Both Canada and the USA have a long-standing relationship with gambling – it has been a popular hobby in both. And over the last few years, there have been plenty of changes to the legislation for both. Canada has taken a more citizen-friendly approach to its gambling, putting the power and freedoms into the hands of their residents.
As such, Canada has seen some significant growth in the popularity of online gambling, and that includes playing on mobile devices too.
So what are the current gambling laws in Canada, and where did it all start?
What were the first gambling laws in Canada?
The first gambling laws arrived in Canada in 1892, and it meant that gambling was permitted – although, at the time, it could be described as something that was tolerated rather than celebrated. And it was only accepted under particular circumstances.
An amendment in 1910 meant that horse racing and other games were allowed for both religious and charitable purposes. You could say those laws were quite loose, though – because as the years moved on, gambling became a firm fixture.
Which body regulates the Canadian igaming market?
Over time, when gambling became something that many residents enjoyed, it became essential to have a regulating body in place. The Canadian Gaming Commission looks after the gambling industry in Canada.
When changes are considered, they communicate with the government, media, and the public. And they help companies to understand what role they play and what they need to do to remain legal.
It is worth keeping in mind, though, that laws that directly impact sports betting, online gaming, and casinos are enforced and enacted by each province.
What laws are in-force for Canadian gambling online?
The criminal code for gambling was changed in 1970, which means that each province would be overseeing its own gambling. And it was almost twenty years later when the first land-based casino was built in Winnipeg.
However, others followed quickly in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Manitoba. Ahead of these casinos being erected, horse racing was one of the most popular forms of betting.
Many places had horse tracks before they had any other gaming locations.
Gambling in almost all forms is acceptable, and it is a joint responsibility of the public and the provinces. Nearly all provincial laws are only enacted if and when there is a need for revenue control. And these laws are also in use to help regulate government-sponsored online gambling and lottery.
Online gambling, sports betting, and international online gambling are legal in Canada – however, you should check with each province what is and is not acceptable.
If players think that something unfair has happened, they can not only speak to the Canadian Gaming Association but they are supported by their local government and the eCOGRA.
Do Canadians gamble regularly?
There are plenty of gambling statistics that support the fact that gambling is popular with the people of Canada. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- 6/10 Canadians spend money on gambling
- Ontario has a $3.8 billion reported revenue from gambling in 2020
- Currently, there are 19.3 active online gamblers
- Around 60% of both men and women say that they spend some money each month on online games.
The demographics for online gamblers in Canada are often between 30 and 50, with a majority of men with around 56% of players. And further to that, Canada is ranked in the top 8 countries that spend a lot of money on gambling online.
What online gambling games do Canadians play?
When it comes to winning real money, here are the games that Canadian players love:
- Slots (progressive jackpots)
- Sports Betting
Is it legal to play on international casino websites?
At the moment, there are no laws that stop Canadian residents from playing on casino websites globally. So long as the casino website adheres to the rules and regulations, they are legal to play on.
Do you need to pay tax on your casino winnings?
The requirement to pay taxes on your winnings and how much they will be will depend if the player has Canada as their primary residence or not. And it will also depend if they are playing as a hobby and for fun – or as their profession.
You should check with a local tax advisor to see what of the rules apply to you and how much tax you should be paying (if you have to at all).
Canada has a thriving gambling market and has some of the most stable sets of legislation to keep its players safe and the casino industry robust.