Best Online Casinos in Canada
Gaming is one of the most exciting activities for many across the globe. The gambling industry has grown and expanded tremendously over the past few years. With more regions switching things up and providing players with more gaming options to enjoy.
One region with straightforward yet complex betting rules and regulations is Canada. Here you will find primary regulations that apply to all states, but individual legislation that unlocks more options in select regions. On this page, we look at Canadian Gambling, its history, and details on Casinos in Canada.
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Canadian Gambling Laws and Regulations
When it comes to laws and regulations, Canada has always taken more of a laid-back approach. Even with the implementation of the Criminal Code, there were very few restrictions, but at the same time no set regulations to follow.
Slowly but surely, the Canadian government started refining the Criminal Code, which led to a stipulation stating that every province has the option of defining the legal gaming forms within the region.
The laws legally allow for land-based gaming entertainment, lotteries, bingo, sportsbooks and more. The province of Ontario placed greater focus on online gaming, creating legislation to legalise online gaming and sports betting. The gaming industry of Ontario is licensed and regulated by the Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario.
Third-party providers can only offer online gambling services by registering with AGCO and signing an agreement with iGaming Ontario. There are different registration processes for gambling operators and game providers. This has allowed for an expansion of the gambling industry and created a more welcoming atmosphere for foreign operators. All sites licensed and regulated within Ontario are subject to monitoring by iGaming Ontario.
Gambling operations in every province or Canadian territory are regulated by Canada’s regional gaming regulators.
It’s important to note that gambling is illegal by law unless it’s licensed and regulated by the provincial government of the specific Canadian province. The difficulty herein is that with every province, the regulatory framework may be different. Licensed sites will have to adhere to the particular legislation of each individual province.
The Canadian gambling industry is under the watch of the Canadian Gaming Commission. The laws regarding online and land-based casinos, sports betting and other gaming activities are under the different individual province gaming regulators.
History of Gambling in Canada
Whether you’re simply curious or looking to explore more of what the gambling industry has been like in Canada over the past few decades, you’re in the right place.
Canadian gambling has quite an interesting history when it comes to gambling. It started back in 1497 when John Cabot’s voyage reached the Canadian stores. During this time, locals got introduced to playing cards. It was all early versions of games such as faro, and as time passed, it developed into Blackjack and Poker. Other popular games Canadians started exploring as time passed included instant win games like Dice.
Gambling has always just been kind of allowed, but in the late 1800s, the government started focusing on it. The government’s focus led to some limitations and regulations of gaming activities in the region. Canadian citizens continued to demand the freedom to play games, and at the same time, the laws continued to progress.
In 1892 the Canadian Criminal Code was implemented, including statutes on gambling. Gambling at this time was tolerated under the right conditions. In the 1900s, bingo was added to the list of approved betting options. With the new regulatory changes, bingo and raffles were allowed but only for charity. And in 1910, horse racing got added to the list of legally available gaming forms.
Fast forward to 1925, and now gambling events hosted at fairs and town exhibitions are legalised. In 1969 the government opened towards gaming a little more and approved lotteries.
It was in 1970 that there were more amendments to the Criminal Code which allowed all provinces to decide individually what their legislative stance is on gambling.
The first lottery was held in 1974 in aid of the Montreal Olympics. Nearly two decades later, in 1989, the first land-based casino was built in 1989 in Winnipeg. Followed by a wide range of others in Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
By 2001 there were nearly 40,000 video lottery terminals, 32,000 slot machines, 70 racetracks, of which 20 were racinos (A mix of racetracks and slot machines) and 59 casinos.
At the same time, video lottery terminals were installed. This generated revenue for the governments. Lotteries also got implemented as revenue generator for religious groups, charities, and governments.
Then by the end of 2020, the government of Ontario made the announcement of launching an iGaming market. The market would be under the authority of the Alcohol and Gambling Commission of Ontario (AGCO). The market officially launched in April 2022. Foreign operators are legally allowed to provide services in the Canadian Gambling market. To enter the market, they need to be licensed by AGCO and enter an agreement with iGaming Ontario. All gaming sites are monitored by iGaming Ontario.
Types of Gambling in Canada
Canada is not necessarily one of the biggest gambling capitals in the world, but that does not mean gameplay is not available.
With Canada, you get to enjoy a wide range of betting options, which cover different genres and game types.
Look at the different gaming options you’ll be able to enjoy at the top Canadian gaming sites:
Online Casinos Gaming
One of the most popular forms of gaming today is online casino gaming. Sites licensed in Ontario provide you with a wide range of online casino games to enjoy. This includes everything from the classics to the latest releases.
For online slot players, there are classic slots, video slots, and even jackpot slots. You can take your pick from hundreds of different slots based on theme, bonus features and payouts.
If you’re a skill or strategy based game player, you can try your hand at Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, or Poker. These games run on RNG software providing random and fair outcomes. Alternatively, you can enjoy a more immersive experience on these table games by taking on a real dealer in the live casino. Other live casino games include gameshow variants.
Other games in this section include instant win games like keno, bingo, and scratch cards. The collection of games in top Canadian Casinos Online continues to grow as providers add new titles monthly. The games can be enjoyed via your desktop, tablet, or mobile device.
The land-based casino industry has been operating and striving for a long time. There are over 70 land-based casinos scattered across Canada, with 20 of these being racinos (A mix of racetracks and slot machines). Whenever you’re looking for immersive in-person betting options, you won’t run out of options. Land-based sites provide you with a steady collection of games, more limited than that available on online casinos. It does, however, provide access to alternate forms of entertainment.
When it comes to sports betting action, there are ample options to choose from, with sports betting being regulated across various Canadian provinces. There are betting options for all the different sports, from football to cricket, soccer, and golf. Top betting markets include the NHL, NFL, NBA, and MLB. Sports bettors can also enjoy their own special promotions specifically tailored to sports betting and special events.
One of the most popular forms of sports betting in Canada is Horse Racing. There are over C$10 billion in bets placed annually. Canada has several popular racetracks, including Hippodrome Quebec, Grand River Raceway, Hanover Raceway, and Charlottetown. There are plenty of exciting horse race betting events you can take part in. This includes events for the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and the Breeders Cup.
Those who prefer lottery games can take part in different lotteries. The Western Canada Lottery Corporation, formed in 1974, operates different lotteries across Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and other Canadian provinces. The lottery options include everything from Lotto 6/49 to Wheel of Fortune.
For eager poker players, there are dedicated online poker sites where you can enjoy the best poker betting. Sites like PokerStars have been providing quality poker betting options since 2002. There are different types of games, like Omaha, BLAST, and Texas Hold’Em, you can partake in. Different tournaments you can enjoy, including Sit and Go’s, Progressive Knockout, MTT, and more. Put your skills to the test with the best in online poker action at top Canadian Poker Sites online.
Daily Fantasy Sports is legal in Canada, and many of the top DFS sites provide you with a variety of betting options and entertainment. Some of the top sites include FanDuel and Bet365. You can create your fantasy team from popular players and get rewarded based on their real performances weekly.
Casino Bonuses in Canada
One of the things many online casino players get excited about is the different bonuses and promotions offered by the different gaming operators. You can enjoy your favourite games for longer without paying more with a bonus boost.
Look at some of the most common promotions at Online Casinos in Canada:
- Welcome Bonus: This is a new player-only bonus for those who register a new account at the casino. It can be a single bonus or a package deal. It comes with strict terms and conditions.
- Deposit Match Bonus: This is a bonus where your deposit amount is matched with a set percentage bonus. It comes with terms and conditions, including wagering requirements and limitations.
- Free Spins: a popular promotional offer is the free spins which give you the chance to enjoy a couple of spins on the reels and stand a chance to win real cash payouts. Game restrictions and wagering requirements apply.
- Cashbacks: With these offers, you get a percentage of your losses returned to you for gameplay that took place over a certain time across the predetermined game list.
- Loyalty Rewards: There is also a loyalty rewards program where casinos will give players special rewards like no deposit bonuses, free spins, or cashbacks as a reward for their loyalty.
- VIP Program: Feel like you’re a celebrity with tiered VIP programs where you get to enjoy exclusive promotional offers, VIP customer support, increased withdrawal limits and more.
There are set terms and conditions for all promotional offers, so be sure to check the terms before applying for a bonus. Other terms to check are game restrictions and withdrawal requirements.
Top Canadian Payment Methods for Gambling
As a player, you want to know that whatever payment method you use allows for secure payments. For Canadian players, there is a wide range of secure payment methods available for deposits and withdrawals.
The methods vary, and each one shines in a different way, with some offering additional safety measures and others offering faster payouts at lower fees. Giving you the opportunity to choose based on what type of payment experience you’re after.
Another popular payment method is Interac which is common in Canadian casinos and starting to become more of a regular option in foreign sites. It has low deposit fees and quick, hassle-free transaction processes.
A popular payment method is Instadebit which gives you the opportunity to enjoy withdrawals almost as quickly as deposits and very low transaction fees. This payment method is not available on all foreign operated sites.
This is one of the older, more trustworthy payment methods used by many around the world. With Visa and MasterCard, you have credit and debit card payment options. With MasterCard and Visa, you may find that there are fees for withdrawals. Maestro is another option that allows for swift transactions with no unexpected fees.
Then there are e-wallets like MuchBetter and iDebit, where you get to transfer funds directly from your bank account to the online casino. It features nearly instant transactions with free deposits. Withdrawals can be subject to fees.
You can also make use of Bank transfers or Wire transfers for secure transactions. The bank can potentially charge extra fees for these transactions, but it is often low. The method also lowers the risk of ID theft and provides instant transactions.
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Safer Gambling Tools
Another important aspect of the gaming experience is knowing that there are tools and safety measures prioritising players. Responsible gaming is a top focus point in Canadian online casinos, and there are a variety of measures in place to assist players with secure and responsible gameplay.
You can use the tools, tips, and resources to prevent problem gambling habits or seek help via the contacts provided.
Here is more information on gambling addiction support groups and charities:
Connex Ontario provides information and referral services which focus on addiction, mental health, and problem gambling. They provide community services across the province. You can get in contact with them any time of the day, 7 days a week. Take advantage of the available resources to learn more about problem gambling and how to prevent it.
Telephone number: 1-866-531-2600
This is a non-profit organisation. It is considered one of the oldest and most trusted credit counselling agencies that assist with getting out of debt and back to life. If you or anyone you know is struggling with problem gambling, you can get in touch with the support team, who will help you set up a plan of action for getting back to responsible living.
Telephone number: 1-800-267-2272
Canada Gambling FAQs
Is online gambling legal in Canada?
Canada gambling is primarily under the Criminal Code, which states that each province can decide the legality of casinos and sportsbooks in their area. Betting is legal in most regions, with Ontario having a flourishing online gaming market where you can legally access the best local and foreign-operated betting sites and casinos.
Can I play via mobile at Canadian Online Casinos?
Most of the online casinos in Canada run on sites using HTML5 technology. With the latest technology in place, you can enjoy a smooth and hassle-free gaming experience from anywhere at any time. Play your favourite games on the go via your desktop, tablet, or mobile device at the top-ranking Canadian sites.
What is the online gambling age restriction in Canada?
In order to play casino games legally in Canada, you will need to check the age restriction of the specific region. There are some provinces that restrict access to anyone under 19 years of age, while others like Calgary, Manitoba, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec allow you to enjoy gaming from the age of 18.
Are casino winnings taxable in Canada?
One thing you need to be aware of before starting your online betting journey is the taxation legislation on your winnings. Every province in Canada has its own legislation, but most of them are quite lenient. Unless you’re a professional gambler, you are not required to pay taxes on your winnings.
What payment methods are available in Canadian Casinos?
With the majority of online casinos in Canada, you get to choose between a range of secure payment methods for deposits and withdrawals. This includes popular Canadian payment methods like Interac and iDebit. It should be noted that not all local payment methods are available in all foreign operated betting sites and casinos.