Online Gambling Laws in Canada – What’s Legal and What’s Not


Online gambling is taking over the world. It’s even getting popular in countries where it was illegal until recently. Yes, even the USA is bending its stance on gambling when it comes to online establishments of this kind.

Canada has been in the fry for a while now. But, the one issue arises when it comes to online gambling. People tend to fail to understand that it is still covered by the law. It would seem that the wilderness of Facebook and its scandals make people believe there are no rules.

Of course, Mark Zuckerberg can bend a few rules and laws, but he’s a billionaire and your Average Joe infatuated with slot machines is not. So there are rules and legislations tied to online gambling in all parts of the world.

Canada is no different. Of course, the Big North pays a lot of attention to its gambling laws. We are talking about one of the best countries in the world when it comes to standards of living. So, it’s no wonder they have their online casinos covered. The one question that remains is to know what’s legal and what’s illegal.

Is Online Gambling Legal in Canada?


To make you relaxed from the start while reading this article let’s say the simple truth first – yes it is legal. But, things are not all that bright. Nothing is ever simple when it comes to gambling. While it is legal, we need to dwell on explaining it a bit. There are a few complications that you need to be aware of.

Back in the day, Canada was a strict country. So, as you could guess gambling was illegal. The big change came around in 1985. This is where gambling in general was allowed. Of course, we’re talking about the times before the internet.

But, the government of this country decided to make gambling a local matter. So, the jurisdiction was given to provinces. The development of infrastructure, and making the games popular didn’t take the roots in Canada for a while.

It took some time before the pendulum started swinging. Today, the gambling operations in the maple leaf country are working on a full scale and bringing in billions in revenue.


Today, after witnessing the technological boom, and the development of the internet in the last two decades online gambling took another step forward. It happened in all corners of the world and this northern country is no different.

Today, there are multiple websites and mobile apps that allow players daily enjoyment of their favorite hobbies. But, Canada has strict laws in many areas, and gambling is no different. The worst part is that the situation is not either black or white. It’s somewhere in between.

Looking at the situation plainly, gambling online is perfectly legal. There’s no doubt about it. But, if you want to own a game and not to be the player things change. Without the government’s permission, you’re not allowed to own an online establishment of this kind.

You will need a government-issued license for this type of operation. This brings us to the one issue at hand, which you’ll find quite distressing. The government of Canada does not issue these types of licenses.

No matter how many times you apply, they will not grant you one. Considering that online gambling is legal, you still have plenty of options as a player. Play at many off-shore sites such can be found at

Gambling by Provinces


This is where Canada complicates matters even more. Many state-operated casinos are perfectly legal. But, they are not as diversified as some of the best establishments you’ll find online.

So, their popularity can’t be compared to outsiders. Furthermore, the situation differs from province to province. You won’t find the same rules in Nova Scotia and Ontario. You won’t find the same rules in most provinces and territories.

For example, Quebec is the most open province in Canada, while others such as Northwest Territories or Yukon Territories are way stricter and gambling of any kind is almost prohibited. So, if you’re living in a  remote part of Canada, the chances are gambling has slim odds of becoming your favorite hobby.

How to Avoid Illegal Gambling?

Illegal Gambling

As we said, you have the government-run casinos that are completely legal, and you have the off-shore establishments to play. So, in the majority of cases, there’s little you can do wrong.

What you need to pay attention to is your security but not in a legal sense. It is vital that even if you play off-shore that you use only the licensed platforms and those that are regulated by laws in the countries from where they operate. Many off-shore platforms create their products so that it suits Canadian players to know how’s the situation in the Big North.

Before you commit to a new website, you must look into it beforehand. Make sure they have all their licenses, and that their reviews by players are top-notch. It is important to check out a website if you are preparing to dedicate some of your money to them. After all, it is not about the laws of a certain country it is about the laws of the internet. You need to take care of your safety and security foremost.

Bottom Line

Gambling is perfectly legal in Canada. The only condition is for you to have more than nineteen years old. This is why it’s essential to keep your kids away from these platforms. Some of them might get the idea to gamble under false information. For all older Canadians gambling is on the table.

Thanks to the global connections most of them enjoy their game across the seas at many available off-shore platforms. At the moment this industry is on the rise and maybe in the future, Canada will change its stance toward local online platforms. But, until they do, you’re lucky there are plenty of options to choose from, and most of them are perfectly legal.