Archive for the “Y” Category

Encyclopedia: Gambling in America – Letter Y

The first Canadian casino was not in a province, but in the Yukon Territory. Its operation received little notice. The casino is a special exception for this remote northern location and has not spawned attempts to duplicate it elsewhere. Still, the casino operates under the guidelines of the 1969 Criminal Code amendments.
The Yukon Territory had considerable gambling activity during the Klondike gold rush days of the Gay Nineties. Gaming halls offered a wide range of gambling opportunities along Dawson City streets. After the gold fever subsided, Canada annexed the territory in 1898 and began enforcing the Criminal Code. Gaming activity declined.
Under the 1969 amendments, the territory granted a special gaming license to the Klondike Visitor’s Association, a division of the Yukon territorial government. The license permits casino gaming from mid-spring through the summer months at a location known as Diamond Tooth Gerties (Diamond Tooth was the name of a renowned Klondike personality). The 9,000-square-foot gaming facility offers twenty-six games of blackjack, roulette, wheels of fortune, and poker as well as fifty-two machines. Maximum bets are as high as $100 per hand. The casino has a professional manager and gaming staff. The casino is open from 7:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. during the spring and summer seasons. Patrons pay an entrance fee of three dollars. Annual passes are available for ten dollars. Alcoholic beverages and snacks are available, but there is no restaurant. Live productions in the style of the gold rush days entertain the patrons. A regular feature is the Ballad of Sam Magee Show. Although designed to attract tourist play, the casino draws the most play from Dawson City residents. The casino attracts annual play of about $1 million. Gross wins approach $400,000. The Canadian government under the 1994 Lottery Licensing Act and Regulations receives 25% of the gross win. Remaining profits minus payroll expenses go to promote tourism and preserve historical buildings. A deputy minister within the territorial Ministry of Justice regulates the casino.

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