Is Online Gambling Legal in Canada 2021?

Online Gambling Laws Canada

Is online gambling legal in Canada? Good question! Unfortunately there’s no simple answer. Take a look below to see where you stand in regard to the law when you play casino games and bet on sport.

The key thing is that you can legally use online casino sites and sportsbooks in Canada. If the operator is based in Canada they will need a valid license. You can also legally and safely use any offshore sportsbooks or casinos. Sound confusing? Keep reading for more answers to the question of ‘Is online gambling legal in Canada?’

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Key Takeaways

  • Perfectly legal for Canadians to play at an online casino site
  • Also legal and safe to bet at a licensed sportsbook
  • All Canadian online casinos will need a license to operate
  • It’s only illegal to operate an online casino in Canada
  • No taxes on winnings if you’re playing for fun

The Main Online Gambling Laws Canada’s Betting Fans Should Know

Like most countries in the world, Canada’s legislators have been pretty slow in keeping up with the rapid progress made by online technologies. There are clear laws over how you can play casino games at land-based gambling establishments. However, no such laws have been passed to properly take account of the global reach of online casinos and sports betting sites. As such, there is plenty of confusion about what this means in the online domain and many people still ask ‘Is online gambling legal in Canada’.

Can you be prosecuted for online gambling in Canada?

The key thing to remember is that you are at no legal risk of playing at any online casino site in Canada. In fact, there have never been any prosecutions of any Canadian who played at an online casino or sportsbook.

This is because the Criminal Code of Canada is remarkably unclear about how it treats online gambling. There is nothing explicit within the code to say that playing at an online casino site or sports betting site is a criminal act. This has meant that the question of ‘Is online gambling legal in Canada?’ simply won’t go away.

The only way that you are going to get in trouble with the law is if you are found to be operating an unlicensed online casino in Canada. Plus you will have to be of legal age to gamble in Canada. This means that you have to be 19 years of age in most provinces except for Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta where the legal age is 18.

Is there an online gambling tax in Canada?

OK so we’ve cleared up the question of ‘Is online gambling legal in Canada?’. But as you’ll be hoping to win real money at gambling sites, it’s worth thinking about whether you’ll be taxed on your winnings.

The good news is that most people won’t be taxed for their wins at casino sites or sportsbooks. The only way that you’re going to get taxed is if you are a professional gambler. This would mean having a record of consistent wins that earn you a significant amount of money. For most of us who play casino games and bet on sports for fun, this means that our winnings won’t be taxable.

The main licensing bodies you should know for safe online gambling in Canada

While the online gambling laws are pretty unclear, the main thing that you should remember is to only play at fully licensed gambling sites. Canadian law makes it explicitly clear that any online casino in the country must have a valid license.

Such licenses are ultimately there for your protection. They ensure that the gaming site operates under the current Canadian gambling laws. This means that you should be given a safe and fair gambling experience. It also means that you’ll be guaranteed to be paid whatever winnings you’ve made.

Since the Canadian gambling laws changed in 1970, each province will have its own gambling authority that has the power to issue licenses. These authorities are:

  • Alberta – Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission
  • British Columbia – British Columbia Lottery Corporation
  • Manitoba – Liquor and Gaming Commission of Manitoba
  • New Brunswick – New Brunswick Gaming Control
  • Newfoundland – Service NL
  • Nova Scotia – Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco Division Service of Nova Scotia
  • Ontario – Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation
  • Prince Edward Island – Prince Edward Island Lotteries Commission
  • Québec – Loto Québec
  • Saskatchewan – Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority

Alongside aiming to clear up the question of ‘Is online gambling legal in Canada?’, many of these gambling authorities will even host their own online gambling sites such as OLG in Ontario. These let you wager real money on a variety of casino games and sports bets. Any revenues gained will then be ploughed back into community projects such as hospitals, libraries and so on.

A note about the Kahnawake Gaming Commission

Kahnawake is a Mohawk territory in Quebec that is a sovereign legal entity. This means that Kahnawake is exempt from Canadian laws regarding things such as online gambling. As such, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was set up in 1996 to take advantage of the online gambling revolution.

While this confuses the question of ‘Is online gambling legal in Canada?’, it means that many offshore casino sites set up operations in the territory. As a result, you’ll find that it’s perfectly legal to play at any casino or sportsbook that bears the Kahnawake Gaming Commission license in the footer of its website.

Can you use offshore gambling sites in Canada?

Canada currently doesn’t have any specific laws regarding the use of offshore casinos or sportsbooks. This is in direct contrast to the US that prohibits US residents from using such sites.

As a result, the majority of offshore gambling sites will happily accept Canadian customers. This means that you can bet on sport and play casino games from Canada at these sites perfectly legally. The fact that using such sites is still considered to be something of a grey area means that the question of ‘Is online gambling legal in Canada?’ looks to be here to stay.

We would recommend that each offshore site you visit has up-to-date licensing and regulation from either the Malta Gaming Authority or the UK Gambling Commission. Such licensing would mean that these sites are legit and that they’d give you a safe and fair betting service. Essential if you are worried about questions like ‘Is online gambling legal in Canada?

How can you make deposits and withdrawals at offshore gambling sites from Canada?

While most offshore casinos and sportsbooks happily accept Canadian customers, the sad fact is that it might be tricky to make payments and receive winnings from these sites. This is because some Canadian banks and card providers don’t like dealing with these offshore gambling sites.

This is probably a result of the ongoing confusion over questions like ‘Is online gambling legal in Canada?’.  But ultimately it means that you might not be able to make deposits or receive withdrawals via a bank transfer or with your preferred credit or debit card.

Thankfully most decent offshore gambling sites have sought to address this issue. Much as these sites get around the question of ‘Is online gambling legal in Canada?’, they will feature alternative payment options that let you make payments in Canadian dollars. These often include convenient ewallets like MuchBetter, EcoPayz, Neteller and Skrill. You might also get a chance to use Canada-focused payment solutions such as Interac, Instadebit and iDebit.

Bear in mind that it might take longer for your winnings to get paid back to you if you use these offshore gambling sites. Despite this, most payment methods should allow you to receive your winnings in under one week. Plenty of time for you to get a conclusive answer to the question of ‘Is online gambling legal in Canada?’

Other Considerations For Safe Online Gambling in Canada

Now that we’ve clarified the answer to the question of ‘Is online gambling legal in Canada?’, it’s time to try your luck. Our resource is packed full of reviews of quality online casinos and sportsbooks. Each of these gambling sites has been checked to make sure that they have all of the relevant licensing. All of which means that you can stay safe when you play online casino games and bet on sports.

By now we have cleared up the question of ‘Is online gambling legal in Canada?’ once and for all. You’ll know that there is nothing legally stopping you from playing real money games at an online casino. Plus you will be perfectly fine to bet on your favourite sport at an online sportsbook.

In fact the only thing that the law stops you doing is to operate an online casino in Canada with the necessary licensing. You will also have to be at least 18 or 19 years of age to gamble online in all Canadian provinces.

Despite this, it’s always best to make sure that your chosen gambling site has all of the required licensing and regulation. This should ensure that you stay safe with your wagering. Thankfully all of the online casinos and sportsbooks featured on our resource have been checked to make sure that you can legally and safely play there.

🏅What is the safest online gambling license Canada has at the moment?

If you go to any betting site or casino, you’ll probably see that they have gambling licensing displayed in their website footer. This shows what kinds of gambling laws the brand operates under. Take a look at our guide to the current online gambling laws Canada has to offer. This will show you what kind of protection each license gives you. Plus you get the answers to important questions like ‘Are bookmakers legal in Canada?’ too. 

❓Is online gambling legal in Alberta?

If you’ve ever asked ‘Is online gambling legal in Canada?’, you’ll probably have also wondered what laws apply to Alberta. After all this province does a few things a little differently from the rest of the nation. So take a look at our guide to gambling laws in Canada. This will reveal whether you can legally use online casinos in Alberta, and we’ll discuss what kinds of legal sports bets you might be able to enjoy in the province.

👀Is online gambling legal in BC?

Like most other provinces in Canada, British Columbia has online gambling laws that may be a little tricky to understand. But if you know the answer to the question of ‘Is online gambling legal in Canada?’, you’ll know what you can and cannot do in this province. All of this will be covered in our Canadian gambling guide. We will even point out which online casinos in BC you can use without worrying about getting in trouble with the current gambling laws.

⭐Is online gambling legal in Ontario?

You’ll probably know that plenty of people in Ontario like to bet on sports and play casino games. However, it’s also true that the province’s gambling laws haven’t kept up with the latest online technologies. Make sure that you read our guide to whether you can legally use sports betting websites and online casinos in Ontario. This will also clear up the question of ‘Is online gambling legal in Canada?’ once and for all.

🎰Are online casinos legal in Canada?

It’s no secret that Canada has some fairly complicated laws regarding online gambling. As such, it’s little wonder that so many people will be asking the question of ‘Is online gambling legal in Canada?’ So we’ve created a handy guide that will set the matter straight. Plus we can even highlight some quality online casinos in Canada to try along with some excellent online sportsbooks too.

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