The laws in Canada are always heading towards the legalization of online gambling. However, it will take time before all the top real money casinos are fully accessible – and we need to be patient. Here, we will look at what is currently legal for Canadian players and where we stand right now.
As we speak, there are millions of Canadian players who regularly head over to online casinos. But is this actually officially permitted? Well, yes it is, but it’s a little more complicated than that. If a Canadian player opts to sign up and play at offshore casinos, they aren’t actually breaking the law. That means, that legally, you can register, claim bonuses, make real money deposits and play without the worry of breaking any laws – as long as it has been fully licensed.
Signing up for an online casino based in Canada that hasn’t been licensed, however, is illegal. In fact, this is treated as a serious felony. There are legislations currently being put into place to regulate Canadian online casinos. However, this is some way off and we are yet to know what this will mean and what it will state.
This very much depends on where you are playing. Different online casinos will offer a different selection of games. Practically all good online casinos will offer a variety of game types including slot games, table games, live casino games, lotto and even bingo. Not only this, but you will be able to access games from the biggest brands in the world. You will be able to enjoy 3-reel, 4-reel and 5-reel slots, 3D slots, branded games and even progressive jackpot games – which will always attract players with potentially life-changing wins. These are all completely legal – as long as you are playing at offshore licensed casinos. Whether you are a fan of slots, blackjack, craps, roulette or baccarat, there will be something for everyone.
Another option is heading over to the live casino. Here, you join a live-streamed game – with a real dealer or croupier hosting an actual table game. This is as close to a real-life casino experience as you get from your own front room. If you want something a little different, you could head over to a bingo room for a full house – or even take part in an online lottery game. This is also a popular way to practise your poker skills.
The current legislation in Canada works on a couple of levels. Firstly, there is the Federal law, which applies to all Canadian provinces. Secondly, there is a Provincial law that each province – such as Nova Scotia and Quebec – can regulate independently – and this is exactly why it can be so confusing.
Up until 1985, the Federal law meant that gambling in every province was illegal. However, newer legislation allows for provincial laws which can overrule the Federal ban on gambling. As such, every province has created their own rules and legislations for each different gambling sector. For example, some provinces allow gambling for anyone over 18, whilst others have made it only legal for those aged 19 or over. Ontario is known for strict regulations, whereas Alberta is considered to be more gambling-friendly.
In terms of the future, who knows. Currently, it seems likely that online casinos will become more regulated throughout the different provinces. Ultimately, Canada has a huge gambling market size. This means making it more gambling-friendly will mean that the state can get more tax money, which is something they will no doubt consider. As such, things are looking promising. The government is looking at the regulation of sports betting and this means that we may well see the turn towards regulating online casinos. However, until then, you need to play on the regulated offshore sports betting sites and steer well clear of unlicensed, unregulated Canadian ones!