Like everywhere else in the world, online casino sites in Canada are experiencing dazzling and growing success. To satisfy the numerous players and Internet users, new platforms are constantly being created on the web. This makes it particularly difficult for novices and beginners to find the best virtual casino. In order to do so, it is essential to know the regulations of online casino games in Canada. The choice of the platform is also based on specific criteria.
The Regulation of Online Casino Games in Canada
The regulation of online casinos in Canada is uncertain and often confusing. To better understand the legal provisions that apply to them, it is essential to know the evolution of the Criminal Code…
History of Gambling Regulation in Canada
Lotteries have been legally permitted in Canada since 1969, but exclusively for the benefit of the state.
In 1985, the legislation underwent a major change. The new Act allows gambling operators to operate throughout the country. This legal provision applies in particular to online casino games.
However, it should be noted that the regulation of the activity of virtual casino operators and the access of resident players to these platforms is handled by the authorities that govern each province. The laws governing online casinos, therefore, differ from one province to another.
The Regulation of Online Casino Games in each Canadian Province
Nova Scotia strictly prohibits online casinos. Other provinces, such as Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta, have not yet taken a position on online casinos. The Saskatchewan government has opted for medium-term regulation of virtual casinos.
The administrative authorities of the provinces of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia allow online casinos.
Legal Online Casino Sites in Canada
Players living in Canada can play online casino games legally on official sites and on offshore platforms, under certain conditions.
The very first virtual casino games platform was launched in Quebec in 2010. The site is developed and managed by the government. Other official sites were then created in the other provinces that allow virtual casinos.
Players based in Canada can play freely on these platforms managed by the provincial governments.
Offshore Virtual Casinos
Players, who reside in Canada can also, under certain conditions, play on offshore platforms, i.e. virtual casinos that operate in Canada but whose servers are established in other countries.
Foreign virtual casino operators are required to comply with the legal provisions in force in order to operate on Canadian territory and offer access to their services to players based in Canada. Otherwise, their activities are completely illegal.
Legal foreign virtual casino sites have an operating licence granted by a recognized regulatory authority such as Malta, Gibraltar, Curacao, Kahnawake (this sovereign nation located in Quebec is one of the authorities that have the accreditation to issue operating licences to virtual casinos), etc. ;
- a security system to guarantee the protection of personal data that is registered and/or that passes through the platform;
- a reliable and legal online payment system: virtual casinos must notably suggest several payment methods;
- a support centre, ideally available at all times, which can answer all players’ queries about the software used and the site’s features, as well as about the services provided by the operator.
Offshore virtual casino operators are also obliged to comply with the legal provisions on promotional activities to attract players. In particular, limits apply to the amounts of bonuses offered and jackpots and free spins on slot machines.
The Federal Act also imposes a restriction on access to certain types of games at virtual casinos. Canadian-based players are allowed to play virtual poker and table games (e.g. roulette, blackjack), free spins on slot machines and real money on online slot machines.