Canada allows gambling as long as it is done with establishments licensed by or run by the Canadian government. Migrants who are fond of casino gaming or other forms of gambling do not have to worry about having to completely quit the habit. However, there are important details to bear in mind.
Online gambling in Canada
Gambling through the Internet in Canada is a little tricky. Many regard it as something of a grey area. While the government does not prevent anyone within the Canadian borders from looking for the best online slots or other web-based gambling games, the laws require licensing and registration for the sites that offer the games.
As mentioned, online gaming sites in Canada are required to secure proper licensing. Online casinos that manage to attract players in Canada are only considered legal if they are registered and licensed or if they are owned by a provincial government.
The problem, however, is that ambiguity prevails in the Canadian gambling scene. Despite the licensing requirement, online gambling enthusiasts sign up to more than a thousand unlicensed offshore gambling sites. Many patronize illegal gaming platforms.
There are no strict rules when it comes to preventing unlicensed online casinos from offering their services to players in Canada. They are not being blocked outright. This does not mean, though, that there are no risks in dealing with them.
Getting in trouble with gambling laws
Canada relegates the management of online gambling to the provincial government. So far, it is safe to say that no high-profile cases have emerged because of the persistence of the provincial government to go after illegal gambling sites. The legality of offshore gaming sites that accept bets from residents in Canada has yet to be tested in an actual court.
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the growth of online gambling in Canada, and it appears lawsuits or prosecutions arising from gambling laws continue to be unlikely. Most governors do not consider it a priority to run after illegal offshore gaming sites.
The penalties of doing illegal online gambling in Canada are far from harsh. Even if law enforcement at the federal and provincial levels become stricter, the expected punishments are unlikely to serve as a deterrent.
However, migrants who want to establish a good record in the country are advised not to test the waters. Even small offenses like online gambling with illegal platforms can become a significant blot in their immigration records. Minor offenses can hamper applications for residency and citizenship.
Again, online gambling in Canada is not that much of a problem for citizens and non-citizens alike. The implementation of laws that supposedly prohibit gambling with unlicensed and non-government owned entities is not that strict.
Still, it would be better for migrants to focus on following laws regardless of how minor they are. Canada may be widely known for being nice, but there are instances when authorities can be stern and unyielding.