While establishing an online gambling site is still illegal in much of Canada (with some exceptions), Canadian players can freely enjoy playing casino games, betting on sports, or playing poker at many international online gambling operators.
Ontario is an exception here, as this is the only Canadian province that has fully regulated online gambling, requiring operators to acquire local licenses.
This means real money online casinos in Canada are very much available everywhere else, as well as other forms of gambling, and the selection of sites at which you can play such games is extensive.
In this guide, we will teach you all you need to know about online gambling in Canada and the various operators that offer Canadian players the opportunity to play online gambling games.
Our extensive Canada online casino reviews will help you pick the best operators to play at and distinguish between top gambling apps and those you may want to steer clear of.
Types of Legal Online Gambling Available in Canada
All forms of online gambling are available in Canada, provided you don’t play at any site hosted within Canada.
International online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker rooms are all available to Canadian players without limitations, except in those provinces where online gambling is now regulated (currently only in Ontario).
Legal Online Casinos
While getting a license to run an online casino remains impossible in most of Canada, most Canadian players can sign up with any international casino of their choice and play games there with little interference.
This makes the selection of different casino operators and casino games Canadians can access massive. Casino titles from major software developers like NetEnt, Relax Gaming, Microgaming, Pragmatic Play, and Evolution Gaming are all available through hundreds of casino operators.
All legal online casinos in Canada allow players to make real money deposits and cashouts using Canada-friendly payment methods, making all money movements fast, efficient, and affordable.
Legal Online Sports Betting
For real money online sports betting apps in Canada, the selection is just as wide as that of online casinos, with many international sports betting operators accepting Canadian players.
Many opportunities are open for you regardless of your favorite sport or competition.
Players from most Canadian provinces can freely sign up with these offshore sports betting platforms, while those in areas where sports betting is regulated should play with locally licensed operators.
Legal Online Poker
The game of poker has been flourishing in Canada for many years now, and the country has produced countless poker champions, not the least of which is Toronto-born Daniel Negreanu.
With real money online poker in Canada, most well-known online poker sites accept Canadian players. Canadians make up a good chunk of the player base at many of the world’s biggest online poker sites.
Whether you prefer playing tournaments, cash games, sit & goes, or any other poker format, several poker rooms will accept your action and award you with generous welcome bonuses and other promos to boost you along the way.
You can check out our detailed Canada online poker reviews to find the best poker room for yourself and compare the sites in all the critical rating categories.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Regarding the legality of daily fantasy sports, these games are not encompassed by any Canadian gaming laws, making them perfectly legal.
Several major daily fantasy sports operators accept action from Canadian players, and you can have your pick of competitions each day across all popular sports.
Which Sites Are Safest for Canadian Players?
As already discussed, operators cannot currently get an operating license for all of Canada, and each Canadian province gets to regulate gambling within its boundaries.
Now, players in most provinces can play at any international online gambling site, as long as those sites are not founded in or operating from Canada.
Yet, with such a great variety of options, there is a decision to be made by each player as to which operator to choose and why.
We highly recommend playing at reputable gambling sites with a proper gaming license issued by appropriate gaming regulators such as Malta Gaming Authority, Kahnawake Gaming Commission, or Curacao Gaming Authority.
Only gaming operators with such licenses can ensure the degree of security and safety you need to play online gambling games for real money comfortably.
Choosing operators with a long-standing reputation and a valid gaming license will make it safer for you to play for real cash and reduce the possibility of anything going wrong with your online gambling account.
How to Know if a Canada Online Gambling Site Is Safe and Regulated
Playing at regulated online gambling sites makes your experience safer and more relaxed. Here is how you can recognize if a site is secure to play at and licensed by a proper regulator:
- Seals of Approval: The easiest way to find out if an online gambling site is licensed for operation is by looking at their website’s footer. There you will find the seals of any regulators that may be licensing the operator in question. Valid licensing seals indicate that the operator is actually licensed and safe to play at.
- Independent Auditors: In addition to licensing seals, other seals may be on the operator’s website. Auditors like eCOGRA and others vouch for the randomness of online casino games and the general security of gambling operators’ software.
- Reputation: Big-name brands with a long-standing reputation in the iGaming industry are always safer than small and off-brand casinos and sportsbooks that are not well known. Big companies have more to lose and usually tend to keep their player’s safety in higher regard.
- Responsible Gambling: While many shady online gambling operators don’t care about their players, properly licensed and responsible operators ensure they give their players all the responsible gambling tools they need. Self-exclusion, deposit and betting limits and other features are at your disposal at safe gambling sites.
- Customer Support: Finally, you can tell a lot about how serious a company is by the way it treats its customers. Online gambling sites that care about players will have customer service available around the clock via at least one or two different access methods.
Key Information When Choosing an Online Gambling Site in Canada
The selection of online gambling operators for Canadian players is vast, with many different sites accepting their action. As such, these are some of the most important things to consider when picking which real money online casino in Canada to play at or which sportsbook to bet on.
Canada Online Gambling Bonuses
One of the first things to look at when potentially signing up with an online gambling operator should be the welcome bonus it offers, and any reload bonuses you might be eligible for later.
Fortunately, you can get plenty of amazing Canada online casino deposit bonuses, but not all are created equal.
It would be best to sign up for gambling sites that provide big bonuses and have reasonable and fair wagering requirements that you can realistically complete with your deposit.
Some online gambling operators make their bonuses too hard to clear, and you should avoid claiming bonuses that favor the operator over you.
Playing at a site where valuable bonuses can be claimed will add value to your time spent on the platform and make it more likely for you to walk away as a winner.
VIP Schemes for Canadian Players
Beyond the welcome bonuses and other promotions, many online gambling operators also offer VIP schemes designed to reward loyal players and those who often deposit with the operator.
If you are looking for a place to play often and at higher stakes, a deep look into the loyalty scheme of each operator is a must.
These schemes can significantly affect your bottom line if you play online a lot, so we highly recommend looking for Canadian online casinos and sportsbooks with lucrative VIP schemes to play at.
Canadian Online Gambling Apps
Players who prefer to play on the go should always be on the lookout for the best online gambling apps.
Many amazing online gambling apps are available for download in Canada, and picking the right one for your device will be the trick.
You should always make sure you are playing on a reputable gambling app and one that allows you to play the games you like playing and at a pace you enjoy.
The number of available Canadian online gambling apps is constantly growing, but some apps never go out of style and are must-haves for any Canadian gambler.
Games and Navigation
Finally, beyond simply looking at the bonuses and the technical aspects of an online gambling operator, you should also ensure that the games you enjoy are well-represented.
For example, suppose you want to play real money online poker in Canada. In that case, you will want to register at a poker room with a lot of action in your favorite style of poker, whether it’s tournaments, cash games, PLO, or any other format.
Similarly, if you want to bet at a real money online sportsbook in Canada, you will want to find one that allows you to bet on your favorite sporting competitions and offers favorable odds.
Ensure that your favorite gambling games are available at a gaming site before you sign up, or you will be wasting your time and suffer from a sub-optimal experience overall.
History of Online Gambling in Canada
In one form or another, gambling in Canada has been around for many centuries. However, the first time modern men witnessed it was in 1497 when John Cabot discovered that the native peoples of Canada had invented their own games of chance.
Many forms of gambling took place over the years before all gambling was banned across the country in 1892. Over the early 20th century, gambling started to spread again, which led to the legalization of lottery games in 1969, and provinces being allowed to regulate their own gambling laws in 1970.
By 1985, the lawmakers finally agreed that gambling should be legalized nationally, but this did not consider online gambling, which was yet to come.
Quite early into the inception of online gambling, Canadian lawmakers decided that online gambling should not be legalized in the country. It was prohibited for anyone to register an online gambling operation in Canada, apart from the native American lands in the Territory of Kahnawake.
However, a major loophole was left in these laws, as Canadians who wish to play at offshore gambling platforms are still allowed to do so without any consequences.
More recently, in April 2022, the biggest Canadian province, Ontario, regulated its online gambling, finally bringing the first fully legal gambling operators to Canada, with many big-name brands deciding to apply for a gaming license very early.
The future of Canadian online gambling looks bright, and other provinces will likely follow Ontario and make online gambling fully regulated in their territories in the coming years.
Responsible Gambling Resources in Canada
Online gambling may still be a gray area in Canada as operators cannot be licensed in many provinces. Still, the percentage of adult Canadians who have gambled at least once is over 70%.
While gambling is entertaining, it can also be quite addictive, and everyone who plays games of chance should be well aware of the potential harm it can bring.
If you live in Canada and you or your loved one is experiencing issues with gambling addiction, reaching out to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario at 416-326-8700 may be the first step in the right direction.
Apart from AGCO, here are a few other responsible gambling helplines and organizations that you can reach out to if you see gambling becoming a real problem:
Responsible Gambling Council:
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health:
Lower-Risk Gambling Guidelines
Is online gambling legal in Canada?
Technically speaking, online gambling is not fully regulated in most of Canada, but the most important thing to note is that gambling online is not illegal in the country.
While gambling operators cannot get a license in Canada, Canadians can still register at many international casinos and betting platforms.
Can I gamble online if I live in Canada?
Several international online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker sites accept action from Canadian players. If you live in provinces other than Ontario, you can sign up with many of these. If you live in Ontario, there are locally licensed online gambling sites you can play at.
Are offshore gambling sites safe to play at?
If the site you are playing at carries a proper gaming license from a reputable gambling regulator outside of Canada. The site should still be safe to play at despite a gaming license not being available for them in Canada.
How can I deposit money into online gambling accounts?
There are many deposit methods available. If you want to avoid using your credit card for international gambling deposits, you can use e-wallets like Skrill, NETELLER, and PayPal to load up your accounts.