Until 1969, any gambling activity in Canada was practically prohibited on the state level. From 1969 to 1985, lotteries were gradually regularized in all Canadian provinces. In 1998, dice games were recognized as legal too. And since 2009, gambling laws have finally extended to online casinos. Ever after that, gambling games played on the Internet have been regulated by provincial authorities, with the revenues derived from them being transferred to the country’s budget. However, there are still some pitfalls considering these laws.
Namely, it is illegal for a casino to operate inside Canada without a license, but there are no such restrictions as to offshore platforms. It is legal for all Canadians to play in a casino, but it is unlawful to hold one.
Further, all money won across gambling platforms is tax-free for Canadian residents if they gamble for fun. However, if your virtual gaming activity is considered a form of income, you have to pay a certain percentage of your winnings into the budget. The second differs from the fist based on the following:
- specific abilities of a player
- the number of withdraws
- the regularity of payments
The tax percentage may vary depending on the region and the amount of profit.
The Timeline of Canadian Gaming Laws
The issue of gambling popped up at the very beginning of the colonization era. Even discoverers of Canadian lands noticed that local people loved gambling though did it with primitive accessories. These amusements were of great mystical and spiritual value for the natives. But since the locals spent too much time playing games of chance, they were banned completely at the end of the 17th century. The ban continued until 1900 when the authorities eased the laws. Then two games were allowed, raffles and bingo, but all the money raised from gaming had to go to charity.
Over the next century, permission to play gambling games in Canada expanded significantly. Here is the timeline showing the transformations in this field:
- 1910 — race-betting was allowed;
- 1925 — some forms of gambling was permitted on fairs;
- 1969 — lotteries were legalized;
- 1985 — slot machines were approved;
- 1989 — the first commercial casino was established;
- 1998 — the ban on dice games was removed.
The twenty-first century has brought new realities and, namely, online casinos, which were first legally adopted on the Canadian territory in 2012. Nowadays, they are very widespread and bring great revenues to the state, with its share increasing every year.
If you also love gambling, you need to choose the best trusted casino to join. You are welcome to read an unbiased review of any casino operating in the country on the Peb Wallet portal.
Canadian Gambling Regulatory Bodies
Every decent casino has to be approved either by Canadian or offshore regulatory authorities. Each province in the country has its own authorized body that checks all the gambling activities (poker, bingo, lottery, races, sports betting, etc.).
The most respected offshore authorities in this field are gaming commissions of the Kahnawake, the UK, Malta, and Curacao. These institutions regulate nearly all web platforms accessible from Canada.
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is an acclaimed organization that regulates slots, table and card games. It is one of the oldest and the most reputable institutions in the industry, launched in 1996 in the Mohawk territory, Quebec. The commission is founded within an independent Indian reserve, and therefore, it has an exclusive status and full authority over offshore websites.
Currently, the commission has licensed more than 250 internet resources and 50 online casinos. You can play on these platforms with real money without any worries, as they are completely safe.
Sports Betting Legislation in Canadian Provinces
The federal government doesn’t prohibit sports betting but transfer the powers to provincial authorities. In general, the laws in Canadian provinces allow sports betting yet only in the form of parlay bets, meaning that you need to wager on multiple events. While the federal government has moved rather close to adopting an act that will permit single sports betting, local bettors are currently limited in their choice. Besides, any bookie must be licensed by the corresponding regulatory bodies in the province when it runs the business.
The territory of Quebec allows gambling starting from 18 years. If you are of the legal age, you are permitted to play in a casino, wager on races, participate in lotteries and charity games, or bet on sports. All these activities are approved by the Quebec Alcohol, Racing, and Gaming Commission since 1993.
The legal age for joining the gaming world in Ontario is 19 years. Here you can enjoy top casinos, slot machines, races, sports betting, lotteries, charity games, and online gambling on PlayOLG. These amusements are approved and licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario since 1998.
Prince Edward Island
Residents of the islands can gamble upon reaching the age of 19 years. Sports betting, lotteries, horse races, charity games, and online gambling are permitted here. However, there is only one legal casino in the province. The sphere is governed by 2 authorities: the Lotteries Commission and the Department of Environment, Labor, and Justice.
You can play in Saskatchewan if being over 19. The local authorities have approved races, lotteries, VLT, charity games, sports betting, and casinos. Online providers cannot operate in the province, but offshore sportsbooks and casinos are still accessible. All the gaming businesses are regulated by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority and Indigenous Gaming Regulators.
Gambling started spreading across Canada from the early history of the country. It was banned for a long time, but gradually, most of the activities were legalized. The law does not prohibit Canadians from playing in online casinos, yet the service providers are required to have a license. Therefore, most of the platforms operate from offshore zones, as it is simpler for the companies.
One of the most reputable institutions for online casino licensing is the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. Local players can choose from more than 50 great resources approved by this institution.
Sports betting is governed separately by 10 regional governments. Each province sets its own rules and compiles lists of permitted activities.
The Canadian market provides a broad assortment of casinos licensed within the country or in other trustworthy jurisdictions. If you are planning to join one of them, pick a certified platform with a lavish game assortment, high payout rates, and respectable software providers. Enjoy the process and win big!