The Legality of Online Casinos and Gambling in Canada

Legality of Online Casinos

Legality of Online Casinos in Canada depends on the jurisdiction where the casino is located. In Canada it’s not considered illegal if you play real money slots on your Android if the online casino that you wish to play is registered and licensed offshore. These online casino not only accept Canadian residents, but also allow them to play in Canadian dollars. Players can deposit funds using a wide range of Canada friendly payment options and withdraw winnings safe, secure and fast. These casinos are licensed at reputed gambling jurisdictions. Many of them are licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which is a regulatory body in its own right, independent of the government of Canada.  Also many casinos are licensed in Cyprus, Gibraltar or some other place making it easy for Canadians to play and place real money bets for slot games.

What Legality of Online Casinos you need to Check

  • One thing you need to check with these online casinos is that you should be 18 or 19 and over years of age to play the real money gambling games. As at Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec the gambling age is 18 and at British Columbia, New Brunswick, New found land and Labrador, Northwest Terrirtory, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and Yukon Territory it is 19 and over years to gamble legally.
  • Also that the online casino is registered and regulated at offshore place as said above which itself makes you legal to play real money slots.
  • You can gamble or place real bets with your Android cell phone too like other gaming platform. As long as you play in offshore Canadian online casinos there is no restriction to gambling on your cell phone.
  • If you are searching real money slots game app at iTunes or Google note that these app stores only offer social gaming apps and do not offer real money play. This is because of their legal strict policy when it comes to real money gambling applications that are available in their App Stores. So playing free slots app is absolutely legal.
  • You need to check and find out from the online offshore casinos about the legal payment or deposit methods by which you can fund your casino account and place real bets to play slots, poker, sport betting and other lottery or casino games.
  • Similarly you need to check and ask from the offshore online casinos about withdrawal modes to get back your winnings in Canadian account.
  • Generally these offshore casinos offer Canadian friendly deposit and withdrawals so not much to worry but still what’s the harm in asking once again from their customer support team.

Legality of Online Casinos

Provincial Gambling in Canada

In 2004, British Columbia launched online lottery and online sports betting sites. In 2009, it began offering poker, and a year later, it launched online bingo and online casino games. The provinces of Quebec and Manitoba also offer online gambling services, and soon Ontario began doing the same and Alberta to follow soon like them.

The Atlantic Lottery Corporation regulates online sale of lottery and bingo tickets for Maritime provinces, but doesn’t offer any poker, casino, or bingo games. Most of the time, provincial betting services are limited to residents of the province. For this reason, offshore online gambling sites, licensed in the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Cyprus, and also the Kahnawake Gambling Commission, have thousands of Canadians as registered users.

Kahnawake Gaming Commission

A large number of offshore online poker sites and online casinos are licensed by the Kahnawake Gambling Commission (KGC), which is based in Indian reservations in Canada. Among the world’s first gambling jurisdictions, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission has been granting licenses to and regulating a large number of online gambling sites. Since the commission brought its regulatory framework into effect in 1999, it becomes one of the oldest gambling jurisdictions in the world. Operators holding a KGC license need to be hosted at Mohawk Internet Technologies, which is based on the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake.

What is illegal gambling in Canada?

It may only be considered illegal if the servers of the concerned casino were situated in Canada and the casino was found disobeying the provincial laws. Till date gambling law in Canada is still under grey area. The greyness in the activity comes because of the online casino sites which often don’t pay heed to the provincial boundaries. There are around 1400 offshore casinos that offer their online gambling and casino services to Canadian residents.

Legally in Canada the online gambling activity falls under the provincial jurisdiction. Once gambling became legal in Canada in 1985, before the casinos became online, every province had set its own gambling laws. Apart from horse racing (which is regulated by Federal Agriculture Department), every province later defined online gambling in its own way. Furthermore, over a period of time, each province has allowed for online gambling in one form or the other.

Gambling industry in Canada

Despite the fact that its laws are vague and online gambling is unregulated, Canada is home to a huge gambling industry. Canada’s gambling industry generates funds for a wide range of charities and public welfare programs. It employs more than 135,000 residents and comprises casinos, lotteries, racetracks, horse betting, and charity gaming. Some provinces also run licensed and well-regulated online gambling sites.

There are so many highly reputed and legit online casino operators that accept Canadian players, and not a single law in Canada prohibits Canucks from signing up and playing for real money. Therefore online casino gaming cannot be said to be illegal in Canada, but it is definitely unregulated. The offshore online casinos that accept Canadians do not operate under a license issued by the government of Canada.

Penalty to online gambling in Canada

Canada’s Criminal Code though is complicated but it does not criminalize the act of gambling online when we speak of Legality of Online Casinos. Also till now the government of Canada has not penalized any of its citizens for gambling online. Canadian provinces are absolutely free to legalize and regulate online gambling sites and a few provinces do offer online casino gaming services. As said above offshore gambling sites accepting Canadian residents are not licensed by any of these provinces. They are not licensed by the government of Canada either.

Canadian gambling laws are much more relaxed than US gambling laws. According to US laws, betting on sports is illegal except in Nevada and Delaware. But in Canada, betting on sports is legal and players are allowed to place parlay bets. Lately, attempts are being made to legalize bets on single events too.

What’s more to relax and enjoy is that players need not pay taxes on winnings as long as they are recreational players. However, professional poker players are required to pay taxes on their winnings.


In the end legality of online casinos means that legally the offshore casino sites that are based and operated overseas, allow Canadians to use their gambling sites. These offshore casinos might be illegal under the eyes of Canadian laws but in online offshore gambling Canadian laws don’t apply. You can therefore play real money slots for android or other casino games and do online betting online as no such casino is governed in Canada.

Being still no proper law to prohibit such casinos there is no Canadian law that specifically makes gambling online legal or illegal.