Did you know that more people play real money games at online casinos in Canada? If you haven’t joined yet, you’re missing out on many Ontario online casinos! It’s no news that gambling generally is legal in Canada. However, what do the laws say about online gambling?

If you’ve been skeptical about signing up with an online casino because of legality issues, we will clear the air in this article. We’ll cover everything you need to know, so you understand what it entails to gamble in the different provinces.

Is Online Gambling Legal in Canada?

Online gambling was not considered legal in Canada until recently. There have been regulations on gambling as far back as 1969, but the laws were a bit restrictive. For one, Canadian residents could only gamble on horse racing and lotteries. These activities were land-based as most lotteries were either charity or ones held at fairs. The 1969 regulations through the Criminal Code permitted the 10 Canadian Provinces to hold lotteries.

As time passed, a new regulation in 1985 gave the Provinces total control over gambling laws. However, without an amendment to the Criminal Code, it wasn’t still possible for people to gamble legally.

Fortunately for Canadian residents, the laws have changed to accommodate other gambling activities. Today, Canadians can visit online gambling sites to play games. The country’s two major regulations for gambling are the Provincial Law and the First Nations Law. The complexity of the legality of online gambling stems from the fact that the decision lies in the provinces. As a result, today, some provinces permit online gambling, while some are yet to.

The First Nations Law in 1995 allowed the native tribes and communities in the country to set up gambling establishments. In other words, it is legal for these communities to operate online gambling websites.

This led to the establishment of the Kahnawake Gaming Reserve in 1996. It was introduced by a native tribe, the Kahnawake Mohawk Nation. The Gaming Commission was responsible for issuing gaming licenses to online casinos.

What are the Gambling Laws For Provinces?

As mentioned earlier, gambling laws are determined by the provinces in Canada. Each of the 10 provinces determines the legality of online gambling. They include:

  • Alberta;
  • British Columbia;
  • Manitoba;
  • Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • New Brunswick;
  • Nova Scotia;
  • Ontario;
  • The Prince Edward Island;
  • Quebec;
  • Saskatchewan.

To understand the legality of gambling in Canada, we have to look at the local laws that apply. It is essential because it helps you decide which online gambling sites are trusted and licensed. One thing to note is that the Provincial Laws on gambling differ. Here is a brief description of the regulators for each of the provinces in the country.


In this province, gambling is regulated by the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Commission. The legal age for gambling is 18 years in this province. Alberta permits lotteries, especially from charity groups. These groups will be issued a license to hold raffles, bingo, and pull tabs. In addition, Alberta allows casinos to offer a variety of games, from slots to table games and even live games. Residents can use offshore and local licensed gambling sites.

British Columbia

Gambling activities are monitored by the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch of the Ministry of Finance. In British Columbia, only players that are 19 years or older can gamble. In addition, the Provincial Law in place is the Gaming Control Act of 2002. For now, there is only one local licensed online gaming site.


In Manitoba, gambling activities are regulated by the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corporation. The gaming authority operators comply with the Liquor, Gaming, and Cannabis Control Act and the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation Act. The legal age for gambling is 18 years in Manitoba. Residents can gamble online at offshore and licensed gambling sites in the province.

New Brunswick

All gambling is supervised by the Gaming Control Branch of the Department of Public Safety in New Brunswick. In addition, New Brunswick manages lotteries and ensures that all gambling operators comply with the Gaming Control Act of 2008. Residents in New Brunswick can use offshore sites and ALC.ca, New Brunswick’s licensed online casino.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Residents here do not have access to land-based casinos. Also, the province does not permit real money casinos. However, no legislation prevents residents from playing games at offshore casinos.

Newfoundland and Labrador only approve nonprofit games of chance, card games, bingo, and lotteries. The province is regulated by the Consumer Affairs Division, Consumer and Commercial Affairs Branch of Service NL.

Nova Scotia

The regulatory body in the province is the Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel, and Tobacco Division of Service Nova Scotia. The age requirement is 19 years for gamblers, and online gambling is legal. The province also allows players to access offshore and licensed sites. The gambling authority in Nova Scotia manages disputes and complaints between customers and operators. The gaming authority operates under the Gaming Control Act of 1994-1995.


The main regulatory body in this province is the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. The Gaming Control Act of 1992 and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation 1999 are the major laws on gambling in the province. Ontario is one of the provinces that does not restrict gambling activities. However, for residents to play at casinos, they are to meet the legal age, which is 19 years or older.

The Prince Edward Island

Residents are permitted to gamble at online casinos on the Island. The gambling authority is the Prince Edward Island Lotteries Commission. They are responsible for all land-based casinos and online gambling platforms. The law in place is the Lotteries Commission Act. Residents must be 19 years old to use any casino on the Island. Also, the gambling law states that the Commission can perform its suites with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council. The Gambling Commission also can conduct lotteries on behalf of the government.


Quebec gambling is regulated by Regie des alcools, des courses et des Jeux, and the Quebec Lottery Corporation. These two bodies monitor all gambling operators’ activities in the country. However, Regie des alcools, des courses et des Jeux is responsible for gambling, horse racing, public lotteries, and alcohol. The other authority, on the other hand, monitors gambling halls, bingo games, and lotteries.

The gambling law is the Act Respecting Lotteries, Publicity, Contests, and Amusement Machines. Quebec has land-based casinos and licensed online casinos. Residents can also use offshore sites, but all gamblers must be up to 18 years.


This province is regulated by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority. Also, they ensure that operators comply with the region’s Alcohol and Gaming Regulation Act of 1997. The legal age for gambling is 19 years in Saskatchewan. Currently, residents can play games at offshore and licensed gambling websites.

S/N Province Regulatory Body
1 Alberta Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Commission
2 British Columbia Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch of the Ministry of Finance
3 Manitoba Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation
4 Newfoundland and Labrador Consumer Affairs Division, Consumer and Commercial Affairs Branch of Service NL
5 New Brunswick Gaming Control Branch of the Department of Public Safety in New Brunswick
6 Nova Scotia Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel, and Tobacco Division of Service Nova Scotia
7 Ontario Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation
8 The Prince Edward Island Prince Edward Island Lotteries Commission
9 Quebec Quebec Lottery Corporation
10 Saskatchewan Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority

Other Territories: Yukon, Nunavut, and Northwest Territories

Looking at Yukon, Nunavut, and Northwest Territories, there isn’t a gambling structure available. As of today, these regions only have one casino, and none of them operate online gambling websites. However, it is legal for players to use offshore gambling sites in these territories. There is currently no legislation prohibiting players from playing games. Until there is a law or authority on gambling, operators can not establish their online gambling platforms in these territories.

The Importance of Gambling Licenses in Canada

Before any gambling operator can run their business in Canada, they will need a license. Gaming licenses are meant to check any illegal gambling activities. The gaming authorities have been set up so players don’t get cheated. In other words, gambling operators are monitored closely to offer Canadians a fair opportunity to win. The primary aim of online gambling websites is to make money, and if they are not monitored, there will be a likely chance of scams.

Canadian authorities ensure that gamblers comply with the legal age. They also ensure that the operators follow the rules of responsible gambling. It is, however, safe for you to only sign up with licensed casinos. Online casinos are legal in many parts of the country, and many licensed online gaming websites exist. And organizations related to gambling, like Gambling Support BC and many others, are always available if one needs help.

In addition, Canada does not restrict gamblers from using offshore sites. So, even if you are going outside your jurisdiction, it is still important to check for their license. Apart from the Kahnawake Gaming license, other recognized licenses are issued by countries like:

  • Curacao;
  • Malta;
  • UK;
  • Gibraltar;
  • Isle of Man.

If you’re still unsure of where to play online games, top-canadiancasinos.com will recommend several exciting options for you.

Top Online Casinos in Canada

As you begin your journey playing online games in Canada, top-canadiancasinos.com will recommend some sites. The best online casino sites should be safe and licensed. In addition, they should have an extensive collection of games. There are many options for you, and you can even play games at no deposit bonus casinos in Canada. You can get the best casino bonus free spins at these sites when you sign up.

Apart from offering a no deposit bonus, Canada is also home to some of the best payout online casino sites. You can play games at these dollar deposit casinos to win. Some of them even offer free slot games and real money slots. To help in your search, here are some of the best real money casinos in Canada:

  • Vulkan Vegas Casino;
  • Lucky Elf Casino;
  • Sky Crown Casino;
  • Casumo Casino;
  • King Billy Casino.

Top Online Games in Canada

If you want the best experience at the best online casino sites in Canada, there are some games you won’t want to miss. Canada approves legal gambling in most provinces. As a result, Canadians are signing up to play exciting games online. If you are new to the online gaming space, here are some real money games you can play:

  • Online Slots;
  • Blackjack;
  • Poker;
  • Roulette;
  • Baccarat.


Now you know the gambling laws applicable in Canada, you can play games at the best online casino sites. Canada does not restrict gambling activities. However, each province is responsible for its gambling laws. With the acceptance of online gambling, it is only a matter of time before all the regions of the nation embrace online casinos. With that said, why not play your favourite games at the best no deposit bonus casinos? You can play mobile slots, progressive jackpots, live games, and many more.