Gambling is a popular pastime in Canada, with many options to choose from. Online or offline, the laws and regulations may look intimidating, but they aren’t too hard to learn.
Although Canadian gambling laws may differ from province to province, online and offline gaming are popular pastimes in Canada. The most important thing is to abide by the legal age requirements for gambling.
Canada’s Gambling Past, Laws, and Where to Play
The Canadian gambling industry has grown considerably since the 1980s when it was legalized in all provinces and territories. The country has seen revenue of over C$14 billion in a calendar year, and this number is set to increase as new casinos open across the country.
The growth of the industry has been attributed to several factors, including increased tourism from other countries, increased accessibility via online casinos, and more Canadians using their smartphones for gambling purposes rather than visiting brick-and-mortar casinos.
How Canadians Can Play Online Casinos Legally
Even though gambling is a billion-dollar business, Canada’s gambling laws have not been updated since when they were drawn up. As a result, Canadian players can only wager at online casinos based offshore. Even though it might not be necessarily illegal to bet online, sportsbooks are forbidden by law to operate without permits.
The laws governing online gambling are complex, with no clear indication of where and how Canadians can gamble. Canadians seeking online entertainment have no choice but to seek it elsewhere.
Where Can I Gamble In Canada? Laws By Province
Governments of Canada’s provinces and territories have different regulations around gambling. Some are more tolerant than others. Here is a quick glance at the gambling laws in each of the provinces and territories:
With Quebec having relatively liberal gambling laws, residents can choose from any of three options: they can play at any offshore casino, Espacejeux (an online gaming site run by the government), or at one sports betting site that only allows parlaying bets. For a more detailed analysis on Quebec.
Alberta is a great place to gamble, boasting 25 land-based casinos and an array of sports betting options. In order to have a winning bet, three or more wagers must be placed on the same team or individual players; each wager must-win for the entire parlay to be considered a success. Read more on Alberta here.
British Columbia has some of the most favorable gambling laws in Canada. The province is home to 15 land-based casinos, and the only online gambling site available to its residents is PlayNow.
The province of Ontario has very relaxed gambling regulations. The provincial government runs online casinos and the Pro-Line service, which is similar to slot machines at land-based casinos. The government also allows residents to gamble at offshore sites.
The province of New Brunswick maintains a single regulated sports betting site, limiting the options for residents wishing to place wagers on sporting events. The only other option is the gaming halls.
When you gamble with your friends, it’s essential to know the game’s rules. The legal gambling age in Canada is 19, except in Quebec and Alberta, where you must be at least 18. Read more on New Brunswick.
Although Nunavut has no professional sports franchises, sports betting is still a part of the territory’s fabric. In 2021, when bill c-218 passed, Nunavut decided to allow the opportunity for its players to use single game betting legally. If you are over 18 years old and have the proper documentation, you can bet on sports in Nunavut. There are many sportsbooks available; with online betting and streaming options, Nunavut offers plenty of opportunities for entertainment and distraction. Read all you need to know about Nunavut.
Newfoundland and Labrador
While some provinces and territories have not been quick to take the government’s offer of single-game wagering, Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the forward-thinking provinces. The province moved in quickly to bring in single-game wagering, which pleased residents. Newfoundland is located on Canada’s east coast and is one of its most beautiful provinces. Single-game wagering has become an important part of the province’s culture since its introduction under Bill C-218. For more on Newfoundland and Labrador.
Prince Edward Island
Bill c-218 and single-game wagering was announced in 2021, and Prince Edward Island was one of the provinces that moved with the passage to include its residents. Single-game wagering is now available online for PEI residents; it’s a popular alternative to provincial lotteries. Sportsbooks offer some of the best odds, markets and games on any given weekend. Click here to see more on Prince Edward Island.
In Nova Scotia, you have to be 19 years old to gamble online. Bill C-218, passed in 2021, yet Nova Scotia did not allow the single-game wagering. Despite the law change, Nova Scotia chose not to allow single-game sports betting. Residents protested the decision. Despite this, online sportsbooks continue to offer great services and markets for those wanting to bet on sports. For more info on Nova Scotia.
Saskatchewan has been slow to embrace the expansion of sports betting in Canada, but things are beginning to open up for sports bettors in the province. The WCLC provides bettors with a large range of options, including several choices for CFL betting. There are also apps and websites that offer easy access to sportsbooks. These options provide Saskatchewan gaming enthusiasts with plenty of opportunities to place bets on their favourite team. Sportsbooks offer great odds and an impressive number of bets on all sorts of different sporting events. For more on legal betting in Saskatchewan.
- 1 Canada’s Gambling Past, Laws, and Where to Play
- 2 How Canadians Can Play Online Casinos Legally
- 3 Where Can I Gamble In Canada? Laws By Province