As the second-most populous province in all Canada, you would think that Quebec would have a sizeable gambling population. You would be right to think so. However, each Canadian province makes its own gambling laws within the scope of the Criminal Code of Canada, and Quebec is no different. So, what can the sizeable number of residents in the predominantly French-speaking Canadian state expect to be able to bet on? It is time we found out…
Is Gambling Legal in Quebec?
Overall, gambling is considered legal in Quebec and has been since the 1970s. The Quebec Alcohol, Racing and Gaming Commission is the number one authority when it comes to licensing and regulating gambling operations in the Canadian province. Lottery games are run separately by Loto Quebec. Any venue or site you hope to play at must be approved by QARGC, Loto Quebec or both. Admittedly, there are not too many of these options around.
Even so, this is what you can expect to see if you reside in Quebec.
Bingo Games: Bingo games are considered a form of lottery, so they fall under the jurisdiction of Loto Quebec. These games also include raffles. Bingo games are thought of as charitable games, although some can be played for real money. There is not exactly a surplus of online bingo rooms, though.
Casino Games: Land-based casinos are legal in Quebec. There are roughly nine of these casinos for you to play at. The Quebec Alcohol, Racing and Gaming Commission has the final word on these venues. It licenses and regulated them.
Horse Racing: You can bet on horses in Quebec, although this needs to be done either at the only track in the province or at a licensed off-track vendor.
Lottery Games: Lottery games are authorised by Loto Quebec. Regional lottery games such as Lotto Max, and Quebec Extra, as well as Tout ou Rien, are considered legal and can be played within the state.
Sports Betting: Sports betting is legal through the Mise-O-Jeu game. This allows you to bet on teams and athletes alike. You must place at least two bets (and more than eight), but you must win at least two bets to receive a payout. It is possible to bet online.
Others: Canada has specific laws regarding VLTs (video lottery terminals), and they fall under the jurisdiction of the Quebec Alcohol, Racing and Gaming Commission. Charitable gambling games are legal, too, but again, they must be licensed.
What About Online Gambling?
Online gambling is both legal and somehow, yet illegal in Quebec, as it is in many different parts of Canada. Both online casino games and sports betting can be enjoyed online by residents of Quebec, although there is strict regulation which limits the number of legal options you have open to you. Ultimately, the breakdown of licensed and illegal betting sites works like this:
Licensed Betting Sites
There is only one officially licensed online casino in Quebec, and that is naturally a government-run one, known as Espace Jeux. While the Quebec Government has (on occasion) discussed getting rid of the state monopoly, they have yet to do. The same authorities have also been tinkering with the idea of blacklisted any websites which are not approved by the province’s gambling authority. Again, this has not yet come to pass.
Online sports betting is considered legal in Quebec, provided you play at one of the websites which are licensed and offer the Mise-O-Jeu game. Others forms of sports betting online are not considered legal in Quebec.
If you do not wish to sign up and play at the state-sponsored casino (a lack of choice is just one of the many reasons why you might want to play elsewhere), there are other options open to adventurous players.
Offshore Betting Sites
In other Canadian provinces where online gambling is not a wide-open industry, Canadians tend to flock to offshore casinos to play their favourite games. That means online casinos and betting sites which are licensed and regulated offshore, and not based inside any Canadian province. Players in Quebec are no different. They have a wealth of different online gambling options to choose from, including…
- Online casinos
- Bingo rooms
- Poker rooms
- Online sportsbooks
- International lottery ticket sites, and more
The Quebec Government has announced that they want to administer ISP (internet service provider) blocks on these offshore casinos, top stop residents of Quebec accessing them. Thus far, these have not come to fruition. There is no punishment in place for residents who wish to bet at these international casinos. Given the wide variety of choice available for any player who wants to do so, this represents an advantageous option which is too good to pass up. Moreover, you can do so relatively easily, without the need for a VPN, and many of these sites accept players from Quebec.
Should I Play at Internet Betting Sites in Quebec?
It sounds a bit naughty to visit an international casino when you are not technically supposed to. It is understandable if you are a touch worried about getting into trouble with the gambling authorities. However, there really is no need. For the time being, Quebec (like all Canadian provinces) does not prosecute or punish its citizens who play at offshore casinos and betting sites.
Despite this amount of liberty being on show, we do still recommend that you only play at sites which are safe and secure. These will be domains which are licensed out of the UK, Malta, Curacao, and other firmly established gambling jurisdictions. They will promote responsible gaming and have a variety of tools to help keep you safe and secure.
These casinos will offer the Canadian dollar currency, as well as a variety of banking options which suit Canadians down to the ground. Naturally, as they are accepting players from Quebec, these casinos will offer gameplay and support in French, as well as English. You can find many of these top Quebec online casinos right here on this page.