Current Situation With Online Casinos Market In Canada
Canada is always claimed to be one of the best countries for players and punters, because online (and offline) gambling is officially allowed there. However, as soon as one starts to explore the situation closer, a lot of confusion arises due to unclear, controversial, and uncertain rules that are applied. Like, on the one hand, you are free to play casino games, but on the other hand, in some provinces you are not allowed to play some games, or to gamble online Canada at some places at all.
Because of this reality, most punters have to conduct thorough research before they register at a new best casino online in Canada - or any online casino at all. Uncertainty about laws also force businesses and operators to be sneaky and find ways to lead their business in gray areas, since no one is sure what happens in this market next. So, let’s eventually find it out and set the record straight about online gambling in Canada.
Is It Legal To Gamble At Online Casinos In Canada
Officially, it is totally legal to play casino games and make bets in other similar types of entertainment in Canada. However, if you start exploring details, a lot of confusing facts come up.
Firstly, there are many online and offline venues where one can make bets, all over the country. But every province is entitled to apply their own rules to this market, and as a result, in some places the rules are more strict, while in others they are more relaxed. Some provinces allow private operators and small venues, including online ones, while other provinces make it really hard for an operator to manage the business, because the companies must have only local licenses and are not allowed to provide some types of games.
Secondly, when it comes exclusively to Canadian online gambling, the situation is even more complicated. Officially, overseas operators are not allowed to provide betting entertainments, and accept bets from Canadian players - but at the same time, little is done to effectively block such operators (and it is very hard to do considering the possibilities of the modern Internet). The players themselves are expected not to make bets at overseas platforms, but they are never prosecuted or legally punished for doing so.
One of the decisions that really had consequences for canadian players was legal ban of bank transactions to foreign online casinos. Canadians mostly cannot make deposits from plastic cards or their bank accounts, let alone withdraw money via these channels. But again, today there are tons of reliable payment processing services that enable Canadians to send and receive money without relying on the bank.
As you can see, there are many white spots and grey areas with the Canada online gambling situation. This is why we have collected a list of casinos in Canada that consists of already checked best online Canadian casinos for you. Simply jump in, choose the best bonuses and other conditions, and play!
What Are The Best Online Casinos In Canada?
There are two types of Canada online casinos available to Canadian players - those operated by Canadian companies, and those operated by foreign companies (and accepting Canadian players). If to think about it, the number of gambling houses available today is so huge that it is pretty hard to choose. Yet, there are some platforms you can really trust your money with, including (just to name a few):
- 21 Dukes
- 7 Reels
- 7 Spins
- 888 casino
Full list of online Canadian casinos currently meeting all the security standards and other requirements of the modern gambling market is provided above. In case you stumble across a new website that is not on the list, and you feel like giving it a try, check if it meets the requirements for a reliable best online casino Canada.
Requirements For Reliable Casino In Canada
Being aware of the most important aspects and criteria when choosing the best online casino for Canadian players to punter at is crucial, for experienced gamblers and newbie players alike. The point is, when you register at a website, you always leave your sensitive data there, and even if you do not play for money, the casino still has information about you and your contacts. Therefore, opting for the most reliable, reputable, and safe online casino Canada is a must.
To prevent all kinds of unpleasant surprises, and to choose decent platforms like a pro, check out the most important criteria we use when exploring an online casino. You will learn to assess any website in no time, and this skill will protect you from wasting time and moreover money at scammy or shitty Canadian gambling sites.
The site has to have a license from a reliable authority. This can be a Canadian authority or an overseas one. In general, any license is better than none; plus make sure the site does not hide information on their license. If you can’t find it, you may contact the Customer Support, but overall better save your time and look for a better platform.
The benefit of gambling at local Canadian virtual casinos is that they always offer banking options that are available to you as a local. Yet, if you play at an overseas site, first make sure you actually have access to at least two banking channels the site offers. Otherwise, you will only be able to play for fun, or, what is worse, you will deposit the money, but won’t be able to withdraw.
Please keep in mind that in the majority of cases, Canadians cannot deposit using their plastic cards and bank accounts, even if you deposit to foreign casinos. So opt for the platform that supports web wallets, which means fast and problem-free depositing and withdrawing.
Withdrawal Time and Payout Time
The faster the withdrawal and payout time, the better. The first step is to request the withdrawal and wait for the casino to approve your request. This can take from 24 to 72 hours if you are lucky. Next comes the payout time that depends on the payment channel you have chosen. Web wallets, plastic cards, and digital currencies support instant transactions, other methods can take from 1 to 21 business days.
Variety Of Currencies
If you can deposit and withdraw money in the currency you prefer, this is definitely an advantage. Yet, most Canadians just want to be able to use CAD. In the majority of cases, you cannot deposit in one currency and withdraw in another. If you own digital currencies, maybe it makes sense to find a casino online Canada that deals specifically with digital coins, to avoid currency exchange and commissions.
The main rule is the more software providers are represented at the site, the better. However, this rule does not work if the casino offers products by one leading provider in the niche. For example, you can stumble across casinos featuring only games by Microgaming, or by Evolution Gaming, or by Realtime Gaming. This is not a problem; just google and make sure this provider is the leader in the market and offers highest quality service.
Variety Of Games
The more types of games are available in the games library, the better. On the other hand, if you are a fan of one type of casino games - for example, slots - you may not be interested in other types.
Canadians mostly enjoy the following slots games:
- Cleopatra slot
- Wizard Of Oz Slot
- Necronomicon Slots
- Kaiju Slot
- Golden Goddess Slots
- Eye of Horus Slot
- Dragon Born Slot
- Quick Hit slots
- Double Down slot
- Konami slot
Check them out, and maybe you will find your new favourite game!
Play For Fun VS For Real Money
If you want to play online casino Canada for fun, you do not even need to create an account with the casino. Just find a reliable site that offers its unregistered visitors Demo mode for the majority of games, and enjoy! Just keep in mind that you won’t be able to play Jackpots and also Live Dealer games. If you want to play for real money, it makes sense to opt for the most reputable and safe casino you can find; some of them do not have Demo mode, so do not use this feature as an indicator. Look at license, banking, data protection, and other aspects.
Bonuses are the driver of most passionate players. It is lucrative bonuses that make play-for-fun visitors register a Canadian online casino real money account with the website. It is also bonuses that make experienced players jump onto new Canadian casino sites, abandoning their favourite, but old and well-explored platforms, only to grab a juicy bite. Overall, you should not lap it up for a very huge bonus, but bothering with making an acc at a casino that offers a humble one just makes no sense either. Look out for wagering requirements and check if the bonus is cashable in the first place.
This is the most popular and widespread bonus that is usually a cash gift to a new player. Not having a Welcome bonus is impossible for an online casino that wants to succeed. Most Welcome promos are 100% match bonuses.
No Deposit Bonus
This is the most desired and also the rarest type of bonus, and in the majority of cases it is not cashable. If you hunt after a No Deposit bonus, read Terms and Conditions of the platform carefully. More often than not, this promo is not worse your time.
Free spins on slots games is a nice bonus you can get as part of the Welcome package, win in the game, or get as a regular promo for a loyal gambler. Having Free spins is nice, not having them is not a big deal.
Mobile & App
Every virtual gaming platform should have a mobile compatible website or better an official mobile application. This is especially important if you actually have plans on playing on the go from your mobile device. So define your priorities and avoid sites that do not take care of their users’ experience.
In addition to license, you should pay attention to SSL encryption that should be activated for all pages of the site. Not having all data encrypted means hackers will have no problem stealing it.
In case you stumble across an attractive online casino that is not on our list, google it quickly and check whether there were ever stories about scams from this site. Most third party reviewing sites offer comments from real users, and if the casino is scammy, you will know that immediately.
Ideally, Customer Support should be available via local phone number, 24/7 Live chat, and should also have an official email address. If you consider this or that platform to play for real money, double-check their Live chat and see how fast they respond. If all you get is a stupid bot, keep in mind that you will most probably get the same level of service when you actually deposit your money on site and something suddenly goes wrong.
Terms And Conditions
Always check Terms and Conditions of the casino. We know that this super long and boring document looks intimidating, but you should at least check info on the following aspects:
- rules applied to bonus
- wagering requirements
- banking options
- restricted countries
Please keep in mind that every website has the right to change their Conditions without informing their customers.
Popular Canadian Casinos Review
It is always a benefit to have access to objective, honest, and comprehensive online casino reviews. In case you are not a very experienced punter, or in case you simply want to find out more about this or that Canadian casino online without the need to research on your own, honest Canadian online casino reviews come to the rescue.
Despite the fact that there are tons of gambling websites Canada in the Internet, generally there are fewer types of them, and every country’s bettors usually have their own favourite types. If you are from Canada, or are in Canada right now, you may be interested in the following casino types (since they are the most popular among local players):
- Real Money - reliable and reputable best online gambling sites Canada you can trust with your money and personal data
- No Deposit - sites that offer a No Deposit Bonus to new players
- New - new virtual casinos are always exciting, because the competition in the market is incredible, and every new platform tries to lure visitors and customers from their competitors by offering jaw dropping promotions and other attractive perks
- Live - Live Dealer casinos are very popular nowadays, because they combine the best features of online and offline gambling venues in one place
- Fastest Withdrawal - fast withdrawal is always better than a slow one, so casinos offering fast withdrawal channels are more popular than others
- Low deposit - some best online casinos in Canada require a very high minimum deposit with all other conditions staying equal, so certain players look for low deposit casinos to spend less money on their entertainment
When you choose a casino to play at, consider these types of venues in order to opt for something that will give you real gambling pleasure.
Gambling Regulations In Canada
The main gambling regulation of Canada makes all gambling and lottery activities illegal unless they have the corresponding licenses and meet some strict requirements. This situation makes sense mainly for businesses and operators that have to deal with confusing laws and try not to break any rules. When it comes to online gambling and betting, everything becomes even more complicated, because local operators are limited by all sorts of restrictions, limiting their legal access to local players. Overseas operators are totally disallowed to advertise and provide gambling entertainments to Canadians, and accept deposits, but still many platforms do it.
Canadian players are limited in their gambling activities depending on province, but hardly anyone is really prosecuted by punting online, either at a virtual casino by local operator or by an overseas one.
In terms of specific laws, the online gambling Canada activities are regulated by the Criminal code of Canada, and sections from 201 to 206 address all the aspects (at least the government believes they do) of virtual and land based gambling and betting.
According to the Criminal Code, one of the types of betting that is totally allowed is horse racing. All other types are prohibited, unless they are allowed. So in theory, and if one reads the Code, gambling is disallowed, but in practice, there are online and land based venues all over the place. We have already mentioned the confusing situation, right?
Another important aspect to keep in mind that games of chance (where the victory is defined by pure luck), or mixed games (for example, card games where cards depend on chance, but the victory depends mostly on strategy and skill) and not allowed. Only games of pure skill (like sports competition) are absolutely allowed.
Fantasy sports and virtual casinos are very poorly addressed, and this cases the grey area of the potentially profitable and developing market.
All over Canada, gambling activities and market are regulated mostly by local agencies in provinces. As a result, there are different regulatory bodies on different territories:
- Alberta Liquor and Gambling Commission
- Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch of the Ministry of Finance
- Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba
- Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco Division of Service Nova Scotia
- Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
- Prince Edward Island Lotteries Commission
So, in case you are wondering about specific agency in your place, you’d better double-check. The rules may differ, for example, the general age eligible for participating in gambling activities is 18, but in certain provinces is can be 19. Please consider those details when exploring the legal basis of Canadian gambling, and pay attention to place-specific rules.
Overall, winnings from gambling are not considered taxable in Canada, and even people who wins a national lottery do not pay tax on their winnings. However, if winnings from betting constitute the main source of income for the person during a prolonged period of time, they can be considered regular business income and therefore should be taxable.
Canadian Problem Gambling
Canada is one of those countries that deal with problem gambling really seriously. This is partially caused by the fact that Canadians are passionate gamblers, and this aspect should be addressed properly to prevent development of addictions causing considerable social consequences. On the other hand, proper dealing with problem gambling in Canada is connected to the fact that this market is more or less regulated, plus regulation happens mostly in provinces, so all problems can be addressed locally and therefore more effectively.
In case you want to find out more about problem gambling and way to deal with it, check out The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, or Canada Safety Council for more information.
Short Gambling History In Canada
To be honest, gambling in Canada existed before Europeans brought it together with the Gold Rush by the end of the 18th century, but during the Gold Rush, it was the peak of popularity of all types of gambling.
By the end of 19th century, however, the Criminal Code of Canada considered gambling, and regulations started to influence this previous uncontrolled market. Back then, horse racing was extremely popular, and gambling activities to gather money for charity were pretty much widespread, but it also meant that people of all social strata viewed gambling as part of their daily life.
Only by the end of the 20th century, in 1970, when provinces were granted the right to regulate gambling locally as their agencies consider proper. Since then, gambling niche developed steadily, and only recently it started to drag behind due to development of the Internet.
Land Based Casinos
In all other terms, Canada looks like a gambling heaven, both online and offline (well, this is true at least for the players, since businesses feel worse about this). There are more than 220 land-based casinos in the country, more than 40 horse tracks, more than 60 poker rooms, and more than 81 bingo halls. The biggest numbers of land based casinos are in Ontario (72), Alberta (59), British Columbia (37), and Nova Scotia (11). Other territories and provinces have fewer venues, but almost anywhere a punter can find a place for entertainment. Moreover, since land based venues can operate only when they have all necessary licenses and stuff, betting at those venues is totally legal and safe.
Legal online casino Canada is the one that is operated by company located in the country, and has a local license.