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Guide to Online Gambling & Casinos in Canada in 2018

UKCanadians have a huge choice when it comes to gambling and online casinos. Canada has fairly liberal laws for gambling but in most cases sites are regulated on a provincial basis. As in the US, the country’s neighbours to the south, the legality of offshore gambling sites still remains undecided in 2018.

Canadian gamblers can play lotteries and online poker or place bets at sportsbooks online whether they're in British Columbia (BC), Quebec, or Ontario. For online casinos, Canada-based gamblers have a wide choice of slots, table games, and scratchcards. And while limited, the range of land-based casinos across Canada is improving all the time.

Let's take a closer look at how gambling has grown in Canada. Whether you're into progressive slot machines or just some real money online gaming fun, we have the full lowdown for Canucks.

Best Canadian Online Casinos in 2018

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1
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2
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4
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Best Canadian Online Casinos in 2018

1
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As well as provincial casinos and betting firms, Canadians have a choice of overseas gambling sites in 2018. At our top picks for online casinos, Canada gamblers can play slots, table games or instant-win games and claim some great bonuses.

Gambling Laws in Canada

Prior to the 1960s Canada was traditionally anti-gambling, but during that decade the government granted provinces the right to decide whether to allow it in their region. As a result, some began to run lotteries and construct casinos.

The Canadian Gaming Association is an umbrella organisation that oversees all gambling in that country. But for the most part, individual provinces are allowed to offer state-run gambling online exclusively to residents. However, on a nationwide basis, when it comes to online casinos, Canada is struggling to keep up with the rest of the world.

So far, law states that companies based in Canada that aren't part of a state monopoly cannot offer services to Canadians. However, there is little attempt to stop Canucks betting on major offshore casinos and betting websites.

Province by Province Gambling

Each province has been able to determine its own rules for gambling, with the exception of horse racing which is regulated by the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency. Not all provinces offer the same games or stakes, however, and the legal age can differ from province to province.

British Columbia began offering online lottery tickets and sportsbetting as far back as 2004, added poker in 2009, and casino games and bingo a year later. All gambling online in BC is now regulated by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC).

Quebec now offers state-run online betting via its Loto-Quebec gaming website, which offers local players a spread of bingo, online slot machines, casino table games, and video poker. Quebec residents can also place bets on sports through tote-style pools, and there are even real-money poker games, including tournaments.

Over time most provinces have followed suit, but the sticking point is that in general, outside bettors are restricted from playing on provincial sites.

The legal question is whether offshore operators are breaking provincial law by taking bets from Canadians. It is illegal to run a betting house inside Canada and take bets from Canadians, but if an offshore casino doesn’t have a presence here, it is questionable whether it is acting illegally. The law is yet to be tested and the grey area remains, but there is another twist that has much wider political connotations.

The majority of offshore casino servers are actually hosted in Canada – on the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake near Montreal. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is one of the world’s largest online gambling hosts, and technically falls under the jurisdiction of the Kahnawake First Nation. For authorities to try and bring a case against an offshore operator, they might first have to engage in a serious legal and political battle with First Nation Sovereignty, something authorities would be understandably reluctant to do.

Popular Casino & Gambling Games Online

Legalised home-grown casinos have only been available in Canada for a few years. The first land-based casinos are even newer. However, in a short space of time, Canadians have developed a taste for a wide range of gambling activities.

Slots: Most land-based casinos in Canada offer several hundred to several thousand slot machines. Online and mobile slots have also proved popular. Many top progressive jackpot prizes have found their way into Canadian accounts.

Poker: Online poker is supplied at the Loto-Quebec gambling site, but most Canadians gamble at overseas poker rooms that will accept them. Offline poker is available in most provinces, while Kahnawake in Quebec features some of the best cardrooms in the country.

Lotteries: Most provinces, other than Saskatchewan, run their own lotteries. There are also countrywide lotteries to bet on. The Lotto 649 is among the biggest, with jackpots reaching $9m. Smaller prizes can be won in regional lotteries like the Quebec La Mini and the Ontario 49.

Sports and horse racing: Horse racing betting is overseen by the Canadian Parimutuel Agency (CPMA). The organisation issues permits and licenses for racetracks to allow them to take wagers. However, at most provincial-run betting sites in places like BC and Quebec, it's also possible to place bets on horses.

Local Differences: In general, provinces have state-operated casinos that cater exclusively for local players. The spread of games and markets isn't quite as good as the major offshore sites, but there is still a decent selection.

In British Columbia, online gambling is regulated by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC). People in Canada can play regulated live casino games and buy lotto tickets via an app from the BCLC. Sports pools are also available.

In Ontario, internet gaming is strictly regulated through a state-run site. For online casinos, Canada residents in Ontario can play at PlayOLG, a site that features table gambles and slots. Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) lottery tickets can also be bought there.

Best Deposit Methods for CAD Players

At online casinos, Canadian gamblers have a pretty wide variety of deposit methods to pick from. Offshore casinos and betting sites will generally accept CAD too. Alternatively, simply deposit in CAD and convert your real cash funds to USD before you play.

iDebit

iDebit is a payment service aimed at gambling customers in Canada. It's fast and secure and allows players to make bank transfers at their favourite online casinos. Canada-based customers can deposit via a range of top banks, including Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada, and TD Canada Trust.

INSTADebit

INSTADebit is a secure payment option that uses your Canadian bank account. You can transfer USD or CAD instantly straight from your bank account, and the casino won't charge.

Credit Card

Credit card payments for casinos are quick and secure. Canadian gamblers can move cash from their Visa or MasterCard in seconds, and the limits can be fairly high. Watch out for cash advance fees of 2.5 to 3%, however.

Paysafecard

Paysafecard is a world leader in prepaid online vouchers. Prepaid Paysafecard vouchers can be bought in stores across Canada, or players can buy online at www.paysafecard.com. By entering a simple 16-digit number in the casino cashier, Canadian customers can transfer cash without ever using their debit card.

Best Land-Based Betting and Casinos

You will find legalised casinos in most areas of Canada. However, as of 2018 the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador and Prince Edward Island don't have any casinos. In general, the legal age of gambling in a casino is 19, but 18-year-olds can gamble in Alberta, Quebec and Manitoba.

The size and style of land-based casinos varies hugely between different locations. In some areas too, casinos are overseen by the local government.

Ontario: Most of the large resorts can be found in or around Niagara Falls. The Fallsview Casino Resort is one of the biggest and best casinos in the world. And, of course, visitors get to enjoy the stunning view of one of the natural wonders of the world right outside the door.

Caesars, Windsor allows local Canucks and visiting Detroit residents to gamble on a variety of table games and slots. Its proximity to the United States makes it a good option for Americans wanting to get a favourable USD to CAD rate also.

Caesars is a major destination for slots fans and features some attractive progressive jackpot slot machines. The casino boasts the Titan 360, one of the world's largest slot machines. It weighs 5,800lbs and stands 10 feet tall.

Quebec: This province’s government first licensed casinos in 1992 through the Société des casinos du Quebec (SCQ). Since then, to boost tourism, several new casinos sprung up. Quebec now has four casinos, all overseen by the new government body. They offer a good range of table games and slots to local players and tourists.

At the Casino du Lac-Leamy, gamblers have a choice of baccarat, blackjack, and casino poker. There are also 1,700 slot machines to play from as little as 1c a spin. Poker fans can also qualify for live tournaments through the state-run Loto Quebec website.

Casino Montreal is a little bigger and offers 3,000 slot machines to play. There is also a decent selection of progressive slots from leading developer IGT, including Michael Jackson King of Pop and Powerbuck$.

Like other casinos in the area, Casino de Mont-Tremblant spreads blackjack, roulette, and baccarat. But with just 425 slot machines, this riverside casino is a little more small-scale than other Loto-Quebec sites.

The Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake oversees legalised offline poker outside Montreal. Kahnawake boasts several professional cardrooms including the world-famous Playground Poker Club, home to a World Poker Tour (WPT) leg and other large-scale Texas Hold'em tournaments.

British Columbia: This province has several top land-based casinos and poker cardrooms. Regulated by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, there are around half a dozen in Northern BC like Chances Dawson Creek and the Treasure Cove Casino & Bingo in Prince. City gamblers can get their fix on Vancouver Island, at such venues as View Royal Casino and Harbour City.

In Greater Vancouver, meanwhile, casinos like River Rock Casino Resort offer slots, poker, table games and entertainment. For a Rockies backdrop, St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino mixes table games and a Western-themed gaming floor with fine dining and a golf course. Laughlin's Edgewater Casino Resort even boasts its own William Hill sportsbook on site.

Find the Best Online Casinos in 2018

When it comes to online casinos, Canada laws tend to govern province by province. But it doesn't mean state-run sites aren't worth exploring.

And while national gambling laws continue to sit on the fence on offshore betting, Canucks are free to place slots and roulette wagers wherever they like. Discover the best places to enjoy slots and table games today.

Canadian Gambling at a Glance

Population: 36 million

Legal Age of Gambling: 18/19

Land-based Casinos (Y/N): Y

Online Casinos Legal (Y/N): Y

Popular Games: Poker, casino, online slots, horse racing, lottery, Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs)

Brief History of Gambling in Canada

1892 - 25 years after the country's birth, gambling is completely banned in Canada.

1900 - The anti-gambling laws are relaxed, and some forms of charitable gambling are accepted.

1925 - By the 1920s, horse racing has been added to legal forms of betting in Canada.

1969 - Lotteries are allowed across state and provincial lines.

1974 - The first lottery is held in order to raise much-needed funds for the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

1992 – Société des casinos du Quebec is formed. It oversees all operations for casinos in Quebec.

1999 - The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is founded from the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake outside Montreal. It sets up a framework to issue remote gaming licenses for overseas casinos and poker sites.

2004 - British Columbia legalises online lottery tickets and sports betting in the province.

2009 - BC adds poker to its list of permitted games to play online.

2010 - Bingo is added to the games permitted by the BC regulator.

2015 - A Canadian casino player wins the biggest ever mobile progressive jackpot while playing Microgaming's exciting Mega Moolah slot. The lucky gambler wins $7.5m.

You've Won a Free Spin

 
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