Gambling is an activity that has been legalized in Canada and it is quite easy to find an amazing brick and mortar casino or poker room in the country. Even though the availability of online casinos can be a bit less in certain places, it still does not explain why underground casinos are on the rise. Yes, there apparently seems to be a large number of casinos that are not legal in Canada. Richmond and Ontario are two places that have been repeatedly seen associated with illegal casinos. So why is the underground gambling scene becoming so popular in Canada, and what does it mean for Canadian gamblers and the casino industry in general?
Back in November 2018, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police discovered what they referred to as an illegal ‘booze can’. They raided a 2 floor industrial space on Voyageur Way, Richmond and busted what seemed to be an illegal casino. There were a number of gambling tables and a large amount of unlicensed liquor. At the time of the raid, there were about 20 attendees, all in the age bracket of 19 to 25. It was well set with mood lighting, furnished rooms of all sizes and karaoke rooms. There was even a security camera network to monitor the main entrance to the premises. This raid was part of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Anti Gang Unit that busted another smaller illegal casino in October of the same year.
The evasion of tax is the least of the concerns when it comes to illegal casinos. Safety risks extend to things like attracting the criminal element, potential fire hazards, overcrowding and the potential road safety concern of drunk drivers on the road. There is also absolutely no guarantee that the games found in such illegal casinos are not rigged, and even if you do win, there is no guarantee that you will be able to take that money home.
Surprisingly enough, the general public was not very supportive when the RCMP raided 19 or so casinos like that. They say that the RCMP should be focusing on more pressing matters instead of taking it out on casinos. The people may not have been cooperative because they had something in those illegal casinos that they did not get at the regular ones. Since taxes are avoided by working outside the law, they can provide odds that are better than the regular casinos. They can also bet for how much ever money they want because there is no minimum bet amount. It is also possible that people just enjoy the “exciting” aspect of doing something illegal, but in the long run it will cause more harm than good.