#1: Online Gambling Legality: Are online Casinos Legal in Canada?
Canadian gambling laws were crafted in the 1900s, long before the advent of online casinos. The most recent law, the Criminal Code of 1970, is still used to provide oversight over land-based casinos.
Where does that leave online casinos? A grey area. Canadian laws don’t mention online gambling, meaning they don’t prohibit it. That’s a good thing because it means you can play online casino games without breaking the law.
For Canadian investors, though, it’s not so good. Canada doesn’t license or regulate online casinos. As a result, most online casinos that accept Canadians are based offshore—countries like Malta, Britain, Curacao and the US.
The few operators based in Canada are licensed and regulated by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. For the uninitiated, this regulator oversees land-based and lately online casinos used by first-nation Canadians.
Takeaway: Canada doesn’t prohibit online gambling. That means you can deposit money, gamble on slots, poker or roulette and withdraw your money stress-free. However, that’s mainly possible at international online casinos.
#2: Taxes: Are online Gamblers taxed in Canada? How much?
The short answer is no. You won’t get taxed if you win money at online casinos in Canada. A case in point is the man who won C$7.5 Million at the progressive jackpot, Mega Moolah, in 2015.
In case you missed it, his story was broadcasted countrywide. He was an inexperienced player, yet he won C$7.5M, proving how lucrative online gaming can be. The best part was that he didn’t pay taxes for his profits.
Despite that, it’s essential to know that some provinces might tax you if gambling is your primary income source.
Takeaway: Canada is a tax haven for online gamblers. You don’t pay taxes on your winnings unless you’re a professional.
#3: Games: What casino Games can you Play Online in Canada?
If you follow gambling news in the US, you know that the games you can play differ from one state to the other. You can play poker in California and Nevada but not slots or roulette. You can bet on sports in some states but not casino games.
Luckily, Canadian gambling laws are different than those in USA. In Canada, you can play all gambling games your preferred casino is licensed to provide. Yes, that’s right. Online casinos operate through licenses that govern what games they can offer.
That’s not a big problem, though. The real problem comes in identifying fantastic slots and card games to play. It also comes in finding the best casino sites to play these games. With games, you need high-paying, entertaining games from respected software providers such as:
- Play’n GO
- Evolution Gaming
When it comes to finding online casinos in Canada, the easiest way is through gambling review websites. They do the heavy lifting of verifying licenses, checking, games, bonuses and finding additional information about Canadian gambling sites. Then they recommend a few top-rated operators for you.
Takeaway: Most online casino games are legal in Canada. However, you should pay more focus on finding great quality games and casinos—attractive designs, entertaining, feature-loaded and top-rated. One way to do that is to visit Casino Professor. This award-winning casino comparison site compares online casinos specifically for Canadians. You can read in-depth casino reviews explaining exactly what you can expect at each site as a player in Canada.
#4: Bonuses and Free Spins: Are they worth it?
Nearly every online casino in Canada runs a promotion of some kind. Some give you free spins to play a popular slot immediately you create an account. Others match your first deposit 100% so that if you deposit $100, you receive an extra $100.
Bonuses can help boost your profits and cushion your losses. But they can also be your worst nightmare. A good bonus comes with flexible terms and conditions. That way, you can use it to win real money and cash it out hassle-free.
Nightmarish bonuses tend to come from the worst casinos. They come in the form of unnecessarily huge wagering requirements. Or you might receive free spins you can’t withdraw for some reason.
When looking for casino bonuses, consider:
- Wagering requirements
- Game contribution
- Validity period
- A Casino’s reputation
Takeaway: Claim bonuses from top-rated casinos for the best offers. You’ll receive betting credits with friendly terms and conditions.
#5: Safe Banking Options: How can you Deposit and Withdraw Money?
When it comes to payments, you can deposit money through bank transfer, e-wallets, cryptocurrencies and credit cards. The specific banking option you use depends on the particular online casino you join.
Generally speaking, Visa and MasterCard are the most accepted credit/debit cards. PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Paysafe, iDEBIT, Trustly and QIWI are the most common e-wallets. Then there’s Bitcoin and altcoins for crypto and wire transfer for bank payments.
You can deposit as little as $10 at many online casinos in Canada. The maximum you can deposit varies from one payment method to the other. Most operators don’t charge deposit fees, but always check to confirm.
Withdrawals are a little bit complex. First, you can expect some fees. Then there’s a waiting period between when you request a withdrawal and when you receive your money. Due to that, it’s essential to use a casino that offers fast payments.
Takeaway: depositing and withdrawing money at Canadian gambling websites is convenient. But you should read about an operator’s policies to ensure you agree before you deposit your hard-earned money.
#6: Gambling Regulators: How do they Protect Canadians?
Earlier on, we mentioned that every genuine casino in Canada has a regulator. If based in Britain, they have a license from the UK Gambling Commission. In Malta, the Gaming Authority oversees new and existing operators.
Gambling regulators perform background checks to ensure casino owners and managers have no history of committing crimes. They then require each operator to offer fair games, have functioning customer service and systems to protect players’ data.
In other words, regulators play an essential role in ensuring you play at fair and safe casinos. They even audit games to confirm they are fair. However, independent auditors such as eCOGRA, Thwarte and iLab also exist to confirm casinos have fair games.
Crucially, regulators also come into play when you have problems with a casino. Let’s say you win, and an operator refuses to pay you. Or you might develop an addiction, and the operator encourages instead of helps you get out of the situation. The UKGC and the MGA can resolve these issues.
Takeaway: Only use licensed gambling sites. That’s because regulators play essential roles in ensuring you receive quality services. They also intervene when you have problems with a specific operator.
Summary and Conclusion
In Canada, online gambling is a grey area. It’s mentioned in the laws, and that means it’s also not banned. This is something lawmakers and lawyers have often mentioned openly, so you can be sure it’s safe to play online gambling and casino games in Canada.