Current Status of Canadian Online Casino and Betting Laws

Canada, like other countries around the world, enjoys many gambling activities. With this also comes challenges related to gambling legislation. With the popularity of online gambling, some residents consider that it can sometimes become hard to navigate the grey areas. These complications deter other participants from choosing to play online. In general, laws that govern land-based gambling facilities are pretty much already set in place. When it comes to online gambling, however, there are complexities that can pose difficulties.

The problem that arises when it comes to legislation governing online gambling websites is the location of the companies operating them. Most gambling websites are licensed in countries like Barbuda where Canadian laws will not necessarily apply.

History of Gambling in Canada

Canada was historically strict with gambling rules. Residents were limited to very few gambling options. This changed dramatically back in the 1970s when a more progressive stand was taken by the government when it comes to the legalization of many gambling activities. The Canadian government reformed their Criminal Code allowing for the licensing of betting facilities.

As a result, the best casinos in Canada, as well as betting companies, began operating. This also includes the lottery which is another favourite activity for many people. In addition to this, the government also allows sports betting to a certain degree. Sports betting is still limited where most of the betting sites are operated by one organization, but this opens up possibilities for more impactful changes in the future.

It’s also notable to discuss the Indian reserve located in Kahnawake which is within the Canadian borders. They have an independent gaming commission that approves licenses for gaming sites so long as they operate within the Kahnawake border. Although there have been many concerns raised regarding the legality of online gaming operations in this location, it’s argued that since Kahnawake is considered as a sovereign country on its own, it’s not subject to the laws that govern the rest of Canada.

How to navigate the gambling laws in Canada

It’s been established that there are legal gambling facilities in Canada. This is also true when it comes to online gambling sites. There are some provinces in Canada that house online gambling operations. Also, betting places that are managed by the government will also allow residents to bet through the Internet. As such, there are plenty of options for residents to participate.

The real concern stems from overseas online casinos that are quite popular today. Residents find that there are a lot more gambling options available when they play through an offshore site. With a myriad of attractive offers, it can be hard to resist the lure of an offshore site. Will participating in offshore gambling sites be considered illegal by Canadian law? Will there be penalties issued if you’re caught betting on sites that operate in other countries?

These questions can be disconcerting, but luckily the answer is very simple. It’s important to keep in mind that the Canadian government strictly prohibits the operation of gambling facilities unless it has the appropriate licensing provided by the government. When it comes to offshore online casinos, however, as long as the website operates in a country where online casinos are legal, then it will not be subject to Canadian laws.

To make it clearer, there are no specific laws in Canada that state online gambling is illegal in the same way that there are no specifications in the law that online gambling is legal. The Canadian government is not expected to arrest or reprimand any person who is found betting through an offshore online casino as long as this offshore casino is legally licensed in the country where it operates.

What are the precautions when gambling online?

Now that it’s been established that Canadian laws will not cause any significant hindrance to the online gambling activity of its residents, there are still some important precautions to be aware of. First, you need to check the legitimacy of the website. Next, you have to verify the level of security offered.

It’s a fact that not all online gambling websites are legitimate. There are still a few that aim to dupe participants and run away with their money. This is a downside to the internet because the operations of online gambling sites are highly unregulated. How do you check for legitimacy of an online gaming site?

- Check for badges referring to licenses. Unlicensed casinos are often a red flag and you should not take a risk with them.

- Look for information online related to the website. Check for past controversies as well as user feedback. More often than not, with a little research, you’ll find some helpful information.

- Check if the online casino has a reliable customer support or ‘contact us’ page. If possible, try to reach out to them and see how fast they respond to your query. If it’s difficult to find information such as phone numbers, address where it operates, then steer clear of the website.

- The variety of deposit options should also give you a fair idea of whether the online casino is legitimate. Check if they allow credit card, debit card, PayPal, and even Bitcoin in some cases.

When it comes to checking for the security offered by an online gambling site, you have to make sure that there is a good level of encryption offered for your data. If you’re providing financial information over the internet, you should be careful where you leave it. Most legitimate websites that accept payments offer Security Socket Layer or Transport Layer Security. Look for these before typing in your credit card or debit card information. Up to the extent possible, you must also check if the server is secure.

Residents in Canada, in general, have more freedom when it comes to participating in online gambling websites. But certainly, this doesn’t mean that anyone should be playing in online casinos without considering the risks that are involved. Nonetheless, if you’re careful enough there are plenty of legitimate operators out there eager to give you a fun time.

Mathieu Blake

Mathieu Blake - Internet Entrepreneur, loves technology, sports, the Montreal Canadiens, Poker, Poker chips, current events and travel. You will often find him Writing about different topics that interest him on websites and blogs. To submit an article, contact the website directly.