Canadian FlagOnline Gaming in Canada has always been seen as a grey area in Canadian law when it comes to its legality. Especially so when considering the diverse opinions from around the world surrounding legal gambling.

However, in the past few years, there have been a few provinces that started their own online gambling casinos.  Some of these casinos are attempting to suggest that offshore operators are operating illegally, yet there is nothing in Canadian law that supports this.

The reality is that online gambling in Canada and legal online casinos do exist. Casinos.co estimate that over 70% of Canadians have gambled in the past year. But it’s far more confusing in reality and to date, the Federal Government has yet to enact any specific legislation in relation to online gambling.

Whether that will change in the near future is yet to be seen but some suggest that it will come. In fact, certain operators such as NetEnt have already exited the Canadian market.

What are the Gambling Laws in Canada?

Casino scams - MGA LogoThe majority of casinos that operate online do so in countries that are friendly to operators. Generally, these are offshore operating in Malta, Costa Rica and other countries. The fact they are identified as “offshore” is a bit confusing as a large number of offshore casinos are situated within the Canadian borders; technically falling under their own jurisdiction as they are hosted on Native reserves.

For example, the Kahnawake Mohawk Nation located outside of Montreal started the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in 1996 and offers gaming licenses to online casinos providing a loophole within the Criminal code. This allowed numerous legal Canadian online casinos to operate successfully and for Canadian players to play freely online.

Who Licenses Online Casinos in Canada?

As it stands, each province regulates its own gambling sites online in Canada. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission also operates inside Canada but is considered its own governing body, technically speaking. This commission not only regulates Canadian casino sites and operates its own servers, but is also considered the most-used regulator for online casino sites around the world.

The question of getting in trouble for playing online will remain unclear until certain laws have been written and passed. Due to the fact that this could take some time, most people still play at an online casino on a daily basis. As far as research shows, no one in Canada has ever charged with playing at an online casino in the past. Even if a casino cannot operate in your jurisdiction due to what a specific law states, most online casinos operate outside of the countries jurisdiction and it will be near impossible to shut all of them down without a law pertaining to same in place.

What's the Future of Online Casinos in CA?

There’s no certainty what the future holds for legal online casinos in Canada due to the government being fairly hesitant in altering the criminal code from how it currently stands. Evidently, legalizing online casinos in Canada would be beneficial by pumping money into the economy of Canada and arguments for legalization and regulation are strong.

Currently, online providers like Microgaming and Play’n GO are keeping online casinos strong in CA. For the time being, these providers are more than enough to satisfy slot gambling. However, regulations still might change in future to open the gates for more and more gambling entities.

In all likelihood, Canada will ultimately have a liberal form of regulation where online casinos will be regulated but will still be fully legal as long as they maintain certain restrictions and pay taxes on income generated from Canadian players.

Conclusion

If you reside in Canada, online gambling in Canada is legal. The worry about facing legal issues for playing or paying taxes on winnings is mute as the laws do not apply to either of these areas. While British Columbia sent out letters in attempts to suggest that B.C residents who choose online gambling in Canada will face legal troubles, the reality is B.C has no standing on this and will be unsuccessful based on Federal Law and this has been confirmed by experts on Canadian law.

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