Is Online Gambling Legal in Canada?
This is an important issue, and to put all potential gamblers at ease, we want to discuss the legal status of online gambling in Canada. More precisely, we will answer important questions starting with “Is online gambling in Canada legal?” And, are online casinos legal in Canada?
The most important thing you have to know is that playing at an online casino doesn’t pose a legal risk for Canadians, no matter whether they play for fun or real money.
Although Canada is in the grey area regarding the legality of online gambling, no Canadian has even been prosecuted for playing online casino games at a gambling site.
However, an online casino based in Canada must have an appropriate license. Those based outside of Canada don’t have to be licensed, and it’s still perfectly legal to play at these sites.
If you’re playing at an online casino for fun, any potential winnings will not be taxable.
Best legal casinos in Canada
There are many real money casinos where Canadians can play, and with such a wide choice, it’s not an easy job to find the best ones. Our online casino experts offer you help in finding the best online casinos in Canada.
These sites provide the best possible gambling experience, from legality, choice of online casino games and bonuses, to security and customer support. Here’s the list of the best legal casinos in Canada.
Important information for players
As we previously mentioned, playing at online casinos is not illegal, no matter whether you played at an online gambling site located within Canada or offshore.
Now, whether a particular online casino is legal or not depends on several factors, such as licensing, individual operators and compliance with industry standards and local regulations.
However, as a player who just wants to have fun and make some money while playing online games, you can be relaxed, as you’re engaging in a perfectly legal activity. You won’t put yourself at any legal risk.
Gambling regulations and authorities per region
Gambling in Canada was opened up under the provisions of the reformed criminal code of 1970. This piece of legislation allowed individual provinces to regulate gambling within their territories and issue licenses.
This was a crucial factor in the further development of land-based casinos and lotteries operated by provincial gaming authorities.
Here’s the list of provincial gaming authorities:
- Ontario – Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation
- British Columbia – BCLC
- New Brunswick – New Brunswick Gaming Control
- Manitoba – Liquor and Gaming Commission of Manitoba
- Quebec – Loto Quebec
- Saskatchewan – Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority
- Newfoundland – Service NL
- Alberta – Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission
- Nova Scotia – Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco Division Service of Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island – Prince Edward Island Lotteries Commission
We should point out that many provincial authorities operate their own gambling sites, offering a wide variety of online casino games.
However, their offering of casino games, as well as the quality of their bonuses and promotions, pale in comparison with those offered by offshore gambling sites.
When talking about online gambling in Canada, it’s important to mention the Kahnawake Gaming Commission since it represents an interesting anomaly.
The gaming authority is located in the Mohawk territory of Kahnawake, in Quebec, and was the first to realize the potential of online gambling.
The Kahnawake Commission was established in 1996, and since this Indian reservation is a sovereign legal entity, it’s not bound by Canadian law. In practice, this means it has the legal right to regulate and license online gambling sites based outside of Canada.
For a long time, the Kahnawake Commission was a very popular licensing authority, and many older brands operated with the regulator’s license.
However, in the last couple of years, it’s not as popular as it used to be, with many game development companies turning their attention to other gaming authorities around the world.
We recommend reading this article if you want to know more about the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and see the list of Kahnawake casinos.
Future Legal Developments
What about the future legal developments when it comes to online casino gambling in Canada?
It’s not easy to answer this question. At the moment, it appears that all sides are happy with the status quo.
The government has no plans to tighten the current regulations and prohibit Canadians from enjoying online casino games at gambling sites located outside of Canada, even though the country loses tax revenues that way.
On the other hand, a fully legalized market like in the UK is also something we won’t see in the near future. It means that offshore gambling sites won’t be allowed to do their business on the same legal basis as the gambling sites operated by the provincial gaming authorities.
If something like that happened, provincial authorities wouldn’t stand a chance against the superior offering from offshore sites.
The authorities are more concerned with legislative areas and other issues, so it’s most likely the situation will remain unchanged: Canadian gamblers will continue to play at offshore gambling sites without any restrictions.
Although online gambling operators are not allowed to offer their services in Canada, Canadian gamblers have more than enough opportunities to enjoy online casino games.
There are plenty of offshore gambling sites ready to offer their games to players from Canada, who can also benefit from lots of bonuses and promotional offers.
We have compiled a list of the best online casinos where Canadian players can enjoy a wide variety of online casino games, and we’re sure you will find something that will suit your preferences. Enjoy your online gambling!
Is online gambling legal in Canada?
Although there are many gray areas regarding gambling in Canada, legal online casinos do exist. Not many laws are related to online gambling, with provinces either allowing their residents to gamble online or not having laws that regulate this activity.
Players should know that it’s perfectly legal to play at online casinos, so you won’t get in any trouble for doing so. However, it is illegal to operate an online casino without a license, which is why you’ll find so many offshore gambling sites.
What is the best legal online casino in Canada?Many offshore online gambling sites offer their services to Canadian gamblers. Finding the best ones is not easy, so we have prepared a list of the best online casinos where Canadian players can enjoy their games and benefit from a wide variety of bonuses and promotions.
Are there any legal risks for players to gamble online in Canada?The Criminal Code of Canada doesn’t explicitly criminalize playing at an online casino site. So far, no Canadian citizens have been prosecuted for gambling online.
What is the tax for online gambling in Canada?
Canadians don’t have to pay any taxes on gambling winnings, including the money they earn from playing games of chance. There are taxes that gambling companies based in Canada pay, but no tax is imposed on players themselves.
In practice, this means that Canadian players are able to gamble online without having to report their winnings to the authorities. However, if your gaming activities are seen as a form of employment, you will have to pay a tax on your winnings.