Online gambling, or gambling in general, is a very popular activity in Canada. Canadians are among the world’s biggest gamblers. But the gambling laws are quite restrictive.
While online gambling is legal in Canada, the laws regarding offshore gambling can be quite confusing. In this article, we tell you what you should know about the online gambling laws in Canada and how they affect you.
History of Gambling in Canada
Canada had very strict gambling laws in the past. All forms of gambling were prohibited in the country. It was only in the 1970s that the government decided to adopt a more relaxed policy towards gambling.
The government allows various provinces in Canada to set up their own policies on gambling. They were given full freedom to regulate gambling as they liked within their provinces.
This was all the encouragement needed for the launch of a number of casinos across the country. The provinces competed with each other to attract gambling operators, as they knew that gambling was a big revenue generator. Many betting and gambling operations were started in some of the poorest and remote provinces of the country, which transformed them completely.
Canadian Gambling License and Online Gambling Laws
The government of Canada has never been clear about its policies on online gambling. There are many provinces in Canada that run online casinos. These are government approved operations where you can place bets on the internet. These approved online casinos and other internet gambling sites are perfectly legitimate and there are absolutely no restrictions on Canadians who choose to use them.
The only issue is with playing at an online casino that is not approved by the Canadian government and does not have the Canadian Gambling License. The rules on this are still very unclear as Canadian laws don’t really apply to offshore internet gambling sites, which are outside of the Canadian jurisdiction. The government does not explicitly ban Canadians from playing at offshore casino sites, but does not encourage them either.
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission
Among the many provinces that provide licenses to online casinos in Canada, the most popular is the Indian reserve of Kahnawake, which is located in a very remote part of the country. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission licenses online casinos provided they operate from within Kahnawake and follow the rules and regulations as stated by the authority.
Kahnawake is a part of Canada, and at the same time, considered a sovereign nation on its own. So it is not entirely governed by Canadian laws – which are very restrictive – but offers access to the Canadian gambling market. This makes a Kahnawake Gaming License very attractive indeed.
What Does This Mean for You?
If you are in Canada and are keen to gamble online, then you don’t have to worry about being prosecuted for gambling at an online casino that is not approved by the government. However, you are at risk of losing your money if you gamble at an online casino which is not licensed under any jurisdiction. Just make sure to play at a licensed casino, this is very important.
The law on online gambling is very hazy in Canada. There is no law which states that online gambling is legal. However, there is no law that calls online gambling illegal either. So whether you are a player or a gambling operator, you are in a grey area as far as Canada’s Gambling Laws are concerned.
But this is not something that should unduly worry you. So far, not even one person in Canada has been arrested or charged with any legal penalty for participating in online gambling sites. So most Canadians gamble at online casinos and make money without really having to worry about the legal repercussions of gambling.
Just make sure to play at a reputable online casino which is licensed and regulated under a respectable gambling jurisdiction. You will find a list of such online casinos on this website, which have been thoroughly vetted and reviewed.