Are Online Casinos and Betting Legal in Canada?

Legal- Is Gambling online legal in Canada

In Canada it’s not considered illegal if you place real money online bets with an online casino licensed outside of Canada, for instance the online casino regulated and licensed in in Cyprus, Gibraltar or some other place. It may only be considered illegal if the servers of the concerned casino were situated in Canada and the casino was found disobeying the provincial laws.

Well for gambling in Canada is still falls under grey area. The greyness in the activity comes because of the online casino sites which often don’t pay heed to the provincial boundaries. There are around 1400 offshore casinos that offer their online gambling and casino services to Canadian residents.

Legally in Canada the online gambling activity falls under the provincial jurisdiction. Once gambling became legal in Canada in 1985, before the internet was incepted, every province had set its own gambling laws. Apart from horse racing (which is regulated by Federal Agriculture Department), every province later defined online gambling in its own way. Furthermore, over a period of time, each province has allowed for online gambling in one form or the other.

Despite the fact that its laws are vague and online gambling is unregulated, Canada is home to a huge gambling industry. Canada’s gambling industry generates funds for a wide range of charities and public welfare programs. It employs more than 135,000 residents and comprises casinos, lotteries, racetracks, horse betting, and charity gaming. Some provinces also run licensed and well-regulated online gambling sites.

There are so many highly reputed online casino operators that accept Canadian players, and there isn’t a single law in Canada that prohibits residents from signing up and playing for real money. Therefore online casino gaming cannot be said to be illegal in Canada, but it is definitely unregulated. The offshore online casinos that accept Canadians do not operate under a license issued by the government of Canada.

No Penalty to online gambling in Canada

Canada’s Criminal Code though is complicated but it does not criminalize the act of gambling online. So far, the government of Canada has not penalized any of its citizens for gambling online.

As said above Canadian provinces are absolutely free to legalize and regulate online gambling sites and a few provinces do offer online casino gaming services. However, offshore gambling sites accepting Canadian residents are not licensed by any of these provinces. They are not licensed by the government of Canada either.

Canadian gambling laws are much more relaxed than US gambling laws. According to US laws, betting on sports is illegal except in Nevada and Delaware. But in Canada, betting on sports is legal and players are allowed to place parlay bets. Currently, attempts are being made to legalize bets on single events too.

The most player friendly point is that players need not pay taxes on winnings as long as they are recreational players. However, professional poker players are required to pay taxes on their winnings.

Provincial Gambling in Canada

In 2004, British Columbia launched online lottery and online sports betting sites. In 2009, it began offering poker, and a year later, it launched online bingo and online casino games. The provinces of Quebec and Manitoba also offer online gambling services, and soon Ontario began doing the same and Alberta to follow soon like them.

The Atlantic Lottery Corporation regulates online sale of lottery and bingo tickets for Maritime provinces, but doesn’t offer any poker, casino, or bingo games. Most of the time, provincial betting services are limited to residents of the province. For this reason, offshore online gambling sites, licensed in the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Cyprus, and also the Kahnawake Gambling Commission, have thousands of Canadians as registered users.

Kahnawake Gaming Commission

A large number of offshore online poker sites and online casinos are licensed by the Kahnawake Gambling Commission (KGC), which is based in Indian reservations in Canada. Among the world’s first gambling jurisdictions, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission has been granting licenses to and regulating a large number of online gambling sites. Since the commission brought its regulatory framework into effect in 1999, it becomes one of the oldest gambling jurisdictions in the world. Operators holding a KGC license need to be hosted at Mohawk Internet Technologies, which is based on the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake.

Gambling with your cell phone

You can gamble or place real bets with your cell phone too like other gaming platform. The gambling applications of casinos are specifically made for iPhone in order to exclusively match the popular phone products of Apple. No matter if you own an older version of iPhone and iPad, or the newest ones, you can access a great variety of real-money gambling applications through the iTunes App Store. In addition, online casino players need to be aware of the fact that a lot of web-based casinos and gambling portals still do not have a phone application, so they can easily reach a phone-optimized version of their website. In such cases, players are usually provided with a link or QR code, which are required to be clicked on in order for the user to be redirected to the cell phone version of the online casino.

But when it comes to slots apps at iTunes you must have seen that most of these social gaming apps do not offer real money play. This is because Apple still maintains a very strict policy when it comes to real money gambling applications that are available into its iTunes App Store.

This policy is also one of the main reasons why the major online casinos and sportsbook operators are focused on developing a site-based web application of their own. In addition, web-based servers that are run by the players’ favorite poker room, sportsbook or casino are used. There are some restrictions imposed by Apple because different countries have different legislation issues and these restrictions imposed by Apple will most likely prevent local players from using a native real-money casino and gambling application provided by Apple.

But the casino apps offered by Apple are high-quality ones. They are a great choice for players who live in countries with a more relaxed online gambling regime.

Probably the greatest advantage of iPhone casino apps is the fact that players are provided with the opportunity to play their favorite casino games whenever they want, wherever they are. A large variety of casino games are available to be accessed regardless of the players location. This is probably the first reason why iPhone casino apps have become so attractive for players all over the world. Also which is not technically-orientated is the fact that most mobile iPhone casinos and apps  are focused on offering fantastic bonuses and promotions to its players.


Finally it is said that the offshore casino sites that are based and operated overseas, but allow Canadians to gamble appear to be illegal under Canadian law but  as these casinos are based outside Canada where online gambling is legal, then the Canadian laws don’t apply and become legal to play. In simple terms you can gamble online at licensed and regulated offshore online casino.

So if you live in Canada and want to gamble online, then you are probably not too concerned about whether a site is approved by the government or not. You are more likely to worry about whether using an overseas gambling site yourself is considered illegal. Because of the legislation currently in place it’s difficult to state with any confidence whether it is or not.

There’s no Canadian law that specifically makes gambling online legal. Equally, there is not one that specifically makes it illegal.

These offshore casino not only accept Canadian residents, but also allow them to play in Canadian dollars. Players can deposit funds using a wide range of Canada friendly payment options and withdraw winnings safe, secure and fast. These casinos are licensed at reputed gambling jurisdictions. Many of them are licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which is a regulatory body in its own right, independent of the government of Canada.  

One thing you need to check with these online casinos is that you should be 18 or 19 and over years of age to play the real money gambling games. As at Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec the gambling age is 18 and at British Columbia, New Brunswick, New found land and Labrador, Northwest Territory, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and Yukon Territory it is 19 and over years to gamble legally. Also you get to grab awesome bonus packages, VIP programs with Canadian friendly customer support to play the slots smooth and hassle free.