Rural Canadian Casinos

By Ben Hamill - May 27 2015
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Hard Rock Casino

Gambling in Canada is governed by provincial governments. Each province has its own Gaming and Lotteries Commission (sometimes a Gaming and Liquor Commission) which oversee all gaming activities in its respective province.  Canada is relatively liberal in its gambling policies. A Canadian Lotto operates a nationwide lottery and the country’s brick-and-mortar and online casinos operate freely.

In recent years, Canada has encouraged some First Nations to pursue the establishment and operation of Canadian Casinos within their communities. The introduction of on-reserve gambling is viewed as an important opportunity that can help stimulate economic development, provide revenues for local infrastructure growth and create jobs and needed social programs.

Proponents of reserve gambling argue that these enterprises will, ultimately, help First Nations communities reduce their dependence on federal and provincial governments while, at the same time, allow them to increase their political and economic  sovereignty.

Many gamblers like the idea of traveling to rural casinos for their gambling activities. Some of the casinos offer everything that large city casinos feature plus entertainment and five-star accommodations. Other rural Canadian Casinos sites are simple venues which give gamblers the chance to play some basic casino games in a natural setting of Canadian beauty and serenity. A recent tour of Canada found some of these great rural casinos in Canada:

Casino Rama of Ontario

The Rama Casino is located in Orillia Ontario. It took me approximately two hours to drive to the Rama Casino from Toronto. Rama Casino is located on the Reserve lands of the First Nation Chippewas of Rama, and operates as a joint venture of the Chippewa First Nations and the Penn National Gaming company. Rama casino is the largest First Nations casino in Canada with hundreds of game options, dining venues, accommodations and entertainment performances. As a poker fan, I found a satisfying poker experience at the Rama Casino where multiple poker options are offered in the 24/7 Poker room including Three-Card Poker, Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Bonus and Mississippi Stud Poker. There are also poker tournaments for anyone who wants to compete against other players.

There’s also Free Bet Blackjack along with regular blackjack, table games which include both Midi-Baccarat and Mini-Baccarat, Casino War, Pai Gow Tiles, Craps, Sic Bo and Roulette. Slots enthusiasts will find over two thousand slot machines with slot options for both beginning and veteran gamers.

The promotions provide a satisfying opportunity to earn extra gaming points. The Casino Rama Grand Prize Draw gives you the opportunity to win dining tickets, slots play, concert tickets and other rewards which enhance your casino experience.

Multiple dining opportunities, high caliber entertainment and five-star accommodations round out a visit to Casino Rama.

Stoney Nakoda Resort and Casino

For gamblers who would like to enjoy a nature-filled casino experience, the Stoney Nakoda Resort and Casino, located approximately 50 minutes west of Calgary along Route 1 in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, provides a luxury casino experience in an atmosphere of First Nation culture and pride. The casino, operated by the Stony Nakota First Nation, presents a wide range of popular games as well as off-track betting and poker tournaments. Staying at the resort is a luxury experience with plush,  comfortable resort rooms that showcase the local mountain scenery. Anyone who wants a more pampered stay may book a room in a suite with a jetted tub, in-room fireplace, wetbar or any of the other resort amenities. The casino resort’s location allows guests to take full advantage of the stunning setting and wilderness activities which include both winter and summer sports. Guests can also visit the nearby Teepee Village which highlights the culture and history of the Stoney Nakoda people.

Hard Rock Casino

The Hard Rock Casino is located in Coquitlam British Columbia, approximately half an hour’s drive east of Vancouver. The casino is set in the scenic BC hills at the foot of the North Shore mountain range. Although Hard Rock is not a First Nations Casino, a funding agreement with the province requires that the casino give 10% of its net take to the city of Coquitlam for local projects and programs.

There are hundreds of game options at the Hard Rock Casino including card games, parlour games and over a thousand online slot machines. The poker room, which is open 24/7, offers back-to-back poker games along with the chance to enter poker tournaments by reservation. 

The Hard Rock Casino has assembled an itinerary of the top card and table games including both Squeeze Midi Baccarat and Squeeze EZ Baccarat, Roulette, Touch-Bet Roulette, Fortune Pai Gow, Craps and Blackjack.

The casino features hundreds of slots so regardless of your fantasies or interests, you’ll be able to find a high-stakes or low-stakes game to meet your gambling needs. If you’re looking for some sports betting you’ll find off-track betting options.

Dining and Entertainment

In addition to big-name concerts, the Hard Rock Casino hosts a wide variety of entertainment options including big name rock, country and pop musicians, improv comedy troupes, bands and classical performances. Two of the casino’s dining venues, the Asylum Restaurant and the Unlisted Lounge, offer live entertainment where patrons can enjoy the performances while they have drinks and something to eat. There are other eateries at the casino as well, including the Fú Express Asian fusion bar and the Stake steak restaurant.

There are dozens of rural casinos in Canada where players can experience a high-quality gambling event in a natural setting of Canadian beauty and nature.

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