Complete Guide to Online Gambling Canada 2019
Canada online gambling is like a rough river. Tens of new casinos appear every month. Thousands of online slot games annoyingly flare before the eyes. Smiling live dealers lay out cards and laugh at your jokes.
Which online casino is a place to win and which is to loose? How to stay anonymous and safe while depositing your money? Whom to blame when you can’t withdraw your winnings from online casino?
We decided to to sort things out at online gambling in Canada. Learn more about canadian gambling here.
All the casinos you may find at CasinoBeavers.com have been reviewed by our team. We have taken a look at the following parts, that in total make a worthwhile online casino:
- Casino owner and year of establishment.
- Gambling licenses and general reputation.
- Site usability and design.
- Game providers and number of online slot games.
- Presence of online casino live games.
- Payment methods available for online casino players from Canada.
- Online casino welcome bonuses.
- Online casino reload bonuses
- Online casino tournaments
- Online casino VIP programs.
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Online Gambling in Canada: legislature overview 2019
In Canada, online gambling is a kind of “gray zone”.
Is it forbidden to gamble online from Canada?
No. Franky, it’s impossible to forbid the thing that is not directly mentioned in law.
Due to ICLG Canada: Gambling 2019 Report, The federal Criminal Code of Canada is the only state document that has respect to gambling. It doesn’t have a definition of gambling, poker, online casino games, hazarding and slot machines. Lawmaker is very limited in gambling terms.
The Criminal Code only contains the definitions of games of chance and mixed skill, bet and lottery scheme. As a consequence, such games as online slots, video poker and bingo are defined as a lottery scheme.
Canadian law also differs for land-based and online casino. Most of the regulations mentioned in Criminal Code are dedicated to land-based gaming. In Canada,online gambling is not directly mentioned in federal legislative documents. Due to Thomson Reuters Practical Law: Gambling in Canada Overview, authorities of canadian provinces have recently initiated some debates about online gambling in Canada.
In 2014, the Québec government working group has made a research regarding online gambling in Canada. Since it was very popular, they offered to issue online state gambling licenses to private operators. In 2016, the same working group wanted to ban every unauthorized gambling site. In practice, this meant to stop activity of every international online casino who provided services to canucks. Even such titans as Bet365. Fortunately, this also meant harming the constitutional right of expression and we can still play at international online casinos.
There is no guaranteed from the state license that will regulate all casino operators, although provinces have their own regulation.This aspect of regulation dates back to 1985, when they provinces got the right to conduct and manage gambling activity.
Gambling in Canada is a kind of provincial Crown monopoly, and only government companies are supposed to provide land-based gambling services. For example, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission issues gambling licenses since 1996.
How about bingo fans at religious communities? Recent changes in Criminal Code now permit charity and religious organisations to offer some types of gambling activities. For example, Manitoba LCGA states that such organisations should pay 1.5% of their gross revenue to province authorities.
What about consumer protection in gambling? It is also regulated by province`s acts, such as Ontario`s Consumer Protection Act and Quebec`s Act respecting Lotteries, Publicity Contests, and Amusement Machines.
Criminal Code does not mention if it’s legal to international online casinos to offer their services to canadian players. The courts have never had any cases regarding online casinos licensed by other countries. Due to this moment, there have been no charges laid against any offshore operators. And while it’s no changes, we can safely gamble online.
Online Gambling in Canada: who plays at online casinos?
Popularity of online gambling in Canada grows every year. Who plays at online casino?
Due to An examination of internet and land-based gambling among adolescents in three Canadian provinces: results from the youth gambling survey (YGS) held in 2016, more than 80% of Canadians gambled at least one in their lives.
According to The Internet Gambling Research : Prevalence, Patterns, Problems, and Policy Options, in 2009 nearly 82% of gambling players in Canada were male. The situation has not significantly changed during last 10 years. Due to Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation Report, canadian gamblers are around 35 years old, have households, university degrees and annual income of $74,600.
Another interesting research was made by Canadian Gaming Association and is called Ipsos Summit 2018 Research: Gaming with X, Y, Z. They divided online gambling Canada players into 3 categories:
- Generation X (37 – 52 years). Those gamblers mostly enjoy lottery, bingo and scratch cards. They mostly pay from credit cards, only 4% of them use mobile pay. 82% of people aged 37-52 years have been gambling at least once in their life.
- Generation Y (25 – 36 years). You can find them playing roulette, blackjack, poker and other card games. Unexpected income is what generation Y mostly enjoy in online gambling. They also pay from credit cards, but also use mobile pay and virtual currencies. 79% of people aged 25-36 years have been gambling at least once in their life.
- Generation Z (18-24 years). Social activities and sense of participation are main gambling motivators for generation Z players. This is why you can mostly find them placing bets on sports matches. Young gamblers mostly pay with debit cards and 15% of them use mobile pay and virtual currencies. 59% of people aged 18-24 years have been gambling at least once in their life.
What`s about online gambling in Canada? It stays not so popular as land based one. Only 11% of Generation X representatives gamble online, and only 9% of generation Z players use services of online casinos. Anyway, number of online casino players ages 25-36 years tend to grow every year, and now 19% of Generation Y representatives enjoy gambling online
Overview: details about land based & online gambling in Canada provinces
Traditional and online gambling in Canada: British Columbia Overview
Landbased and online gambling in Canada `s province British Columbia is regulated by British Columbia Lottery Commission (BCLC). British Columbia Lottery Corporation was formed in 1985 and previously was a part of Western Canada Lottery Corporation.
Now BCLC operates 19 community gambling centres, 17 casinos and 6 bingo halls. All private companies that provide gambling services must be licensed by BCLC. In fiscal year 2017-2018, BCLC earned $1.36 billions from casinos and community gaming centres (see BCLC report).
As BCLC is the Crown corporation, it’s aim is more ambitious than just getting profit. They use earnings in order to fulfill community needs such as healthcare and education. For example, in 2017-2018 fiscal year BCLC spent $130 millions on community gaming grants (see another one BCLC report).
Forms of gambling regulated by BCLC:
- Lottery. Lottery tickets can be bought at pharmacies, shopping malls and gas stations. Regulated by BCLC lottery products include traditional Lotto 6/49, Loto Max and Daily Grand, as well as specific lottery products such as Keno and Scratch cards.If you want to participate in lottery you should be older than 19 years old. If you won in the lottery you have 1 year to claim your prize.
- Casino. BCLC has it`s own casinos and issues licenses to private casinos. British Columbia casinos offer a wide range of games, including not only slot machines, but blackjack, baccarat, roulette, sic bo and poker. The most famous casino hotel in British Columbia is River Rock Casino Resort, that has more than a 1000 slot games and 100+ table games.
- Sportsbetting. The main feature of sporting gambling in Canada, is that it work on pari-mutuel basis. This means that bets should be placed on the results of of at least two previous events.
Online gambling in Canada `s province British Columbia includes BCLC regulated site PlayNow, and offshore gambling sites. Winnings at both BCLC and offshore online casinos are tax free. For players who feel difficulties in controlling their gaming activities, BCLC has presents the GameSense feature. GameSense allows you to exclude yourself both from all types of Canada online gambling in at PlayNow and visiting landbased casinos for 3 types of periods: 1 year, 2 years or 3 years.
Landbased and online gambling in Canada: Quebec Overview
Landbased and online gambling in Canada `s province Quebec is regulated by Lotto Quebec. It is Crown corporation and it was established in 1969. Lotto Quebec also provides it`s servies in order to fulfil social needs of communities.
Gambling services offered by Lotto Quebeq include:
- Lottery. It was the first product offered by Lotto Quebec in early 1970s. Now Lotto Quebec offers scratch tickets, terminal-based lotteries ( LottoMax and Lotto 6/49) and TV lotteries. More and more popular nowadays get betting on sports and non-sports events.
- Casino and Gaming Hall. Lotto Quebec casinos are loved by both Quebec citizens and province guests. Casino de Montréal is one of most famous of them. It offers more than 3000 slot games, 100 gaming tables and 25-table Texas Hold’em poker hall. In order to enjoy your favourite slot machines, you can visit gaming halls. Most of the games there are RNG-based and include slots, video lotteries, electronic roulette, electronic blackjack and electronic keno.
- Bingo.In Quebec there are around 40 bingo halls. Participation costs $1.You can play bingo both on your tablet or using bingo cards.
Online gambling in Canada `s province Quebec includes managed by Lotto Quebec site Lotoquebec and offshore gambling sites. Who is more trustworthy? It’s hard to decide. As we already mentioned, offshore online gambling sites have never had any court cases against them. But Lotto Quebec did!
Martha Karas, lottery lover from Quebec, has been buying Lotto Quebec lottery tickets for 20 years. She thought her odds were 5 million-to-one. In reality, they were 14 million-to-one odds and 28.6 million-to-one. She went to the court blaming Lotto Quebec that they have not provided their customers with information about the odds levels.
As a compensation she wanted the Lotto Quebec to pay her $112 millions and share all profits from the lottery among everyone who played it for the last 6 years. Court declined her claim, because she could actually find the information about odds could be found almost everywhere: while online gambling in Canada Quebec Lottery site, mobile app and even at every lottery ticket!
Real and online gambling in Canada: Ontario Overview
Traditional and online gambling in Canada `s province Ontario is managed by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. OLG was established in 2000 when Ontario Lottery Corporation (OLC) was merged with the Ontario Casino Corporation (OCC).
Gambling services offered by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation include:
- Lottery and bingo. Lottery games are served by retailers all across the province. You can find jackpot lotteries such as Lotto 6/49 and Lotto Max, Daily Draws such as Daily Keno and Poker Lotto, sports games such as Pro-Line and Point-Spread.
- Casinos. One of the most famous casinos in Ontario is Casino Niagara. It has more than 1500 slot machines, slots tournaments hall, 40+ table games and 24 poker room tables.
In order to play at both landbased and online casinos in Canada`s Ontario province, you should be over 19 years old. Buying lottery tickets is permitted from 18 years old.
In Ontario, you can gamble online at OLG site and offshore online casinos. Which place is safer to gamble? At offshore online casinos you get your winnings via online payments. To withdraw your lottery winnings from OLG, you should show your cheque and the lottery ticket which can be lost or… stolen.
Ontario province is famous for several cases of retailer`s fraud. In 2001, 82-year-old Bob Edmonds won the lottery and his lottery ticket had been stolen by a store clerk. The story has happy end: in 2004, judge agreed to allocate winnings to Bob. Another fraud happened in Toronto, where retail store owner Hafiz Malik was arrested for getting $5.7 million prize. Since 2008, all lottery consumers are required to sign their lottery tickets.
Bricks-and-mortal and online gambling in Canada: Alberta Overview
Gambling in Alberta is regulated by Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission. From the first glance, gambling in Alberta seems to be miscellaneous.
As all mentioned crown companies, AGLC also spends money on charity. Who can provide gambling services? Private casino operators and other private businesses, bingo associations, horse racetrack operators, charitable organisations and volunteers.
Gambling services offered by AGLC include:
- Bingo and video lottery. When you won the lottery you can check it at lottery retailer, WCLC Lottery Manager app or call Winning Numbers Lines. You can claim your winning at your lottery retailer, by email or personally. In Alberta there are more than 6000 video lottery terminals.
- Casino. There are nearly 30 landbased casinos located in Alberta.
Online gambling in Canada `s province Alberta is about international online casino sites. Is that a minus? Definitely not, since you still have a wide choice of games and nice welcome bonuses.
Real and online gambling in Canada: Nova Scotia Overview
Gambling in Nova Scotia is managed by Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation. Due to Nova Scotia Adult Gambling Information Collection Project, 72.8% of adults from Nova Scotia gamble at least once a year. In 2017-2018, Nova Scotia gamling revenue was $447.6 millions.
Profit generated from gaming is spent on community needs. Gambling services are provided by NSGC operators and private organizations who have gaming licenses. According to Nova Scotia Annual Gaming Report, in 2017/2018 fiscal year, there were 1362 active licenses for Ticket Lottery and 429 active licenses for Bingo events.
Gambling services managed by NSGC include:
- Ticket lottery.This type of gambling in Canada `s Nova Scotia province is managed by Atlantic Lottery. Ticket lotteries include Scratch & Win, draw games and sports betting.
- Video lottery. This kind of services is also provided by Atlantic Lottery. Nova Scotia video lottery games include Arctic Spirit, Cherry Rain, Hot Rocks, Vegas 7`s, Candy Bar ect. and have payout percentage of 93%.
- Casinos. Nova Scotia Casinos are managed by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. The most popular player`s destination is Casino Nova Scotia ( there are 2 of them in Sydney and Halifax).
Online gambling in Canada`s Nova Scotia province can be done in 2 ways. The first one is online gambling at Atlantic Lottery sites. Here you can actually find Scratch`N`Win games such as Lucky 7, Monopoly and Bingo, iBingo games such as Oceanside Bingo and Turbo Bingo, Instant Win games such as CashBluster and CrissCross, sports betting with ProLine.
Nevertheless, online gambling at Atlantic Lottery site is quite limited. If you want to play new slot games from recognised all over the world providers, have fun at live dealer Baccarat or BlackJack, international online casinos will suit you best. Let`s say, it`s the second way of online gambling from Canada, for those who are sick of Lotto Max.
Traditional and online gambling in Canada: Saskatchewan Overview
Gambling in Saskatchewan is managed by Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority. In 1993 gambling was not a common thing in Canada. Only agricultural societies which had government`s permission could open casinos.
In February 1993, Bernard Sheppard, the chief of White Bear First Nation, decided to break the rules and opened Bear Claw Casino. He thought of gambling as an opportunity to provide his community with extra job places and previously had some discussions with government regarding this issue.This casino was watched by RCPM. In a month or so they broke in and arrested Bearclaw`s Casino property of 120 slot machines, dozen of card tables and C$90000 dollars in cash. More details about this story can be found in Regina Leader-Post “A Moment in Crime” series.
Big scandal around First Nations Bear Claw Casino attracted the attention of the authorities regarding gambling regulation in province. In 1995 “FSIN First Nation Gaming Act” came into force and The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) was incorporated in 1996. It is 100% owned by First Nations and the aim of the organisation is to create workplaces and maximize earning opportunities of First Nations.
Nowadays, government (Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation) owns only 2 casinos: Casino Regina and Casino Moose Jaw. SIGA owns 6 land-based casinos, such as Bear Claw Casino & Hotel, Dakota Dunes Casino, Gold Eagle Casino, Living Sky Casino, Northern Lights Casino and Painted Hand Casino.
The Bear Claw casino was not the only innovation of Bernard Sheppard. In 2012 he launched NorthernBearCasino.com. This platform was meant to be the first online gambling site in Saskatchewan. Ironically, a few years later it was closed because of “very competitive” online gambling business environment in Canada. This actually meant that people in Saskatchewan prefer offshore online gambling sites.
Landbased and online gambling in Canada: Manitoba Overview
Gambling in Manitoba is managed by Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corporation, which was established in 2013 after the merger of the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission and Manitoba Lotteries Corporation.
Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corporation acts due to The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act. Due to 2017-2018 annual report, MLLC stated $253 mln casino revenue, $361 mln lottery revenue and $2.6 mln revenue from lottery tickets.
Nevertheless, the most profitable business for MLLC is alcohol, since liquor operations created more then $800 mln revenue in 2017-2018 fiscal year.
Gambling services managed by MLLC include:
- Ticket lottery. Manitoba`s Lotto Spot! includes Lotto Max, Lotto 6/49, Scratch’N Win, Keno and Sport Select.
- Video lottery terminals. Three main types of VLT games in Manitoba are Spinning Reel, Poker games and Keno games.There are more then 260 location where you can find video lottery terminals in Winnipeg. You can find VLTs at First Nations communities, licensed beverage rooms and veterans organizations.
- Casinos. MLLC owns two casinos – Club Regent Casino and McPhillips Station Casino. Both casinos offer a full range of gaming services including slots, table games and bingo.
Online gambling in Canada `s province Manitoba includes PlayNow and international gambling sites. The same situation have players from British Columbia. Manitoba gamblers can also block themselves from gambling for 1, 2 or even 3 years via GameSence.
Real and online gambling in Canada: New Brunswick Overview
Gambling in New Brunswick is managed by New Brunswick Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Gambling services managed by NBLGC include:
- Ticket lottery. Lottery is popular in New Brunswick since 1976. Lottery services are operated not by NBLGC directly, but by Atlantic Lottery Corporation. It also manages lotteries in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. Lotterie services in New Brunswick include well-known games such as Scratch’N Win tickets, Lotto 6/49, Lotto Max, ect.
- Video lottery terminals. VLT are popular in New Brunswick since 1990. They are programmed and managed by ALC. In recent years, the number of video lottery terminals in New Brunswick has been reduced (from 2,650 to a maximum of 2,000 terminals).
- Casinos. There are two casinos in New Brunswick: Casino New Brunswick and Gray Rock Casino. Both of them are owned by private operators.
- Pari-mutuel betting on horse racing.
Offshore online gambling sites: are they legal?
There is no law that forbids you to gamble at offshore casinos. Canadain legislative acts are more about land-based casinos, not online ones.
International online casinos have licenses, guaranteed by other jurisdictions. Most of casinos, that provide online gambling services for players from Canada might have:
- Maltese Gambling License.
- Curacao Gambling License.
- UK Gambling License.
There has never been any court case in Canada regarding offshore casinos.
Kahnawake Gambling License
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is an office that provides licenses to companies that want to provide online gambling services in Canada. This includes online casinos, poker rooms and sportsbook.
The Commission was established in 1996, and started to issue licenses to online gambling operators in 1999. Since theKahnawake Gaming Commission was established, it’s right to issue permits has never been challenged by any court case.
Company who wants to provide online gambling services should get permission which is called Client Provider Authorizations. Nowadays there are more than 50 companies which have CPA and more then 250 sites operating under Kahnawake Gambling license. You can find all the companies and sites that have Kahnawake Gambling License here.
Online gambling: are the games and casinos fair?
When you go to PlayNow, you know that government is responsible for the fairness of your game.What about offshore online casinos and games they provide?
How to check if online casino is fair?
1. Casino is licensed and the license is active
As we already said, international online casinos are licensed in other jurisdictions. Governments issue licenses not to sites, but to legal entities which own them. International online casinos usually mention their license numbers in the bottom of their sites, as well as the companies which operate them:
Everyone who enjoys online gambling can check if the licence is still active at the MGA site here.
And MGA database will automatically show us the result:
Which means the N1 Operations really has an active license under Authorisation Number MGA/B2C/394/2017.
Results are not always so optimistic. Let`s check Replay casino.
They say to be operated by MT SuperPlay Limited. Let`s check it at MGA site:
We even can’t find this company in the list of license holders! This means, they have never been granted the MGA license. Our verdict is that this casino is not fair. MGA`s verdict is the same:
2. Responsible Gaming Page
Since international online gambling providers are licensed, they should have the Responsible Gaming page. Here, the casino should state opportunities which they provide so the gambler could control his or her game.They should also tell how they check if players are over 18 years old. Responsible Gaming opportunities include:
- Personal Casino Account Limits. If you want not only to enjoy your game, but the sense of control, you can put personal limits to your account. This can be deposit, loss, wager or even session limit.
- Cooling Off Period. If your game was too hot, sometimes it is better to stop for a while. You can prevent yourself from making a deposit to online casino for 1 week, 1 month, 3 months or 6 months with a help of Cooling Off. When this function is on, you also don’t get information about online gambling promotions of this casino.
- Self-exclusion Period. If you don`t want to gamble online in some particular casino, you can block your account for a while.
3. Terms and Conditions Section
We always expect something from every particular online casino. Usually, we expect them to work as some sites we already used. Or we just thought that something should be done in some way.It is better to keep your expectations real and check everything in online casino Terms and Conditions section. Here you will find information about every aspect of your online gambling experience: casino account rules, wagering requirements, deposit and withdrawal limitations.
4. Live Support
Checking online casino terms and conditions can be very boring. You can make a list of details you want to learn about any online casino and ask online support to answer them. This can also be a way of checking the online casino quality. Do they respond to you immediately? Do they understand your questions? Aren’t they rude? It’s always better to check the live support quality before some real problem happens. If everything is alright, the online casino is worth to believe.
How to check if the game is fair?
Online casinos usually don`t produce their own casino games. They are platforms which use games developed by other companies – casino game providers. So if you want to check any casino game, you should check the game provider that made this game.
Such jurisdictions as Malta issue licenses not only to online casinos, but also to game providers. For example, you decided to check the Wold Gold slot game. You can easily find the info that it`s the Pragmatic Play slot. Let`s check the license of Pragmatic Play at MGA official site (same link as for casino`s check):
Rules are simple: fair game providers make fair casino games.
Choosing casino for online gambling from Canada: what to pay attention at?
Is this just bad luck or they are fooling me? This is a question every online gambling lover asks when he or she loses. To sum up everything we wrote above, here is a check-list for online gamling lovers from Canada:
- Check if online casino has an active license. You should go to the bottom of the page and find information about the online casino owner and it`s license. Then go to the official site of this jurisdiction gambling authority and learn if this casino really has the license. Most common juridictions online tools to check licenses:
- Look though Terms and Conditions Section.This is the best way to understand how online gambling looks at this particular website. Check is you are not restricted to online gambling from Canada at this site. Get acquainted with wagering requirements, deposit and withdrawal limits.
- Check payment methods. Some casinos accept Canadian players, but don`t really provide enough services for them. The best way to understand if this casino is really suitable for you is to check currency and payment methods. Online casino should accept CAD payments, otherwise you will need to pay fee for currency exchange. It should also have popular payment methods such as iDebit, Interac and EcoPayz.
- Look through game providers list. Trustworth casinos provide players with games from popular software providers such as PragmaticPlay, Play`N Go, Microgaming and others.
- Create an account and check Live Support Quality. Best way to check the quality of online casino is to talk to their representative. You can ask them to clarify something you don`t understand from terms and conditions, bonus terms or deposit & withdrawal methods. If live support is caring and works well, the casino should be worth your attention.
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