Betting in Calgary

Published: 02/04/2013

Located on the Bow River in the heart of Canada’s Alberta Province, Calgary got its start in 1875 as an outpost of the North-West Mounted Police. Its growth was first fueled by ranching and then an oil boom. It has since expanded to a population of just over one million, noted internationally for its annual rodeo called the “Calgary Stampede” since 1912, its NHL franchise “Calgary Flames” since 1980 and the successful hosting of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.

When the Canadian Criminal Code was amended and gambling legalized in 1969, Calgary did not immediately embrace the opportunity to introduce lotteries and casinos. The city took a “wait and see” approach, allowing Edmonton to experiment with a not-for-profit casino first and then following suit cautiously in 1980 with the establishment of a charitable gambling hall called the Cash Casino.

Today, the Cash Casino on Blackfoot Trail Southeast endures as one of the city’s finest and most respected gaming venues, with and expansive 48,400 square foot gaming space. It features some 665 gaming machines and 31 tables for casino games ranging from Roulette, Blackjack and Mini-Baccarat to Poker and Red Dog. Located on the premises is the Embers Restaurant for dim sum and fine dining, complemented by the Cornerstone Lounge and the Terrace Restaurant and Lounge. Hours are from 9:30am to 3am daily.

The success of the Cash Casino emboldened other operators to set up shop in Calgary, where there is no provincial sales tax and the downtown Entertainment District has been growing by leaps and bounds. Located adjacent to the Calgary Stampede grounds on 12th Avenue is the Cowboys Casino. It offers 400 gaming machines and 50 table and poker games in its 96,000 square foot gaming space. The slots area is open daily from 10am to 3am, while table games go from noon to 2am and Poker is available 24 hours a day. Food is served in the Melrose Café & Bar and the Zen 8 Grill.

Just around the corner on 18th Avenue near the Stampede grounds is the Elbow River Casino, open daily from 9:30am to 3am and featuring a 24/7 poker room. The casino’s 60,000 square foot gaming space contains 603 gaming machines and 43 table and poker games, while food and beverages are served at its Jester’s Nook Lounge, Jester’s Restaurant and Sammy’s Sports Bar.

Formerly known as the Silver Dollar, the Century Casino on 42nd Avenue Southeast has 70,000 square foot gaming space with 529 gaming machines and 26 table and poker games; it is open from 9:30am till 3am daily and serves Chinese, Vietnamese and Western cuisine in its Mid City Grill. Meanwhile, the Deerfoot Inn & Casino on 35th Street has 767 gaming machines and 44 table and poker games within its 60,000 square foot gaming space. In addition to 160 guestrooms and 28 suites, the inn also has four restaurants and two bars. Casino hours are from 9:30am to 3am, with the poker room open round the clock.

Casino Calgary is located between the airport and downtown, just off the Trans-Canada Highway. Its business hours are from 9:30am to 3am with 862 gaming machines and 35 table and poker games situated within its 57,000 square foot gaming space. Drinks and food are served at the Spurs Bar as well as at the Casino Grill. Casino Calgary is part of the Casino ABS network, which includes properties in Edmonton, Lethbridge and Yellowhead, with a loyalty programme called “Club West” to unite them.

Furthest from Calgary’s town centre on Grey Eagle Drive to the southwest is a Native American-owned gaming property called Grey Eagle Casino and Bingo. It is open daily from 9:30am, with a 550-seat bingo area and 600 gaming machines operating from 10am to 3am, 80 table games going from noon to 2am, and poker available 24 hours a day. The casino’s 84,000 square foot gaming space makes it the largest in the vicinity, and meals are served in the Blaze Bar and Grill as well as the Buffet & Restaurant.

Local government officials have stated that the number of casinos in Calgary reached its saturation point in 2006. Although some facilities have been refurbished since then, no new licenses have been issued, nor are any new properties being planned for the foreseeable future.

Published on: 02/04/2013

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