Is Online Gambling Legal in Canada?

Jun 10, 2021 Gambling, Online gambling

Canadians, like the rest of the people, also like to spend interesting time online and get a charge of positive emotions. Undoubtedly, Canada is one of the countries where gambling is widespread. The question of its legality has always been a tricky one to this day. Technically, there is a ban that prevents anyone from operating a gambling site without a licence. But, how it actually happens, let’s take a look.

How Canada’s Gambling Laws Are Regulated

In the early 1970s, the Canadian government decided to decentralize gambling legislation. After that, the gambling market began to be regulated separately by each province through the creation of a special governing body. This operating model continues to work today.

Some provinces still pass laws that relate to online gambling, sports betting and other gambling activities. But the regulatory body overseeing the entire industry at a national level is the Canadian Gaming Commission. It ensures:

  • clear gambling sector;
  • communication with the government;
  • —Āommunication with the public.

 Online Gambling Laws in Canada

There is a grey area in Canada that is confusing to anyone who wants to try casinos, poker rooms, or even bet on sports in Canada. There are no specific laws that relate directly to online gambling. However, online casino players are not exposed to any legal risks. They can enjoy all the benefits of online gambling without any problems:

  • bonuses for registering;
  • getting free spins;
  • participating in promotions, etc.

Also, winnings from online gambling are not taxed as long as they are not treated as full-time jobs. In other words, if you play at an online casino for recreational purposes, you won’t have to pay any tax on your winnings. On the other hand, online casinos operating but not licensed in Canada are considered illegal.

Thus, the government has not issued licences to sites that have bet money on them. But people are not criminally liable when they decide to continue online gambling. Besides, sites under offshore online accounts are not part of the legal restriction in the country. It helps them to use different payment systems for deposits and withdrawals. For example, online casino eCheck option for Canadian players.

Lottery and Bingo Laws in Canada

Although casinos and sports betting are the most popular forms of gambling in Canada. There are a significant number of players who prefer lotteries and bingo. Lotteries are regulated at the provincial level. Canadian lottery laws allow you to register an online account and buy tickets online.

As an exception, provincial governments have launched a nationwide lottery with eight-digit prizes. Bingo is also regulated at the provincial level. But bingo games are declining in popularity, mainly due to the fact that many bingo halls, unlike their online equivalents, are closed. 

What Can Be Expected in the Future?

The Canadian government has tried to fully legalize online gambling. But work with Bill C-218 has been put on hold. Canada’s parliament has shifted its attention to more urgent matters because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, Canadians should not expect a tougher law and ban on online gambling anytime soon.

By Adam

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