Land based gambling activities are legal in Canada at race tracks and venues with gaming machines and also at sports betting shops and bingo halls. However, each of the country's three territories and ten provinces has its gambling authority, which makes things rather complicated. The gambling operators must follow the laws laid out by their governing province or territory.
Although online gambling is legal, unfortunately, there are no real Canadian-owned online casinos that are licensed by the Canadian government. Canadian players, therefore, tend to gamble at online casinos that operate from outside of Canadian jurisdiction. The good news is that you're not breaking any Canadian laws when gambling at these websites.
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Gambling History in Canada
Canada has a long and colourful history of gambling. Since back in 1892 all forms of gambling were illegal. Less than ten years later, both raffles and bingo were permitted, and then another decade later horseracing activities were also permitted. Gradually as we moved further into the 20th century even more forms of gambling became socially accepted, and this led to the eventual legislation of things like public lotteries towards the end of the 60s.
It was in the mid-80s when gambling control shifted to being provincially controlled as opposed to federally controlled. Then as we moved into the new millennium, Canada had 32,000 venues where you could purchase lotto tickets, 31,000 land-based slot machines at more than 50 permanent casinos and more than 1,800 bingo halls. In 2019 you can also now find hundreds of cutting edge Canadian online casinos.
Canada Gambling & Online Gambling Laws
In Canada you have the Provincial and First Nation jurisdictions. The latter of which is independent of Canadian law and one such First Nation authority is known as the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (Kahnawake). This authority is located on Indian land reserve in Quebec, which is situated on the St. Lawrence River just across from Montreal. Kahnawake is the licensing and regulatory authority for all interactive gaming that is conducted within and from the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake.
This renowned authority has issued licenses to more than 200 major operators. Canadian players are permitted to play at any online casino that holds a Kahnawake license without breaking any laws. Additional First Nation tribes are also looking to follow in the same footsteps of the Kahnawake. At the time of writing, it's impossible for a homegrown operator to obtain a license from the Canadian government to open an online casino.
Canada also has two national lotteries, and the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation administer these. They consist of five regional lottery commissions which are also controlled by their respective territorial and provincial governments. In just three provinces, Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec, the legal minimum gambling age are 18, but everywhere else in Canada it's 19.
Online Casino Benefits to Players from Canada
One of the main benefits is that Canadian players now have access to some of the best online casinos in the world. You break no laws playing at these casinos, and you can play to win millions of dollars at the click of a button. Today's best Canadian online casinos accept Canadian dollars. You can deposit & withdraw using a variety of perfectly secure Canadian online payment options and play at some of the most trusted online casinos in the industry.
Canadian online casinos today have hundreds if not thousands of games from some of the world's most advanced online casino software providers. There are plenty of life-changing progressive jackpots to play for daily. In addition to English, several other major languages such as French is supported at these casinos. They also generally offer 24-hour, professionally trained player support always on standby usually via live chat, email and toll-free telephone. There are other benefits, such as the fact that these casinos often rank among the most secure in the world. Canadian players can also benefit from attractive bonuses, rewarding loyalty programs and other great promotional offers.
FAQ Useful to Players from Canada
Is it legal to play at online casinos for real money mode?
Yes. No current laws are stopping Canadian players from gambling in the real money mode at online casinos.
Is it safe to play at an online casino?
Yes. Canadian online casinos are perfectly secure, providing first off that a renowned licensing authority licenses them. And secondly that a reputable operator with a proven track record operates them.
How do I know my details are in safe hands?
The best Canadian online casinos are protected by 256-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption technology – the same stuff that banks and other financial institutions use. Therefore your details won't ever be shared with any other third parties, and your money is also in safe hands.
How do I get in touch with the casino if something goes wrong?
You can call the professionally trained player support by toll-free telephone, email or live chat. Most online casino support for Canadian players is available 24 hours per day.
How do I deposit and withdraw at the casino?
The casino's cashier section will have a complete list of perfectly secure Canadian online payment options for you to choose. You can generally choose between credit & debit cards, prepaid cards, e-wallets and direct bank transfer methods.
Online Gambling Highlights in Canada
- Canadian players can now enjoy at some of the world's best online casinos in the real money mode and free play mode
- Well-known operators power the best Canadian online casinos with proven track records, and they hold licenses in major jurisdictions
- You can play in your local currency of Canadian dollars, and you can choose from numerous reliable Canadian online payment options
- Claim a guaranteed new player welcome bonus when you sign up to a Canadian online casino and then get rewarded for playing regularly in the real money mode
- English, French and other major language options are generally always available at Canadian online casinos
- A wide selection of games to play on from some of the world's best online casino software providers
- Life-changing progressive jackpots up for grabs daily, with individual jackpots often reaching more than CA$5,000,000
- Canadian online casinos are available on desktop, mobile and tablet. You can either play instantly in your web browser or from within a secure download client
Problem Gambling Help in Canada
There are hundreds of useful support groups and non-profit organizations out there that are specifically designed to help problem gamblers in Canada. Of course, there's Gamblers Anonymous Canada, which is one of the most important foundations for problem gambling. There are numerous other reliable websites that you can visit. These include the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, GamCare (UK), the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, the Responsible Gambling Council Ontario, the Nova Scotia Department of Health - Problem Gambling Services and the British Columbia Responsible & Problem Gambling Program, to name but a few.