Legislative News

(Online) Gambling in Canada: illegal or not?

State by state rules, regulations and restrictions

Across the past few decades, gambling has proved to be an increasingly popular past-time. Some people have even managed to turn gambling into a professional career.

The downside to gambling is, of course, that it comes with the risk of losing large sums of money. This risk means many countries decide to place strict laws on gambling, which can make it difficult to understand what is and isn’t legal.

Fortunately for Canadians, gambling is not illegal but there are different laws depending on the type of gambling and the province you are in. As an example, online gambling laws are different from physical casino laws so it is important to know these restrictions before going ahead and placing your bets on the best online casino sites in Canada – according to casino.guide.

Gambling Regulations in Canada

In 1892, all forms of gambling were banned in Canada. However, things slowly changed over the years with more and more forms of gambling becoming legal. In 1900, bingo and charity raffles were permitted and betting on horse racing was allowed in 1910. In 1925, gambling events were allowed to be held by fairs.

A big change came in 1969 when the Criminal Code was amended to allow the federal government and 10 provinces to run lotteries. Finally, in 1985, the government decided to allow the provinces to handle their own gambling regulations.

Online Gambling Law in Canada

Canada’s online gambling laws fall into somewhat of a grey area since it is only legal for federal and provincial governments to run online gambling websites.

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Many companies get around this by basing their businesses outside of Canada. By law, this is technically still not legal but there has been no precedent set in the form of any prosecutions to date.

With that being said, it is not illegal for residents to partake in gambling using an overseas website. It is recommended to regularly check our casino legislative news for further information.

Gambling Laws in Canadian Provinces and Territories

As mentioned above, the provinces of Canada are now self-governing entities when it comes to gambling restrictions. Here is a quick guide to what is currently legal inside each territory:

Alberta

Horse racing, video lottery terminals, sports betting, casinos, online gambling, lotteries, charitable gaming.

Sports betting has a limit that states no more than $250 can be placed in wagers per day.

British Columbia

Horse racing, sports betting, casinos, online gambling, lotteries, charitable gaming.

Lottery tickets can only be purchased by individuals over 19 years old. Parlay bets must be placed by those betting on sports, which means the customer must correctly predict the result of at least 2 sports events per ticket.

Manitoba

Horse racing, video lottery terminals, sports betting, casinos, online gambling, lotteries, charitable gaming.

Sports gamblers must place wagers via the Sport Select site and can only bet a maximum of $250 each day.

New Brunswick

Horse racing, video lottery terminals, sports betting, casinos, online gambling, lotteries, charitable gaming.

Sports wagers can be placed legally in this territory via the Pro-Line website.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Horse racing, video lottery terminals, sports betting, online gambling, lotteries, charitable gaming.

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Casinos are not permitted inside this province but the First Nations tribes can open facilities of their own if they desire.

There is also a $250 wager cap on sports betting, which is offered through Pro-Line.

Northwest Territories

Sports betting, casinos, online gambling, lotteries.

A wager cap is in place of $250 at each Sports Select location per day. Sports wagers must also be placed in the form of a parlay bet.

Nova Scotia

Horse racing, video lottery terminals, sports betting, casinos, online gambling, lotteries, charitable gaming.

The Pro-Line system allows customers to legally place online bets for sporting events. Like many other provinces, these wagers must be in the form of a parlay bet.

Ontario

Horse racing, video lottery terminals, sports betting, casinos, online gambling, lotteries, charitable gaming.

The region has very relaxed laws on gambling. You’ll even find many slot machines at various locations such as race tracks.

Pro-Line’s service is available for online sports betting.

Prince Edward Island

Horse racing, video lottery terminals, sports betting, casinos, online gambling, lotteries, charitable gaming.

Again, those who wish to legally place wagers online for sporting events need to use the Pro-Line website.

Quebec

Horse racing, video lottery terminals, sports betting, casinos, online gambling, lotteries, charitable gaming.

The only regulated online gambling site is Mise-O-Jeux, which also has several physical locations. Customers have to place wagers on parlay bets.

Saskatchewan

Horse racing, video lottery terminals, sports betting, casinos, online gambling, lotteries, charitable gaming.

No online casinos are allowed to be based inside the province at all. Residents can still access casinos based abroad.

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Sports betting should be done via Sport-Select where parlay bets must be placed on all sporting events apart from horse racing.

Yukon Territory

Sports betting, 3-day casinos, online gambling, lotteries, charitable gaming.

No permanent casinos can be opened in the Yukon territory. However, temporary establishments can gain a license that allows charitable gaming for 3 days at a time.

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