An overview of the current Canadian regulation with respect to different forms of gaming
Canada’s legal structure has undergone several changes over the last few decades, and the gambling regulation in Canada is also not something very old. Gambling used to be illegal in the country 50 years ago. It was in 1969 that changes were made to the criminal code, enabling the federal government and the provincial governments to host lotteries. More changes were made to it in the year 1985, entirely giving a new shape to the gambling laws of the country, with every province getting the power to regulate and legalise gambling operations if they wanted.
Ever since that happened, all the 10 provinces legalized some or the other form of gambling, with many offering a good mix including sports lotteries, slot machines, bingo, video lottery terminals, land-based casinos, racetracks and lotteries. With casino technology evolving over a period of time and making online casinos more mainstream, the laws related to online gambling have started taking shape only recently. Four out of 10 provinces actively host gambling portals that are available exclusively to their residents only.
Although Canada has always been liberal about brick and mortar gambling operations, it’s not the case with online gambling. Online casinos in the country are governed by a special commission, with only Kahnawake Mohawk Territory permitted to run them. However, Canadian residents are allowed to play at online casinos licensed outside of the country, from reputed authorities like UK Gambling Commission or the Malta Gaming Authority. For instance, here you can find top 10 online casinos in Canada which are completely reliable and also offer attractive bonuses to the new signups.
Let’s now give you some more insight into different aspects of gambling in Canada and the laws associated with them.
7 out of 10 Canadian provinces have brick and mortar casinos with plenty of slot machines and table games in them. The 3 which don’t have them are New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward. These provinces however do offer bingo halls, racetracks and casino style VLT gaming parlors. On the whole, there are 100+ casinos in Canada, most of them run by provinces and 17 by First Nations tribes.
Gambling on the Internet
Canadian online gambling laws are quite ambiguous, with online casinos permitted in only 4 provinces – British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Québec. BCLC of British Columbia runs a website with online casino games, bingo, poker and the lottery website, available only to British Columbia residents. On the other hand, Ontario residents can play at online casino and lottery website run by OLGH. Similarly, Loti-Quebec runs a website offering online casino games, bingo, poker, lotteries and sports betting, for residents of Quebec.
These gambling operations are to do with websites hosted in other countries, offering their services to the Canadian residents. A great multitude of Canadians have been playing at such offshore poker sites, sports books, online casinos and more for 2 decades now. There is no mention in the Criminal Code of them being illegal.
The sports betting operations in Canada are not as simple to run as casinos. There is an odd restriction on sports bets in Canada, not allowing punters to bet on single sports events. Instead, they must bet on at least 2 different possibilities, combined into one bet.