There are a number of important facts that need to be considered when it comes to online gambling in Canada, Canadian law and how it relates to online gambling. It’s illegal to be found in a betting house or to run one according to the Criminal Code of Canada. However, as this is considered an outdated law, it’s impossible to apply this code to online casinos or online betting houses without further clarification. In 2012, the first fully legal online casino was launched in British Columbia with casino games and poker offered to residents of British Columbia. Based on this, we decided to look at a few areas with hopes of providing some clarification.
The Criminal Code
There were no such thing as legal Canadian casinos between 1892 and 1969. In fact, you were not allowed to gamble at all on anything at the time other than raffles, charitable lotteries, and horse racing. However, in 1969 a decision was made by the federal government to allow all Canadian provinces to hold their own lotteries as this appeared to be a great way for various local projects to be funded.
In 1985, the federal government made another decision to delegate full control over gambling to the individual provinces. Meaning, each province had control over gambling laws in its province. Unfortunately, the federal criminal code did not change and merely added more confusion to the issue.
Canadian law, where the criminal code is concerned, permits parlay bets of 3 or more matches instead of only single matches. There is an effort in motion to remove this restriction from the Criminal code to permit wagering on single events.
There are numerous online sites offering poker within Canada. While none of the sites are hosted within Canada, other than those hosted on Indian servers, there have not been any laws been passed to prohibit Canadian player from gambling on such sites.
The tax laws in Canada dictate winnings made from gambling are not taxed unless it’s seen as a form of employment based on the expectation of payout, skill, and frequency of play. Should you be a professional poker player, there might be taxes involved, but for those who play for fun, winnings will be taxed.