Gambling in Canada - Things to Know
Gambling in Canada began far back in history when sticks and stones were used to make trades and bets. However, the idea of gambling was still simple and primitive, as people didn’t understand the concept behind these games. It was until John Cabot’s voyage in 1497 that the first form of gambling, card games, began to flourish. Poker and blackjack were the earliest types of card games at that time, and hundreds of Canadians learned to play those two.
In some later years, dice and barbotte were introduced and became favorites of Canadians. Since then, gambling has evolved and developed many other forms, eventually ended up with land-based casinos and their online versions.
Generally, gambling in Canada is not strictly regulated like in other countries. However, in the late 1800s, some regulations and limitations were introduced to control and prevent gambling addiction and abuse. By 1970, gambling was not regulated by the government anymore. Instead, each province was tasked with developing its own set of gambling laws, resulting in multiple rules circulating simultaneously.
To equip our readers with knowledge about gambling, we have gathered all you need to know about Canadian laws. The following section is dedicated to such purposes.
Real Money Online Gambling in Canada
Online gambling in Canada has existed in many forms, all regulated by relevant authorities and legislation. It is noted that many regulatory bodies in Canada are responsible for different segments of this business.
Such casino gaming as slots, table games (roulette and blackjack), poker, bingo, betting (sports and horse race betting), and lotteries are regulated by authorities mentioned above.
Regard fantasy betting, there are no regulators as this form of gambling is not formally addressed in any legislation.
Social or skill arrangements are not regulated except by provincial consumer protection laws.
Gambling Laws and Regulation
The federal Criminal Code or the "Code" is the overarching statute that governs gambling activities in Canada. According to sections 201 through to and including section 206, all types of gambling, betting, and lotteries are illegal throughout the country. However, there are still exemptions, pari-mutuel betting on horse races, for example.
While the Code is applicable prohibitory statute, all regulatory statutes and regulators are provincial, except pair mutule. This type of game is governed by the federal Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency.
According to the Code, the operation or provision of casinos, bingos, ticket lotteries, betting, poker, and other card games electronic games such as slot machines and video lottery terminals contains gambling if they are not listed as one of the exceptions in the statute. This is only applied to activities offered in land-based form or digital one.
Not all prohibited activities are considered gambling. Generally, any competition for a prize should be sifted through section 206 of the Code to determine whether it may have an illegal lottery. Games that do not contain any element of chance or games of pure skill are not classified as illegal lotteries, as outlined in section 206.
Advertising and Marketing
The advertising and marketing of the gambling supplies must comply with the applicable provincial gambling statutes and guidelines. For example, any entity providing relevant products in Ontario must comply with the marketing and advertising standards established by a regulatory body like Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (GLO).
Such products that are not regulated by any regulator like fantasy betting must comply with the general legislation applying to unregulated services in the country, including the federal Competition Act and provincial consumer protection acts like Consumer Protection Act.
According to section 13.1 of Ontario's Consumer Protection Act, internet gaming site advertisement is prohibited in the province if it is operated contrary to the Code.
Online, mobile, digital, or electronic gaming does not have a definition in the Code, even though many of those terms are defined in various provincial statutes for their monopoly offerings.
Provincial governments are permitted to provide any digital gaming activities that they desire subject to the restriction in section 207 (2014). In most provinces, any type of sports is prohibited, except parlay betting.
In Canada, no legislation or case law criminalizes or prohibits digital gaming by private companies. Private digital gaming provided from within Canada for Canadian players will generally be caught by the prohibitions found in the Code. However, the issue is less likely to happen with services offered by offshore operators.
In reality, there have been no charges applied to offshore operators, so the law has not been tested. Such operations are illegal and should be closed down, as said by all levels of government and all of the provincial regulators.
Regulators in Canada do not impose any material restrictions on legal digital gaming. Regarding offshore digital gaming, there is no measure taken by the provincial governments or by the federal government to limit access to such sites.
If the legislation in 2016 is in force, it requires ISP (Internet Service Provider) to block Quebec residents from getting access to private online gaming sites.
Gambling debts are considered a form of consumer debt and are treated accordingly if incurred in a legally operated gambling facility. If the gambling debts are incurred in illegal or private gambling, the provincial gaming laws prohibit the use of civil proceedings to collect such debts.
How To Choose The Best Online Casinos for Canadian
Since online casinos in Canada still largely depends on individual provinces and their laws, playing at land-based casinos and their online counterparts are still somehow risky. We highly recommend you play at the top online casino regulated by international organizations with some individual reputations and statuses in the industry. Below are a few tips to help you choose the best online casinos in Canada.
Are Those Casinos for Canadian?
Although international casinos are playable in Canada, it’s still optimal to pick the casinos that cater to Canadian only. Those are the ones that let you play in Canadian Dollars, integrate banking options for the Canadian, and have French/English-speaking customer service representatives. Most gambling sites offer the same kind of software and services, so we suggest you choose Canadian-only casinos for the best experience.
Are Their Casino Games Fair?
The best Canadian online casinos that are appropriately licensed and use some latest SSL technology and Random Number Generator to ensure the highest state of the art for the security of players’ information and the fairness of the game's outcome.
Suppose a player suspects any unfair activity of an online casino, which is running unfairly. They can choose to contact the Canadian Gaming Association, eCOGRA, or the licensing entity to report and require an audit report to remove players’ suspension.
Do Those Sites Offer Worthwhile Bonuses?
Most casinos offer the same kind of bonuses: welcome package, daily promotions, weekly cashback, VIP club, etc. The only differences are in their terms and conditions. Good casinos are the ones that have the most valuable offers with appropriate wagering requirements, such as 30 times the deposit and bonus amount with a 30-day expiration date.
Also, look out for those with big jackpot slots. They can give you a life-changing chunk of cash, so there’s no reason to pass on those good deals. Make sure that you know your odds before going all-in on progressive jackpot games.
Are Their Bankings Secured?
You always have to put your money in safe hands, especially when it comes to gambling. If you want to be part of any online casino, it should have some Canadian-only payment services, as they are designed to comply with Canadian laws. Some of the possible payment gateways for Canadians are eChecks, Wire Transfers, VISA, MasterCard, etc. Also, check for the site’s privacy and security policies before putting any money in it.
Those are just some tips to help you on your gambling track. Always remember that aside from being lucrative, casinos are there to provide entertainment value. Never put all the eggs in one basket and cut off your exit route. Stay rational, stay calm, and stay responsible.
Do you find the article helpful and informative? Hungry for more? Keep visiting our website for the latest updates on gambling laws, as well as all the best online casinos in 2021.