Gambling in Canada

Is gambling in Canada legal? Short answer: Yes, gambling is legal in Canada.

In this guide you will find everything you need to know about playing for money in Canada.

At the moment, the Canadian law does not prohibit its citizens from placing bets or playing with money on an online casino. However, it requires the service to be licensed to be considered legal. Despite such cases, there are plenty of licensed Canadian online gambling sites that players can access without any worries.

The history of gambling in Canada
Betting has always been regular pastime in Canada for many people. The first record of gambling dates to the year 1497 even before the formation of Canada.

Gambling was illegal in Canada a few decades ago. However, the laws kept on evolving and casual raffles and bingo were legalized for charitable events. The same happened with horse races a decade later. In 1985 gaming machines followed and a few years later online gaming as gambling became more popular.

For example, in 1892 gambling was banned because it was considered inappropriate. A few years later the government realized that making gambling illegal did not stop the gambling and the government also realized gambling was not really a problem for the society. Then in 1990 it was legal to bet again in some games such as bingo, then later horse racing was added and a few years later the government started licensing gambling operations.

Since that time, the Canadian government position on gambling has always been clear. For example, if a casino had a license to operate, then the citizens are free to choose whether they play or not. This approach allowed the growth of many casinos both online and land based. Then in 1969 the government adjusted the law to include additional regulations and conditions to make sure there is fair play and at the same time supporting good causes. One example was in 1974 when the proceeds of lottery was used to help fund the Olympics.

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It is illegal for private companies to operate online casinos in Canada. In Canada, the Canadian Gaming Commission is the one who regulates and oversees the gambling industry in the country. This organization communicates with the public, the media and the government. The regulations about land-based casinos, online casinos and sports betting are regulated by each province. For example, in Quebec the government both owns and regulates Loto-Québec.

However, accessing online casinos from within Canada is not illegal if the casino is licensed and operated offshore. In addition, many gambling servers are located in Kahnawake, which still lies in Canadian territory.

As many as 65% of Canadians participate in some type of gambling or betting. It can be the lottery or other chance style games like slots only occasionally.

Can I legally deposit and withdraw my funds in Canadian dollars?
Yes, you can legally deposit to fund your account and you can also withdraw the winnings to the bank of your choice. Most casinos offer many deposits and withdraw options for the Canadian market.

Kahnawake Gaming Commission
In 1996, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was established to regulate and license betting and gambling on Mohawk Territory.

The Kahnawake Mohawks have jurisdiction and sovereignty over their territory. For this reason they are free to govern their affairs including gambling. This includes land-based casinos, online casinos, and sports betting.

How do I know an online casino is safe?
Always ensure the casino has been operating for at least five years and it is licensed by a recognized organization such as the Malta Gaming Authority. In addition, look for a casino that is certified by eCOGRA to ensure an additional layer of protection when it comes to security and fair play. All the casinos listed on the website are both eCOGRA certified and licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority.

Responsible Gaming Resources
Here are some resources to help you if you believe you might be gambling too much. It is important to recognize it and seek help.

Responsible Gaming Counsel

Gamblers Anonymous