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Is Betting On Online Casinos Legal in Canada

There has always been controversy surrounding the casino and gambling industry with certain people and geographic locations frowning upon it while others accept and encourage gambling. There is always the question of whether or not gambling online is legal- especially if you live in a country or a part of the world where there are no land-based casinos and where gambling is not commonly accepted or practiced. Gambling and casino related activities such as horseracing, sports betting, poker rooms, slot machines, bingo, table games, lottery and casino events are legal in Canada and have been since the year 1969.

The country features a long and rich gambling history dating all the way back to the 19th century and has in general been more accepting and tolerant of gambling and casino related activities compared to their neighbours in the United States, for example. Gambling is still considered an illegal and criminal activity in most parts of the United States although this is not true for the states of Delaware, New Jersey and of course- Nevada where gambling is legal. Gambling is legal in Canada and therefore it is widely accepted amongst Canadian citizens. One of the most popular forms of gambling in the country of Canada is in fact the national lottery which many of its residents are dedicated and committed to playing. Gambling in Canada is practiced and accepted within many households. The country even uses the platform of gambling in the form of the national lottery to raise funds and awareness for various different charities which has enabled the government to utilise gambling in a positive way that benefits its people.

Gambling Laws in Canada

Canada is one of the countries in the world where gambling is legally allowed. Residents throughout all of Canada can legally take part in gambling and casino related activities. Canada is separated into 10 different provinces and 3 different territories; all of which operate on their own set of gambling laws and regulations. Gambling laws in Canada are therefore unique to each different province and are decided upon by the provincial government of each individual region. Any land-based casino, horseracing facility or gambling related products and services must be licensed and regulated by either the federal government of Canada or the provincial government of their specific region.

Any casino or gambling related activities and platforms that are offered within Canada but which are not licensed and regulated by the Canadian government are considered illegal in the country of Canada. Canada has strict rules and regulations when it comes to their gambling laws and the government ensures that no unauthorised casinos and gambling related activities are to be accessible within the country. Many countries throughout the world are very hesitant when it comes to the legalisation of gambling and as such gambling still remains illegal in many countries and regions of the world today. Gambling is simply one of those markets that need to be highly regulated in order to be successful and run smoothly without creating future issues for the country and its residents. It is also a market that tends to attract plenty of scammers and criminals which is one of the reasons why so many countries have yet to legalise gambling.

How the Laws Changed Over Time

Canada can be considered a ‘gambling-friendly’ country as it is a country in which gambling has long since been accepted and practiced. The history of gambling within Canada dates as far back as to the 1800’s and has long since been a favoured activity and past-time for Canadian residents. Canada certainly has a rich history when it comes to casinos and gambling and the fact that gambling has been successfully operating within the country for more than 150 years has allowed the government to refine and tighten their laws and regulations over time. Although gambling has been legal in Canada since the 1800’s; there was a brief time period which began in the year 1892 when the Canadian government decided to declare all forms of gambling illegal. This illegalisation of gambling did not last for very long in a country whose citizens love to take a chance on casino games and by the year 1900 the government began allowing bingo and raffle events to take place. These were initially only allowed for events and organisations involving charity work but the following next decade saw the legalisation of horseracing events and therefore sports betting. The gambling laws in Canada were loosened by the year 1952 when all citizens were given the right to create and hold gambling events. One of the most popular forms of gambling in Canada that is loved and played by residents all across the country is the national lottery. The country also utilises the platform of the national lottery to help raise funds for various charities and organisations in need which has allowed Canada to use gambling in order to uplift and benefit their people and country. The Montreal Olympics were funded using the platform of the national lottery and in 1969 an official law was passed allowing citizens to utilise the lottery in order to raise funds for good causes.

All About Regulation

In terms of gambling laws, Canada has one of the best regulated and longest standing gambling licensing acts and as such the country runs a successful gambling industry. The biggest challenge to the Canadian government regarding gambling laws is the rise of unauthorised online casinos and Canadian residents playing at casinos from outside of the country. There are also a few illegal sporting events, particular poker events that still occur within the country however; the Canadian government is quickly regaining their control.

Legal Age of Gambling in Canada

As with alcohol and substances like nicotine; the age at which one is allowed to take part in gambling related activities is legally regulated and restricted. Gambling along with substances like alcohol and nicotine are known for being highly addictive and therefore most countries do not allow citizens, who are under a certain age to purchase, consume or participate in such activities. Gambling is an adult activity in the sense that it requires maturity, responsibility, sobriety, level-headedness, strategy and the ability to know when enough is enough.

Most of these qualities are only developed at a certain age and therefore the intellectual and emotional capacities of young people are still too underdeveloped to be able to participate in addictive and high-risk factor games. Young people are not able to use their judgment and discernment in the same way that adults are and it is for this reason that gambling below a certain age is considered inappropriate. Gambling is a choice that can only be made by mature and responsible adults are who are able to think clearly and make their own well-informed decisions. People who are below a certain age are not granted access into online casinos and are not allowed to enter into the gambling area of land-based casinos.

Legal Ages to Gamble Across Regions in Canada

Similar to most European countries; the legal age for gambling in Canada is nationally recognised at 18 years of age. This is however dependant on the region or province within Canada as certain parts of the country has a legal gambling age of 19 years old. The legal gambling age can also be affected by the type of casino game being played. Below we will take a look at some of the legal gambling ages in different regions of Canada as well as some of what they have to offer:

Nova Scotia

The legal gambling age in Nova Scotia is 19 years old. Nova Scotia is home to many big-scale land-based casinos as well as a good amount of horseracing facilities. The most popular casino games in Nova Scotia include slots and Texas Hold’em poker.


The legal gambling age in Montreal is 18 years old and it has a few land-based casinos on offer. The lotto is a popular game in Montreal and locals also have access to online casino platforms.


In Nunavut, residents need to be at least 19 years old in order to participate in gambling. The most popular game in this region of Canada is the lottery and as this is not a densely populated area; there are no land-based casinos to be found. The residents of Nunavut enjoy online casino games and their local lottery.


Gambling is a popular activity in the region of Ontario where the legal gambling age is 19 years old, although residents who are 18 years and older are able to play the lottery. Ontario is home to a number of the best horseracing facilities in Canada and as such sports betting and horse racing are highly popular within the region. Ontario is one of the best places for gambling in Canada and has more than 70 land-based casinos who house more than 30,000 slot gaming machines. There are also online casino platforms that operate out of Ontario.


In Quebec, citizens are required to be 18 years old and up in order to gamble. Quebec has a few horseracing facilities available as well as 10 land-based casinos. The casinos have close to 140 different table games on offer and 6000 different slot machines.

Tips to Determine If It Is Legal to Use a Casino in Canada

Casino lovers around the world are constantly facing one main issue and this is the issue of legality. Gambling is an industry that is not set in stone- it is constantly changing and the laws and regulations are varied from one country to the next. Not only does each country have their own approaches, beliefs, ethics, moral codes and laws when it comes to gambling; but often times even smaller geographic locations such as states, provinces and minor regions within these countries have their own individual set of laws. It is therefore vital that all casino players keep up to date and regularly assess the changes in the gambling laws and regulations of their particular country, region and state.

Players need to be informed about the laws regarding gambling within their own location as well as regarding the particular casino or online casino that they are playing at. For example, gambling is legal in some parts of the United States which includes the states of Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. However, even though gambling is considered legal in these three states; gambling at online casinos is heavily restricted and considered illegal within the United States. Therefore, in order to avoid confusion and future conflict; it is always highly advised to research the gambling laws within your particular region or country. Fortunately for the citizens of Canada; gambling is mostly considered legal and the country has a well-established set of gambling laws and regulations in place.


Betting at online casinos is legal in Canada with many Canadian residents participating in the online fun and action. The majority of online casino platforms are licensed and operated in other parts of the world and therefore most of the online casinos that can be accessed by Canadian players are legal for them to play at. The question is not whether or not betting at online casinos is legal in Canada but rather whether or not the online casino of choice is legal, regulated and accepts Canadian players. This is where Canadian players should turn their focus in order not to run into any financial or legal issues when gambling online. Canada is one of the more gambling-friendly countries of the world where citizens can happily and comfortably enjoy casino and gambling-related activities. The gambling industry is actually very well regulated and operates smoothly in the country of Canada and thanks to the Kahnawake Gaming Commission; Canadian residents also have access to a wide range of online casinos. They also have access to an even wider range of off-shore based online casinos where they are legally allowed to place wagers and bet online. Gambling laws around the world are often changing and undergoing alterations and it is therefore wise for all online casino players to stay up to date with the latest news in gambling laws.