GambleHero Country Guides

About Gambling in Canada

Intro to Gambling in Canada, Canadian Gambling Banking Options, Game Providers, Casino Welcome Bonuses & Responsible Gaming

Playing at Canadian Online Casinos

When it comes to internet betting, Canada is one of the most open and accepting countries of all. Canada’s gambling laws are constructed in such a way that there are plenty of grey zones and an abundance of wiggle-room when it comes to finding top casinos in the country. GambleHero is here to guide you through the ins and outs of betting online in Canada, and you can use our short but informative guide to get yourself set up today.

Playing at “Canadian” Online Casinos

While Canada is one of the most flexible gambling countries globally, it still pays to know the ins and outs of the law. Canada’s gambling laws essentially say that you are not permitted to play at a Canadian casino licensed in a state, region, or territory in which you do not reside. For instance, British Columbians cannot play at Canadian casinos located in Ontario.

However, the law is quite specific in that it refers to Canadian businesses. Most online casinos are not based in Canada and are based offshore. No laws are preventing you from joining this. This is one of the greatest loopholes in the online casino world and one which the Canadian authorities are aware of and seem content to do nothing about. This effectively makes virtually every online casino legal and available to Canadians.

Canada has local licensing authorities for those casinos which are native, but the country’s licensing authorities do not license offshore domains. Because of this, you are going to be looking at betting sites that are licensed elsewhere. We would recommend the UK Gambling Commission and Malta Gaming Authority licensed casinos catering to players in Canada, as they are the most regulated and certified of all. That being said, many top Curacao licensed casinos are now regulated to such a degree that they are also ideal and safe for Canadians to play at.

It is entirely possible for online casinos to consider themselves Canadian casinos in that they predominantly cater to players in the country. Any betting sites you might consider joining should firstly be safe and secure. Secondly, they should accept the Canadian dollar as a currency and provide support and assistance in English (or French, if required). They should also have Canada-friendly bonuses and provide players with an array of Canada-specific payment methods. With that in mind, let us look at those next.

Canadian Banking Options for Gambling Online

Canadians can generally use a plethora of conventional casino deposit options at any top casinos accepting them. There are exceptions, of course. Canadian players will typically not be able to use Skrill or Neteller, although this is because those payment methods are either leaving or have left Canadian shores. While VISA and MasterCard deposits (even cryptocurrency options) are accepted, the most popular payment providers at Canadian casinos tend to be Interac, Instadebit and iDebit. These are all exclusive, Canadian-only options, as they are tied to banks and financial institutions in Canada.

Varying Responsible Gambling Tools in Canada

Canadian casino players can expect to see responsible gambling tools at sites, and these will help you stay safe when betting. The full array of options you will get can depend entirely on the type of casino you sign up to, or more specifically, the license it carries. Below, you will find the most common responsible gambling tools found at licensed casinos catering to Canadians. They include:

  • UKGC Casinos: Arguably the most regulated of all, these casinos give Canadians options that include deposit, wager and loss limits, reality checks, self-exclusion periods, opt-outs, withdrawal locks and a KYC process.
  • MGA Casinos: Malta Gaming Authority casinos will typically provide deposit and loss limits, reality checks, KYC, and self-exclusion options to players in Canada.
  • Kahnawake Casinos: Kahnawake is a First Nation reservation inside Canada itself. Despite this, playing at these licensed casinos will not see you fall foul of Canada’s gambling laws, as they are outside the national gambling law’s jurisdiction. These casinos typically offer you self-exclusion and a KYC process.
  • Curacao Casinos: The least regulated of the reputable Canadian casinos you will find, Curacao licensed casinos will typically only offer Canadians self-exclusion and perhaps deposit limits. They only use KYC protocols for extensive withdrawals.
  • Gibraltar Casinos: Gibraltar typically follows the same methodology as UKGC casinos. This means you can expect a plethora of responsible gambling tools at these Canadian casinos.

Canadians Access to Problem Gambling Programs

Like with responsible gambling tools, access to problem gambling programs can vary, depending on the type of casino you play at. Most – even Curacao licensed ones – will typically see you able to access programs such as Gamblers Anonymous and Gambling Therapy. Options such as BeGambleAware, GamCare and GamStop tend to be more associated with UKGC and MGA licensed casinos catering to Canadians, and some may not accept players living in Canada. This is worth checking before you sign up for a casino.

A Wealth of Bonuses and Promotions

Canadians are spoilt for choice at gambling domains when it comes to bonuses and promotions. Even if your choice of Canadian casino is licensed by the UKGC or MGA bodies, the strict regulation surrounding promotions and bonuses that applies to UK or Scandinavian players will not apply in Canada. This means that you can often find a wealth of top deals up for grabs. It is not uncommon to find extensive welcome bonuses, perhaps even no deposit offers, free spins, loyalty and VIP rewards, tournaments, monthly specials, reload bonuses and more when gambling online in Canada.

The Final Word

Betting online in Canada is arguably one of the most straightforward experiences any bettor can have. The sheer number of casinos, sportsbooks, poker rooms and bingo sites open to you is considerable. The general rule is simple to grasp – if the casino is not based in Canada, it should accept Canadian players. With such an array of domains to choose from, Canadians can afford to be picky about where they play, and we urge you to do so. You can have the pick of the litter, so there is no excuse for ending up at dodgy, rogue, or blacklisted casinos if you live in Canada.