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Canada Casino Gaming Legalities

Many Canadian players worry about the legality of online casino gaming. While it is not easy to answer the question of whether it is legal to play at online casinos in Canada, one can definitely say that Canada’s law books do not criminalize the activity.

Canada is home to a huge gambling industry despite the fact that its laws are vague and online gambling is unregulated. Canada’s gambling industry generates funds for a wide range of charities and public welfare programs. It employs more than 135,000 residents and comprises casinos, lotteries, racetracks, horse betting, and charity gaming. Some provinces also run licensed and well-regulated online gambling sites.

A wide range of highly reputed operators accept Canadian players, and there isn’t a single law in Canada that prohibits residents from signing up and playing for real money. Online casino gaming cannot be said to be illegal in Canada, but it is definitely unregulated. The offshore online casinos that accept Canadians do not operate under a license issued by the government of Canada.

Legal Online Casinos

Canadian players will not get into trouble with the law if they sign up at any of the online casinos recommended at COC. The sites we recommend not only accept Canadian residents, but also allow them to play in Canadian dollars. Players can deposit funds using a wide range of Canada friendly payment options and withdraw winnings safe, securely, and quickly.

We have double checked to make sure that the casinos we recommend are licensed at reputed gambling jurisdictions. Many of them are licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which is a regulatory body in its own right, independent of the government of Canada. We have also taken into consideration factors such as ownership, bonus packages, VIP programs, payment options, customer care, game selection, and so on before recommending these casinos to our Canadian players.

Online Gambling in Canada

Canada’s Criminal Code has complicated and rather vague language, but it clearly does not criminalize the act of gambling online. So far, the government of Canada has not penalized any of its citizens for gambling online.

In Canada, provinces are absolutely free to legalize and regulate online gambling sites and a few provinces do offer online casino gaming services. However, offshore gambling sites accepting Canadian residents are not licensed by any of these provinces. They are not licensed by the government of Canada either.

Canadian gambling laws are much more relaxed than US gambling laws. According to US laws, betting on sports is illegal except in Nevada and Delaware. But in Canada, betting on sports is legal and players are allowed to place parlay bets. Currently, attempts are being made to legalize bets on single events too.

Canada is also a tax haven, and players need not pay taxes on winnings as long as they are recreational players. However, professional poker players are required to pay taxes on their winnings.

Provincial Gambling

Some Canadian provinces offer online gambling services. In 2004, British Columbia launched online lottery and online sports betting sites. In 2009, it began offering poker, and a year later, it launched online bingo and online casino games. The provinces of Quebec and Manitoba also offer online gambling services, and this January, Ontario began doing the same. Alberta is soon expected to join their ranks.

The Atlantic Lottery Corporation regulates online sale of lottery and bingo tickets for Maritime provinces, but doesn’t offer any poker, casino, or bingo games. Most of the time, provincial betting services are limited to residents of the province. For this reason, offshore online gambling sites, licensed in the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Cyprus, and also the Kahnawake Gambling Commission, have thousands of Canadians as registered users.

Kahnawake Gaming Commission

A large number of offshore online poker sites and online casinos are licensed by the Kahnawake Gambling Commission (KGC), which is based in Indian reservations in Canada.

Among the world’s first gambling jurisdictions, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission has been granting licenses to and regulating a large number of online gambling sites. Since the commission brought its regulatory framework into effect in 1999, it becomes one of the oldest gambling jurisdictions in the world. Operators holding a KGC license need to be hosted at Mohawk Internet Technologies, which is based on the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake.