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Gambling in Canada
Thinking about gambling in Canada? Thinking about doing it online? Your Canadian gambling options vary from province to province. Some jurisdictions only like lotteries. Others run casinos. Some allow casinos, but don't run them. Others let you gamble online. It can all be very confusing, but as long as you know where you live and what the laws are, understanding gambling by Canadian province is a piece of cake. Read on and we'll walk you through everything.
How gambling in Canada varies from province to province
Gambling in Canada wasn't always easy. Back in 1892, the Canadian Criminal Code actually banned every single form of gambling. That changed fairly quickly as views on gambling by province and federal authorities changed. In 1969, the feds decided to let the feds and provincial governments run lotteries after they realized that lotteries were real money-makers. And soon after, the federal government handed over all gambling-related legislation to the provinces. Today, the provincial governments can decide what lotteries to run, what casinos to open, and anything else related to gaming.
How to play at provincial online casinos
Canadians love to gamble online, so much so that the provinces are trying to get in on the action. British Columbia operates its PlayNow website. It's an online portal where you can bet on casino games and play online poker. Quebec offers a similar site called Espace Jeux. Generally, gambling by province varies in terms of game selection, with each province offering a different variety of casino games.
The Ontario Government is working hard to modernize its gaming model by establishing an online casino and poker site of its own. If you want to gamble in Canada at one of these provincially run online casinos, you need to be a resident of the province running the games. That means if you don't live in the three provinces that offer online gambling, you'll need to play at a site that's not provincially run. Thankfully, there are loads of options that are regulated by international gaming authorities. And many of the big ones have been around for over a decade, with reputations that are much better than the ones run by the provincial lotteries.
Why the provinces already have casino competition in Canada
While the Canadian provinces try to establish their own online casinos, thousands of other online casinos already have a head start thanks to another regulatory body that's focused on gambling in Canada. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission was established in 1996 and today they license literally hundreds of online casinos to operate around the world. They also host the servers for those same online casinos. Since the Kahnawake Mohawk Nation views itself as a sovereign nation, they don't bother thinking about gambling by province, and they don't have to answer to the Canadian government.
Other countries around the world run similar gaming commissions, including Gibraltar, Malta, and Antigua. Combined, they licence and regulate thousands of online casinos around the world. That means, if you're looking at options for gambling in Canada, you're well taken care of.
We found the best places to gamble in Canada
With provincially run casinos, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, and internationally regulated sites, it can be hard to figure out where to look first. But there's no need to feel overwhelmed about gambling in Canada. We've done the legwork for you to find the best places to play casino games. And you know all the changing rules when you have to think about when you talk about gambling by province to province? Don't worry about any of them. When you choose to play at one of our picks for the best casinos in Canada, it doesn't matter where you live. To get started, click one of the download links. We'll get you all set up at a gambling site that fair, trustworthy, and regulated for Canadians.