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Gambling is more than a form of entertainment for some Indigenous people. There is a cultural belief that it welcomes spirits. That’s why gaming activities are a common part of events and celebrations.

These traditions have been part of Indigenous culture long before commercial casinos were founded. With the rise of land-based and online casinos comes a higher risk of problem gambling. 

In order to address harm reduction, there needs to be a focus on responsible gaming methods. While many online casinos in Canada feature responsible gambling tools and resources, is it enough to reduce harm to the Indigenous community? This is something we will explore below.

Understanding Indigenous Perspectives 

Gambling holds a spiritual significance in Indigenous culture. It’s more than just the thrill of placing a bet. These games connect people to their ancestors and are part of a sacred practice.

Betting activities bring the community together. Many people think gambling is only a good hobby when enjoyed in moderation. However, attitudes and beliefs towards gaming in the community vary. Some believe that the community is at a higher risk because the harm can outweigh the good when not approached responsibly. 

Challenges in Online Gaming

Online casinos and sportsbooks have created convenient ways for people to access betting options. But with the rise of online gaming comes challenges for the Indigenous community. The Canadian government has allowed tribal gambling to take place legally since 1985. There is a threat that online casinos could take customers from these gaming venues.

Several tribal casinos have already been struggling due to local demand. With the increase in digital options and apps, they could have trouble competing with the online market.

There is also a high risk of gambling addiction among the Indigenous community. Online casinos can put vulnerable players at risk if responsible gambling tactics aren’t utilized. These players are exposed to a world where riskier betting patterns can be encouraged. 

Online casinos present different conditions than tribal casinos. They aren’t connected to the spiritual history of the people. There are social aspects of Indigenous culture gambling that help maintain balance. While it’s not completely risk-free, it’s a safer environment for vulnerable players than online casinos.

Indigenous Approaches to Harm Reduction 

The Indigenous community has been a strong supporter of harm reduction programs. This is when tactics are used to minimize risky habits without completely diminishing the habit. Harm reduction is crucial for gambling to create a safe experience. 

The Indigenous Wellness Program in Vancouver, BC, features several workshops aimed at harm reduction. Other communities throughout Canada feature similar programs. Here, people can learn more about reducing the harms and risks of addiction. 

Many communities are aware that gambling can put vulnerable people at risk. While they won’t erase gaming from the culture’s history, they are making steps toward reducing harm by providing similar activities. Groups are getting together for community activities where they share experiences and cultural wisdom.

Collaborative Solutions

The rise of online casinos in Canada doesn’t present all bad news for the Indigenous community. When we spoke to the experts at https://casinorix.com/ca, they provided a different take. There is a possibility that tribal casinos could see a younger market emerge in the future. As more online casinos hit the Canadian market, they are gaining attention from people who weren’t visiting the casinos previously. 

Technology has also led to more innovative casino games being released. These games have unique features that keep the player involved in the experience. As tribal casinos begin introducing modern games into their facilities, they could see a bounce in their visitor rate.

As the gambling industry progresses forward, tribal casinos should consider collaborations. Members of the community will be using the online services. By merging with them, the Indigenous community can continue their efforts of providing support and creating a safe gambling environment.


Gambling has been a part of Indigenous culture for many centuries. It is believed to have a spiritual significance that connects people to their ancestors. That is why gaming entertainment is a part of cultural celebrations. But, in order to reduce harm, the community has put forward acts of harm reduction and education. They aim to promote balance to prevent risky gambling habits.