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Laws and Legalities of Online Gambling in Canada

Laws of Online Gambling

Online gambling in Canada sits in a grey area when it comes to the legality. This is because the legislation and laws are slightly ambivalent to say the least. It’s very common for rumours to rapidly spread amongst the online community of players leading to all sorts of havoc which could be easily avoided with a little bit of research.

If you are not sure about whether or not online gambling is legal, we’ll hopefully be able to provide you with the basic, all you need to know facts. Keep in mind that a law could change dramatically in a very short time. Therefore, it’s important you stay up to date with current legislation. We make a tremendous effort to do so ourselves to ensure we give you all the right information so be sure to bookmark this page.

How Gambling Has Evolved Over the Years

In the past, gambling laws in Canada were strict. Many people resulted to underground dens or illegal card parties to make real money bets. In the 1985, the government accepted that gambling was a major part of Canadian culture. With that, they made big changes to the legislation and allowed the CA provinces to independently license and regulate gambling. Some of these provinces went full throttle with the idea and quickly established some incredible land based casinos. Others started their own lotteries and a few opened up sports betting outlets. It was a big move which garnered a lot of taxes that could be redistributed to public matters such as education.

Once online casinos became the next go to destination for Canucks, it was immediately assumed they were legal because there was no mention of them in the legal code. To this day, there is nothing that prohibits players from making a real money bet online. To add to that, as we know of, no one has ever been arrested for gambling.

The Law Says…

Online gambling is not mentioned in the Criminal Code of Canada. Every province can choose what types of gambling they would like to make legal and which they would like to be illegal. The same legislation does mention certain gambling which can be operated on or through a computer. There have been individuals who have assumed this also means the province can make their own decision on legal internet casinos. As it stands, no province has officially stated any or all online gambling is unlawful.

The code continues to discuss matters in which one could assume as long as the online casino is based outside of Canada, it’s perfectly okay. You can continue to read the full Criminal Code here.

We have scoured the web and consulted legal experts; the only thing we can really say on this topic is that online betting, by all means, is currently legal for Canadian citizens. Until there is an actual law put into place, this hazy area between legal and illegal will remain.

Laws and Legislation for Canadian Provinces

First and foremost, Canadians can always access an internet casino based outside of the country. This is legal. If you’re interested in knowing what your local provinces or territories stance is on gambling, here is a basic overview. Due to a provinces ability to make laws up regarding legal gambling, it is quite common for these to change on a frequent basis.

Keep in mind for all of the above laws, you still must be the legal age in your province.

You will need to provide personal identification to verify you are the legal age. If you are found to be underage, you will be banned from the casino and lose any winnings that you may have in your account. If your local government finds out, you could be fined or penalized.

Quick Facts of Everything You Need to Know

If you’re not in the mood to read the legality of gambling (and we recommend you do), you can skim through these fast facts.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission

A lot of Canadians have questions about the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. Based on an Indian reserve outside of the Canadian borders, they are known for operating a number of different gambling sites which meet certain, often strict, criteria.

Because many people ask about the legalities of this commission, we feel it’s important to point out that as Kahnawake is a sovereign nation, they are not governed by any Canadian laws.

The Future Looks Bright

As of 2009, the Canadian government seemed to have started to reverse their mindset on online gambling. This is primarily due to concerns of a large amount of money being passed outside of the country. Talks are in progress regarding the opening of Canadian state run casinos online. So far, PlayNow (operated by British Columbia Lottery Corporation), PlayOLG (operated by the Government of Ontario) and Espacejeux.com (operated by Loto Quebec) have been launched with a lot of success. Some Canadians are not exactly thrilled about this because of fears that they will have to play on these sites rather than international ones. We’ll see what happens over the coming months or years. For now, enjoy gambling on the leading international casino websites!

Disclaimer

We make the very best effort to ensure all information on this page is accurate and up to date. However, we are not lawyers and anything on this page should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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