Is Online Gambling legal In Canada?

Wagering and gambling activities are thriving in Canada like never before, but like many other jurisdictions across the world, the laws governing gambling can often be hard to navigate around. As per the dichotomy between online and offline gambling, several offline gambling forms are legal in Canada under the present laws, along with a permissible regime for certain kinds of online gambling.

Here, we’ve come up with a rundown of the current laws which govern gambling in Canada, with a breakup of permissible gambling activities in the nation. After clearing up your doubts, try your hand at the best Canadian online casinos.

The Gambling Regulatory Framework

A brief perusal of gambling laws in Canada reveals that laws regarding gambling have traditionally been strict in the country, with only limited forms of gambling being permitted by the government. A reformation of the Criminal Code in the 1970s paved the way for considerable changes to the regulatory framework, by giving the various Canadian provinces the right to regulate and license gambling activities within their own territories.

Consequently, this resulted in a boom in the gambling industry, with a number of casinos opening across the country, and the beginning of a number of state sponsored lotteries that still continue till this day. With the 1970s liberalization the gambling industry also witnessed a spurt in the growth of approved sports betting centers across the nation, being spearheaded by a company named Sports Select. On the whole, with the growth in the concept’s popularity, the gambling industry’s revenues have also grown considerably over the years.

Online Gambling Laws

When it comes to online gambling, things tend to get a little complicated. It is pertinent to note that many of the provinces in Canada are running their own online gaming casinos, and many of the approved government wagering outlets also provide online betting facilities to clients. Further, it is also open to Canadians to opt for purchasing lottery tickets on the internet.

It is, however, illegal to partake in the provision of gambling services online to Canadians without prior approval and licensing of the Canadian government. The real grey area in this regard comes into question when talking about gambling companies that operate from overseas, but make these online gambling websites accessible for Canadians. Several compelling arguments indicate that such gambling activities are in fact not illegal, and are perfectly within the bounds of Canadian law.

 How do online gambling laws affect you?
At present the only piece of legislation that might make it problematic for citizens to visit and play on online casinos provides that is not permissible for citizens to be found gambling at an ‘illegal gambling house’. However, since casinos that are located offshore aren’t based in Canada, there arises no question of players to be found at illegal gaming houses, so online players have no cause of concern.

Moreover, the definition of the expression ‘betting house’ is considerably outdated, and the present laws governing gambling in Canada have not been amended to reflect changing realities of online gambling in the state. However it can still be argued that this definition extends to an individual who is using an online gambling site, despite the definition not being in sync with current realities.

At present, the most reliable option for players to use online gambling websites is to visit websites that are regulated and properly authorized in the Canadian jurisdiction, or located overseas, which would fall within the regulatory grey area. Here’s more on the legality of online gambling in Canada.



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