Real money gambling is not only about fun games but also about the serious approach to forming bankroll and following the laws of the province where you want to play. That’s why our BetSquare team decided to analyze whether Canadian casinos are legal, what local or international regulators can control this industry, how to pick top 10 online casinos in Canada, and other tips for your safe and legal gameplay. Let’s find out what our research has shown!
Real Money Gambling in Canada: Is It Legal or Not?
History of the Gambling Industry in Canada
First, it’s worth mentioning gambling history in Canada. Actually, the territory was friendly to this entertainment long before since Indigenous peoples used to play different games of this kind as a form of their social life and culture. That’s why you can meet Indian casinos and the Kahnawake licence today. The 18th and 19th centuries were also a good time for gambling development since early Canadian settlements used to play card games and dice. Plus, horse racing was a popular sports betting form.
However in 1892, things changed since The Criminal Code of Canada prohibited almost all forms of gambling, though bets on horse races were still allowed. Moreover, this direction was considered the most promising, so the government provided legislation for this area and had enough facilities to build racetracks for legit bets. In the 1960s, lotteries were also added to the list of legal forms. Finally, in the 1980s, the country legalized a range of land-based casinos to boost the local economy and attract tourists.
Of course, the rise of the internet couldn’t remain unnoticed, so some provinces started to provide local licences for Canadians. For example, AGCO for Ontario. This way, Canadians can find many forms of legal online gambling to enjoy slots, sportsbooks, and other variations.
Canadian Gambling: Legal Position
In fact, this aspect is quite complex and still evolving since the answer can depend on your province and the software type you pick. As for the general position, in most cases, when the site is registered offshore and has an international license (eg. Malta Gaming Commission, Curacao, UKGC), the site can operate in the country and Canadians can even play for CAD there. To find out whether your operator accepts CAD, you can view our casino reviews. In addition, it’s worth noting that some provinces, such as Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario, have their own regulators and laws. Below, we’ll take a look at the examples we find the most essential.
Restrictions by Provinces
Our investigations show that some Canadian provinces have legalized gambling within their own jurisdiction, which means that players from only a certain province should follow its laws. So, let’s find out where online gambling is legal in Canada!
|British Columbia||The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC)||This authority regulates casinos, online gambling, lottery games, and sports betting within the province.|
|Ontario||The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)||The licence covers land-based casinos, online gambling, lottery games, horse racing, and sports betting.|
|Alberta||The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC)||The regulator controls casinos, horse racing, electronic gaming, and charitable gaming.|
|Quebec||Loto-Québec corporation||The province permits land-based casinos, online gambling, lottery games, and horse racing.|
|Saskatchewan||The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA)||This regulator sets the standards for the province’s casinos, lotteries, and charitable gaming.|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||The Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC)||The regulator checks whether land-based casinos, lottery games, and charitable gaming work properly.|
|Manitoba||The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba (LGCA)||Here, the government allows casinos, lottery games, and charitable gaming.|
|New Brunswick||The New Brunswick Lotteries and Gaming Corporation (NBLGC)||Players can experience land-based casinos, lottery games, and charitable gaming forms here.|
|Prince Edward Island||The Prince Edward Island Lotteries Commission||Prince Edward Island allows land-based casinos, lottery games, and charitable gaming.|
|Nova Scotia||The Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation (NSGC)||This authority is in charge of land-based casinos, lottery games, and charitable gaming.|
Land-Based Canadian Casinos
Actually, our BetSquare project is more about online operators, including new casinos in Canada. However, it’s also worth mentioning land-based operators since it’s also about legit Canadian gambling. It’s a legal form of gambling entertainment with certain things being different for varied territories. Entertainment you’ll find in these casinos will include slot machines, table games (blackjack, poker, video poker, roulette), poker rooms, and sportsbooks.
The legal age for gambling in land-based casinos is mainly 19 years old, though Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec allow 18+ players to gamble. Looking for popular legal land-based Canadian casinos? Then here are some examples:
- Casino de Montréal (Montreal, Quebec), the largest casino in Canada
- River Cree Resort and Casino (Enoch, Alberta), resort and casino complex with a wide range of gaming options
- Casino Rama Resort (Orillia, Ontario), located in the scenic region of Lake Country
- Casino Niagara (Niagara Falls, Ontario), a vibrant gaming floor next to the iconic Niagara Falls
- River Rock Casino Resort (Richmond, British Columbia), not far from Vancouver
- Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino (Windsor, Ontario), visitors can enjoy the view of the Detroit River
Legal & Responsible Gambling
Online gambling in Canada won’t break the laws when you choose a licensed operator. Yet, when you don’t follow responsible gambling terms, your experience won’t be that safe. That’s why it’s essential to play responsibly and remember the basic safety measures. Here at BetSquare, we also use these tips and want to share this experience with our readers.
Avoid Compulsive Gambling
Canadian online casinos can be generous to provide users with different awards, including progressive jackpots. However, gambling can be just as risky. That’s why you need to play responsibly and consider all these risks. Plan your bankroll and use amounts you can afford to lose if the luck is not on your side. Besides, you can use tools against compulsive gaming.
Choose Licensed Casinos
It’s also essential to focus on real money casinos with licenses according to the province where you want to play. Besides, it can be an offshore license like MGA. By clicking on the licence’s logo in the footer, you can check whether it’s valid. On our part, we always check Canadian operators we recommend to make sure that they are safe and regulated.
Pick Safe Payment Options
To make safe gambling transactions in Canada, make sure to pick reliable payment options. These can be Interac, PayPal, bank cards, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and other methods. Just make sure that your province accepts the method you pick (for example, Ontario laws don’t accept cryptos). In addition, consider the limits and processing time.
Double-Check Bonus Terms
Thanks to varied bonuses for Canadian casino players, users can activate cashback, match offers, and others. But we always warn our readers that checking bonus conditions is a must. You need to take a look at the bonus wager since the higher it is, the harder it is to wager the offer. From our practical knowledge, the rate of about 40x is optimal.
Pick Games Smartly
When you want to play a certain casino game in Canada, consider not only its graphics but also technical characteristics, especially when it comes to RTP and volatility. Your experience will be safer when you’ll pick high-RTP games like slots with an RTP of over 96% or tables like blackjack and roulette, while the variance should suit your bankroll.
Compare Available Casinos
Don’t rush and make sure to compare high-payout casinos available in Canada. Make sure that the navigation is understandable, while all the terms suit you. In our rating, we add operators which accept Canadian players. In addition, you can double-check whether your province is accepted and the site has a corresponding licence (eg. AGCO for Ontario).
Why Canadian Casinos Should Be Regulated
Here at BetSquare, we want our readers to access a safe gambling atmosphere where gamblers play in accordance with local regulations and don’t face safety problems of any kind. That’s why we understand why online casinos in Canada should be licensed and regulated by the government and independent organizations. Here are several reasons for this:
- The country’s income
When Canadians pay gambling taxes and casino operators do the same, the country contributes from this, especially when this industry attracts foreign players as well. This way, registered and regulated operators are good for the country.
- General gambling standards
Conveniently, when all the casinos are regulated and audited, you can be sure that they meet certain standards which are good for players’ safety. For example, independent auditors control whether casinos have strong enough safety tools.
- Safety & transparency
Besides, honest sites easily reach the tops of CA gambling ratings, while dishonest casinos are blacklisted. You can rely on this and make sure that regulators can help you with your complaint in case of any problem.
- More fair operators
Since the standards are quite high, operators will do their best to meet them. It’s good for the industry since the more demanding players, the better services they get. As a result, the industry improves and develops rapidly.
- Objective estimation
When the industry has clear standards and reasonable conditions like nice payout limits and requirements regarding responsible gambling tools, players access objective reviews which will be based on their own preferences.
BetSquare Rating & Our Position
Here at BetSquare, we stand for safe, regulated, and accessible gambling. When working on our casino rating for Canadians, we test all the recommended sites, make sure that their terms don’t prohibit gamblers from Canada from joining the site, and check whether all the other local regulations can be met. As for the standard terms we also double-check, these are transparent terms, loyal bonuses with no sky-high wagering requirements, convenient navigation, varied games, including live shows 2023, 24/7 customer support where Canadians can clarify different topics, including the legal position of a certain casino, and much more. As a result, we consider the country’s regulations, share our own experience, and make sure that our readers play on trustworthy sites without violating the law.
Statistics & Numbers: Legal CA Gambling
So, is online gambling legal in Canada? In fact, it’s not only legal but also popular among players in different provinces. Below, we’ll add some statistical details and numbers to explain how popular this market is:
- Revenue in the Canadian online gambling market is projected to reach €3.47bn in 2023.
- There are lots of casino and bookmaker events planned for 2023 and 2024, so Canadians can use a sports betting calendar for this
- The projected market volume for the future, specifically by 2027, is estimated to reach US$417.50 million, with an anticipated annual growth rate (CAGR 2022-2027) of 7.30%.
- The average revenue per user (ARPU) in the Online Gambling market is projected to amount to €191.40 in 2023.
- Over 90% of Canadian online casinos are mobile-friendly to let users play on iOS and Android mobile devices.
- In 99% cases, new players in Canada can claim a welcome bonus, which is legal. The average wager for a welcome package is about 40x.
- Statistically, 63% of male and 37% of female users reported spending funds on gambling on a monthly basis in 2022.
Safe Gambling in Canada: Tips from BetSquare
From our experience, the main things making land-based and online gambling in Canada not only accessible but also safe are the responsible gaming approach and the range of simple tips our readers can follow:
- Checking a license is a must, as well as considering additional tools, including eCOGRA and GLI certificates for the casino’s software
- Before you sign up, it’s necessary to confirm whether you accept the casino’s terms, so it’s essential to really read them and make sure that all the positions suit you
- Good sites have a range of responsible gambling tools, including self-exclusion, limits for deposits or losses, and other things you shouldn’t ignore
- Players who want to gamble often can opt for fast-payout casinos in Canada not to wait for their frequent cashouts too long
- When winning real funds and processing a withdrawal, consider the regulations of your province regarding taxes
- Don’t ignore the requirements of paying taxes in your region not to face problems with frozen transactions then
How Canadian Operators Get Legal Licences
To operate legally, Canadian operators need licensing from the regulatory body of the province where they want to work. This process is quite complex since the government wants to get all the details about the company and its product to make sure that they won’t harm players. For this reason, lots of details are thoroughly checked so that the regulator gets all the necessary information. These are a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with iGaming, iGaming’s Financial Information Submissions, and others. Moreover, operators face certain fees when getting a licence, which shows that they are serious about operating on the market for a long time. In Ontario, the annual fee is 100,000 CAD for operations, while casino providers of online slots and other games pay from 3,000 CAD to 15,000 CAD, depending on the products they provide.
So, it’s time to sum up online gambling in Canada: legal or not? In most cases, this industry is legal and even regulated by some local authorities, depending on the province. These can be The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), and The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC). These regions can feature some differences regarding their laws and requirements. For example, AGCO doesn’t allow operators to promote cryptocurrency or bonuses when they don’t highlight wagering conditions.
As a result, you can play at Canadian online casinos with no risks (except for the risks you need to consider in terms of responsible gambling) and be sure that the country will do its best to regulate the industry and make it safe, while our BetSquare experts will help with choosing top casinos online and some more tips. That’s the goal of our project. Play responsibly, play exciting casino games in Canada from award-winning operators, and enjoy your legit experience!
Lisa works as a content writer and specializes in delivering top tier i-gaming content which is why her articles and blog posts are always very engaging and informative. Well spoken, and does her research very well in an industry where transparency, honesty and constant follow up is a rarity.
Yes, it’s legal in most provinces, though some requirements may be slightly different. For example, Ontario requires operators to have an AGCO licence and doesn’t allow gambling sites to use cryptocurrency.
Each province has its own regulator. For example, The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) and The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
Yes, there are many legal brick-and-mortar casinos in Canada. For example, River Cree Resort and Casino (Enoch, Alberta), Casino Niagara (Niagara Falls, Ontario), and Casino Rama Resort (Orillia, Ontario).
You need to analyze whether the site accepts players from your country and has licences for your province, such as AGCO for Ontario. To help with this, our BetSquare team has a rating with legal CA casinos on this page.
In most cases, players of over 19 years old can legally gamble at land-based and online Canadian casinos. However, there are some exceptions. For instance, Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec allow 18+ players to gamble.