What is illegal gaming?
The Criminal Code (Canada) prohibits gambling that is not authorized through provincial legislation; this authorization is given to the Government of Manitoba through The Liquor and Gaming Control Act. In combination, these pieces of federal and provincial legislation permit many forms of gambling in Manitoba, such as VLT and casino operations, lottery ticket sales, and charitable bingos, raffles and Texas hold’em poker tournaments. The LGA works with policing authorities, licensees, gaming operators, First Nations and the public to uphold the Criminal Code (Canada) by ensuring that all gaming in Manitoba is legal.
From a broad public interest perspective, legal gambling permits the community as a whole to benefit from gaming revenue, either through charitable fundraising or through government expenditures on programs and services. There is also a consumer protection aspect to legal gambling that ensures a clear avenue for complaints and monitoring of cheating and fraud.
Illegal events, on the other hand, operate outside the Criminal Code (Canada). They are not regulated, so there is no attempt to guarantee the honesty and integrity of these events, nor an avenue for consumer protection. Illegal gambling can compromise legitimate business operations and undermine sanctioned and regulated activities that operate for the benefit of the community.
All LGA-licensed events have a licence number that must be printed on public materials, including advertising and tickets. You can ask to see a licence if you are concerned about the legitimacy of an event. Note that the LGA is not the only licensing authority in Manitoba; municipalities may issue raffle licences and First Nations gaming commissions may licence on-reserve events.
Please email our Compliance Department or call us at 204-954-9400 or toll-free at 1-800-782-0363 if you have a concern about illegal gaming. Please note the location and date that you witnessed the concerning situation, as we will need this information to investigate.