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Current Gambling Laws Applied in Canada

Published on May 6, 2017, 5:03 pm

by Jeff Grant Twitter account Jeff Grant LinkedIn account

America’s neighbor has seen staggering continuous growth in its casino scene—online or otherwise—over the last few decades. This paved the way to some of the blossoming best casinos in Canada that attract tens of thousands of tourists to come every year. The regulated online gaming scene in Canada does include Charitable Gaming, Lottery, Horse Racing, Casino Gaming, Video Lottery, and Slots at Racetracks While on the other hand, unregulated ones include casinos, race books, lottery tickets sold online, sports books, poker sites, and bingo.

While it is a fact that the regulated gambling activities face strict measures, accountability, and enforcement measures in place, not all online gambling sites which include betting ones are subject to government regulations in Canada.

Man at Neon Lit Game
Man at Neon Lit Game

One may say that the gambling regulations and laws in Canada is quite confusing as there are a lot of gray areas. There are no direct legal provisions to prevent anyone in Canada from placing their bets online. The First Nation Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC), a group that is one of the biggest and most respected online licensing powerhouses in world is located in Kahnawake, in the Mohawk Territory.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission or KGC is operating servers for thousands of online gambling sites and is providing a framework for regulation and customer service resolution that has come to see a high ruling in its consumers’ favor. While KGC does operate online gambling sites and casinos on their own terms, guidelines, and rules, they do not however answer to any other agencies for requirements in regulations whatsoever.

The gaming industry in Canada represents, as a whole, a very important portion of Canada’s labor markets and revenues with $16 Billion in revenue annually and job creations around 260,000, direct and otherwise. The lottery scene in Canada has finally moved into the online world with British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s first-ever online casino being founded in 2010 which was followed by another site by Loto-Quebec in December of the same year.

Every year, the Canadian Gaming Summit is held in order to bring up legal developments in the industry. Last year’s summit held in Ottawa, subjects covered in the summit include follow-ups on the effective 2014 workshop focusing on anti-money laundering laws. This summit helped participants to understand the rules and regulations and as well as the expectations in the ongoing regulation with AML/CTF.

Gambling in Canada: A High Overview

When Canada was founded as an independent state in 1800s, the expedition of John Cabot knew that gambling there had started long before they had discovered it. The island showed signs that gambling activities had started around 1500s by the people who had lived there.

Online Gambling: Legal or not?

It is confusing, for some people, but always remember that in a federal level, every Canadian province has a right to assert and create its own rule and regulations regarding online gambling. But legal and historical facts would show us that no one has ever been persecuted nor fined for just playing in an online gambling site. So, it is safe to say that Canadians are able to gambling, play, and bet on these gambling sites without having to fear prosecution from the government.

In Manitoba, Alberta, and Quebec, you can start gambling in land-based and online casinos at the age of 18 while the rest of the provinces in Canada, the legal age is 19.

Typical casino slot machines
Typical casino slot machines

How big and popular is Gambling in Canada

One must make no mistake to underestimate how much money the Canadian gambling industry can provide annually. It has been claimed before that gambling in Canada—land-based and online casinos included—is earning US$7 million every year. In other areas of Canada, especially those in the provinces, local government units would buy, own, and run their own casinos to benefit from the taxes these casinos bring. While the others would own their own casinos and let other big names operate the casinos on their behalf. Tax revenues are steadily growing every year that is why one cannot deny the positive comments from the government.

Why Canadian Gambling is so popular

It is true that some people are against gambling—in all forms—but these are the same people who would tend to exaggerate the negative impacts as well. But more and more Canadians and tourists have started to realize the good that it can bring especially to the economy. The government and authorities of Canada, with big casino operators rallying beside them, are in total agreement for more responsible gambling and gaming.

In all of its bad effects, here are just some of the reasons why Canadian gambling industry is prospering:

  • Gambling and gaming are a form of entertainment for people who wish to relax and unwind after a long day at work. You would find it really nice to relax in a place where staff would smile at you while serving your drink as you play your favorite slot machine.
  • Yes, it is fun for patrons and customers, but provincial and federal governments benefit from gambling and gaming due to the steady flow of tax revenues. Not to mention, casinos whether land-based or not generate tens of thousands, if not hundreds, of job opportunities which help people put food on the table and decrease the country’s total unemployment rate.
  • Gambling is something that the Canadian government know better than to ban gambling and gaming as it takes in many types and forms and banning it would not solve anything. People will find other venues to gamble, it is something that is embedded on the human fiber.

There you have them. These are just some of the most pertinent facts, information, and details that one needs to be aware of about the gambling scene in Canada, especially the rules and regulations. There are many Canadian online sites worth checking out that give new players huge bonuses and rewards for signing up.

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