Gambling Regulations in Canada

Gambling Regulations and Laws in Canada

In Canada, gambling is a very popular pastime, and gamers enjoy it both online casinos and land-based casinos. However, the gambling regulations and rules in Canada may be difficult for newcomers to understand due to their dependence on local and provincial legislation. Keep reading to learn where and when you may play casino games! Online gambling is technically legal in Canada, as long as the online casino you’re playing at is located outside of the country. Local rules apply, so only reputable online casinos with official licenses and independently regulated are suitable. The problem is the country’s federal legislation, where gambling regulations across Canada differ from one state to another.

Are Online Casinos in Canada Legit?

Yes, gambling is legal in Canada. The long answer is more complicated and may even be perplexing. Let’s take a closer look! Prior to 1985, most forms of gaming were illegal gambling in Canada, however, this was when the federal government granted provincial and territorial governments the authority to regulate them. However, despite the fact that casino games were allowed, it took several years for the business to develop and gain greater recognition. Canada’s gambling revenue is about to be around C$14 billion per year today.

Casinos could now operate their own online casino site and even mobile app, thanks to technological development. Unfortunately, online gambling is in a grey area in terms of Canadian gambling laws. This is due to the fact that technically speaking, online gambling is not unlawful. Despite this, it is unlawful to operate an online casino without a government permit. And country’s authorities did not issue such permits. Canadian players had just one alternative: they can lawfully play online casino games at offshore casinos.

Gambling Regulations and Online Casinos

Before 1969, the only legal sports betting options in Canada were horse racing, charitable gambling, and carnival lotteries. That year, the federal government modified the Canadian Criminal Code to enable it and ten provinces to hold lotteries. Most of the servers for some of the world’s most reputable online casinos are actually in Canada, despite the fact that most online gaming offshore companies are abroad.

Kahnawake Gaming Commission

In 1996, the Kahnawake Mohawk Nation established the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which issues gaming licenses to online casinos that it felt qualified. The Mohawk Nation argued that because they are a sovereign nation, they have the right to run casinos, even though online gambling at the time was technically against the law in Canada.

This is where things start to get challenging. The Kahnawake Mohawk Nation may lawfully operate land-based casinos or at the very least lease space to a variety of other online casinos from within the country. And they have all the rights to do so. However, private companies like horse racing organisations that operate lawfully in Canada can’t legally offer online casinos or poker sites under the Criminal Code of Canada. But that doesn’t imply no one has tried.

Gambling Laws in Canadian Provinces and Territories

The fact that each province and territory has jurisdiction and administration over gaming activities implies that regulations vary, even when it comes to the minimum age. Depending on where you live, here’s when and where you can practice online gambling:

Alberta Gambling Regulations

Gambling is quite popular in Alberta, where residents may gamble at online casinos without any limits. Those who are eighteen or older can gamble at any of the 25 land-based casinos in the province. The popularity of online sports betting is on the rise, and players can only place parlay bets with a maximum spend of $250 per day.

British Columbia

In British Columbia, there are a variety of legal online gambling methods, including 15 land-based casinos. The only legal way to gamble on casino games and sports online is via PlayNow, but there’s nothing in the law stopping users from signing up with foreign sites. Only parlay bets are allowed for those betting on sports like they are with most other sites.


The Manitoba Liquor and Gaming Authority is in charge of all gaming in the province, including internet gambling. PlayNow Manitoba is the only legal online casino in the province, but there aren’t any laws prohibiting individuals from playing at a foreign casino. Gamblers who wager on sports can bet on Sport Select, which has a daily maximum of $250 in bets.

New Brunswick Gambling Regulations

New Brunswick is a province in Canada where land-based casinos are permitted, although only one casino exists. There are no official government-run casinos in New Brunswick, but Canadian citizens are lawfully permitted to play at offshore sportsbooks and casinos. Pro Line service is the only sports betting site in this Canadian province that obtained a license.

Newfoundland and Labrador

In this province, no land-based casinos are allowed, and there are no online gambling sites. There is no legislation in place to prevent gamblers in Newfoundland and Labrador from visiting foreign online casinos. Pro Line service is available to all sports gamblers, with daily bets limited to $250 at most commercial gambling sites.

Northwest Territories

There are no land-based casinos in the region, but there are no restrictions on whether or not one may open in the future. Online casinos are not illegal, however, there are none in the Northwest Territories. The majority of online gamblers like to wager on sports, with the only legal service being provided by Sport Select. Many individuals, however, prefer to gamble online at offshore sports betting sites instead.

Nova Scotia Gambling Regulations

It is completely legal to gamble at one of the two government-owned casinos in this province. Gamblers can only place parlay bets, as is the case in most Canadian jurisdictions, but online casino players are welcome to join any offshore online casino website. In Nova Scotia, the minimum gambling age is 19.


In Ontario, playing at a land-based casino is completely legal, and numerous other online gambling houses also have slot machines available. The regulations regarding online casinos are quite loose, allowing citizens to engage in gaming at several gaming sites. However, only PlayOLG can legally operate in Ontario as online casino. Those who like sports bets can use the Pro-Line sports betting house.

Prince Edward Island

There are no legal difficulties in the path of a land-based casino in Prince Edward Island, although there is presently no dedicated casino in the province. There is no official regulation of offshore casinos, although gamers who want to bet on sports lawfully will have to utilize the Pro Line service. In this province, the minimum gambling age is 19 to ensure responsible gambling.

Quebec Gambling Regulations

With the most permissive gambling rules in Canada, players may engage in gaming at a variety of foreign casinos as well as Espacejeux, the province’s state-owned gaming parlour. Mise-O-Jeu is the only legal sports betting site in the province and only parlay wagers are allowed. There are nine land based casinos in Quebec. Anyone age 19 or older is welcome to visit them to play casino games.


Residents are not prohibited from playing at online gaming sites based in other jurisdictions or countries, but Saskatchewan-based enterprises are prohibited. It is lawful to establish a land-based casino in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority issues licenses for those has an interest to run an online casino. Sports betting is permitted for Canadian players. However, they should use the Sports Select betting house. And all sports bets (with the exception of horse racing) must be parlay bets.

Yukon Territory

Legal gambling can’t legally operate in the Yukon Territory permanently. However, licenses are given to temporary gaming venues that may operate for a maximum of three days. It is legal to play at online casinos, but none of them obtained a license within the country. Sports Select is the only gambling site for sports betting that allows you to bet on legal sports. Residents will discover that it is the only service making sports betting legal.

You can find out more about legal gambling in Canada at our page about Gambling Laws in Canada.

About the Author

Nate Bailey

Nate Bailey has worked in online gaming since 2017 starting off in a customer support role and working his way up to a VIP account manager at one of the biggest sports betting sites in Europe. He also spent two years at one of the leading casino affiliate sites as an Operational team leader where he managed a team of six people.

Nate focuses on the sports betting side of the company and ensures that we are up to date on all Canadian and American sports. Although, he does have a soft spot for Manchester United and other soccer (football) teams.