Guide to gambling ages in Canada
New to online gambling or unsure of the legalities? You’ve come to the right place! Here's a breakdown of gambling ages across Canada, along with tips to get you started at the best online casinos.
What is the legal gambling age in Canada?
By Lauren Le-Hair - Gambling Expert | June 2023
To gamble legally in Canada, you must be either 18 or 19, depending on which province you call home. As provincial and territorial governments regulate gambling laws in Canada, the legal age to gamble differs across the country. To help you, here’s a complete list of all the legal gambling ages within each Canadian province:
|Province/territory||Major cities||Legal gambling age||No. of land casinos|
Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer
Burnaby, Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria
Brandon, Steinbach, Winnipeg
Fredericton, Moncton, Saint John
Corner Brook, Mount Pearl, St. John’s
Hay River, Inuvik, Yellowknife
Halifax, Sydney, Truro
Charlotteworn, Stratford, Summerside
Gatineau, Laval, Longueuil, Montréal
Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon
How do online casinos verify your age?
Legit operators must verify your identity and age before you can deposit and play games. Typically, when registering at a real money online casino, you need to provide your address, date of birth and name.
The casino will check the information you give across various databases, such as a voting register. If this information doesn’t match, and the online casino requires further details, you will need to submit proof of photo ID and a recent utility bill to verify your address and identity.
Even if the casino doesn’t request these documents initially, you’ll still need to provide them before you can withdraw winnings for the first time.
Proof of ID
All legal Canadian casinos require you to upload a copy of your government-issued photo ID when cashing out for the first time. Doing this is straightforward – simply scan a valid ID document or take a selfie and send it to the casino operator.
Widely accepted forms of ID are a driver’s licence, passport and valid ID card. How long it takes the casino to approve your ID depends on the operator, but you can expect your account to be verified within 24 hours in most cases.
Online gambling sites must also check you’re playing from within a licensed location. In the past, providing details of your address when signing up was all that was required, but in recent years regulatory laws have been tightened.
Nowadays, casino sites are using geolocation technology to identify where gamblers are playing from. This also helps prevent identity theft and detect fraud faster.
In Ontario, online casinos must use geolocation to track players, while many international casinos available across the rest of Canada also do so. Geolocation is not a single technology but rather a group of tools, including cellular positioning, GPS and Wi-Fi location tracking.
What types of online gambling are legal in Canada?
You can play plenty of thrilling slots and table games like roulette, blackjack and baccarat at the best online casinos in Canada. Most sites offer hundreds – if not thousands – of legal casino games, special bonuses to increase your bankroll, and multiple payment methods.
So, if you’re ready to gamble and are of legal gambling age, Canada has plenty of great options. You can bet online or at land-based locations and try your hand at various games, including:
Today, you can choose from thousands of online slots, with different themes, features and payouts.
Modern video slots have become hugely popular, thanks to rich graphics, crisp sound effects, and animations that make games more immersive and entertaining. There are also huge prizes to be won in progressive slot games, which feature a growing jackpot that can run into millions of dollars.
Online casino table games can be played against a virtual dealer or AI players. There are also live dealer options, which offer gameplay in real-time through a live stream with a professional human dealer.
When visiting online casinos available in Canada, you can choose from a wide range of games and variations with different rules, strategies and betting limits to suit all budgets. Popular table games include blackjack, roulette, baccarat, poker, craps and sic bo.
You can also play online video poker if you meet the legal gambling age in Canada. In Ontario, you can access poker networks and online casinos with video poker regulated by the province. In other parts of Canada, you can play at internationally licensed gambling sites.
Compared to the traditional format, video poker requires far less skill, making it easier to win real money as you play. You can choose from many variations, such as Texas Hold’em, Deuces Wild, Stud and more.
Online bingo is a game of luck that is available at dedicated online bingo sites and some online casinos. The game involves using virtual cards and a random number generator (RNG) to replicate gameplay at a land-based bingo hall.
Many types of online bingo exist, including 90-ball, 75-ball and themed bingo rooms. Most online bingo sites have a wide selection of rooms to play in, with different features, patterns and themes. This makes finding bingo games that suit your budget and preferences easy.
Canadians love the lottery, and they have lots to choose from. Three national lotteries are open to all Canadians in every province: LOTTO MAX, The Daily Grand and Lotto 6/49. There are also five regional lotteries covering specific provinces. Each of the following lottery games can be played by buying tickets at retail locations or online:
Atlantic 49 (Atlantic Lottery): New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador
BC/49 (British Columbia Lottery Corporation): British Columbia
Quebec 49 (Loto-Québec): Québec
Ontario 49 (Ontario Lottery and Gaming): Ontario
Western Max 6/49 (Western Canada Lottery Corp): Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut, Northwestern Territories
If you want to bet on single sports events in Canada, you’ll need to head online, as all provinces (apart from Ontario) only offer parlay-style multi-market betting. You can visit internationally regulated sports betting sites from anywhere in Canada.
In Ontario, thanks to the launch of its regulated sports betting program last year, sports betting is now available online at AGCO-licensed sportsbooks.
You can choose from different types of bets, such as moneyline, point spread, totals, props and futures. Sportsbooks offer a range of sports and markets at varying odds, including live betting options that let you wager in play as the action unfolds. The legal gambling age in Canada also covers sports betting.
How to sign up to an online gambling site in Canada
It’s easy for new customers to register an account and start playing games at online casinos. All you need to do is create a username and provide a few personal details, such as your name, age, address and email.
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to register at an online casino, using Canada’s top gambling site, JackpotCity Casino, as an example:
1. Visit your chosen online casino and tap the ‘Register’ or ‘Sign up’ button, which is usually in the top right-hand corner of the site to get started:
2. Confirm your physical location to prove where you’re signing up from. Then tap ‘Continue’ or ‘Next’:
3. Create a username and password and enter your email:
4. Provide personal details (name, date of birth, preferred language and mobile number):
5. Enter your billing address, agree to the T&Cs and confirm whether you want to opt-in to receive a welcome bonus and promotional offers:
6. Finalize registration and verify your account by submitting a copy of government-issued photo ID and official documentation (eg, utility bill or bank statement):
Internationally regulated online casinos available to Canadians may request ID verification when you register, but you likely won’t need to verify your account until you make your first withdrawal. If you register for an online casino in Ontario, you’ll need to provide geolocation proof during registration.
Where can I bet in Canada?
In 1985, the federal and provincial governments agreed to amend the Criminal Code to let provinces handle all gaming activities, except for horse racing. Gambling became widely available across Canada following the milestone agreement, with provinces free to create their own rules for land-based and online gambling.
Ontario is currently the only province with a regulated iGaming market, but we expect other provinces and territories to follow suit in the future. Still, you can gamble at internationally licensed online casinos and sportsbooks in Canada.
Is online gambling legal in Ontario?
Ontario is (so far) the only province in Canada that has created a legal framework for online casinos and sportsbooks. The casino age limit in Ontario is 19, and this extends to all forms of gambling. The one exception is lottery games, which accept players aged 18 or over. Licences have been available for casino and sports betting operators since April 4, 2022.
There are over 70 licensed online casinos and 30 legal sportsbooks operating in Ontario under the regulation of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and its subsidiary, iGaming Ontario. Residents and visitors in ON can also visit over 25 land-based casinos located within the province.
Is online gambling legal in Alberta?
To gamble in Alberta, you must be 18 or over, which is the legal gambling age in the province. Unfortunately, Alberta does not regulate online casinos and sportsbooks locally. Still, you can visit sites licensed by internationally reputed authorities like the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC), UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).
Alberta does provide the PlayAlberta site, a government-run portal that offers a limited number of online casino games. If you prefer land-based betting, the province has 28 physical locations.
Is online gambling legal in British Columbia?
The casino age in BC is 19+, and the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) regulates the industry. Online gambling is currently prohibited, but players in the province can access online casinos and sportsbooks abroad.
BC also has a PlayNow platform operated by the BCLC, which offers slots and other casino games. There are currently 18 land-based casinos in British Columbia, with several located in Vancouver, Kelowna and Burnaby.
Is online gambling legal in Saskatchewan?
You’ll need to be 19 or over to meet the gambling age in Saskatchewan. There is no legal online casino or sports betting in the province, but you can check out online operators licensed overseas anytime.
If you want to experience casino games within Saskatchewan, you can visit one of the eight land-based casinos available in the province. These include the Dakota Dunes Casino in Whitecap and the Bear Claw Casino in Carlyle.
Legal gambling ages worldwide
Now you know the legal gambling age in Canada – but what about other countries around the world? Statistics show that 26% of the world’s population (over two billion people) gamble at some point during the year, showing it’s a hugely popular form of entertainment.
Let’s look at how the gambling age limits in other top gambling destinations compare to Canada:
|Country||Minimum gambling age|
|20 (casinos and lotteries), 18 (other types)|
|18, or 25 for citizens|
|20 (casinos), 18 (horse racing and lotteries), and none (other types)|
|20 (casinos), 18 (other types)|
|Varies by state (18, 19, 21 or illegal)|
Top tips for online gambling in Canada
The crucial thing to remember about gambling is that the odds always favour the house. Still, there are some things you can do to become a more successful player. Whether you’re a new or seasoned gambler, these tips should prove useful:
Practice with free games
If you meet the legal gambling age, playing free casino games is a great place to start your online gambling journey. Many top online casinos offer slots and table games for free in demo mode. While you cannot win real money, free play allows you to test a game and practice betting strategies without risking your bankroll.
Boost your bankroll with bonuses
The best online casinos often have promotions and bonuses that allow players to extend their bankroll. Popular promos include welcome bonuses, free spins, no deposit bonuses and a deposit match. Make sure to read the T&Cs of every offer you want to claim and check for conditions, such as the wagering requirement and payment restrictions.
Play high RTP games
Return-to-Player (RTP) is a metric that shows how much a casino game will pay back to players for every dollar spent on average. While it does not guarantee wins, RTP can give you a better idea of how much you can expect to win or lose over time. Baccarat and blackjack boast some of the highest RTPs, while the best online slots with generous RTPs include Mega Joker (99%), Jackpot 6000 (98.9%), and The Catfather (98.1%).
Read online casino reviews
Our expert casino reviews cover everything from game selection, bonuses and security to payment methods, customer support and more.
Why not check out some of our Canadian online casino reviews below?
Place simple sports bets
If you’re betting on sports, pick wagers that are easy to understand, such as moneylines, spreads, totals and straight bets. These are available for a variety of sports and the markets are clear, meaning it will be easier to read the game and understand the odds. You can certainly pick more complex bets when your experience grows, but as a beginner, it’s best to keep it simple.
Are gambling winnings taxable in Canada?
When it comes to gambling tax in Canada, it’s a good idea to get advice from a specialist advisor. As Canadian law stands right now, unless you are the one organizing the gambling activities (in other words, you are the casino), you will not be taxed.
Another exception is if you make a living from gambling, like a pro poker player, for example. In that case, your winnings are taxed by standard income rates. If you’re just a recreational gambler, none of your winnings will be taxed.
Responsible gambling in Canada
To gamble responsibly in Canada, you must be of legal age and provide your ID to meet the casino age limit. Casino operators must follow responsible gambling standards set by regulators to remain compliant.
The best online casino providers have responsible gambling pages with information and tools to help you control your budget and gaming habits. All legal gambling apps also provide links to safe gambling resources and charities, including:
More on online gambling
Online gambling is when you bet on casino games, sports, lotteries, bingo, or any other form of gambling via the internet. You don’t need to visit a physical location and can do all the betting on your PC or mobile phone.
Yes, but only licensed and regulated in Ontario. The province opened its doors to online casino and sportsbook operators on April 4, 2022. In other provinces, online gambling sites are prohibited. However, residents in those provinces can visit internationally licensed casinos and sportsbooks.
Of course. However, you must choose a reputable online casino or sports betting site. Ensure that any operator you choose holds a valid licence with a recognized regulator such as iGaming Ontario, the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority or similar.
Canada has gambling laws that allow provinces to create their own regulations and licensing rules for gambling. This means each province can have a different approach to gambling, both online and offline. Ontario is currently the only province that permits online casinos and sports betting sites.
Absolutely. In fact, the whole point of online casinos is for players to deposit funds and bet on real money games to win cash. Slots, blackjack, roulette, poker and other casino games require you to make a bet and predict an outcome. If you win, the game will pay out a real money prize.
Many of our top-rated online casinos provide fast withdrawals, allowing you to cash out winnings as quickly as possible. You can check out which online casinos have the fastest payout speeds by reading our comprehensive reviews and comparing casino sites.
Blackjack is the best casino game if you're trying to win real money, with a favourable house edge ranging from 0.5 – 3%. If you prefer slots, roulette or other games, pick the titles with the highest RTP percentage.
Yes, mobile gameplay is supported by almost all online casinos and sportsbooks. Modern online gambling operators know many players prefer to gamble on their mobile devices. To cater to customers, casino sites are optimized to run on smartphones. Some online casinos also offer a dedicated casino app that users on iOS and Android can install.
You can play online casinos by registering with one of our recommended gambling sites. Complete the sign-up process and deposit money into your casino account. Head to the casino game lobby and pick your preferred game. Choose your betting amount and start playing.
No, reputable software providers use random number generator (RNG) technology to ensure all outcomes are left to chance. To ensure this happens, studios allow their games to be tested by independent labs, such as eCogra, confirming that all slots and other casino games are fair.
The information on this page is offered as a general guide. It does not provide either tax or legal advice, and should not be used in this manner. Users should seek formal financial and legal advice from an independent provider if they have any questions about online gambling.
About the writer
Coming from a strong media background, Lauren has been working in the iGaming industry for a while. She graduated from university with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Production. Since then, she’s gained considerable experience and knowledge of Canada’s online casino market.
She combines her passion for writing and love of casino games. Lauren’s a keen blackjack player, yet she also loves spinning the reels of thrilling online slots in her spare time.