Online Gambling Canada Legal Facts by Province & Territory
state of online gambling has evolved immensely in the last twenty
years. Where once no regulations existed, there are now jurisdictions
that revel in the revenue generation of a regulated market;
jurisdictions that continue to oppose the inordinate convenience of
internet gambling; jurisdictions that, to this day, have yet to
expressly address the issue whatsoever.
to fall within that last category. It’s a situation that can be
viewed as a positive, or a negative, depending on what angle your
looking at it from. Most of today’s educated iGamers see this as an
advantage, while the more politically minded view the lack of
specific legislative language as a drawback.
I’m not here
to persuade in any direction, but rather to provide a factual scope
on the legal outlook of online gambling in Canada as it stands today.
I’ll start with a brief explanation of the current legislative
stance, then move into our next question of how Canadians can
participate in legal online gambling – should they wish to do so –
sorted by province and territory.
Online Gambling Canada Legal Facts
does not specifically address the act of gambling over the internet.
This puts us in what’s known as a “grey market”. That
means that it is not legal, nor is it illegal, to gambling online.
This means – and most legal eagles will agree – that if something
is not illegal, then it is legal. Let me explain…
Code of Canada states that all gambling that takes place in Canada is
illegal if it is not authorized by the province or territory in which
the “gambling house” has a “physical presence”.
There are a few
jurisdictions that have authorized online gambling and launched local
websites (virtual gambling houses wwith physically present servers)
for their adult residents. These follow the letter of the law, making
them expressly legal.
There are also
hundreds of Canadian-facing international gambling websites with no
servers or offices (i.e. no physical presence) on Canadian soil.
These operators are not breaking any laws, and since they are not
illegal, they are in fact legal.
Provincial Guide to Legal Online Gambling in
The following is a list of what types of online gambling sites, are legal in each province and territory of Canada. There are two categories in which they can fall into to.
Operated Gaming Websites: Provinces that receive a green check
mark in this column operate their own government-run online gambling
website. Only adult-aged residents of the respective province are
permitted to deposit and gamble on these sites.
Operated Gambling Websites: Provinces and territories that
receive a green check mark in this category are those from which
residents can legally access international online gamlbing sites
(casinos, poker rooms, sportsbooks, etc.) Due to the current “grey
market” status of the law, you’ll notice that every province and
territory qualifies in this category.
Province / Territory of Canada
Newfoundland & Labrador
Prince Edward Island
As you can see,
there are four provinces that present their own government-run online
gambling. Canada legal websites by province are as follows:
Columbia: Playnow.com Manitoba: Playnow.com* Ontario:
PlayOLG.ca Quebec: Espacejeux.ca
Playnow.com website is owned, operated and regulated by the Crown
corporation, BCLC, of British Columbia. Residents of Manitoba are
permitted to access the same Playnow.com website thanks to a 2012
agreement between BCLC and Manitoba regulators at LGCA.
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