Online gambling regulations in Canada 


Our friendly and lovable neighbors to the north are like us in many aspects. We watch the same TV shows, we listen to the same music, and just like us Americans the Canadians love to treat themselves to a spin at the slot machines or placing a couple of (Canadian) dollars on the big game that evening.

While gambling regulations have been murky in the states for quite some while, Canada has had it all squared away for quite some time now. Online gambling is completely legal in Canada, but there are a couple of caveats that need to be addressed in conjunction with this. In this article we’re going to go through some of the laws and regulations that make the Canadian gambling scene what it is today. Canadian online casinos look much like their counterparts in the rest of the world, and it’s simply the laws and regulations that are different.

Online gambling is completely legal in Canada 

There are no laws explicitly banning online gambling in Canada on the federal level. Instead the government has decided to allow gambling for the citizens in a regulated manner. Physical gambling is however illegal unless explicit permission is given from a provincial government and casinos need to apply for permission to provide casino services to the public. 

These rules apply regardless of whether a company wants to provide betting on sports or more traditional casino games for its customers. The laws do not make any distinction and treat gambling as gambling, regardless of the form. 

The provinces make the rules and give out licenses 

The provinces can therefore give out licenses to online casinos to operate. Since all provinces allow online gambling in some form it’s legal to play at any casino, regardless of where the person in question happens to live. This means that a person in Labrador and Quebec can play on the same terms and at the same casinos. This is due to the fact that online gambling is completely legal in the entire country. 

Many Canadians play at casinos registered elsewhere 

But even though there’s plenty of alternatives to choose from in Canada, many people still choose to venture to offshore casinos. The reasons for this are many, but these types of casinos often offer better and bigger bonuses while also having a completely different portfolio of games. For understandable reasons this is not something that the Canadian government is particularly fond of as it means that the tax revenue disappears from Canada altogether. It is however, at the time of the writing of this article, illegal to do so. 

What about physical casinos and lotteries? 

As we mentioned earlier there are a lot of physical casinos in Canada. All Provinces also run various different forms of lotteries that Canadians can play at. This works in similar fashion to state lotteries in the USA and sees quite some interest. There are also nation-wide lotteries that see massive interest just like in the USA.


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