The Evolution of Keno in Canada

If you haven’t heard of it before, in short, Keno is another form of the Lottery. Arguably, it was in fact the origins of the Lottery game, and in some parts of the world has been somewhat forgotten! But thankfully, Canadian players are still huge fans of the game, going as far as bringing the game along on their online casino adventure.

Whilst you may consider yourself an avid fan of online Keno, have you ever wondered where exactly the game came from? If that’s the case then buckle in, as we’re about to take you on a journey through the evolution of Keno – especially relating back to Canada.

Read on to find out more.


The game of Keno originated in Ancient China, having been invented by a mighty king named Leung. It was created over 3,000 years ago, in order to raise funds to support the army as they protected the nation. In fact, Keno’s fundraising efforts led to financing the construction of the famous Great Wall of China. 

However, it’s worth noting that the way Keno was played back then was incredibly different from the version we recognise today. In the beginning, players would place their bets on Chinese symbols, which have been replaced by numbers in the modern game. 

The game’s grid was also made up of 120 characters, divided into subdivisions with eight in each section. To win, players would need to correctly guess at least one subdivision of numbers. Because of this, the chances of winning were much lower than what we’re now used to. 


Keno made its way over to Canada as a result of Chinese immigrant workers helping to lay train tracks along the country’s border in the 19th century, who then introduced the community to the numbers game in their downtime. 

At this time, the game was referred to as the ‘Chinese Lottery’, although the symbols had now been replaced with numbers, to accommodate the new gaming audience. What’s more, instead of grids, the tickets were now made up of just 80 squares, and players were being asked to make predictions on individual lines to win. 


Keno is incredibly popular in Canada today, gathering thousands of players every week, who are eager to get their slice of the action. And this is no surprise, as of February 2013, it was made possible for Canadians to benefit from their Keno wins for life! 

Mark up a total of ten winning numbers across one ticket and you could bag the main jackpot which will see you collecting up to CA$100,000 a year, or choosing to gain a lump sum of CA$2 million!


Fitting in nicely alongside online Lottery, you can now also find a wide range of Keno games available on your chosen casino site. Playing online is almost identical to playing in-person, the tickets are just virtual, and you can get your results within minutes, instead of having to rely on waiting for weekly draws.

Canada’s online casinos are regulated by each individual province, so may differ depending on where you play. For example, if you’re playing in Alberta, then the AGLC will oversee all gambling activities that occur within the province. The regulations put in place by this commission work to maintain the integrity and security of all casino games, including Keno! 

As previously discussed, playing online is also a great option for getting a piece of the action and, staying in Alberta, Play Alberta online Keno is the way to go. With instant results, and an online wallet, playing Keno online is not only easier, but slightly more gratifying as you can boost your bankroll with just one click!

Now that you know how far the iconic game has come, we’re sure that you’re even more eager to get involved and select your potentially-lucky numbers! So, what are you waiting for?

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