Gambling at a brick-and-mortar casino in Quebec’s largest city has not always been something that locals could take for granted. Today, tourists and locals enjoy high-quality casino entertainment right in the heart of Montreal.
The Montreal Casino is an iconic landmark, drawing both tourists and native Québécois. Whereas, before the establishment of the Montreal Casino, Quebec had been faced with a loss of capital as residents traveled south to gamble in Atlantic City, there is, today, a revival of city life for residents and visitors alike who can gamble in an exclusive environment at their leisure.
The Montreal Casino is operated under the auspices of Loto-Quebec, the provincial authority which oversees gambling facilities in Quebec. The casino’s opening in 1993 was followed by controversy. Many locals objected to having a casino built so close to the city. They felt that such a venue would impact negatively on the community, draw undesirable elements to the city, promote uncontrolled gambling and encourage alcohol and drug use which, they believed, was connected to casino activity.
Approval for the casino was granted by the Montreal city council. Today, most city leaders believe that the boost that the casino has given the city financially and culturally has more than compensated for any difficulties caused by its establishment. As a nod to concerned citizens, the casino agreed to prohibit alcohol on its gaming floors.
The Montreal Casino itself is an opulent set of buildings situated on Île Notre-Dame, an off-downtown Montreal island that is located in the middle of the straits of Saint Laurent. The scenic beauty of the area highlights the opulent majesty of the casino which has been a foundation of the region’s growing tourist industry. Players come from around the world to gamble at the casino and enjoy additional forms of casino entertainment. Members of Montreal’s city council, as well as the city’s mayor, credit the casino for renewing city life. Casino de Montreal attracts over 12,000 people every day. Millions of dollars in tax revenues, which are directed towards public projects are attributed to the tax payments that originate from the casino.
The architecture of the casino structure, which was once part of the 1967 World’s Fair, enhances the casino experience. There are six levels in the building which includes the gaming floors, the VIP room, the restaurants and bars, entertainment facilities and banquet and meeting rooms. The building features distinctive architectural elements such as low ceilings alongside arched, decorative windows.
The casino is divided into pavilions. The French Pavilion displays Niki de Sainte-Phalle sculptures amidst tall concrete and steel beams and walls while the Quebec Pavilion is a more contemporary structure with glass walls that function as mirrors during the daytime and illuminated display cases at night. The Quebec Pavilion is surrounded by water and accessible only by footbridge.
Montreal Casino Games
The Casino de Montreal offers high caliber gambling in Canada. In the main building there are over 3000 slot machines and 120 gaming tables. These include Blackjack, Blackjack Switch, Free Bet Blackjack, Interactive Blackjack, Spanish 21 Blackjack High Card Flush Poker, Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, Let it Ride Poker, Pai Gow Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, Craps, EZ Baccarat, European Roulette, Interactive Roulette, Touch Bet Roulette, Sic Bo, War and Wheel of Fortune. There are also Electronic games which include Interactive Roulette, Interactive Blackjack, Touch Bet Roulette and Pik-It Poker.
All players receive $10 in promotional credits and additional seasonal promotions add to Casino Montreal gaming options. During my visit I was able to take advantage of this month’s $5 bet minimum for Interactive Blackjack which is offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5:00p.m. – 7:00p.m. Gamers who want to benefit from this promotion can visit Level 1 of the Pavillion de la France at any time until the end of the month.
Gamblers who are gambling in Montreal and wish to enjoy some of the other casino features have the opportunity to sit at any of the casino’s four bars and restaurants or enter the cabaret and enjoy lively musical entertainment to complement their dining. Restaurant options include the Le Montreal Resto a la carte, the Pavillion 67 Gourmet Buffet, the Ajia Comptoir Asiatique and the L’Instant Deli and Pates. Bar-goers may wish to try the well-known Brigade or enter the Poker Bar where they can enjoy a round or two of poker over drinks.
The Montreal casino isn’t just for gambling in Montreal. Local residents and visitors come to the casino to enjoy casino entertainment which is free and open to all. These weekend shows include the best in Canadian entertainment with options of classic, rock, pop and country music, comedy shows, magic shows and more. This month the Singing Pianos will be performing 60s pop while other performances include retro-disco and Cuban music.
Safe and Secure
The provincial Loto Quebec/Quebec Lottery Commission supervises the Casino Montreal to ensure that gamers will enjoy safe and secure gaming in Canada when they play in Quebec. The Commission monitors all gambling in Montreal activities including the casino’s random number generator and the payout tables. Home gamers have online casino options in Quebec, supervised by the Société des loteries du Québec.