Online Gambling in Canada: Everything You Need To Know
Many of the large local and online casinos welcome Canadian players and CAD currency with open arms. These local gambling venues and sites offer a large variety of gambling activities, from video and live poker, baccarat, roulette and blackjack, to bingo, lotteries and sports betting, and of course, the ubiquitous slots. Slots in online casinos come in the hundreds, and can be as complex as video games. And all of these games are usually offered by the same place, so you only need to register once!
Canada Gambling Facts
- Legal gambling ages: 18/19 depending on province and type of gambling (click here to see by region)
- Tax on winnings: not unless you are a professional player whose income is entirely derived from gambling.
- Physical venues in Canada: quite a few casinos and racetracks, mostly concentrated in the southern territories.
- Popularity of online gambling: it is becoming more popular as it allowed players the freedom to bet on various sports events, and to play a wide array of games from the comfort of their home.
Gambling in Your Province
Is your gambling income taxable in Canada?
When it comes to tax it is always best to check with a tax advisor. However, as the Canadian law stands right now, unless you are the one organizing the gambling activities (in other words, the casino) you will probably not be taxed. Professional players whose main income comes from gaming, like poker tournaments are a different story, and their winnings are taxed by standard income rates. This is because their gambling activities are considered to be intentionally aimed at obtaining profit. On the others hand, lottery winnings are not usually taxable by Canadian law.
Gambling Online in Canada, Province by Province
Minimum legal gambling age: 18
The large cities like Calgary each have at least a couple of decent land casinos, and there are quite a few other casinos and gaming venues spread around the state. However, the available online sites provide Alberta players with a larger selection of available table games, slots and lottery options. For a territory with quite a few land casinos, there are still plenty of unexplored options available online for Canadian players who want to try something new.
Minimum legal gambling age in BC: 19
There are quite a few land casinos in British Columbia, spread out in most of the large cities, but its stand-out gambling feature is sports betting, with 5 separate race tracks available for enthusiasts. There are also plenty of bingo locations and various sports bars that offer varied small-scale gaming. British Columbia might have plenty of land casinos but as they are all in the big cities, so for the rest of Columbians, try out our recommended casinos online.
Legal minimum gambling age: 19
Government-sanctioned Internet gambling that is legal includes: the state-run lottery.
Land gambling that is legal includes the lottery and horse racing.
Minimum gambling age in Calgary: 18
As a large Canadian city, Calgary has a range of land-based casinos for players eager to be in a real-life setting. For those who prefer playing from home, Calgary players have access to plenty of internet gambling facilities that offer poker, sports betting, roulette and slots, among other games. When it comes to gambling online, there are plenty more options in terms of games, betting sizes and the sort of jackpots that can be won.
Minimum legal gambling age: 18
The brick and mortar casinos in Manitoba can be counted on one hand, so there aren't too many options for keen players. There are some bingo and Texas Hold'em opportunities available but generally Manitoba is not really the right place to be if you are into live gaming. Manitoba is as a result a popular source of traffic for online gambling in Canada, so if you want to access the top online gaming sites that use Canadian dollars, head for our Manitoba page!
Minimum gambling age: 18
Montreal has a couple of large flashy land casinos and all the usual VLTs and lotteries available to its citizens. In addition to that, Montreal citizens can also access online gaming platforms that offer poker tables and slots, and a wide variety of sports betting. Enjoy a wide array of available online casinos that accept CAD and Canadian players and offer many more games and sports betting options.
Minimum legal gambling age: 19
There are only a couple of land casinos in New Brunswick but there are a 2,000 video lottery terminals, which are like slots, and a wide range of lotteries and scratch cards sold in many different locations. For more choice in the casino experience, online casinos are a good bet. The online casinos available to NB citizens are many and diverse, so head to our recommendations page.
Minimum legal gambling age: 19
There are no brick-and-mortar casinos at all in Newfoundland, and only the occasional VLT machine, so if you are a Newfie, your best bet are online casinos with their range of table games and slots. Racetrack betting is also very popular in the region, both online and on the tracks. Gambling online is very popular here and it offers a wide choice of different options for its players.
Minimum legal gambling age: 19
There is a number of large land casinos in the region, and a number of racetrack facilities for those into sports betting. There is also a large number of slots in the casinos, making slots popular with Nova Scotians. Table games like Texas Hold'em are also popular. Nova Scotians enjoy their casinos and horse racing but they also like being able to choose, so there are many different options for them to bet online.
Minimum gambling & casino age: 19
There are no live casinos in this very sparsely populated region, and only the occasional video lottery terminal. The most common gaming method is the state-run paper-based lottery. This is why online casinos are popular here, and especially their slots and their various sports betting options. Nunavut players' best bet is a casino online, and we have made a list of the top casinos available.
Minimum age to gamble: 19
There are no land-based casinos in the Northwest Territories, and no government-run sites for gambling, so if you are into a hand of poker or some slots, your only outlet are online gambling sites, of which there are plenty that accept CAD, due to the very nature of the internet. Try our recommended top online gambling sites for Canadian players.
Minimum gambling age in Ontario: 19 (18 for lotteries)
There are a few casinos in Ontario and horse racing is also very popular. For those looking for some diversity or who live far from a casino, Ontario's online gambling sites are a good option, offering everything from card games to roulette and hundreds of different video slots. Check out our recommendations.
Minimum gambling ages: 19 (18 for lotteries)
There are a couple of high-class land casinos in Ottawa, as in most capitals of the world, and all the usual lotteries and VLTs. Ottawans also play online on platforms that offer international poker tables, roulette, blackjack, baccarat, horse racing, general sports betting and plenty of slots. Being a world class capital, Ottawa offers plenty of gaming options. If you are still looking for online options, then check out our recommendations page for Ottawans.
Prince Edward Island
Minimum gambling age: 19
There are only a couple of physical casinos in Prince Edward Island, most containing racetracks, too. VLTs are also popular, like in other Canadian territories, and so is sports betting. This makes for a smooth transition to internet gambling, where sports betting options are much wider and more available. If you are more into table games and slots, then online sites will give you plenty of choice.
Minimum gambling age: 18
There is a number of high-quality land casinos in Quebec, which offer gaming options from table games to horse racing. However, the same options are equally popular in casino sites, which allow Quebec more choice and freedom in type of games, betting options and ability to play at all hours. If you are in Quebec but you are looking for some new gambling experiences, head for our recommendations page where you can find the top gaming sites that use CAD.
Minimum gambling age: 19
There are ten brick-and-mortar casinos in Saskatchewan, and the province also offers VLTs and a wide range of paper-based lotteries. If you are living in Saskatchewan and looking for something new, you can also take part in internet gambling sites which allow access to poker, slots, sports betting and others. Saskatchewan players will find much more choice in terms of games, betting options, and playing hours at online gambling sites for Canadian players.
Minimum gambling age in Toronto: 19
As any big city, Toronto contains some great land casinos that offers all the usual games. For the citizens of Toronto who are not into land casinos or lotteries, gambling sites provide a wider choice of available table games, slots and sports betting and a greater freedom when betting. If you are looking for something new, then head for our recommended top casinos for Toronto players.
Minimum age to gamble in Vancouver: 19
With plenty of casinos and race tracks, Vancouver also offers lotteries and VLTs. But if you have gone through all of that and are looking for something new, then gambling sites can provide you with new games and the chance to choose when you bet and how much. Head to our dedicated page for our top recommendations.
Minimum gambling age: 19
Yukon has some good land casinos, and offers lotteries and the local variety of slots to its gaming fans. The top online casinos can also be accessed by Yukon players, allowing them access to international sites of poker, baccarat, roulette, slots, sports betting and bingo.
View our Regional Gambling section to find out more
How to Get Started
The first thing you need to do to start playing online is to register on an online gambling site. Picking one is easy if you follow our recommendations of the top online casino sites for Canadian players. While registering you will have to present the site with some documentation, such as a scan of your ID card, utility bill, bank statement, or credit card, for security purposes. After registration, you can start playing immediately, either from a computer or through a mobile device.
Casino sites offer full control over your gaming, from the games you play, to how much you bet, how you deposit and withdraw your money, what language you want to use, and a link to several ways you can contact customer care if you have any questions. Mobile sites are quickly developing to cover all of the above and they can be run from most mobile devices, from iPhone and iPad to Android smartphones, Blackberry devices, Fire tablets. Alternatively, some gambling sites offer dedicated apps for mobile gambling.
Canada's Most Popular Casino Games and Sports Bets
Online gambling in Canada presents players with plenty of options. The first choice you make is whether to play for free or for real money. Free play is great for trying out new games without risking any real cash, and without having to make an initial deposit. Then once you have chosen your site and games, real money play unlocks the games' fancy features and large prizes and you can begin winning.
There are many popular casino games, among which the always-popular roulette, which can come in many different variants such as European, American (with an extra coloured pocket on the wheel), French (hitting 'zero' on an even bet gets half the bet back), or Multi-Wheel. Casinos also offer Blackjack, Baccarat, Online Poker, Video Poker, Keno, Craps, Multi-Hand Poker, hundreds of different slots from classic fruit machines to Marvel progressive jackpot titles to games like Mega Moolah with their jackpots in the millions. Finally, large casinos also offer Live Dealer Games, like Blackjack, Roulette, Texas Hold'em and Baccarat, where a live dealer deals the hands but the player is still behind their screen.
If you are into sports betting, then you are in for a treat as online casinos give you access to everything from horse racing to NBA, MLB to NFL, NHL to Boxing and Champions League. Football, Tennis, the Super Bowl, UFC and US Masters are all fair game here, but there are also more exotic things such as fantasy football, eSports, and even, in some cases, bets on the outcome of TV series or world events.
the stake put up by a poker player before receiving their cards.
the minimum or maximum bet that you can place on a particular game.
usually used in blackjack, a strategy to predict the next hand by knowing the previous hands. It is not considered good practice by casinos.
bonuses and promotions to keep players interested and their bankroll healthy.
an internationally accepted testing agency that certifies casinos' fair practices.
an unskilled poker player who is easy prey for experienced players.
assuming that since something has happened many times in a row, it will happen differently with the next spin.
a player who makes large bets regularly.
the odds by which the casino is more likely to win a hand or a round.
the probability percentage at which a game pays out.
a random number generator is what is used to ensure the fairness of online game outcomes.
a poker term for a player who adopts an over-aggressive strategy due to frustration.
Gambling Bonuses for Canadian Players
Online casinos are aware of the amount of competition the internet provides, so they treat their players to all sorts of offers and bonuses. There are welcome bonuses for signing up, loyalty bonuses for regular play, promotions linked to the particular games you choose to play or to using Canadian dollars as currency, or even to the deposit method you choose. Many games and specific promotions provide free rolls to use for slots. Top casinos also offer VIP clubs and offers for loyal players.
The Popular Gambling Payment Methods
The most popular payment methods are credit or debit cards like Visa and MasterCard, which link your internet gambling account to your card and allow direct transactions. A less direct method of doing this is through e-wallets like PayPal and NETELLER, where you deposit your money into the e-wallet and from there to the casino, in this way protecting your identity and making the process more secure.
There are also prepaid methods like e-vouchers and prepaid cards, where withdrawing requires a different payment method but you can never go over the limit, and you can remain fully anonymous. Finally, the newest method on the market is bitcoin gambling, which is an anonymous online way of deposit and withdrawal at casinos that is quickly becoming more popular.
Setting up payment is fairly simple:
While registering you can choose your preferred method of payment.
You have to enter the requested information, such as credit card number/name, or PayPal email address.
You deposit some cash into your chosen method: ewallet account or credit card, for example.
You instruct the casino to withdraw some of those funds into your casino account and you are ready to play!
Online Gambling Tips and Tricks
There are a few things to remember in order to maintain a healthy bankroll. First, you have to understand how odds work for different gambling games online.
Slots have their own payout rates, which should be in the high 90s for your real money to be worth depositing there. Since slot machines are entirely games of chance run by RNGs, it is very important to keep in mind the Gambler's Fallacy, which dictates that the fact that something has happened often in the past does not mean that it will happen less in the future.
Table games all have different odds, depending on the game, and the way you bet on it. The house edge is higher for some game varieties than for others, but generally Blackjack and Baccarat have a lower house edge than most poker varieties.
Sports Betting is a different type of betting, where bets can be made on particular outcomes, on a particular team winning (line bets), or according to the point spread which takes into consideration previous results and gives underdogs good odds, too.
To keep your bankroll healthy regardless of the game you choose to gamble on, you should follow the tips below:
Pick casinos with good bonus packages
Do not bet more than you have
Gamble online for free at first to check out the games
Bet smaller amounts so you can bet for longer
Don't play when tired or drunk as it will impact your ability to make decisions
These online gambling tips will help you keep track of your finances and ensure that gambling remains just a hobby that does not impact your life in any negative way.
Gambling can become a dangerous addiction that can damage lives and social relationship, so if you feel that signing off is becoming a problem, please refer to some of the resources listed below:
Problem Gambling – an Ontario organization that offers help to gamblers who need it.
Gambling Problem Helpline – a helpline for Canadian players in need of counseling. It can be reached on 1-866-332-2322.
Responsible Gambling – a website offering help to Canadian players who feel they cannot stop playing.
In addition, every Canadian territory has its own Alcohol and Gambling commission website that provides information regarding gaming.
What is online gambling?
Online gambling is playing games such as poker, baccarat, roulette or slots through a website. Originally begun as an extension to land casinos, nowadays online betting is independent of their physical counterparts and have expanded to include thousands of different games and sports betting options.
What are the best online gambling sites?
Finding the best online gambling site might seem like a daunting task, considering the number of existing internet gambling sites. To pick a top site with good bonuses and game choice, head to our recommendations page where we have reviewed the best online gambling for Canadian players.
How old do you have to be to gamble in Canada?
The minimum legal gambling age in Canada is 18 or 19, depending on the type of gambling and on the territory. Generally, all casinos can be accessed first at 19 in most territories, so it is not permitted to bet at school in Canada.
Which slots online pay real money?
Most gambling games online are set up for real money play. While there are free casino games for players to test them out, real money play is the norm in casinos online.
How can I win on slot machines?
There are a couple of tips you can follow to win more often on slots: bet smaller amounts at each spin, pick games with high payout rates, play only at recommended sites, and don't play about your means.
Is sports betting counted as gambling?
Yes it is, according to the Canadian laws, but according to the Canadian Criminal Code it is illegal to bet on a single sport event or athletic contest, which makes international gambling sites very popular for Canadian players.
The information on this page is offered as a general guide. It does not provide either tax or legal advice, and it should not be used in this manner. Users should seek formal financial and legal advice from an independent provider if they have any questions to do with online gambling activity.