Gambling laws in Canada used to be very strict with only very limited forms of gambling allowed. Because of major changes to the legislation in the 1970s, individual provinces were given the authority to regulate and license gambling in their own region. This led to several land-based casinos being opened, and some states started their own lotteries, several of which are still in operation today.
Matters do get a bit more complex when you come to online gambling. There are provinces that run their own online casinos, and government approved outlets that let you place bets online. It is perfectly legal for Canadians to use these and to purchase lottery tickets online.
As betting online for real money is one of the favorite forms of entertainment for Canadians, they are probably not too concerned about these laws but just enjoy the fun of playing slots online, poker, blackjack, bingo and all the other games that online casinos offer.
As technology continues to progress, so more new and innovative games will appear. There are even slots now commonly available that use virtual reality, making the experience of playing even more exciting than they were before. Some sites have hundreds of games of all different types, and they are not only free to join, they give you welcome bonuses as well. This is sometimes given as extra money added to your account but some casinos will give you free spins or bets instead.
The Grey Areas
The law is quite clear. To legally provide slots for Canadians, sports betting, run a lottery, or any other online gambling, it has to be a government approved and licensed operation.
The grey areas start to appear when casinos based and operated from other countries let Canadians play on their sites. There is confusion over this as, at first glance, it would appear to be against Canadian law, but if the casino is based somewhere that online gambling is legal, you have to consider if the Canadian laws apply.
The Malta Gaming Authority, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, and the UK Gambling Commission are just three of the gambling regulators that support casinos that allow Canadians to play, and most of the trusted casinos are registered with one of them.
It could be argued that you are safer playing on one of these sites, because of the way the laws surrounding online gambling are in Canada, there is no regulatory body to monitor casinos or to complain to if you have a problem.
To be fair to the casinos, complaints very rarely happen, and most people, whether they are from Canada or anywhere else, have hours of fun playing the huge variety of games online casinos offer.
Could This Change In The Future?
As online casinos are so popular in Canada, something needs to be done to legalize the situation. Reports often appear that say the government is considering introducing the changes needed for online gambling but, as yet, nothing has been planned for the immediate future.