Gambling and online casino gaming in Canada used to be strictly regulated without almost any exceptions. Other than the most historical gambling activities – horse race betting and lottery – everything else was simply forbidden for a very long time. The law eased up a bit in the 1970s and by these actions popularity started rising. Later on several other factors affected the Canadian gambling market.
Canada was most likely the first country in the world to act according to the emerging trend of online casino gaming at the end of the 1990s. The laws controlling online casino gambling haven’t changed majorly even since then, which leaves Canadians somehow hanging in a grey area, just like several other countries.
Canadian Online Casinos
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Online casino jurisdictions in Canada
Canadian laws in general did not allow any sorts of participation or offerings of gambling until 1969, except for the two most major ones – horse race wagering and some kind of national lottery, as mentioned earlier. After that date, changes slowly started happening and in 1985 the federal government made a decision and released a reformed Criminal Code. This said that questions need-to-be-answered and decisions need-to-be-made, should be up to each individual province or territory. If they allow some, or all kinds of gambling, than the government is fine with it, vice versa. This includes giving out licensing as well. Following the decision, several land-based casinos appeared. Some of them were and are still being operated by provinces or territories.
Then in 1999, the Kahnawake Mohawk Nation (an Indian tribe) was approved by the state of Quebec to give out licenses to online gambling casinos. This action started a wave of companies moving their servers to the Kahnawake area, so they would be able to get a license as well. The question though if the Kahnawake Mohawk Nation is operating legally still stands, because the Criminal Code clearly says that, only the Canadian government or its provinces are allowed to operate any form of gambling. So far, no incident has been reported or happened and the Kahnawake Mohawk Nation is still operating.
Actual legality of online casino play in Canada
Online gambling in Canada is not illegal. In practice, Canadians are allowed to participate in any kinds of gambling activities without restrictions. What the law prohibits is to operate an online casino within Canada, but no Canadian citizens have ever been prosecuted by playing online casino games. This means that a Canadian player can register to an online casino, an online poker and to any other online real-money gambling establishments, without having to face criminal charges. Another good thing to know is, as an individual citizen, that all sorts of winnings through gambling online are completely tax free in Canada.
Online casinos excluding Canadian players
There are not any casinos in the world that would exclude Canadian players, other than the ones that consider the Canadian regulations complicated. Playing on any international online casino that holds a valid license from an approved country is not controlled by the federal government of Canada, therefore players can gamble anywhere. Depositing and withdrawing money will not be an issue either, because in Canada (unlike in the US) there aren’t any laws controlling banks and money institutions in making transactions between customers and online gambling casinos.
Land-based casino gambling in Canada
Canada offers a high number of land-based casinos, most of them located at Native Indian Reserves and being maintained by locals at an outstanding level. There are casinos available in 7 out of the 10 states or provinces, that is serving mostly Canadian and US players needs. The reasons Americans tend to cross the border are the more laid back regulations. The drinking and entering age is lower, 18 and 19 at most places and taxation is relatively different. There are close to 100 land-based casinos available in Canada starting from small town casinos and all the way up to Vegas-style mega casinos. Some of them are:
Casino Niagara in Niagara Falls, Ontario with 95,000 square feet (8825 m2) of gaming space offering 1,500 slot machines and 40 tables of popular games;
Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario with 192,000 square feet (17,837 m2) of gaming space offering 2,500 slot machines and 110 table games.
Casino de Montreal in Montreal, Quebec with 526,488 square feet (48,912 m2) of gaming space offering 3,200 slots and 115 tables.
Gambling and online casino gaming in Canada used to be strictly regulated without almost any exceptions. Other than the most…