Legal Online Casino Canada – Where To Play and Why

legal-canadian-online-casinos

One question that seems to come up time and again from new players is, “Are Online Casinos Legal?” Well, the answer depends on where you are in the world but, for most countries, yes, they are.

Whether or not a particular Online Casino is legal depends mostly on its individual operations, licensing and general compliance with both industry standards and the regional regulations of the geographical location in which it operates.

In the USA, for example, online Casinos are mostly illegal, although in the past year some states have started to allow some form or another of gambling. Many cynics would argue that the reason for the shutdown was in order that they might stamp out the competition and then run the show – taking a lot of the money – when regulation began.

In Great Britain there is a different approach, whereby online Casinos are allowed to operate within the country so long as they operate within the law, pay taxes and are fully regulated.

Gambling in Canada is something of a grey area when it comes to the legality and that’s no surprise really, considering the different opinions around the world when it comes to legal gambling.

It’s not difficult to find some reputable Legal Online Casinos in Canada but it’s helpful to know what you’re looking for.

Read our top tips below, or check out our reviews for a list of the best legal online places to play right now.

Top Legal Online Casinos

Finding a Legal Online Casino in Canada

Despite the laws surrounding Canadian online gambling being somewhat hazy, now is the best time for Canadians to gamble online thanks to helpful sites like GamblingInsider.ca. We have done the legwork to make sure that you can play at the best legal online Casino in Canada without the risk of unsafe websites or disappointing casino games.

When looking for a great legal online Casino in Canada to play at there are several factors you need to consider. First off you need to make sure that the online Casino has a reputation for fair payouts and reliable operations. You’ll also need to make sure that it is licensed and registered with the proper authorities and that it is allowed to operate in the country you wish to play in.

Generally speaking you will not be breaking any laws by playing at an illegal site, but more likely you’ll find yourself being ripped off by an underhand operator.If you want to be 100% sure that you’re playing at a trustworthy and legal establishment, check out our top recommendation here at GamblingInsider.ca.

How We Pick the Best Legal Online Casino Canada

When we review casinos we always look at the following criteria to ensure players enjoy the very best all round experience:

  • Trustworthy – All of the online Casinos that we recommend here at GamblingInsider.ca are 100% trustworthy.
  • Rewarding – With big Welcome Bonuses, brilliant payouts and amazing Jackpot prizes, the legal Casinos we recommended are the most rewarding you’ll find anywhere
  • Legal – We only recommend sites that are 100% legal. You can trust that any deposits you make will be safe and secure whilst you play.
  • Fun and Fair – The best Casinos ensure fair gaming so that you have the best chance possible of winning whilst having a great time.

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Who Regulates Legal Online Casinos in Canada?

Legal online Casinos must be regulated and must meet the rules set out by the Kahnawake Mohawk nation via the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. 

The directives include:

  • Operators need to provide the Kahnawake Gaming Commission with all relevant information about the company. This includes data on its founders and its shareholders.
  • Brands need to register an office within the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory First Nations reserve. Documents proving this are required.
  • Documents detailing the rules and regulations for holding games and payoffs need to be submitted.
  • The software in use should be of the highest-quality software.
  • An independent audit of operations will need to be passed.
  • Large payoff sums need to be guaranteed.
  • Proof needs to be given that players’ private data is totally protected and that the site has unmitigated integrity in terms of security.
  • Operators need to be able to demonstrate how they will limit access to people who suffer from gambling addiction as well as those under the legal age of 21 years.
  • Brands also need to offer detailed information on how their payment systems will be run and provide evidence of technical support that is well-adjusted.

These regulations must be strictly adhered to at all times. Failure to do will result in the operator losing their license.

The Criminal Code

Between 1892 and 1969 there were no such things as legal Canadian Casinos – in fact it was illegal to gamble on anything in Canada at that time, other than horseracing and charity lotteries and raffles. However in 1969 the federal government decided to allow the 10 provinces to hold their own lotteries as this seemed like a good way to fund various local projects.

Next, in 1985, the federal government decided to devolve all control of gambling to the individual provinces; this means that each region can control the gambling laws in its province, but the federal criminal code at this point did not change, adding more confusion to the issue.

The Criminal Code of Canada states that it is illegal to run a betting house or to be found in one; however, as an archaic and out dated law, it is difficult to apply this to online ‘betting houses’ or online Casinos without further clarification.

In 2012 British Columbia launched the first fully legal Canadian online Casino in the whole of North America. The site offers both Poker and slots and table games to residents of British Columbia, but no one from outside of the state is permitted access.

Understanding Offshore Operators

So you’re probably wondering, then, where everyone else plays online, and the answer is, simply, offshore.

In fact, ‘offshore’ may be a bit of a misnomer since the majority of Canadian offshore Casinos are located within the borders; but they technically fall under their own sovereign jurisdiction since they are Native reserves.

Kahnawake Mohawk Nation, for example, is located just outside of Montreal and in 1996 they set up the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, offering gaming licenses. This provides a loophole within the Canadian Criminal code that seems to allow many legal gaming sites to operate and Canadian players to play online freely.

All of the online Casinos recommended here at GamblingInsider.ca are perfectly legal for Canadian players.

Important Factors to Know

Now that you’ve got a better idea of the legality of online casino gameplay for Canadian players, you can play with more peace of mind. In summation:

  • Canadians are not at any legal risk when they play real money or demo mode games at an online casino.
  • Canada’s Criminal Code does not view playing at online casinos as an illegal offence.
  • No Canadian citizen has ever been prosecuted in a court of law for playing at online casinos.
  • Online casinos are not permitted to provide their services for Canadians without a license. The only exception is if they are located offshore. And in this case, they will be licensed and regulated by a relevant body. The online casinos rated, reviewed, and recommended by our experts all adhere to the proper standards of operation.
  • Winnings aren’t taxable. You don’t have to give even a tiny percentage of your returns to anyone you don’t want to!

Canada’s first legal online casino, PlayNow.com, was launched all the way back in 2004. This was the starting point for the legal use of the services online casinos provide with the relevant provisos adhered to.

Legal online casino canada FAQs

Are Online Casinos Legal In Canada?

Yes. Despite there being a lot of grey areas when it comes to gambling in Canada, legal Canadian online Casinos do exist. There are technically very few laws that relate to playing online, with many provinces never legislating either way, or others allowing several forms of online gambling. At the end of the day, it is not illegal as a player to visit an online Casino, so you’ll never be in trouble for doing so. What is illegal in some circumstances is the hosting of an online Casino, which is why so many of the legal sites exist offshore.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Play At Legal Online Casino Canada?

You have to 19-years old to play at online casinos in most Canadians cities, provinces, and regions. The exceptions to this law are Alberta, Calgary, Manitoba, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec. Here, 18-year olds can legally play.

Can Canadian Players Gamble At Offshore Casinos?

Absolutely. Even though certain offshore gambling servers are in Kahnawake, which lies in Canadian territory, it’s legal for you to play there, or at any other internationally hosted sites too. Kahnawake Mohawks have jurisdiction over their territory and govern their own affairs, including gambling at online casinos.

Are There Any Online Casino Games That Are Illegal In Canada?

Whatever game you access at a licensed and regulated online casino that welcomes Canadians you’ll be able to play lawfully. This includes Baccarat, Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, Craps, Roulette, and many more.

Are Online Casinos Always Open?

If there is a Canadian-friendly online casino that has closing hours, we have never heard of it! These sites are always available, whenever you’re in the mood for a game. If a site is down, it will only be temporarily, and this will usually be because they’re doing maintenance or have run into server issues. If you stick to our recommended online casinos, this will never be an issue.

What Casino Sites Are Good for Beginners?

The sites we recommend generally cater to players of all levels of experience, so you won’t be thrown into the deep end. Games are provided in real money and Demo mode and there’s a wide selection of titles to choose from.

What's In Store in the Future?

No one is really sure what the future holds for legal Canadian online Casinos, as the government seems to be fairly hesitant in changing the criminal code from how it stands currently. Certainly legal sites can be useful in pumping money into the economy and the arguments for regulation and legalisation are strong. Most likely Canada will eventually come up with a liberal form of regulation whereby online Casinos are regulated but can be fully legal so long as they stick to certain restrictions and pay what is likely to be a fairly high amount in taxes.

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