Online Gambling Regulations in Canada in 2022

Online Gambling in CanadaBy David Walker.

What 2022 Has In-Store

Online gambling regulations in Canada have been the topic of debate among punters for many years.  Here is the definitive guide on the subject.

When looking into online gambling regulations in Canada, it is evident that gambling has never been more popular than today. In the 1960s, the Canadian government saw the economic benefits of this activity and passed the first legislation. Canadians who enjoy sports betting nowadays can legally indulge in their hobby. However, the situation with casino games is different, and here is what 2022 has in store for punters.

What Gambling in Canada Looks Like Today

To make it easier for potential gamblers, let’s discuss the legal status of Canadian online gambling. The ownership and operation of an online casino in Canada is illegal, but it is legal for Canadians to play at any offshore gambling venue. The total gross gambling turnover at offshore casinos was C$392M in 2019.

Legality of Online Gambling in Canada: Critical Considerations

  1. Online gambling regulations in Canada don’t underline any risk from playing at online casinos, no matter if they are playing as part-time jobs or merely for fun
  2. Canadian citizens have never been prosecuted for playing on an online gambling site (sports-book, poker, or casino)
  3. If you are based in Canada, it is illegal to operate an internet casino without a license
  4. Gaming winnings are not taxable unless they can be considered a form of employment based on expectation of payment, frequency, or skill. In other words, winnings are not taxable for individuals playing for fun or for recreation.
  5. The Criminal Code of Canada, the official codification of criminal acts and procedures, does not explicitly criminalize online gambling.

Online Gambling in Canada

The Legality of Canadian Online Casino Gambling

There are two types of online gambling regulations in Canada governing this activity. The most common law is Provincial law, which essentially gives each province the responsibility for gambling regulation.

Provincial law is more powerful than federal law as it allows certain provinces to ban many types of gambling. For example, Ontario Province’s ban on online gambling is one of the most prominent regulations (more on this ban in a bit).

However, online gambling freedom is still available to other provinces. In addition to privately owned gambling sites, the government also operates numerous online gambling establishments under the First Nations banter.

Therefore, online casino gaming rules may not be clear, but players can legally play on any casino site. The gaming provider must hold a local license from the province where it offers services. Canadians can also access offshore casinos without suffering any fees.

Canadian Gaming Regulators & Authorities

When it comes to online gambling regulations in Canada, the 1970 reform of the criminal code opened gambling up by allowing each province to regulate and license gambling. This reform allowed the establishment of numerous land-based casinos and lotteries managed by the provincial gaming authorities.

The provincial gaming authorities include the following:

  • Prince Edward Island Lotteries Commission
  • Newfoundland – Service NL
  • Loto Quebec – Quebec
  • Nova Scotia – Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco Division Service of Nova Scotia
  • New Brunswick – New Brunswick Gaming Control
  • Saskatchewan – Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority
  • Manitoba – Liquor and Gaming Commission of Manitoba
  • British Columbia – BCLC
  • Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission
  • Ontario – Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation

These gaming authorities often have their own gaming portals that offer casino games. Regardless, we don’t recommend these sites because they are less reliable in terms of game selection, quality, and bonuses/promotions than those on offshore websites.

However, the Kahnawake Commission stands out as an anomaly. This Commission originated in 1996 in the Mohawk territory of Kahnawake in Quebec. The Mohawk Commission is a sovereign Indian reservation and, therefore, not subject to Canadian law. It has the authority to license and regulate offshore gaming sites.

The Kahnawake Commission was initially a popular licensing authority, with many older Microgaming brands being licensed there. But, its popularity has decreased recently, with many e-gaming sites preferring to be licensed through the gaming authorities of Gibraltar or Malta.

Rumors About New Gambling Laws

Apart from gambling at casinos, online gambling regulations in Canada also allow sports betting to be a popular form of gambling. The Canadian government currently allows only parlay betting, meaning that a player cannot bet on one game at a time (only multiple wagers). Rumors hint towards the introduction of a bill to legalize single-game sports betting.

This new regulation will open up the gambling market to significant casino and sports betting companies. Rumors also suggest that iGaming could also find its way to Ontario, allowing residents to enjoy numerous gaming opportunities.

Thanks to this legislation, if the rumors are true, online casinos will soon be a reality in Ontario. Residents will have many casino gaming options from a variety of new sites. Conversely, these gaming sites will also generate more revenue.

The Impact of New Regulations for Canadian Casino Gaming

Gaming enthusiasts can expect new trends as Canada opens up to online casino gaming. The industry will go through significant changes, and some of the opportunities include the following.

Online Gambling in Canada

Market Growth

Online gambling regulations in Canada will transform significantly thanks to the new rumors about the launch of online casino gaming in Ontario. Among the various factors triggering/powering this growth are the development of mobile gaming technology and the opening of more casinos. With a substantial margin, the country’s total market value in gambling will exceed that of a few years ago.

Attractive Gaming Deals For Players

The casino gaming industry is more competitive than ever. Different casino operators have come up with new marketing strategies. A tried-and-tested tactic is to offer attractive bonuses and gaming perks to new players, such as welcome bonuses.

These rewards will only get better as casino gaming becomes legalized further. Ontario residents should expect higher welcome bonuses and other benefits from new casinos established in the province, such as no deposit bonuses. Playing games without having to place a deposit sounds attractive in theory but is a standard option in countless gambling venues worldwide. No deposit bonuses in Canada will also allow players to get more bang for their buck.

Availability of Live Dealer Games

Live casino games have enjoyed unwavering popularity due to the latest technological advances. Canada should experience the same, as players will want the best possible gaming experience. These games are a new sensation in online casino gaming, and the venues offering them should enjoy massive popularity.

Responsible Gambling Campaigns

The changes in online gambling regulations in Canada could result in an increase in online gambling sites thanks to the additional legislation. A portion of the legislation will also ensure that gaming activities undergo strict regulation to encourage responsible gambling. The popularity of gambling campaigns that focus on age restriction or promotional activities should also increase.

Increased Cryptocurrency Prospects

Crypto gaming is the newest trend in online casino entertainment. Many casinos accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment methods, with numerous operators promoting and encouraging these transactions by offering different perks and benefits.

Venues now offer bonuses and other rewards for players who use cryptocurrencies to deposit or withdraw. Despite reservations regarding cryptocurrency gaming, there is more to this trend with the legalization of casinos in Ontario. This payment method solves trust issues and will play an essential role in the continued integration of cryptocurrency gaming into Canada’s online casinos.

Final Thoughts

Online gambling regulations in Canada are a hot topic that could revolutionize the country’s gambling sector. This industry has a value of over $70 million, and projections indicate significant growth in revenue in the coming years.

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