Gambling Laws in Canada 2022

Like many nations, Canada has deep roots in gambling. In fact, the first games of chance date all the way back to 1497 when natives played gambling-type games for entertainment.

Canada Gambling LawsGambling in Canada has come a long way since then; however, it has not always been an easy legal journey. In fact, prior to 1970, most forms of gambling were prohibited with the exception of horse racing and raffles that were used to generate funds for charities.

The gambling laws in Canada are governed by two entities: the Canadian Gaming Commission oversees the overall gambling industry and the Canadian provinces and territories control the industry within their respective borders.

In 1970, the ten provinces and three territories within Canada were granted oversight to regulate all forms of gambling within their borders.

By 1985, gambling laws in Canada embraced video lottery terminals, known as VLTs, and land-based casinos. They became mainstream and have been thriving ever since. In addition to the entertainment and relaxation aspect that gambling and betting can provide, it also helps to financially support the provinces and residents.

According to the Canadian Gaming Association:
The gambling industry has created 182,500 full-time jobs and has generated $6.7 billion in annual wages. Furthermore, revenue generated from government-funded lotteries is used for education, health care, and infrastructure.

Current Status of Gambling Laws in Canada

As time progressed, technology evolved, and online gambling took the world by storm. Which, initially created a lot of confusion for Canadians in terms of legality. Let’s take a deeper look at the online gambling laws in Canada and provide some much-needed clarity.

Current gambling laws in Canada dictate that online gambling is illegal in Canada unless the gambling service is licensed either by the federal government or the individual provinces. Therefore, any licensed online casino within the Canadian border is legal to play at.

But what about all the other offshore gambling sites? Technically, they too are legal for Canadians to play at.

Here’s why:
The Criminal Code of Canada section 6(2) states, “No person shall be convicted of an offense committed outside of Canada.” Since offshore gambling sites are international and not located within Canada’s borders, they are legal for Canadians to use.

Because Canada does not have specific laws regarding international online gambling and betting, most sites will accept Canadian players.

So, Canadians are allowed to gamble on international gambling sites and licensed Canadian gambling sites without any legal ramifications.

Recommended Legal Canadian Gambling Sites

Our experts have researched gambling laws in Canada and legal online gambling sites and found the top three casino and sports betting sites for Canadian players.

If you aren’t already familiar with these trusted sites, we’ve provided an overview so you can start playing your favorite online casino games and place your sports bets without delay.

These top three casino sites have everything you’re looking for in terms of fun, safety, and online security.

Betway Casino

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Betway has been in the online casino game since 2006 and offers a variety of table games, slots, and jackpots.

They’ll keep the action pumping with daily promotions, poker tournaments, and an app for when you’re on the go. Because they have so many casino games available, the well-thought-out search option makes finding your favorite games quick and efficient.

Betway offers prompt customer support and a wide array of payment options. Play your favorite casino game at Betway.com.

HellSpin

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HellSpin is new to the online gambling world – but that doesn’t mean they held back when it comes to variety.

HellSpin has more than 4,000 slot titles waiting for you and they are available to play in both demo mode or for real money. HellSpin houses table games, video poker, and a variety of live dealer games.

HellSpin offers a variety of bonus deals and promotions along with a VIP loyalty program that awards players prizes and free spins. Kick-off your HellSpin experience today.

Jackpot City

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Jackpot City is no stranger to the online gambling industry. Since 1998, Jackpot City has been rewarding its customers with real money gambling via slots, table games, and live dealer rooms.

Jackpot City has more than 300 slot varieties to play and has a member and non-member site to choose from.

They offer a variety of banking options, top-notch customer service, an easy-to-use interface, bonuses, and promotions. Find your favorite online casino game at Jackpot City.

Don’t worry sports fans, we haven’t forgotten you! These top three sports betting sites are sure to satisfy, no matter what your level of expertise is.

Bodog

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Bodog was specifically designed with Canadians in mind. In fact, they only take customers from Canada. One of the things we love about Bodog is its clean, easy-to-navigate interface.

Bodog is a real-money gambling site that’s been around since 1994. They offer wagers on all major sports, a drop-down menu for betting lines, and an easy-to-use prop-building tool. They also have esports, horse racing, and entertainment wagering options available.

One of the perks of using Bodog, is no ads. They also have a welcome bonus, helpful customer support, and a casino with slots, table games, video poker, and live dealer options. Get ready for your next sports wager with Bodog.

Betway Sportsbook

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We covered everything Betway has to offer on the casino side, but if you’re looking for an all-in-one gambling experience, Betway has sports betting options to bring your wagers to the next level.

Betway’s online sportsbook makes betting a breeze. It’s quick and easy to use and features Betway Boosts to increase your bets with very little effort.

Live in-play betting is a nice feature that not all online sportsbooks offer. It allows bettors to jump in and make real-time, bets when the action heats up.

You’ll find all the major sports, esports, entertainment, and political events available to bet on at Betway.

TonyBet

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TonyBet has been in the online game since 2009 and has a plethora of sports genres to choose from. The online sportsbook has real-time play in each of the sports offered, making it convenient to analyze your betting options.

TonyBet has horse racing, casino games, and a live casino.

It also features a 100% sports welcome bonus and a variety of instant deposit methods.

Check out TonyBet sports wagering action today.

Rest assured, all of these casinos and sports betting sites are in compliance with gambling laws in Canada.

What You Should Know About Gambling in Canada

Whether you want to play slots, roll the dice, stand, fold, or hit – playing online casino games in Canada is a great way to participate in the action without ever leaving the comfort of your home. And for all the Canadian sports fans of the world – online wagering is a great way to add some excitement to the game or get a bit of friendly competition going with your peers.

So, while you’re enjoying everything online gambling has to offer, here are a few points to keep in mind regarding the gambling laws in Canada.

  • Online gambling at international sites is legal in Canada
  • Licensed Canadian gambling sites are legal for Canadians to use
  • Online sports betting is legal in Canada
  • Real money gambling sites are legal in Canada
  • All of the sites featured in this article are safe, secure, tested, and trusted sites for Canadians to use

Canadian Gambling Laws by Province

There are ten provinces in Canada and three territories. In 1970, each province was granted legal jurisdiction to regulate online gambling, sports betting, and casinos within its borders.

In this section, we’ll explore how each province regulates gambling laws in Canada and provide an overview of how the laws differ.

Quebec

Quebec is the largest of the ten Canadian provinces and the second most populated. It is home to the oldest city in Canada, Quebec City, and is primarily French-speaking.

The Quebec Alcohol, Racing, and Gaming Commission oversees gambling activities in the province. The legal gambling age in Quebec is 18.

Legal gambling in Quebec includes:

  • Lottery – draw games and instant wins with an online version that was introduced in 2012
  • Casinos with slot machines, table games, and keno – Quebec is home to The Montreal Casino, the largest casino in Canada
  • Poker rooms and bingo halls
  • Sports betting
  • Harness racing
  • Online gaming – offshore and licensed casinos

British Columbia

British Columbia is the western Canadian province and has the most diverse landscape and climate of the provinces.

The Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch oversee gambling activities in the province. The legal gambling age in B.C. is 19.

Legal gambling in B.C. includes:

  • Casinos – there are 20 casinos in B.C.
  • Horse racing tracks – two live tracks and 17 teletheatres (off-track betting centers)
  • Sports betting
  • Bingo halls
  • Community gaming centers
  • Lottery
  • Charitable gaming – groups and organizations can have a licensed gambling event for fundraising in the community
  • Online gaming – offshore and B.C.s licensed casino, PlayNow Casino

Ontario

Ontario is the most populated province of Canada and is the second-largest in area. Canada’s capital, Ottawa, is located in Ontario.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario oversees gambling activities in the province. The legal gambling age in Ontario is 19 for casinos, but the lottery ticket sale age is 18.

Legal gambling in Ontario includes:

  • Sports betting
  • Lottery – draw and instant games
  • Casinos with slots, poker, video poker, and table games
  • Horse racing
  • Charitable gaming – includes raffles and bingo
  • Online gaming – offshore and licensed casinos

Alberta

Alberta is one of two landlocked provinces in Canada and the largest of the three prairie provinces. It is also home to the majority of Canada’s fossil fuels.

Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis oversee the gaming activities within the province. The legal gambling age in Alberta is 18.

Legal gambling in Alberta includes:

  • Lotteries
  • Charitable gaming – charitable groups are allowed to conduct raffles, pull-tabs, and bingo with a license
  • Slot and Video Lottery Terminals (VLT)
  • Casinos – there are 28 casinos that offer a mix of slots, VLTs, electronic table games, and live table games
  • Horse racing
  • Sports betting
  • Online gaming – offshore and Alberta’s licensed casino PlayAlberta.ca

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan is situated in the middle of the three Canadian prairie provinces and like Alberta, it is landlocked. It receives more sunshine than any other province.

Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority regulates casino gaming in the province. The legal gambling age in Saskatchewan is 19.

Legal gambling activities include:

  • Casinos – there are nine casinos that offer slot machines, dice games, and table games
  • VLTs – located at licensed taverns and lounges
  • Horse racing
  • Charitable gaming – a license is required for bingo, raffles, pull-tabs, Monte Carlo events, and poker tournaments
  • Online gaming – offshore and licensed casinos

Manitoba

Manitoba is the third prairie province and is located between Ontario and Saskatchewan.

The Liquor, Gaming & Cannabis Authority regulates gaming in Manitoba. The legal gambling age in Manitoba is 18.

Legal gambling activities include:

  • Casinos – Manitoba has six First Nations casinos and two non-native casinos in Winnipeg with slots, table games, video poker, and live dealer games
  • Online sports betting
  • VLTs – located at age-restricted establishments that have a liquor license
  • Horse racing – thoroughbred and standardbred racing events
  • Social occasion raffles – a license is required
  • Charitable gaming – open to charitable and religious organizations to fundraise with a license, includes sports drafts, Texas Hold’em tournaments, raffles, bingo, and break open tickets (pull tabs)
  • Lottery tickets
  • Online gaming – offshore and licensed casinos

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador are located on Canada’s far east side and are one of four Atlantic provinces. It is the newest of Canada’s 10 provinces, having joined in 1949.

The Department of Digital Government and Service NL regulates licensed fundraising events and Atlantic Lottery Corporation oversees gaming. Currently, there are no casinos in Newfoundland and Labrador. The legal gambling age is 19.

Legal gambling activities include:

  • Charitable gaming – fundraising events that require a license for raffles, bingo, and contests
  • Lottery – overseen by the Atlantic Lottery Corp. Tickets may be purchased online or at a licensed retailer
  • Racino – St. John’s Racing and Entertainment Center is home to a horse track and has five gaming machines and a race book
  • VLTs
  • Online gaming – offshore casinos and licensed casinos

New Brunswick

New Brunswick is one of three Maritime provinces in Canada and part of the Atlantic province group. Both English and French are the official languages.

Gaming is overseen by the New Brunswick Lotteries and Gaming Corporation. The legal gambling age in New Brunswick is 19.

Legal gambling activities in New Brunswick include:

  • Casino – there are two casinos in New Brunswick: Casino New Brunswick and Grey Rock Casino. They offer a mix of slots, poker, table games, and electronic table games
  • VLTs – found in licensed liquor establishments and regulated by the Atlantic Lottery Corp.
  • Lottery – national lottery games, instant win scratch tickets, sports betting products, and break open games
  • Horse racing – pari-mutuel betting regulated by the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency
  • Charitable gaming – fundraising events like bingo, raffles, draws, and poker tournaments for charitable and religious entities that require a license
  • Online gaming – offshore casinos and ALC.ca is New Brunswick’s licensed online casino that offers Digital Instants, iBingo, and iCasino

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is a Maritime province and part of the Atlantic province group. It is one of the four original provinces and means New Scotland in Latin.

The Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel, and Tobacco Division of Service Nova Scotia regulates gaming in the province. The legal gambling age in Nova Scotia is 19.

Legal gambling in Nova Scotia includes:

  • Charitable gaming – ticket permits and licenses are required to raise funds for charities and religious organizations through bingo, raffles, and games of chance lotteries
  • Casino – Casino Nova Scotia is a government-owned casino with two locations, one in Halifax and one in Sydney
  • Horse racing and teletheatres
  • VLTs – found at licensed retailers
  • Online gambling – offshore casinos and licensed casinos

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island is the smallest of the Canadian provinces. It is a Maritime province in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Gaming is regulated by the Prince Edward Island Lotteries Commission. The legal gambling age is 19.

Legal gambling activities include:

  • Lottery – operated by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation
  • Horse racing – there are four racing tracks with harness racing and slot machines
  • Charitable gaming – licenses are required for fundraising: events include bingo, raffles, and lottery contests
  • Bingo halls – proceeds fund mental health efforts
  • VLTs
  • Online gambling – offshore casinos and licensed casinos

Gambling laws in Canada vary greatly depending on the province. All ten provinces offer some form of legal gambling and online gambling is always a viable option no matter where you reside in Canada.

Gambling Laws in Canada FAQs

Yes, online gambling is legal in Canada. Any licensed online casino within the Canadian border is legal for Canadians to play at.

Yes, online sports betting is legal in Canada. We recommend Bodog, Betway, and TonyBet for Canadian sports enthusiasts.

Yes, they can. It is legal for any Canadian to play at an offshore casino. It is illegal to operate an online casino within Canada’s border without a license.

The legal gambling age in Canada is 18 or 19, depending on the province.

Yes, the licensed online casinos in Canada are considered safe and the recommended casinos on this page have been reviewed for security by our experts.

Yes, many online casinos offer multiple deposit and withdraw methods.