For many years, gambling has been a favorite activity among Canadians. The rise of web-based casinos was aided by advancements in technology, faster computers, and easier access to the Internet. However, gambling is subject to regulations.  Gambling is controlled on a provincial and federal level in Canada, making the legal landscape complicated.

Canada’s gambling regulations were significantly changed in 1969, allowing the federal government and all 10 Canadian territories to conduct lotteries.

Prior to that, Canadians were prohibited from participating in any form of gambling, with the exception of horse racing and charity lotteries. If you’re curious about how the Canadian market is regulated, you should know that the Criminal Code is the main piece of legislation that oversees the gambling industry in Canada. It was established in 1892 and has undergone significant alterations since then.

Is it Legal to Play at Land-Based Casinos in Canada?

The year 1985 was pivotal for the gambling industry in Canada as provinces were given the authority to establish their gambling regulatory frameworks.  Video lottery terminals (VLTs) were allowed to be placed in establishments with liquor licenses when the Criminal Code was modified in 1991.

Only Ontario and British Columbia were denied authorization to place VLTs out of the ten provinces. In the same year, Winnipeg’s first commercial casino, Crystal Casino, opened. The Casino de Montréal opened to the public only two years later. It is currently Canada’s largest casino.

According to recent data, there are 88 land-based casinos in Canada that provide a full range of services, including table games. Other casinos with video lottery terminals and electronic table games include 31 more.

Owners of brick-and-mortar casinos in Canada must obtain a license from the local gambling authorities in order to comply with the law. A regulatory body in each province is in charge of providing gambling licenses to land-based casinos. The Alcohol, Racing, and Gaming Commission, for example, is the regulatory body in Quebec.

Canada is a preferred gambling stop for many casino fans who prefer playing at land-based casinos as the country does not tax gambling winnings. Professional players, on the other hand, who make a living from betting, must report and pay taxes on their gambling income.

What About Online Gambling?

The country regulated practically every type of gambling because it was a rapidly growing business. The situation is more complicated when it comes to online gambling. Tribes in Canada, like those in the United States, offer gambling services. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission, created in 1996 by the Kahnawake Mohawk Nation, issues licenses to online casinos.

The paradox is that online gambling was banned at the time. The tribe stated that because its servers are located on their sovereign territory, they have the authority to operate and license online casinos. In other words, the Mohawk Nation has the right to operate online casinos in Canada without being prosecuted.

Legally operating horserace companies and land-based casinos, on the other hand, are not permitted to provide online gambling to Canadians. Operating an online casino from Canada is against the law under the Criminal Code. However, there are no fines for Canadian players who gamble at online casinos. Furthermore, several gambling sites target Canadian gamblers and even accept their local currency, the Canadian dollar (CAD).

How to Choose a Safe Online Casino

As previously stated, Canadian players are not penalized for participating in online casinos. It is not illegal to play in foreign-licensed online casinos, according to the law. Furthermore, the government did not impose any restrictions on access to offshore gambling websites.

Gambling sites that bear a stamp of approval from the Malta Gaming Authority welcome Canadian casino fans.  It’s worth noting that the Maltese gambling authority is regarded as one of the best in the world. As a result, Canadian casino fans have no reason to be concerned about their safety when playing at a Malta-licensed online casino.

Another good alternative for Canadian players is to play at online casinos licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. It is a well-known gambling authority all around the world. Interestingly, the Mohawk Nation has separate gambling legislation for land-based and online gambling. The RCIG (Regulations Concerning Interactive Gambling) is a piece of legislation that regulates the online gaming industry.

Offshore operators can apply for a license at any time. Interested operators must pay a $30,000 application fee and submit a set of documents that include their business, personal, and financial information.