Is it legal to play casino games online in Canada?
Yes, it is! Canadians can play online at their heart's content at any offshore casinos licensed by Malta, Gibraltar, the UK or by the KGC(Kahnawake Gaming Commission), but it is illegal to run unlicensed online casinos in Canada.
Local online betting laws are somewhat complicated, but you can play safely and have nothing to worry about if you register at one of the recommended Canadian casinos
Online gaming in Canada is 100% legitimate, as long as the casino has the proper licenses.
Some of the regulatory bodies allowed to license Canadian online casinos are:
- Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) This regulator oversees online betting sites in Canada that are operated in foreign countries such as Malta, Costa Rica, and other countries.
- United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC)
- Kahnawake Gaming Commission It operates inside Canada but is considered as its own governing body. This commission not only regulates Canadian gaming sites and manages its own servers but is also considered the most-used regulator for online gaming sites around the world. The KGC licenses hundreds of online casinos and sports betting websites. The licence is considered one of the easiest to get in the world but still provides a fair, safe, and reliable gambling experience. In recent years established operators prefer to get their licences from Malta or Gibraltar.
An online gaming site having one of these licenses implies that the corresponding legal body regulates and checks it to ensure everything is as it should be. This is to safeguard the player. Apart from this, other bodies such as eCOGRA regulate the various online gaming sites available. eCOGRA ensures that all the games' features and mechanics are fair regarding the odds towards the players.
A few Canadian provinces are now launching their own online casinos.
These gaming websites are recognized and regulated by the province they operate under. For example, Quebec has legalized online gambling, and you have no restrictions from playing for real money. Residents can place bets at the gaming sites run by their provincial government.
Gambling Laws in Canada
While Canada is the 8th biggest gambling market globally, the local gambling laws are considered a bit unclear. This is not unique in the world; lots of other countries are still working on their own regulations.
The gaming and casino industry in Canada has a complicated history. Like in most other countries, gambling was initially legal, but legislation declared it illegal in 1892. With time there were more rules introduced relaxing the initial ban, and by 1900, casual raffles and bingo were allowed at charity events. It took another 10 years to legalize horse racing betting at the tracks.
The most significant step came in 1985 when gaming machines became legalized. Another significant change came when in 1996, the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority introduced the First Nations Gaming Act. This law allowed traditional tribes to operate casinos on their land. Since then, more territories have introduced similar Gaming Acts, and now there are more than 100 land-based casinos across Canada.
How do online gambling laws affect the player?
There are no laws targeting gaming sites located offshore. There is no law against playing in an online casino so that you can play safely on any of our recommended Canadian Casinos.
There is also no legal issues of paying taxes on winning since no laws are covering the topic.
Money Transactions at legal Online Casinos
Since many legitimate sites are based out of the country, there might be some constraints when opening an account. You might be required to open an account with a third party money transfer site. We cover all payment methods
, so you can choose with confidence.