Even though the gambling laws in Canada are fairly complicated, online betting is a very popular activity in the country. Many of the offline forms of gambling are approved by the country, in addition to some online gambling forms, but the laws for companies located outside of Canada are still unclear.
In this page we’ll show you some of the basic laws in Canada regarding gambling. You’ll find out which gambling forms are allowed and which are not, plus some additional information about online gambling. There’s also information about Kahnawake Gaming Commission which acts as a regulating body for a specific region based in Canada.
We always try to keep this page updated with the most recent information about the gambling laws in Canada.
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Overview of Canadian Gambling Laws
When we go back in time, we can see that the gambling laws in Canada were always very tough. After the changes in 1970s things became more relaxed and because of the reformations in the Criminal Code, the individual states in Canada could provide gambling regulations for themselves.
This led to many casinos being opened around the country. Many of the governments in the different provinces operated own lotteries (and still do). You’ll also find outlets which are approved by the government and run by the organization Sports Select. They have different names in the provinces and offer a legal although limited way for Canadian punters to gamble.
Online Gambling Laws
Things get more complicated when we enter the depths of online gambling, as some of the regions in Canada have online casinos. You can also bet online through best betting websites outlets that are approved by the government. If you’re a Canadian resident, you can also purchase lottery tickets online.
It’s illegal to offer gambling services in Canada if you are an operator that’s not approved by the government. The real question is if it’s legal for companies who are overseas to offer their services to Canadian punters. It’s still unclear, because the operator can be licensed in a country where you can legally gamble online and avoid Canadian laws.
How the Gambling Laws in Canada Affect You
The main concern for people who live in Canada is not whether a website is approved by the government, but if it’s legal for them to use an overseas bookmaker. When we look at the current laws, we can see a clear explanation to this question.
There’s not a single law that states if online gambling in Canada is legal or not. We saw an old law that forbids people from being found in a “common betting house”, but it’s questionable if that can apply for online gambling.
As far as we know, no one in Canada was in legal trouble after betting online on a website located outside of the country. While that doesn’t confirm anything, it means that you shouldn’t worry so much if you would like to gamble online.
A small problem with the gambling laws in Canada might be the fact that operators who aren’t licensed by the government are unregulated, but you can still pick a site that’s licensed by another gambling jurisdiction and is reputable.
There are many options for Canadian residents if they want to find a quality bookmaker, so we recommend doing some additional research to pick the best one for you. Many betting operators have different conditions and promotions, so make sure to check out the bookies reviews before making your decision.
There are a couple of things that you should look for when researching gambling websites. It’s always a plus when a site is easy to navigate and has a design that is easy on the eye. Of course, Canadian punters should check if the bookmaker accepts customers from this country. The deposit and withdrawal methods should also play a role in your choice. If you have any problems with the website, a good customer support will always help you. As for the betting part itself, a nice opening bonus can boost your bankroll even before you have started your gambling adventure. Nowadays, most of the major bookmakers offer solid bonuses for newcomers, so we don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of this opportunity. The betting odds and range of markets can always tell you a lot about the bookmaker and what you can expect from them.
You can’t always try out every bookmaker and then make a decision, that’s why we have reviewed some of the best companies in the gambling business. Our recommended bookmakers are the ones you should really consider, because they have the full package and it’s unlikely that you’ll find any major liabilities. The websites have really good reputation online and if there are many complaints about a specific bookmaker, we always include it in the reviews, because transparency is always important when it comes to online gambling and similar acitivites.
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission
This gaming commission is based on an Indian reserve located in Canada. It has authority to license and regulate gambling websites that operate from Kahnawake and fulfill specific requirements.
Some people question the legitimacy of this organization, but Kahnawake is a sovereign nation and Canadian laws do not apply there. This gaming commission was created in 1996 with the passing of the Kahnawake Gaming Law. Its main task is to regulate and grant licenses to different operators who want to offer their services online to punters.
The Kahnwake Gaming Commission consists of three members with each of them having a two-year term.
Changes to Canadian Gambling Legislation
Recently there have been some rumors that the government of Canada is considering changing some of the regulations regarding online gambling. For the moment there’s nothing planned, but if we find new information, it will be included in this article.
*Note: We try to update the information in this article as much as we can so that our readers can always learn the latest news about the gambling laws in Canada, but we are not lawyers, so this should not be considered as legal advice.