Playing Online Poker Tournaments in Canada

Luke Garrison: Sports & Casino Author from Canada

Sports & Casino: Luke Garrison

Luke Garrison is a professional writer who grew up just outside of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He currently works at the Canadian Press and enjoys the outdoors in his free time.

What Canadians Need To Know Before Playing Online Poker

Many Canadians have played poker at some point in their lives. After all, poker is universally loved enough to be found anywhere from a casino table to a kitchen table surrounded by family – even on holidays like Christmas!

The main difference between a card game like poker and most other popular card games is in its complexity. Most card games require some form of strategy, but poker takes that to a new level entirely. There are several variations of poker, as the game has been spreading and adapting for around 200 years.

On the other hand, don’t fret, as there’s one type of poker called ‘Texas Hold’em’ that dominates online poker tournaments throughout Canada – and it’s not too difficult to catch onto! Allow us to break down what Canadians need to know about playing ‘Texas Hold’em’ online.

How To Play Texas Hold’em

The goal of Texas Hold’em is to combine the cards in your hand (called ‘hole cards’) with the other cards a dealer plays each round (called ‘community cards’) in order to create the best ‘five-card hand’ possible.

At the beginning of a game of Texas Hold’em, each player is dealt two hole cards. Once every player at the table has received their hole cards, a round of betting will begin, starting with the player to the left of the dealer. Texas Hold’em doesn’t have a defined dealer, with the ‘dealer’ chip moving one spot left after the completion of each game.

After the initial round of betting, the dealer can begin the first of three stages that take place each game. There is another round of betting between each stage as well. In the first stage, aka ‘the flop’, the dealer flips over three cards. The second stage is called ‘the turn’ and only involves flipping over one card. Same goes for the third stage, except it’s the final card of the game, and is referred to as ‘the river’.

A final round of betting will take place before a winner is declared. As previously mentioned, you’re looking for the best five-card hand you can make by combining your two hole cards with up to three of the five available community cards.

Learning which hands are better than others is paramount to being successful at both Texas Hold’em and many other types of poker that use this card ranking system. For more information about all the possible types of five-card hands, and how they stack up against each other, please refer to the table below.

Hand Rank Poker Hand Name Required Cards Example
1 Royal Flush Five cards of the same suit ranked ace through 10. Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 of spades
2 Straight Flush Five cards of the same suit ranked consecutively. 4-8 of clubs
3 Four of a Kind Four cards of the same rank Four 7s of any suit
4 Full House Three cards of one rank (three of a kind) and an additional pair of another rank Three 5s of one suit and Two 9s of another suit
5 Flush Any five same-suited cards Five diamonds
6 Straight Any five consecutively-ranked cards 2-6
7 Three of a Kind Three cards of one rank Seven 8s
8 Two Pair A pair of one rank and a pair of another rank A pair of 2s and a pair of 3s
9 One Pair A pair of one rank A pair of 4s
10 High Card Highest of the seven cards if no other poker hand is present Ace high

Popular Online Poker Tournaments in Canada

There are endless options to choose from when it comes to popular online poker tournaments in Canada. The best tournaments take place on the best online poker sites, with the top-three platforms being PokerStars, PartyPoker, and 888poker. Let’s take a closer look at what makes them the best online poker sites in Canada, and what kinds of online poker tournaments Canadians can expect to encounter.


PokerStars has been a household name throughout Canada since the turn of the millennium. Founded in 2001, this online poker behemoth established itself early by placing a special focus on its software. The PokerStars website is smooth and easy-to-navigate, and the desktop app has always been another hallmark. This is even seen today through the popularity of the iOS and Android apps, as a commitment to tech has always brought players back for more.

When it comes to the best online poker tournaments in Canada, PokerStars has endless options depending on what you’re looking for – even high roller tournaments. This includes a premier weekly ‘Play Money’ tournament each Sunday, giving players a chance to win a portion of a massive one billion chip prize pool.


PartyPoker also began its online journey in 2001. The site has been constantly jockeying for position with PokerStars, although the player base has typically been large enough for both entities to experience regular success. Those with a bit more experience may find themselves at PartyPoker more than PokerStars, thanks to the wide variety of customizable tournament filters – allowing players to find exactly what they’re looking for.

Tournaments and cash games are plentiful on PartyPoker, with regional championships available for qualified players as well as many other types of tournaments including ‘Bounty Hunter’ and ‘Daily Legends’. There are also free tournaments for those just looking to gain competition experience.


In a world where powerhouses like PokerStars and PartyPoker have been in the lead, 888poker has done quite well for itself by differentiating its offerings. The interface design of the app has been meticulously reworked in order to create a platform that is incredibly easy to use – not to mention vibrant and colourful. This was done to facilitate the onboarding of new players, but experienced players appreciate it too.

Online tournaments are another area where 888poker has gotten creative. For example, a ‘bounty tournament’ is a popular online poker tournament format where a player will win a certain amount as a ‘bounty’ for each player they personally eliminate.

On 888poker, however, the bounties come with a twist. Each player is given a golden envelope at the start of the game, which is referred to as a ‘mystery bounty’. Any elimination of another player can lead to a special mystery prize, among other things!

What is the Best Online Poker Platform in Canada?

Each of the online poker platforms we’ve mentioned is very popular and successful for a reason, but PokerStars remains at the top thanks to its superior game engine and seemingly infallible brand recognition. Feel free to make accounts on multiple online poker platforms in order to reap the benefits of them all. But if we had to pick just one, PokerStars would be our choice.

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Bouncing Back: Seven Keys to Surviving Casino Losing Streaks

Bouncing Back: Seven Keys to Surviving Casino Losing Streaks

By Jerry Stich

Gamblers hope and pray for luck while playing in a casino. They love the feeling of winning. That is because it happens so seldom. The fact that every casino game is rigged to give the house the edge means every player will lose in the long run. All gamblers know this. That is another reason winning is such a momentous occasion.

It is easy to handle winning, but with the wins come losing streaks. These long (sometimes very, very long) losing streaks can be hard for the average gambler to handle. However, there are keys to surviving losing streaks. Read on to find out what they are.

To continue reading this article, please visit:

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WEB LETTER: Highlighting Gambling Disorder During National Minority Health Month

[IMAGE] Highlighting Gambling Disorder During National Minority Health Month

It is always a good time to check in on everyone around us to and ask if they are doing alright, both mentally and physically. Did you know that April is National Minority Health Month (NMHM)? This annual event works to raise awareness about health disparities that continue to affect people from racial and ethnic minority groups and encourage action through health education, early detection, and control of disease complications.

Read the April Web Letter to learn why raising awareness about problem gambling and the resources available to Floridians through the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine should be part of NMHM.

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Vegas Values Report – Details on the Best Casino Promotions in Las Vegas!

Vegas Values Report - Details on the Best Casino Promotions in Las Vegas!

See the best Las Vegas casino promotions! Come back the second Sunday of each month to find the best values in Las Vegas. Updated by Scot Krause, our Las Vegas promotions reporter. 

Here’s what we found!

Arizona Charlie’s Decatur: Fridays in April: Decatur 36th Anniversary Hosted Slot Tournament. All True Rewards members may earn 100 same-day base slot points each Friday and receive one round of tournament play from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. up to a maximum of three rounds played per Friday. Points must be earned each Friday from 2:01 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The top 15 winners will share $2,500 in free slot play on Friday, April 4, 12 and 19. The top 20 winners will share $3,600 in free slot play on Friday, April 26. Winners will be posted by 7 p.m. at the True Rewards Center. Prizes must be claimed at the True Rewards Center by 11:59 p.m. on the day of posting.

Rio: Reopened the iconic Wine Cellar Tasting Room, one of Las Vegas’s most memorable wine destinations. The Wine Cellar is open from Thursday to Sunday, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., and reservations can be made here.

Rampart: On Monday, April 15, players earning 50 same-day points will receive two-for-one entry to the Market Place Buffet. Regularly priced at $31.99 per person, the buffet is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. on tax day.

FREE Slot Tournament with over $2,000 in prize money! – The publishers of the American Casino Guide have created a website to play in slot tournaments for FREE! A new tournament begins the first of each month and last all month long. No download is needed and you can play right away!  You get 7,500 credits to play and the top scorers win a  prize – and you can play up to five times for FREE! To play, or for more details, go to:  Please note that you must be 18, or older, to play. Good luck!

Downtown Grand: A New Era Blackjack Tournament. Join on April 13th at 1pm for a new event. Get ready for the thrill of winning $2,500 in cash. But that’s not all – the excitement continues with $1,000 in Promotional Chips for our 2nd Place winner and a $500 package for the 3rd Place champion. Stay tuned for the Second Chance drawing because everyone deserves a shot at the prize. Existing members buy-in for $25, New members pay $50 and select members receive complimentary entry. (Look for a matchplay coupon in the ACG app or website.)

Sahara: Every Thursday in April 1,000 base points = $10 Free Slot Play. Maximum of $200 in Free Slot Play can be redeemed per person, per Infinity Rewards account per promotional day.

Silverton: Tuesdays just got a whole lot more exciting at Sundance Grill. Every Tuesday in April, rack up 400 same-day points and savor the reward of a sumptuous petite cut prime rib dinner, on the house. Don’t let this delicious opportunity pass you by. Hit the casino floor, earn your points, and indulge in a prime rib dinner that’s as rewarding as your play. Print your coupon at any redemption kiosk. Valid for petite cut prime rib dinner only, available 11am-10pm Tuesday or Wednesday. Valid once per promotion day for all Silverton Rewards Club members.

25 FREE Casino Coupons! – Get FREE match play bets, 2-for-1 shows, dining and room discounts, plus other great deals with the FREE casino coupons on our website and apps. To see what FREE coupons are currently being offered, visit our Casino Coupons page and print out the coupons yourself! We continue to add new coupons, so please check back often. 

Jerry’s Nugget: Night Owl Special at Jerry’s Famous Coffee Shop. Jerry’s Famous Coffee Shop is offering a deal for late night diners. Known as the night owl special, steak and eggs are $7.99 from the hours of 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. from Tuesday through Sunday. Steak and eggs come with an 8 oz steak, two eggs any style, hash browns or home fries, and served with toast and jelly.

Mirage/Hard Rock: Present your valid loyalty card from an eligible casino and the casino will upgrade you to a matching Unity by Hard Rock tier. Visit the Player’s Club or your Casino Host today. Present your valid loyalty card from an eligible casino. Get upgraded to a matching Unity by Hard Rock tier. Eligible Tier Match Programs:

  • M Life
  • Caesars Rewards
  • Grazie
  • Wynn Rewards
  • Genting Rewards

Silver Sevens: New member sign-up bonus: Sign up for a free account at Player Services. Swipe your new card at a marketing kiosk to spin for $10-$500 Free Play and a free drink. Print your drink voucher at the kiosk and redeem for one beer, well drink or non-alcoholic beverage at any bar. Offer valid for New A-Play members over 21 with a valid email and phone number. Free Play is valid for 48 hours after issuance. See Player Services for details. (Ongoing until further notice.) (Look for FREE coupons in the ACG app or website.)

FREE 14-day Gold Membership at – No credit card required! – is operated by Action Gaming, the developer of the most popular games including: 3-play, 5-play, 10-play, 100-play, Ultimate X, Quick Quads, and Super Times Pay. It’s the only place you can play the same video poker games found in casinos. We have a special, exclusive offer that allows you to get a Free 14-day Gold membership and no credit card information is required! With this Gold membership, besides playing your favorite video poker games, you will also learn the proper strategies for playing all of your hands. Plus, you will have the ability to change the pay tables to match up to the same pay tables that you will find in the casinos where you like to play! Try it free for 14 days with no need to enter any credit information – only by using this link –

Arizona Charlie’s (Both): In honor of Cinco de Mayo, Arizona Charlie’s Decatur, located at 740 S. Decatur Blvd. and Arizona Charlie’s Boulder, located at 4575 Boulder Hwy., will both host “Cinco de Bingo” fiestas on Friday, May 3 and offer featured Mexican fare at Sourdough Café on Sunday, May 5. Guests are invited to join the “Cinco de Bingo” celebrations at both Arizona Charlie’s locations on Friday, May 3. During all sessions, any player who hits bingo on B5 will win $100 in free slot play.  From 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., guests who play back-to-back sessions will receive a free electronic rainbow. During the 7 p.m. session, any player who enters the session with a minimum $10 buy-in will receive a raffle ticket for the chance to win exciting prizes; and players that hit bingo on any number ending in 5 will win $25 in free slot play. Eligibility and restrictions apply. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, both Sourdough Café locations will offer Mexican-style street tacos, specially priced at $2.49 each and available from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday, May 5.

Slots-A-Fun: Las Vegas’ ONLY coin-operated machines on the Las Vegas Strip are now bigger and better than ever. Now offering 85 coin-operated machines and $2 beers, hot dogs, and shrimp cocktails and brought back several low-limit table games.

Video Poker Training Software– One of the best ways to improve your playing skills is to use video poker software. By practicing with software you will easily be able to identify the best-paying machines in any casino, plus you will be able to practice playing those games so you can play at a near-perfect level. Our website has a page to get details on the bestselling video poker software:  Winpoker. It is available in both an instant download format, or on a CD to play on your Windows computer. For more information, go to our video poker software page.

Plaza: $20,000 Super Bingo Giveaway. To qualify, players receive 10 drawing tickets for every Super Bingo 2-day tournament played through June 2024. Upcoming tournament dates in 2024 are: April 8-10, and May 6-8. The giveaway drawing will occur during intermission on day 2 of the Super Bingo tournament on June 5, 2024. Players must be present to win. Ten prizes will be awarded with a first prize of $10,000. All prizes will be paid in cash. In addition, players who play three or more Super Bingo tournaments from now through May 2024 will receive free registration for the June 2024 event.

Get our FREE App! – We are no longer publishing our annual guide book with casino coupons. However, all of the detailed casino information from our book on all US casinos is now available for FREE on our website, as well as on our FREE iOS and Android apps. Get the American Casino Guide Android app NOW!    Or, download the iOS app NOW!   Also, if you already have the app installed, be sure to upgrade to the latest version to enjoy all of the benefits it offers.

House of Blues Las Vegas: Return of the world-famous House of Blues Gospel Brunch at Mandalay Bay! Performances ·  April 21 & 28 Tickets at Tickets for Gospel Brunch at House of Blues are $64.50 (adults), $37.50 (children three – 11), plus applicable fees. 

Fontainebleau: “Elevate Your Tier.” New and existing Fontainebleau Rewards members can request to upgrade their tier status based on their current tier status at a competitor’s eligible loyalty program. The tier matching promotion will run through June 2. To receive a tier upgrade, members must present an eligible gaming loyalty card with valid expiration date along with their government-issued photo ID at the Fontainebleau Rewards desk. New loyalty members without an eligible tier status at other casinos can still get promotions. The resort will give new Bleau tier members $15 of dining credit and $15 of free slot play credit when signing up.

Venetian: New slot club launched in March: You are able to earn Tier and Rewards Points on everything from gaming and dining to entertainment and spa experiences. . From Jade, then Sapphire, to Ruby, then Diamond, each tier is even more valuable than the one before. For more info visit:

New coupon for Mob Museum admission discount is now available in the American Casino Guide app and on the website on the FREE coupons page.

FREE No Deposit Online Casino Bonuses!: Like to play at online casinos? Our sister website has more than 30 exclusive offers that give you FREE casino cash when you open a new account! No credit card is required and no need to deposit any money! To see the offers, go to:

Ongoing Las Vegas Casino Deals

We also give information on the best promotions in Las Vegas that are offered on a continuing basis. Click to see the latest edition of the Ongoing Vegas Values reports


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The Calculated Tricks of Online Slots

Danny McKeown, Guest Author at

Human psychology when playing slot machines

The fact that slot machines are designed to make casinos money is one that, logically, we all know. So there must be some level of ignorance to that fact in those who choose to play slot games.

There is a psychological term which explains this, called ‘cognitive dissonance’. This term essentially refers to a person disassociating themselves with the reality of a particular situation. In this case, ignoring the fact that they’re likely to lose money.

Casinos do not hide this information either. Regardless of whether you are playing at the best online slot sites or a real life casino, the return to player (RTP) rate for every slot game is visible.

The RTP rate is displayed in a percentage and indicates the best return a player can expect to get back from staking $100. If a game has an RTP of 96%, a player can expect to win $96 at best.

There are, of course, exceptions to this rule and this is the reason that all casino players gamble – to land that one big win. It can happen to anyone, at any time, and this is what keeps them coming back.

Slot machine psychology

It’s important to note that slot machine psychology is inherently designed to increase player frequency. There is one particular trick that is used that is referred to as ‘the near-miss effect’ when playing slots.

Something can be described as a ‘near miss’ when feedback for a loss approximates a win in a game of chance. For instance, matching two of three symbols on the reels constitutes a near miss.

Numerous studies have suggested that games which generate an approximate near miss rate of 30% encourage players to continue playing more. This isn’t an exact science, but it helps to explain the psychology behind slot machines.

The effect that near misses have on the psychology of slot machine players is a profound one. It creates a sense of anticipation that the jackpot win they’ve been waiting for is going to come soon.

This, of course, isn’t the case and isn’t something that can be predicted. Slot machines and online slots work off a random number generator programme, so there is no period when a jackpot win is “due” to happen.

The near-miss effect makes players forget about this fact however and actually encourages further play. It feeds into that belief that they could be the lucky one who lands the jackpot.

Slot machine design

When talking of slot machine psychology, one must also consider the design of slot machines and the mental impact it has on players. Slot machines are very specifically designed to entice players to start and continue playing.

The main way in which they do this is by using audiovisual cues. There is a reason why slot machines in casinos are huge in size, covered in lights and play loud music. It is to entice you in.

It doesn’t stop there, though. When a player hits a big jackpot win, the machine responds with flashing lights and celebratory music. This, combined with the sound of the coins falling out of the machine, creates a dopamine rush.

Players will also get a similar experience when playing online slot games, on which slot machine design psychology is even more important. They even make a simulated payout noise to emulate that of a real slot machine.

All of this is designed to keep you coming back for more. Even if you do win, the machine is designed to tempt you to put your winnings back into it in the hopes you’ll win again.

Bonus rounds and their frequency

Another way that game designers use slot machine psychology is by incorporating bonus rounds and bonus features. These features tend to offer incentives for players like free spins, or the chance to win more money.

Some games will be designed with more bonus symbols on the reels, to give the impression that players are close to the bonus round. This is another tactic used to ensure players continue wagering on spins.

You may even find that some games actually initiate the bonus round more than others. While this gives the impression that there’s more chance to win, it has no effect on the game’s baseline RTP rate.

When it comes to slot machines in bricks and mortar casinos, the addition of buttons also helps to create a sense of control for players. It’s of course impossible to control the outcome of a slot game, but the illusion is still present.

This illusion is also mimicked on online slots, which present the player with the ‘spin’ button option to activate the reels. They do this, even though the result of spin is predetermined by a random number generator.

Again, this is an effective use of slot machine design psychology. By presenting the option of whether or not to press the button, players are duped into believing this creates control over the outcome.

Physiological effects of playing slot machines

While a lot of slot machine psychology is theory based, there are some very real, tangible things that happen to the human body when playing slots. These effects come at a physiological level and influence player actions.

We already know that slot machines, real and online, are designed to trigger a dopamine response in the brain when a player wins. But how does this have an impact on how a player behaves?

Dopamine is the chemical that is released when a person feels pleasure and it lights up (metaphorically speaking) the reward pathway in the brain. This activation in the brain leads to players seeking that feeling again.

Equally, if a player gets that “high” from a win, but then goes a little while without it, they begin to crave that feeling. This could lead to players becoming reckless and chasing that illusive win and corresponding dopamine spike.

This is essentially the key ingredient in the psychology of slot machine addiction. Slot machines are designed to give this feeling of pure elation to players, which then encourages them to seek it out again.

Given that slot machines are ultimately designed to make casinos money, it’s not hard to see that this can be a recipe for disaster for players. One must exercise discipline and restraint when undertaking any form of gambling.

Conclusion to slot machine psychology

The psychology behind slot machines is fascinating and one which is likely to be debated for decades to come. Slot machines are supposed to be a fun distraction from the real world, but that’s not always the case.

By their very nature and design, it’s common for players to develop addictive tendencies towards these slot machines. So it’s important that you understand exactly what you are partaking in before getting started in the first place.

If you approach slot machine play in the right way i.e. knowing that it’s a game of chance and it’s more likely than not that you’ll lose money, then it becomes easier to enjoy.

Going to your local casino, or loading up your favourite online casino, and playing slots should be viewed purely as a means of entertainment. The difference being that there is a chance you could win some money back.

If you’re lucky enough to land a jackpot win, great! Take your winnings and enjoy it. Don’t fall into the trap of reinvesting your cash to hit the jackpot again. This is the key to avoiding problem gambling.

Don’t let this article deter you from enjoying slot games in the future, either. That’s not what we’re trying to do. In fact, it’s quite the opposite to that.

We want to make sure that everybody is able to enjoy slot machine games safely and responsibly, both online and in casinos. By understanding slot machine psychology, you’re taking a massive step towards doing that.

So, now that you know how and why slot machines are designed the way that they are and how your brain reacts to them, you can enjoy them without having to worry.

About the author

Name Danny McKeown
Job Freelance Writer Specialising in iGaming

Danny McKeown is a professional content writer who specialises in slots and poker. He expanded his expertise and worked for renowned companies in the iGaming industry.

Versatility, knowledge and passsion are the three factors that make a good content writer.

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Gambling Trends in India 2024: Key Insights and Stats

 Statistics List With a Growth Chart

It is understood that for the industry to succeed, each country must fight and develop its focus areas to stay on top. India is no exception, as it encompasses over 400 gaming companies serving over 420 million online gamers. Read along to learn more about the history of Indian gambling, its market growth, key statistics, and more in our informative article.

Introduction to Gambling in India

In recent years, online gambling in India has had a surge and an uprise, providing a highly competitive market. This has encouraged gaming companies and online casinos to strive to be better and better and provide gamblers with the best possible experience.

This may come in the form of delivering the most popular games, features, bonuses, and other key aspects that make a casino great. Another main point that needs to be discussed is the technological evolution of gambling products in 2024.

Machines have become more powerful, allowing games to be graphically intensive and beautiful to look at. Not only that but also gaming on mobile devices has never been stronger.

We must mention the legality of some online operators. The best gambling sites in India will always be licensed, safe, and secure, but some users may be duped into accessing a fraudulent casino that is only there to steal your money.

As the gambling industry is on the rise, such illegal operators have raised in numbers too. It is important for every user to double-check and research the casino they’re playing in to make sure it’s legitimate.

History of Gambling in India

Legal gambling in the country has always been a grey area. As of the time of writing this review, only three states have fully legalized it – Goa, Daman, and Sikkim. Ten casinos in Goa exist, while Casino Sikkim and Mahjong are in the state of Sikkim. This is the situation of land-based gambling in India.

When it comes to online gambling, the situation is a bit different. Federal laws explicitly prohibit online betting in India, while some states have laws against it. This may be the case, but it is still not illegal to partake in online gambling activities when using an offshore casino site.

The Information Technology Act 2000 is the governing body that regulates cyber activities in India. It does not specifically prohibit the partaking of gambling activities in the country, which is good for Indian gamblers.

Gambling Industry Growth Trends

When looking at the gambling statistics for India[1], we can see an uprise in gambling and sports betting activities in the country as the years go by. The revenue each year is 20 to 30% higher compared to the last.

Sports betting takes the larger part of the market, but in general, both industries grow exponentially year by year. Some factors contributing to this may be:

  • More players are attracted to the online gambling industry.
  • Casino sites are improving their offerings.
  • The industry is becoming increasingly popular worldwide.
  • Technological advancements push the industry forward.
  • Software developers make exceptional games every year.

With the current rate, the scene of online gambling in India is expected to grow annually at an 8.59% rate from 2023 to 2027. In total, 12.17 million users can occupy India’s online gambling markets and provide an average revenue per user of $291.83.

Key Statistics: Betting and Gaming in 2024

Indian gamblers prefer all types of activities, which further makes the industry evolve. Online gambling games alone got a 40% growth from 2018 to 2024, and this number will surely rise as the years go by. Land-based gambling is also thriving, thanks to it being legal in three states in India.

Sports betting is an area where the numbers rise the most. Statistics show that it is an even larger industry compared to standard casino gaming in the country. As of the time of writing this review, Sikkim, Nagaland, and Meghalaya are the three states where sports betting is regulated and legal.

Indians cannot bet on every sport, as some are prohibited. The allowed ones in the state of Sikkim are:

  • Golf
  • Chess
  • Cricket
  • Football
  • Lawn Tennis
  • Horse Racing

The sports betting market in 2021 was worth over $2 billion. The market in question made only 3% of the global total, however. This goes to show that the regulated gambling industry in the country is small, even though it has one of the largest populations worldwide.

 A Statistics Chat on a Laptop Screen

A large portion of the Indian population gamble. Now that online gambling is on the rise, it has never been more convenient to partake in the activity. Demographic stats show that around three-quarters of the Indian gamblers are below the age of 45. See the table below for more details.

India’s Gamblers Demographics
Age Percentage
18-24 22%
25-40 35%
41-56 28%
57-75 16%

Statistics show that this isn’t exclusive to India, as the situation in other countries is similar. There are exclusions, as the average gambler in Brazil is estimated to be around 39 years old, which opposes the demographic of young gamblers in India.

Current Regulations Governing Gambling

The current regulations in India are as we mentioned – land-based gambling is legal in only three states, while the online market is highly prohibited unless it’s an offshore site. The best online casinos in India are all offshore operators who accept Indian players.

These terms are subject to change because the market is hitting such an uprise that the government itself may be losing money unless they act and make the market freer. Only time will tell.

Casinos and games are regulated by state-level laws in India[2], and their digital forms also fall within the ambit of the same laws. There is a chance of games being hit by the prohibitions on a state level.

Technological Advancements in Gambling

The industry is advancing at a steady pace, but a substantial portion of that is possible thanks to the technological advancements in gambling. Games become more intense with better graphics, websites become more accessible and easier to use as more and more features get added.

As software developers are constantly optimizing their games, the Indian mobile gambling market is growing stronger and stronger each year. Gaming companies can take advantage of the latest technology, such as 5G connectivity, allowing gaming from any location in the country.

Mobile processors are also becoming increasingly stronger and allow games with high-fidelity graphics to be more defined and beautiful. A lot of the best gambling sites in India have dedicated mobile apps, too, allowing easy access to the casino’s game catalog.

Challenges Facing the Gambling Industry

Becoming increasingly apparent, it is obvious that some challenges and difficulties may arise in the industry.

The key factors that drive the industry forward are – technological advancement, mobile gaming, games growth, security, and licensing. Breaking these down leaves us with a conflicting situation. Technology will, at one point, limit progress, while ideas for games will also decrease.

 Gambling Table with Chips On Top

Unless a staggering change occurs that breaks the routine, online gambling will eventually reach a spot where no future developments and advancements can be reached. If we look at some statistics, as of now, nearly 60% of the users gamble on a personal computer, leaving around 40% on mobile.

This goes to show how apparent mobile gambling is, and what it may cost to lose technological advancement in this field. Casinos must adapt to the new trends of the industry and constantly deliver new and better content for their players.

This brings us to our last point – casino security and illegal gambling. An online operator must always have a valid state license and a secure platform to ensure the safety of its players. This is a big challenge that the gambling industry is facing, as illegal casinos are on the rise and negatively impact the growth of the market.

Future Outlook: Predictions for Beyond 2024

In 2024, the projected revenue of the Indian gambling market is expected to reach upwards of $2,9 billion. A staggering increase of what we have had up until this point. By 2028, the projected revenue growth rate is expected to be around 6.49%.

The revenue in the gambling market is projected to be around $284 per user from 2024 upwards, and the user count itself may rise to 12.7 million by 2028.

Sports betting is expected to have a significant hit as well. All of this leads to the prospect that the online gambling market in India will experience a large surge in popularity. This rise is expected to occur because of chnological advancements and mobile gaming progression.

Responsible Gambling and Social Responsibility

Responsible gambling in India is an especially important aspect as well. Gambling can become an addiction and is considered a serious illness. It is important to always gamble for fun. You should know your limits and when it is time to stop. This is especially true for high rollers.

To combat this, casinos in India have partnered with the most popular responsible gambling organizations. Some of them include GamStop and BeGambleAware[4]. Before playing at an online gambling site, make sure to look at the bottom of the page and make sure such organizations are listed.

There are support numbers you can call and talk to a real person who can help you beat problem gambling. This applies to all forms of gambling and is great advice for many people who have a gambling addiction.

Conclusion: The Future of Gambling in India

It is time to conclude our article regarding the gambling scene in India and provide you with our concluding thoughts and remarks.

We covered the main point – the development of online gambling in India. It is an ever-growing industry, filled with difficulties. We covered the ways the top gambling sites in India stay competitive and provide the best possible experience for their players.

We mentioned the legality of the gambling market in India – it is a tough situation with only three states explicitly allowing it, but regardless, it is still thriving. Growth caused by technological advancements is inevitable and is seen strongly in the gaming market in the country.

Regulations are strong, and statistics show what the prospect and outlook is for the gambling scene beyond 2024. And as always, we did mention the importance of responsible gambling and how to combat addiction.

Overall, gambling has never reached such a high point. We are excited to see where it will go from here and what modern technology will bring to the table as mobile devices continue to improve and operators continue to provide new and exciting features and games.

References and Useful Links

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The Enduring Allure of March Madness in Las Vegas

The Enduring Allure of March Madness in Las Vegas

By Michael Kaplan

Most of us don’t need excuses to visit Las Vegas, hang out in casinos, watch sports and gamble. But, for anyone who does, March Madness is a perfect time in which to touch down in Sin City and blissfully splash around chips.

Vegas gets so packed with gamblers, that the craps tables seem to be infused with more energy than usual, playing blackjack is extra fun and a night at the casino poker table invariably comes with players offering rolling commentary on the games that went down earlier in the day and matches that are poised to tip off tomorrow.

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Seven Keys to Staying in Control During the Stress of Casino Play

Seven Keys to Staying in Control During the Stress of Casino Play

By Jerry Stich

All casino gamblers dream of hitting a big score, whether it is a huge slot win, a long winning streak and blackjack, hitting several numbers on a roulette wheel, or an epic run of luck at a craps table.

Losing streaks, as well as other facts of casino play can cause a lot of stress for players. Stress can cause people to act strangely, wildly, and erratically. Any of these behaviors affect a player’s control and once a player loses control, good things do generally not follow.

How can a player stay in control? How can they be unaffected or at least minimally affected by the normal human reactions to the stress of casino gaming? Read on to find out.

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How Do Casino Bonuses in VIP Programmes Work?

Dean McHugh, Guest Author at

VIP (Very Important Person) programmes are casino loyalty bonus schemes which are meant to reward the casino’s high-rollers. They are designed to show appreciation to the casino’s most dedicated and valuable players.

There are various benefits associated with being a part of a casino VIP programme. The benefits include some of the best casino bonuses, exclusive tournaments, numerous free spins, and premium customer service, among others.

In this article, we will have an in-depth look into how casino VIP programmes work. Read on to learn moreabout why you need to be in a casino VIP programme.

Loyalty Points

When it comes to online casinos, loyalty points can be a stepping stone towards getting to the VIP club. These points are usually awarded based on the number of games you play or the amounts you wager. Basically, the more times you play and the more money you use to play, the more loyalty points you earn.

Earning loyalty points helps you climb the VIP ladder, and it is a step-by-step process that can be very daunting. However, with consistency it becomes quite easy to scoop the points.

Climbing to the top of the VIP ladder doesn’t only call for you to play many times and wager substantial amounts of money; it also calls for top-class decision-making. This is because different games offer different loyalty points, so you need to choose the games that offer more points. For instance, slots offer more points than table games.

Nonetheless, playing for loyalty points is a risk vs reward strategy that requires you to wager more funds and invest more time with the expectation that you are going to get more benefits in the long run.

Point Conversion and Redemption

After earning a substantial number of points, the next step is points conversion and redemption. Look at it this way: loyalty points are just a virtual form of currency that you can use to gain tangible benefits in an online casino. You need to convert or redeem your loyalty pointsinto real-world tangible benefits.

To do so, you can redeem or convert the points for various perks such as cash bonuses, free spins and other exclusive benefits. Whether you opt for cash bonuses or free spins, the choice depends fully on you. However, note that some casinos might differ in terms of what you can do with your loyalty points.

For some casinos, loyalty points conversion or redemption can be very rewarding. For instance, some offer €10 for 1 point or more. This also varies based on the casino.

Tiered VIP Levels

VIP programmes are structured to have different levels. These levels are referred to as tiers, and players achieve them one by one based on points accumulated. Technically, the more points you accumulate, the higher you climb up the tiers.

Most casinos have their loyalty VIP levels structured into Bronze, Silver, Gold and VIP. Each of these tiers is associated with different rewards and benefits, with VIP having the most rewards and Bronze having the fewest.

Tiered VIP levels foster a sense of competition as well as a sense of achievement as you progress through the ranks. The tiers are associated with personalised services, exclusive access to events, and accelerated earning of points.

Personalised Services

Being part of an online casino VIP programme sets you up for luxury resulting from personalised service. These personalised services are aimed towards giving you the best casino experience ever.

There’s nothing better than being rewarded as a most loyal and consistent gambler. Online casinos, through VIP programmes, prioritise their loyal players through services like personalised bonus offers, prioritised customer support and dedicated account management.

Through personalised services, the casino is always ready to cater to your unique demand. Whether you want a dedicated account manager, faster responses and escalation of issues, or substantial bonuses, the VIP programme will have you covered. In simple terms, you are treated like a king to enhance an amazing user experience.

Event Invitations and Special Offers

Picture it this way; when inviting friends to your party you start by sending invitations to your closest and most valuable friends. This is also how it works with online casinos.

Whenever there are important tournaments and events, the casino gives first priority to the VIP programme members. These casinos send event invitations and special offersto their VIP members to ensure that they don’t miss big tournaments and events.

However, most casinos send invites to players based on their tier level. For instance, the gold tier members might receive invites and special offers that are not provided for the bronze tier members.

Additionally, besides early invitations to events, the casino gives special offers to its loyal players, including the best casino bonuses. Some casinos even go out of their way to give their VIP members physical gifts and travel packages.

Loyalty Bonus Conditions

Casinos are gearing towards incentivising or attracting newcomers through loyalty programmes. Normally, the loyalty bonuses come in the shape of free spins, cashback offers and other benefits to enhance the casino experience.

Other types of bonuses given to VIP players include:

  • Welcome bonuses
  • Deposit bonuses
  • Loyalty rewards, like free points
  • High roller bonuses

However, casinos only issue these bonuses based on some loyalty bonus conditions. For instance, you need to wager more than the minimum bet amount on your bets in order to qualify for specific bonuses like cashback offers.

The same goes for deposit bonuses. Some casinos only issue loyalty bonuses for deposits exceeding a certain amount. For instance, a 10% bonus for deposits exceeding €100.

Qualification Criteria

While the ultimate goal is to become a member of the VIP club at your favourite online casino to enjoy substantial perks, the process of becoming a VIP is not an easy one. Online casinos have restrictions and qualifications that you must meet in order to be considered for the VIP club.

The qualification criteria entails:

  • Regular Play and Loyalty: To be considered for VIP status, you need to play more regularly and consistently at the casino. The process involves playing more games, making more deposits, and demonstrating your commitment to the casino over time.
  • Meet Minimum Criteria: With most casinos, you must meet specific criteria to be considered for the VIP programme. It often includes making deposits of more than the minimum level and wagering more than the set minimum amount for the loyalty programme. Additionally, casinos consider the time you spend on their site. You need to play more often and for longer periods to be considered for the VIP programme.

Once you meet these qualification criteria, you will easily glide tier after tier to the top of the casino’s VIP club.

Responsible Gaming and VIP Programmes

Getting into the VIP club at an online casino is both time-consuming and money-consuming. This is because the programmes are structured in such a way that you need to play with more money and spend more time playing in order to qualify. This can trigger addiction in you as a player as you try to be committed to the casino with the aim of achieving VIP status.

That said, you need to be very careful not to get addicted to online casino gambling. Gambling should be a form of entertainment and not a habitual endeavour that drains all your funds and consumes all your time.

As a gambler, you need to practise responsible gamingto avoid being a victim of gambling negatives. Additionally, online casinos need to consider incorporating responsible gambling into their VIP programmes. Online casinos can promote responsible gambling through the following programs:

1. Responsible Gambling Policies

Online casinos should have policies to facilitate safe and healthy gambling practices. The policies should include measures such as self-exclusion programs that allow players to voluntarily distance themselves from the casino.

2. Players Sensitisation

Online casinos should also be patrons of responsible gambling. They can do this by informing their players, including VIP members, on how best to go about safe and healthy gambling, for example, through setting up wagering limits and managing their bankrolls efficiently.

3. Training Operators

Casinos can help promote responsible gambling by training their employees on how to identify players with a gambling addiction. For instance, casino employees should look out for high rollers who still keep playing despite making heavy losses every now and then, as this is a sign of gambling addiction. Once identified, the casino operators should then take necessary measures to help the players with gambling addiction to avoid destructive behaviour.

4. Truthful Advertising

Some countries do not regulate advertising and marketing for online casinos. This might lead to misinformation in adverts and marketing materials, which can lead to irresponsible gambling. Online casinos should ensure truthfulness when marketing their VIP programmesin order to minimise irresponsible gambling.

5. Preventing Under-age Gambling

Underage gambling can lead to addictive gambling practices, as minors find it difficult to determine bad or good gambling behaviours. Online casinos should completely ban minors from wagering on their platforms. This can be implemented by necessitating the provision of personal identification documents during registration.

6. Supporting Research and Education

Online casinos should support research aimed at eliminating irresponsible gambling. For instance, they can fund research studies or partner with firms that focus on promoting responsible gambling practices.

Long-Term Benefits of VIP Programmes

Being part of a VIP programme in an online casino is more like an investment that promises you various benefits. To appreciate and reward their most loyal and consistent players, most modern casinos have VIP programmes.

These programmes are usually structured into different tiers and offer several rewards sent directly to the player’s account as they play. However, these rewards vary based on the player’s VIP tier. For example, the gold tier has more rewards than the bronze tier and silver tier.

Now let’s look at the long-term benefits of VIP programmes!

1. Personalised Customer Service

As a member of the VIP club, you get access to personalised customer service. Normally, the casino will provide you with a dedicated account manager to handle your concerns promptly, guide you whenever you have any issues and ensure exceptional experiences.

The dedicated account manager also provides seamless communication channels to ensure the player gets news and updates on any news games, promotions, tournaments and more. This helps improve the player’s casino experience and provides possibilities for substantial wins.

2. Higher Withdrawal and Deposit Limits

Most casinos limit the amounts you can deposit or withdraw. However, with VIP programmes, these casinos can offer VIP members more flexible limits. High rollers get a chance to deposit more money into their accounts and as well withdraw substantial amounts of their winnings.

Additionally, VIP programmes may grant players access to payment options such as Bitcoin, which may not be available to average players. These additional payment methods can also be associated with other benefits, such as bonuses for using particular payment methods to deposit.

3. Substantial Bonuses and Promos

Online VIP programmes have a wide selection of special bonuses and promos. These benefits normally include deposit bonuses, free spins, cashback, and early access to new games.

Some e-casinos may also decide to celebrate players ‘ gambling accomplishments with other perks such as physical gifts. Ultimately, the bonuses, promotions and gifts are vital in ensuring exceptional casino experiences.

4. Access to VIP Tournaments and Events

VIP membership is a gateway to high-end online casino tournaments and events. Some casinos even offer early access to the tournaments to give the VIP players unique competing and winning experiences.

Some of the most popular VIP tournaments in online casinos are offered in the following games:

  • Blackjack
  • Poker
  • Baccarat
  • Roulette
  • Slots
  • Leaderboard challenges


Online VIP programmes are ultimately worth it in the long run, especially for high rollers. As discussed above, these programmes not only provide you with a chance to win big but also opportunities to enjoy online casino gambling through personalised customer service, substantial bonuses and promos, higher deposit and withdrawal limits and access to top class tournaments and events.

To enjoy all the perks associated with being a member of the VIP club, you need to choose an online casino with favourable VIP programmes. Nonetheless, you also need to follow responsible gambling practices for a safer and healthier gambling experience.

About the author

Name Dean McHugh
Job Freelance Content Writer

Dean McHugh graduated from Birkbeck University in London and became an independent freelance content writer in 2020, specialising in iGaming topics.

Believe in the power of numbers! The stats will lead the way.

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Guide to MMA Betting in Canada – Understanding the UFC & MMA Bet Types

Luke Garrison: Sports & Casino Author from Canada

Sports & Casino: Luke Garrison

Luke Garrison is a professional writer who grew up just outside of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He currently works at the Canadian Press and enjoys the outdoors in his free time.

In 1993, MMA quickly became a widespread term after its first documented use by well-known critic Howard Rosenberg in his review of ‘UFC 1’ for the Los Angeles Times. The UFC was formed that same year and has steadily grown more popular throughout North America ever since.

Unfortunately, Canada wasn’t as quick to adopt MMA. In 2013, Bill S-209 finally decriminalized MMA within the country, which gave each province the power to create athletic commissions that would be responsible for regulating and sanctioning professional MMA fights.

On the betting side of things, only Ontario allows and regulates online commercial sportsbooks. That said, most other provinces have alternative options for betting on MMA bouts, including in-person at lottery kiosks and/or online at government-owned sportsbooks such as ‘Proline’ and ‘PlayNow’.

Read on to learn important information every Canadian should know before placing any wagers on MMA fights.

Popular MMA Fighting Styles

MMA fighting styles draw inspiration from a number of different combat disciplines. Understanding what these disciplines are all about, and how they’re incorporated into each fighter’s combat style, can provide valuable insight when deciding who to bet on ahead of a big match. Here are some of the most frequently-used styles in MMA today.


When most people think about a traditional fight, they envision boxing. Common associations include red padded leather gloves, a prototypical roped ring, and a loud bell to alert all who hear it whenever a round has officially ended or began.

This style is mostly focused on fighting using fist strikes, hence the large gloves. Fast footwork also plays a large role, opening up an opponent for quick jabs and other strikes.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

The inception of Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) can be traced back to 1925, where it was developed by the five Gracie brothers at the ‘Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy’ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Carlos Gracie was the true founder as the inspiration for many of BJJ’s techniques came from Carlos’ time with Japanese judo master Esai Maeda.

Most of the style is focused on grappling, ground fighting, and submission holds. The goal is to force an opponent to the ground before using BJJ moves featuring joint locks and chokeholds to immobilize them into submission. Fighters who specialize in this style are naturally more likely to win by submission than by other avenues to victory.


Derived from both Okinawan and Japanese martial arts, techniques are typically powerful as well as linear with a focus on striking. What makes karate unique is the focus on the mental aspect of combat, with a lot of emphasis put on effort as well as respect in order to be a fighter that is both physically and mentally strong.


Kickboxing is somewhat as it sounds, focusing on a combination of boxing-style punches and martial arts-style kicks. Boxing gloves are used in kickboxing matches, and many elements of karate can be found in the kicking techniques. A popular subdiscipline of kickboxing is Muay Thai.


Wrestling draws a lot more similarities to BJJ than it does to other popular fighting styles, considering striking blows are not permitted. It’s all about hand-to-hand combat, focused on taking the opponent down to the floor and forcing them into submission.

Methods of Victory

There are four different ways a fighter can win an MMA bout – ‘Submission’ (SUB), ‘Knockout’ (KO), ‘Technical Knockout’ (TKO), and ‘Judges’ Decision’. If the fight ends in a judges’ decision, there are a few different factors that determine how the final ruling is made. Refer to the table below for key information on how to win an MMA fight.

Method of Victory Explanation
Submission (SUB) Fighter physically or verbally taps out through a legal method of submission during any round.
Knockout (KO) Fighter is knocked unconscious by a strike or other form of impact.
Technical Knockout (TKO) The referee halts the match and declares a technical knockout due to the amount or severity of strikes or other impact upon a fighter.
Judges’ Decision When the method of victory is not a SUB, KO, or TKO, a panel of three judges deliver scorecards resulting in either a unanimous, majority, or split decision.
Judges’ Decision – Unanimous A judges’ decision is unanimous when all three judges vote for the same fighter.
Judges’ Decision – Majority A judges’ decision is considered to be a majority when two judges vote for one fighter and the third votes ‘Draw’.
Judges’ Decision – Split A judges’ decision is seen as split when two judges pick one fighter and the third picks the other.
Judges’ Decision – Draw When a judges’ decision is a draw, that draw itself can either be unanimous, a majority, or a split depending on how votes are cast.

Understanding MMA Weight Classes

Like many other combat sports, MMA fighters are separated and compete in different divisions based on weight class. These classes also differ between the men’s and women’s divisions. Refer to the tables below for a full breakdown of men’s and women’s MMA weight classes.

MMA Weight Class Division Weight Requirements
Strawweight Women’s 115-pound limit
Flyweight Men’s & Women’s 125-pound limit
Bantamweight Men’s & Women’s 135-pound limit
Featherweight Men’s & Women’s 145-pound limit
Lightweight Men’s 155-pound limit
Welterweight Men’s 170-pound limit
Middleweight Men’s 185-pound limit
Light Heavyweight Men’s 205-pound limit
Heavyweight Men’s 265-pound limit

Popular Ways to Bet on MMA Fights in Canada

Most Canadians bet on MMA fights by betting on the UFC, although the Bellator MMA league also draws a lot of interest. There aren’t as many MMA bet types as other sports, but it is still one of the most popular and exciting betting sports. Most MMA betting sites use ‘American odds’, expressed as a positive value (ex. +150) for underdog fighters and a negative value (ex. -260) for fighters considered to be the favourite.

Here are all of the available MMA bet types available at most sportsbooks serving Canadians. Once you have become familiar with them, simply choose a sportsbook based on what’s available to you in your current province, and you’re ready to bet on the next big UFC Fight Night. Good luck!


Placing a moneyline bet simply means choosing one of two fighters to be the outright winner of any bout. For example, if Rose Namajunas has moneyline odds of -150, she would be the favorite.

The odds also tell us how profitable a bet will be. For example, a $50 wager on Namajunas at -150 would yield an $83 payout (your original $50 stake plus a $33.50 profit).

Total Rounds

Total rounds betting simply means betting on how many rounds a fight will last. Essentially, each bout is given an over/under rounds total.

For example, a UFC fight has a total rounds value of ‘2.5’. If the fight lasts for three rounds or more, a bet on the ‘Over’ would win, whereas the fight would need to last for two rounds or less for a bet on the ‘Under’ to cash.

Parlay Betting

A parlay bet is a combination bet that can include any of the previously mentioned bet types. Each single bet in a parlay is called a ‘leg’ and all legs must hit for the wager to win. For example, a two-leg parlay picking Michel Pereira to win on the moneyline and the bout to last under 2.5 rounds.

Futures Betting

Futures betting is a wager on a future event. In UFC betting, this means wagering on a specific fighter to be the current champion of their weight class as of December 31st. For example, betting on Jon Jones to be the ‘Men’s UFC Heavyweight Champion’ on December 31st, 2024.


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