Canadian Gambling Laws 2024

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Canadian gambling laws change pretty frequently but not to worry because we’ll always keep you up to date. The gambling laws Canada has are quite complex and vary province to province. Provincial and territorial governments give the responsibility of laws to the same body that manages other betting schemes like lotto. There’s also an interesting grey area when it comes to Canadian gambling laws, which we’ll go over so you understand who can play.


Canadian Gambling Laws Per Province

Canadian gambling laws are complex but they’re not strict per se. Online gambling laws in Canada are actually quite progressive and have been since 1985. The federal government lets each province decide independently what is legal. This includes the age limit and regulations. For example, online gambling Ontario doesn’t allow online casinos to promote bonuses or even mention free spins. Here are the Canadian gambling laws per province:

British Columbia

Minimum Age: 19+

PlayNow is a regulated, licensed online site run by BCLC (BC Lottery Corp). It’s one of Canada’s oldest online sites. BC residents can also play at licensed, offshore casinos.


Minimum age: 18+

PlayAlberta is the only licensed and regulated online site the province runs. Canadian gambling laws also allow players to enjoy internationally, licensed online casinos.


Minimum age: 19+

The Ontario gambling laws differ from any other province. This is because Ontario has their own licensing body run under AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario) and iGaming Ontario. Online gambling Ontario is exclusive to sites that apply and are approved for this license. The list of quality online casinos applying for this license has grown substantially since 2022 when iGaming Ontario was established.


Minimum age: 18+

Quebec online casino laws allow residents to play at online casinos or sportsbooks that are licensed in other jurisdictions. These licensed, offshore casinos often have jurisdiction in places like Malta, Curacao, and Gibralter. This is where they hold licensed and with Canadian gambling laws, these are the online casinos that Canadians can play at.


Minimum age: 18+

Canadian gambling laws have different ages and Manitoba is one of the three provinces that allows 18 years old to play online. There’s a government operated site in Manitoba and residents are also welcome to play at licensed, offshore casinos.


Minimum age: 18+ lotto/19+ online casinos

Saskatchewan residents can play lotto once they’re 18 but must wait until they’re 19 to play at online casinos. Gambling laws in Canada are solely up to each province so you’ll see exceptions to common rules in different regions. Saskatchewan doesn’t have a licensed online casino but you can choose from over 1,000 licensed, offshore casinos.


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Nova Scotia/New Brunswick/PEI/Newfoundland and Labrador

Minimum age: 19+

The maritime provinces don’t have high populations so there’s been no need for a government-run online casinos. However, maritime gamblers aren’t restricted to play at licensed, offshore casinos as long as they’re over 19.


Northwest/Yukon Territories/Nunavit

Minimum age: 19+

These regions have a very low population and are underserviced. Nanavit doesn’t even have a land-based casino. There are no restrictions for playing at a licensed, offshore casino and it’s the only alternative anyway because there are no provincially-run gambling sites.


KYC Process

As part of the Canadian gambling laws, online casinos need to ensure players verify their ID. This is known as the KYC (Know Your Customer) process. Players will have to go through the KYC process before withdrawing funds as per gambling laws Canada.

The process involves you proving you age and address. As each province has different Canadian gambling laws, you need to prove where you reside. A government-issued photo ID is enough to prove your age while a utility bill can prove your residency. The KYC process takes between 1-2 days so if you want to withdraw money fast, we suggest uploading your documents right after registration.


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Online gambling laws in Canada Keeping Players Safe

Canadian gambling laws are implemented to players in the country are safe. Online casinos must be licensed by reputable commissions to provide Canadian players their services. They have to comply with strict regulations to ensure there are no underage players accessing sites. The licensing bodies like MGA and UKGC regulate offshore casinos to make sure they keep player’s information safe and offer a fair, random gaming experience. Other than online gambling Ontario, the online gambling laws are pretty liberal, focusing on the safety of players more than anything else.


The Grey Area with Online Gambling Laws in Canada

Canadian gambling laws come with a legal grey area. It’s not prohibited but it’s not technically allowed either. It’s not legal for online casinos and sportsbooks to be used within the country but Canadians can play on gambling sites with international licenses.

If the casino is an offshore, licensed site, Canadians can register, deposit, play for real money, and withdraw winnings legally. It’s seems like a contradiction but the Canadian Criminal Code is the pillar of online gambling legalization. This is a federal law that only prohibits gambling at places not owned or licensed by the provincial government. This Code makes it illegal for Canadian companies to have offer online gambling within the country. This law doesn’t apply to international online casinos however.


The Criminal Code and Gambling Laws Canada

Online gambling laws in Canada are under the Criminal Code of Canada. It’s important that you’re aware of what’s involved in the Code. Here are some monumental laws and amendments over the years that you should be aware of:

  • In 2012, the Criminal Code changed, allowing provinces to license and regulate casinos on their discretion. This was a a major change and promoted the exponential growth of online casinos.
  • In 2021, an important bill was amended so that betting on sporting events online was allowed. Many of the online casinos started to offer single-event betting options.
  • Casinos have to keep records of transactions over C$10,000 as a preventative measure to money laundering and anti-terrorism.
  • Financial gains from gambling are usually not considered income unless you are a gambling professional.


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Taxation on Gambling Winnings

Basically, with Canadian gambling laws, if you are a casual gambler who happened to win a large amount of money, you don’t have to pay taxes on winnings. This is because the revenue is not considered regular income.

The CRA tried to tax a professional poker player, Jonathan Duhamel, on his large winnings. Duhamel is a WSOP poker champion from Quebec and while he did pay taxes on money earned from PokerStars and other income, he fought to avoid paying tax on million dollar wins.

He won the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas in 2010 and won first place, earning US $9 million. The CRA tried to tax him and he took it to court . After a court battle that took over 10 years to conclude, Duhamel finally came out the winner and wasn’t liable for taxes on his winnings. This is a good example of how even if you made millions on a progressive for example, it’s non-taxable.


Navigating Canadian Gambling Laws: A Provincial Perspective

Online gambling laws in Canada vary by province, with each region having the autonomy to define its legal framework. This decentralized approach has led to a diverse landscape of regulations, from the age of consent to the types of permitted gambling activities. Notably, online gambling has been embraced with progressive laws since 1985, allowing provinces to independently decide their gambling regulations. Each province’s stance on online gambling, such as Ontario’s unique licensing body and the allowance of offshore casinos in many regions, underscores Canada’s complex yet accessible gambling environment. Additionally, the KYC process and the emphasis on player safety through licensing and regulation highlight Canada’s commitment to responsible gambling. Despite the legal grey areas, Canadians have a wide berth to engage in online gambling, thanks to the country’s liberal stance and the availability of licensed, offshore casinos.


FAQ Section:

Yes, in some provinces. If you reside in Quebec, Alberta, or Manitoba and are 18, you can play at online casinos. Every other province requires you to be 19 years or older.
No. It’s legal to gamble online in Canada at casinos who have a license fro an international commission.
Each player needs to be verified that they live in the province and are over 19.
Technically yes. You can play poker online as the government of Canada has taken a “hand-off” approach. Each province has their own rules but generally, poker can be played everywhere.



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Shawn holds the esteemed position of Lead Content Manager for our premier website, Kika Casino Canada. With an extensive background as a seasoned and passionate gambler, he has now evolved into a highly-regarded expert in the gaming industry. Shawn is deeply committed to ensuring the accuracy and reliability of our content, meticulously crafting top-notch reviews and insightful news articles. His area of expertise lies in the comprehensive analysis of casino bonuses and their accompanying terms and conditions, enabling our readers to make well-informed decisions in the dynamic world of gambling.