casinos in Newfoundland and Labrador?

online casino game play in newfoundland and labradorIt’s difficult to know which online casino websites are accepting Canadian players and/or those from Newfoundland and Labrador, but Casino Canada can help. On our pages are listed reputable casino websites which accept players from this province. While no national or international law provides for the regulation of these casinos, all sites listed here have been quality-checked by internationally-recognized auditing firms to ensure safety, security and fairness. Enjoy a quality online gaming experience right here from Newfoundland, Labrador or wherever!