Casino Online > Online Gambling in Canada > Famous Canadian Gamblers

Famous Gamblers in Canada: The Canadian Casino Celebrities


For centuries, gaming has been ingrained in gambling history Canada. Indigenous communities engaged in games of chance like stick and dice games. When Europeans arrived, they introduced new forms of gambling, like playing cards and horse racing. Despite being illegal in several Canadian regions during the 19th century, gaming persisted, with illegal establishments and horse racing gaining popularity.

In 1989, Winnipeg saw the inauguration of Canada's inaugural commercial casino, and Montréal followed suit in 1993. Subsequently, various provinces also embraced the casino trend. Presently, betting enjoys legal status throughout Canada, with casinos serving as a beloved leisure activity for many Canadians.

Notable figures in Canadian gambling have left their mark on Canada's scene. David Baazov, in particular, played a pivotal role in elevating Canada's status as a renowned gaming destination. Additional noteworthy Canadian gamblers include Daniel Negreanu, a seasoned poker pro, and Guy Laliberte, the visionary behind Cirque du Soleil.

This article will highlight notable Canadian gamblers who are celebrities, business magnates, sports stars, and much more. So, get ready to explore all that informative and entertaining stuff.

Gambling’s Popularity in Canada – Why It Captivates Canadians

Gambling’s popularity in Canada is a multifaceted phenomenon shaped by cultural, social, and regulatory factors. Canada’s historical connection to Indigenous games has fostered a cultural familiarity with games of chance. This rich heritage forms a foundational element of gaming’s enduring appeal.

Multicultural Influence

Canada’s multicultural society further enhances the allure of gambling. The diverse range of preferences brought by people from various cultural backgrounds adds depth and variety to the country’s gaming landscape, making it more inclusive and captivating.

Social Entertainment

Socially, casinos in Canada have evolved into entertainment destinations, offering more than just betting. With fine dining, shows, and concerts, they have become vibrant social hubs where people gather to try their luck and enjoy a broader range of experiences.

Regulatory Assurance

The Canadian government’s robust gaming regulation ensures fairness and safety, instilling confidence in gamblers. This combination of cultural roots, multiculturalism, social entertainment, and effective regulation makes it a captivating and enduring pastime for Canadians nationwide.

Famous Canadian Poker Players


Here’s a list of some outstanding Canadian poker players and a little bit about them:

Daniel Negreanu


He was born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1974. People think he’s one of the best poker players in the world. He’s won six big poker tournaments called the World Series of Poker (WSOP), and he’s also won two other tournaments called the World Poker Tour (WPT). In total, he’s won more than $42 million. (Sources: pantheon, Wikipedia)

Jonathan Duhamel


He was born in Boucherville, Quebec, in 1987. He’s a pro poker player who won a big tournament called the 2010 WSOP Main Event. That win got him over $8.9 million. He’s also won two WPT tournaments; his total winnings are more than $18 million. (Sources: BetMGM, Poker)

Sam Greenwood


He was born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1988. Sam is another pro poker player. He’s won over $22 million in live tournaments, which is a lot of money. He got one WSOP bracelet and one WPT title. (Source: Poker)

Mike McDonald


He was born in Waterloo, Ontario, in 1989. Mike is also a pro poker player who’s won over $13 million in live tournaments. He has one WSOP bracelet and one EPT title. (Source: Wikipedia)

Sorel Mizzi

He was born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1986. Sorel is a pro poker player who’s won over $12 million in live tournaments. He’s got one WSOP bracelet and one WPT title. (Source: Wikipedia)

These are just a few of the really good Canadian poker players alongside their poker career achievements.

Canadian Casino Celebrities Who Gamble


In the sky of Canadian fame, there exists a squad of notable personalities whose passion for gambling has left a permanent mark on the gambling landscape in Canada. Here, we unveil some of these intriguing figures:

Pamela Anderson 


Renowned as an actress and model, Anderson’s affinity for poker is no secret. She has graced numerous high-profile poker tournaments with her presence and even assumed the role of a spokesperson for an online poker platform. (Source: chicagotribune)

Evelyn Ng

Recognized as a luminary in the professional poker circuit, Ng is a source of inspiration for Canadian gamblers. Her triumphs span the terrestrial and virtual gambling realms, solidifying her stature as a luminary in the Canadian gambling panorama.

Guy Laliberte

The visionary behind Cirque du Soleil, Laliberte, dons the dual mantle of a professional poker player. His conquests in high-stakes poker tournaments add an intriguing layer to his multifaceted fame. (Source: Wikipedia)

Celebrities Influencing Canadian Gambling

Notably, the deployment of celebrities in gambling advertisements has stirred controversy within Canada. Critics argue that this practice could potentially expose impressionable young minds to the allure of gambling. Responding to these concerns, Ontario recently prohibited employing athletes and celebrities in online gambling advertisements.

Canadian Business Figures in Gambling

Several Canadian business figures have played a substantial role in the country’s gambling industry. Their investments and leadership positions in various casinos and gambling organizations have significantly impacted this thriving sector.

Paul Godfrey


With extensive experience in the gambling industry, Paul Godfrey served as the CEO of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) from 2005 to 2010. Additionally, he held the position of CEO at Postmedia Network, which owns numerous Canadian newspapers. Presently, he serves as the Executive Chairman of the Postmedia Network Board of Directors. (Source: Wikipedia)

Michael DeGroote


This businessman has made notable investments in Canadian casinos, including the Flamboro Downs racetrack and casino in Ontario. His reach extends across the border as he has also invested in Las Vegas casinos in the United States. (Source: CBC)

Peter Goudron


Another prominent figure, Peter Goudron, owns several Canadian casinos, such as the Casino de Montreal and the Casino du Lac-Leamy. Furthermore, he leads Loto-Quebec, the government agency overseeing gambling in Quebec.

Rodney Baker


Former CEO of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, one of Canada’s largest casino operators, Rodney Baker, stepped down in 2021 after violating COVID-19 protocols to visit a casino in Yukon. (Source: WSJ)

Business Impact on Canadian Gambling

The Canadian gambling industry has experienced steady growth, with the online gaming sector alone generating an estimated $10 billion annually. This thriving industry has also contributed significantly to employment, with over 135,000 Canadians working directly in gaming and more than 267,000 full-time jobs supported by the gaming sector in Canada.

Canadian Sports Figures Who Gamble

These are the prominent Canadian sports figures who gamble:

Wayne Gretzky


The former luminary of the NHL is renowned for his on-ice prowess and his penchant for games of chance. At one point, he lent his visage to gambling advertisements, a choice that did not escape criticism, particularly regarding its potential influence on impressionable youth. (Source: CBC)

Connor McDavid


The present-day NHL luminary, McDavid, also found himself featured in Canadian gambling ad annals. However, his stance on these endorsements remains a mystery shrouded in silence. (Source: CBC)

Auston Matthews


Another NHL luminary, Matthews, has also graced the world of Canadian gambling advertisements. His perspective on these endorsements, mirroring McDavid’s, remains conspicuously undisclosed. (CBC)

Notable Wins and Losses

Wayne Gretzky, Connor McDavid, and Auston Matthews are NHL players who have some connection to gambling companies. They don’t talk publicly about whether they win or lose in gambling.

Influential Canadian Female Gamblers

Here are influential Canadian female gamblers who’ve defied gender stereotypes:

Isabelle Mercier


A Quebecois professional poker player, Mercier’s triumphs in high-profile tournaments amplify her voice as an advocate for women in gambling. She’s also played a role in shaping online gambling games. (Source: Chatelaine)

Kara Scott


Hailing from Alberta, Scott boasts victories in various poker tournaments and is renowned as a commentator for major poker events. She’s a strong advocate for women in the male-dominated poker arena. (Source: Wikipedia)

Tamara Babij

Based in Ontario, Babij has clinched numerous poker tournament wins while actively championing women’s roles in the gambling industry. Like Mercier, she’s contributed to the development of online gambling games.

Gender Stereotypes in Canadian Gambling

These women have significantly impacted the male-dominated gambling world, inspiring other women to enter the industry and reshaping online gambling in Canada. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to acknowledge that harmful gender stereotypes persist in gambling.
More research is needed to comprehend women’s gambling experiences and develop strategies to combat these biases. Gender-transformative approaches challenging stereotypical assumptions about women in gambling are essential to counter this message.

The Dark Side of Fame: Controversies Involving Famous Gamblers

Fame often casts a shadow, and famous gamblers are no exception. While their successes shine brightly, controversies and negative impacts can loom ominously. Issues like addiction, financial woes, and unethical behaviour can tarnish their reputations.

These high-profile figures sometimes face legal entanglements due to their gambling activities. Moreover, their endorsements of gambling can draw criticism for potentially promoting harmful habits.

It’s essential to recognize that fame doesn’t shield them from the darker aspects of the gambling world. Shedding light on these controversies reminds us of the complexities surrounding fame and gambling.

Conclusion: Contributions of Famous Gamblers in Canada

The contributions and impacts of these famous gamblers in Canada are profound. They’ve not only excelled in their respective gambling endeavours but have also challenged gender stereotypes and promoted diversity within the industry. Their successes inspire others, especially women, to pursue careers in gambling and reshape the landscape.

We encourage you to look into the journeys of these remarkable individuals. Learn about their accomplishments, advocacy, and the challenges they’ve faced. By doing so, you may find inspiration and a deeper understanding of Canada’s dynamic world of gambling.

Recommendations for Canadian Players

Best low deposit casinos: 1 dollar deposit, 5 dollar deposit

Brands: Zodiac Casino, Captain Cooks

Best casinos in Canada: Kahnawake, Montreal


How do people become famous through gambling?

Becoming famous through gambling often involves achieving extraordinary success or having a unique style. Some famous gamblers gain recognition by winning massive jackpots, participating in high-stakes tournaments, or mastering specific games. Others become renowned for their strategic skills or for beating the odds consistently.

Are there any movies or books about famous Canadian gamblers?

Yes, there are movies and books dedicated to famous Canadian gamblers. Films like "The Last Casino" and "Casino Jack" depict the lives of prominent Canadian gamblers. Several books, such as biographies and autobiographies, also delve into their journeys.

What kinds of games do these famous gamblers play?

Famous Canadian gamblers often excel in various games, including poker, blackjack, roulette, and slot machines. Their expertise extends to both traditional casino games and newer online variants.  

How much have these gamblers won or lost?

The winnings and losses of famous gamblers vary widely. Some have won millions of dollars, while others have faced significant losses during their careers. The amounts depend on skill, luck, and the games they specialize in.

Are these gamblers involved in online gambling as well?

Yes, many famous Canadian gamblers are actively involved in online gambling. They participate in online poker tournaments, virtual casinos, and sports betting platforms, broadening their gambling horizons.

How does fame affect their gambling behaviour?

Fame can influence gambling behaviour differently for each individual. Some famous gamblers may feel added pressure, while others use their celebrity status to their advantage by participating in high-stakes events for increased recognition.

Have any famous gamblers faced legal issues?

Yes, some famous Canadian gamblers have encountered legal issues related to their gambling activities. These issues can range from tax complications to cheating allegations, though they are not common among all famous gamblers.

How do famous gamblers contribute to charitable causes?

Many famous Canadian gamblers use their wealth and influence to support charitable causes. They donate to various charities and foundations, helping those in need and positively impacting society.

Are there young and upcoming gamblers to watch?

Certainly, there are young and upcoming Canadian gamblers gaining recognition for their skills and achievements. Keep an eye on emerging talents in the gambling scene.

Do official gambling bodies recognize these gamblers?

Yes, official gambling bodies and associations recognise many famous Canadian gamblers. They may be ambassadors for the industry, participate in events, or even have awards named after them in their honour.