How is online gambling different in the U.S. and Canada?

Online-Casino-in-Canada-min

In short, Canadian nationals are only allowed to play online gambling on online casino’s through offshore websites. By contrast, U.S. citizens can’t gamble on offshore websites or sportsbooks.

A Grey Area vs. Partial Legalization

Can you gamble online in Canada? Unfortunately, albeit not explicitly prohibiting this form of gambling, the Canadian government does not issue online casinos or sportsbooks licenses.

Across the border, every state in the U.S. is free to regulate online gambling and sports betting independently. States like New Jersey and Delaware have legalized both online casinos and sportsbooks.

If you are a resident of a state like Oregon, you can legally bet online but not play online casino games. Yet, the third group of states has legalized only certain casino games like poker, roulette, or blackjack.

Online Sports Betting

Canada

Single-game sports betting in Canada became legal in August 2021 after the Senate passed the C-218 Bill.

As a next step, the provincial governments are bracing for a legal framework that will pave the way to an open market for online gambling by the end of 2021.Until then, online gambling in Canada will be limited to betting on or playing casino games provided by offshore companies. You’re advised to do a thorough background check of any online gambling operator before signing up to play their games on their site. 

The USA

South of the Canadian border, every state has been free to regulate online sports betting since 2018.

The following states permit in-person and online sports betting: Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Iowa, Oregon, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Colorado, and Washington D.C. States like Tennessee and New Hampshire only allow mobile gambling.

Finally, it should be noted that while most states prohibit wagering on college games, the Canadians, who bet through overseas servers, do not have such limitations.

Online Casino Games

Canada

Although online gambling is becoming more and more popular in Canada, the Senate is not planning to legalize online casinos within the Canadian borders any sooner.

 Even if Canadian gamblers can legally join overseas casinos, these operators must hold a valid license to operate in Canada. The Canadian Senate has only legalized gambling in 88 land-based and 32 online casinos, but they still need to be licensed by the respective provinces.

 So, residents of a particular Canadian province should first check if their local government has licensed an overseas online casino before they can play. 

The USA

New Jersey

If you’d like to enjoy the widest variety of online casino games in the United States, you should move to New Jersey, the state with the country’s most extensive online gambling market. It also has the highest number of legal online casinos and poker parlors: 12.

Michigan

Online casinos, poker websites, and any form of sports betting have been legal in Michigan since Christmas 2019. Michigan thus became the fourth state to legalize all three pillars of online gambling. Online casinos effectively started operations in January 2021.

Pennsylvania

PA is also an excellent place to wager and play casino games online. Currently, there are 12 licensed web casinos in Pennsylvania offering poker, table games, and slots.

iGaming Operators

USA

In terms of market share, the top four U.S. online casino operators are DraftKings (16%), SugarHouse-Rivers (16%), Betfair-FanDuel (15%), and ROAR (13%).

It is still challenging for an overseas iGaming operator to obtain a U.S. license. Those who accept this legal challenge opt to start operations in more liberal states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Nevada, or Colorado.

Canada

Canadians can choose from a myriad of online casinos and sports betting websites offering a wide variety of betting options, from fantasy sports betting to online slots, poker, and roulette.

As there are few regulations in place, many Canada-based online gamblers fall victim to fraudulent operators. Here are some of the largest legal iGaming providers in Canada by province:

  • Ontario: PlayOLG
  • British Columbia: PlayNow,
  • Quebec: EspaceJeux, PlayAlberta

Tax Regulations

Canada

Online gamblers in Canada are exempt from taxes on their winnings from online casinos, sportsbooks, lotteries, or any other games of fortune.

These winnings are not regarded as a constant source of income. In addition, the Canadian legislation does not qualify online or land-based gambling as a business.

USA

In most cases, gambling winnings in the U.S. are reported by a Form W-2G and are subject to a flat tax of 24%. The same rate applies to the fair market value of any non-cash prizes like holidays or automobiles.

Conclusion

This post highlighted the key differences between online gambling in the USA and Canada. From the above information, one can conclude that Canada is the better place for online gambling. The laws are very liberal, and everything you win is tax-free.

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