Gambling laws in Canada
Canucks welcome you and your money, and they will readily offer you a seat at a poker table. The great White North is no stranger to games of chance. Indeed, gambling in one form or another can be found anywhere where there are people in Canada. It is worth noting that gambling regulations are different in Canada’s provinces and territories.
This is the most popular type of gambling among Canadians and tourists. You can find casinos everywhere, with the exception of three of Canada’s provinces. That’s right, there are no casinos in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland & Labrador. On the other hand, Ontario has the most casinos in Canada – 25. Additionally, First Nations are in charge of many casinos in Canada.
Is this even legal? Unlike casino gambling, online gambling in Canada is not exactly widespread. The Criminal Code from 1892 originally banned all gambling with the single exception of betting on horse races. Since then, the Code has been amended time and time again. The latest result of these amendments informs us that it is illegal for an operator to accept wagers without the explicit license from the state. On the other hand, as a user, you are more than welcome to place as many online bets as you like. Talk about confusing, right? It is still unclear whether this applies to Canadians, visitors or both.
Sports betting is legal only if provided by the provincial government. If this doesn’t dissuade you from trying to bet on sports in Canada, you may want to consider the fact that their sportsbook isn’t all that extensive nor impressive. Indeed, when you do manage to find a game you want to bet on, you will most likely discover that the odds are not in your favor, though not in the way you think. It simply doesn’t pay to bet on sports. Additionally, if you plan to bet on Canadian sites, but do so offshore, there’s even a small chance that your deposit will not go through.
Fortunately, there is no regulation regarding terminal-based gaming in the Criminal Code. In other words, it is regulated by each individual province, rather than the Code, since it falls under the definition of a lottery scheme.
Social gambling is not regulated by the Criminal Code, in pretty much the same way as online or mobile gaming. The rule of thumb is to follow the Criminal Code, regarding playing games that involve skill only, or games that are played strictly for fun. Those types of games are not prohibited. In other words, if there’s luck involved, or if there is a possibility of redeeming your winnings into actual currency, it might be better for you to sit out on that party night planned with your friends – legally speaking.
Where Does That Leave Us?
Basically, if you don’t want to jump through hoops to get to your winnings, or to make sure what you are doing is undoubtedly legal, your best bet (pun intended) is to stick with casinos. Each establishment has to answer to their province, and, in so doing, provides a safe gaming environment for your pleasure. It may take some time before you get the feel of gambling regulations in the North.