Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 23 May 1899 p 3
Canada’s Monte Carlo
From all accounts, Montreal is a veritable Monte Carlo. Gambling is carried on there of an audaciously open character. The police say they cannot touch the lotteries, and the policy shops and pool rooms, stud-poker, joints and gaming houses for craps, faro and roulette, provoke no intervention from the law.
The fever has seized men, women and children; tickets are vended about in street, in office, and in public business, as though they formed a legitimate part of the city’s commerce, and whereas the United States have suppressed these various gambling institutions, Canada appears to treat them with astounding laxity.
The lotteries are run as art associations. As such they cannot be touched, although the pictures nominally won are never claimed by the winners, but redeemed in money at the rate of one-half of the assumed value. Four of the policy shops – all the places are conducted under the cloak of charity – deal with huge sums, and last year over three million dollars were contributed to three large lottery concerns.
More than fifty so-called clubs, though ostensibly organised for “recreation and amusement” are gambling houses pure and simple, run by one or more proprietors who live entirely on the proceeds.
Probably the stiffest games of poker on the American continent can be found in Montreal. Not even in the big cities of the United States can be found openly carried on as big poker games as in Montreal. French Canadians always great gamblers, principally make these establishments such paying institutions in Montreal.