Gamblers who made Canadian history: a look at iconic figures

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Historically, gambling is not one of the things the Great White North is known for. However, in recent years, many skilled Canadians have begun to make their names known in the gambling industry by achieving notable feats in Canadian casinos.

Many of these players sharpen their skills using a real money online casino Canada to practice their favorite casino games regularly.

This guide discusses a few of these stars and how their achievements have shaped Canadian history.


Before we dive into that, here’s a table providing details on each gambler’s province and current age.

  • Evelyn Ng, Ontario, 47
  • David Baazov, Quebec, 42
  • Michael McDonald, Ontario, 33
  • Daniel Negreanu, Ontario, 48
  • John Lefebvre, Alberta, 71
  • Calvin Ayre, Saskatchewan, 61

Evelyn Ng

Having started her gaming career at the tender age of 14, Evelyn Ng took the poker world by storm in the decades when she worked as a professional poker player.

She serves as a source of motivation to punters worldwide, as she managed to excel in both land-based and online casinos.

She was first introduced to the world of casino games at 17 when she became a blackjack and poker dealer in local Toronto casinos.

She made history in the 2003 World Poker Tour by placing second in the Ladies’ Night I Tournament, beating out reputable names like Jennifer Harman and Annie Duke.

In the World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournaments, she placed 238th of the 6844 top-rated people that participated—her total winnings as of 2010 sum up to a whopping $375,000.

She was once a representative of the popular poker room PokerStars before she joined Team Bodog.

Today, she has left the world of professional poker to lend her gambling experience to online gambling fans as a poker advisor and administrator so that many people can learn about decision-making from poker.

David Baazov

David Baazov, born in Montreal in 1980, has had a passion for poker from a young age.

As a young adult, he created an automated poker table that allowed Canadian players to gamble without a human dealer. This acted as his gateway to online gambling and casino sites.

Soon after his invention became mainstream, he created Amaya Inc, now known as The Stars Group, which provides digital gambling services.

This company, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, took off almost instantly, quickly acquiring the online casinos PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, BetStars, and Fox Bet.

David Baazov’s passion for online casino gambling is quite apparent through the innovative features he constantly brings into this entertainment industry sector.

In fact, in 2014, Forbes named him the young “King of Online Gambling”.

In 2016, David Baazov stepped down as CEO of The Stars Group and no longer actively contributing to the company.

Nonetheless, his name will go down in the history books as a significant factor that has indirectly influenced every real money online casino Canada has ever seen.

Michael McDonald

The youngest on this list, Michael McDonald, has been interested in various land-based and online casino games since before he was even of the legitimate gambling age in Canada.

Research suggests that he had already accrued over $300,000 in casino game winnings before he turned 21.

His winnings add up to a jaw-dropping $10,000,000 from poker tournaments alone.

Undoubtedly, he’s one of the best young gamblers out there, blazing the trail for other Canadian players to follow.

Although he excels at physical and online wagering, he has proven to be a trendsetter in online casino gambling.

Even playing slot games at online casinos, he consistently sets the record, showing that he is a name to watch out for.

Daniel Negreanu

With six WSOP titles, Daniel Negreanu is nothing if not a consistent winner. He is the third biggest live poker tournament winner in the entire world and the only person to ever win the title of WSOP player of the year twice (2004 and 2013).

As of 2014, he was also inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, becoming the only Canadian and youngest to receive such an honor.

He is estimated to have won over $42,000,000 in live tournaments alone. Most of his recognition comes from winning title after title in casino game tournaments.

Additionally, many filmmakers have taken advantage of his extensive experience in poker and cast him in many casino-themed movies and scenes.

He has written three books detailing how to win at every poker game you participate in. He generously provides tips and strategies to help players win at poker on his website and YouTube channel.

John Lefebvre

John Lefebvre is the only person on this list that isn’t partial to poker above other casino games. Instead, he and a cofounder spearheaded the development of Neteller, a widely used payment option available on most online casino cashier pages today.

Neteller is used worldwide by players to deposit money on casino sites to play their favorite online slots.

The development of Neteller led to a massive turnaround in the Canadian online casino scene, as its speed and convenience made gambling accessible to many more people.

With Neteller, people could fund their accounts in any online casino and start playing exciting slot games in minutes.

It also allowed customers of casino sites to enjoy generous bonuses and promotions quickly.

Apart from being an entrepreneur, John Lefebvre is a former lawyer, composer, and musician.

Calvin Ayre

Calvin is a superb example of someone who carved a niche for himself and found immense success.

Fresh out of school, he read an article in the paper about people gambling over the phone, and an idea struck.

At that moment, he believed gambling and the internet were a perfect fit.

He then took it upon himself to learn software development and began to create software for online sportsbooks.

Almost immediately, his business took off, and he created his own company named Bodog.

Bodog began as an online sportsbook but quickly expanded to include casino table games and slot games. Today, Bodog is one of the biggest casino websites in Canada.

How to Gamble Responsibly

It can be pretty tempting to look at the lives of these iconic Canadian players and set aside responsible gambling to become to make history.

However, it is essential to remember that gambling can become very addictive and costly if not approached with caution.

It would be best if when wagering on the internet, you chose an online casino regulated by a legitimate gambling commission, preferably the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.

Other things you can do to practice responsible gambling include:

  • Carefully manage your bankroll and never exceed it.
  • Do not chase your losses. Take frequent breaks.
  • View gambling as a form. Of entertainment, not a source of income.
  • Limit the time you spend gambling.
  • Seek help if your gambling habits become problematic.

The Responsible Gambling Commission is one example of a trusted body that can assist in preventing you from falling into gambling addiction.

Other options include the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.


These gamblers have left a mark in the Canadian casino industry and worldwide by demonstrating the power of skill, resilience, and determination.

Their astounding wins serve as reminders of what is truly possible in the realm of online gambling.

While these players may have pushed boundaries and acquired wealth through gambling, it is vital to remember to gamble responsibly and only play within your means.

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