Canadian Gambling Legislation: An Overview

Despite the fact that Canada is not one of the world’s gambling centers, this industry is growing rapidly here. Canadian authorities have a very flexible approach to regulating the gambling business, therefore it becomes more and more popular among local players. In this article, we will talk in detail about all the nuances of the Canadian legislative system in the sphere of gambling.

Provinces Determine the Rules

The gambling legislation in Canada is very similar to casino and betting laws in the United States. Each province can establish additional limitations and define what games are allowed on the territory. Also, there is a separate governmental commission in every part of Canada, that regulates gambling entertainment.

Different provinces have individual age requirements for gamblers that determine allowed types of gambling. Thus, in most Canadian states it’s legal to play in casinos since 19 years old, but in the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec the age qualification was lowered to 18 years.

Provinces usually establish lottery commissions, such as The Western Canada Lottery Corporation and the British Columbia Lottery Corporation.  Also, depending on the legislation, states allow or prohibit offline and online casinos, lotteries, and betting. Lotteries are legal in most provinces. But most states have restrictions on betting and casinos.

Online Casinos

According to the Criminal Code, it is illegal to host a gambling website in Canada. The code also states that only the national government and provinces can conduct any type of gambling. Because of the current legal framework, Canadian provincial governments are both operators and regulators of the gambling industry.

There are no specific laws in Canada that directly relate to online gambling. It is important to know that best payout online casino players are not exposed to any legal risk. They can take advantage of all the online casino benefits without any problems

Gambling Taxes

An important fact is that online gambling winnings are not taxed as long as they are not treated as full-time jobs. In other words, if you play at an online casino in your free time, you do not have to pay any taxes on your winnings.

This is determined by 3 factors: the player’s professional skills, regularity of payouts, and amount of expected payouts. So, if you don’t play in the casino professionally, but only from time to time — you can get your winnings in full without deductions to the budget.

Foreign Websites

The gambling business in Canada has been successfully growing since the 1990s, and the market size still remains at a good level. However, Canadians are spending a lot of money on foreign online websites. especially on those that are based in the United States. The Canadian Gaming Association says that more than 14 billion Canadian dollars are spent each year on foreign betting platforms. This is why local authorities are trying to modernize their casino and betting systems and make them competitive.

To defeat foreign operators and prevent illegal gambling, Canada is currently adopting the C-218 gambling law. First and foremost, it should set up the normal operation of betting companies and allow Canadian players to bet on a single event rather than multiple events as before.


Since casinos have long been legalized in the country, the niche is actively growing and has remained relatively stable over the years. Nowadays, Canadians prefer to play in online casinos as it is totally legal and more comfortable. Of course, much has to be improved in Canadian gambling legislation, but the general situation in the field is under control.

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