Tax in Canada
Halt | January 8, 2022 | 0 Comments

Guide to Gambling and Tax in Canada

Nobody loves the thought of taxation on almost everything around us. Like other countries, taxes are Canadians’ worst nightmare. This is because it looms over almost everything bold and beautiful. Whether online or not, for anyone who wants to gamble, the first thing that comes to mind is if they have to pay taxes on their gambling winnings. Here comes exciting news for Canada. Take a breath and let go of all your tax worries if you are a gambler in Canada. The government has enacted friendly laws concerning gambling and other recreational games. One of these laws is that gambling winnings are tax-free. This means that you can keep all your winnings to yourself. Concerning gambling and tax in Canada, here is a complete guide for this.

Do You Have to Pay Tax?

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You do not necessarily have to pay tax in Canada on your winnings after gambling in a casino. Paying taxes depends heavily on your aim at the casino. According to taxes on gambling winnings in Canada, you do not have to declare your winnings if you file your taxes. The government must look at a few factors before concluding if you should pay tax on your winnings or not. It is important to note that anyone who goes to the casino intending to make a living through gambling must pay tax. Those that gamble for fun must not pay taxes on their winnings.

Professional Gamblers

If you spend a lot of your time gambling in casinos or are a consistent winner, this does not make you a professional gambler before Canadian Law. The Canadian Law and government look for much more than this. You can be the best gambler in the casino you go to, but as long as you are gambling for enjoyment, you cannot be classified as a professional gambler. How do you know if an individual is a professional gambler? The government uses various factors to classify an individual as a professional gambler. For example, if you are running your gambling operation as a business, then you are a professional gambler before the eyes of the Law. Another thing that makes you a professional is using a specific skill to make a repeated profit. You also need to understand that most people portrayed as professional gamblers do not do anything else with their lives apart from gambling.

For Fun Gamblers

Who is classified as fun gamblers? As stated before, for fun, gamblers are primarily players who play at a casino intending to get enjoyment only out of it. Non-professional gamblers never pay even a single cent on their winnings tax in Canada. This Law applies regardless of how much they win or how much they play. As long as you are not making a living or trying to make a living in Canada by gambling, all your winnings are free from tax. You should note that one cannot deduct gambling losses or add gambling profits to their income as long as they play like professionals.

How Much Do You Win Before Paying Tax?

Taxable Income

This is not a question that should bother you if you are gambling. Why not? With gambling, paying taxes is not determined by how many winnings you get. There are a lot of gamblers that have won up to tens of millions of dollars but did not have to pay even a single shilling as tax in Canada. This is because tax-paying in Canada is not determined by the amount of money you got as winnings but rather by how you got the money. Did you get your winnings by playing as a professional, or did you earn your money by playing just for fun? Any amount of winnings won by a professional gambler must be taxed.

When Do You Pay Tax

Even though non-professional gamblers in Canada never have to pay taxes on their winnings, this does not make them tax-free. They might be free from paying taxes when playing popular gambling games but have to pay taxes as stated by the Law on some games. What are these games that make them taxable? Games like Casino games, sports betting, scratch amp, win tickets, online gambling, and lotteries require players to pay taxes on their winnings. Paying taxes on winnings of these games is a law that applies to both fun and professional players. Those who do not pay their taxes on winning such games may undergo specific penalties.

How Does Gambling Work With Income Tax

As explained before, if you are not making a living by gambling, then you are not a professional gambler. You do not have to pay a single cent as a tax in Canada on your gambling winnings regardless of what you play and how much you win. Suppose CRA deems you a professional player; you will have to pay tax on your winnings because they are considered an income. Your winnings will be taxed. They are an income just like any other regular job earns income. It is essential to understand that even though you made your winnings from gambling, you can deduct losses and expenses or add profits just like others running regular businesses.

Is The Rule Different In Other Regions

In Canada, different provinces, cities, and regions have other gambling laws governing casinos and online gambling. This is a different case when it comes to paying taxes. The same tax rules apply to all gamblers regardless of where they live in Canada.

Online and Offline Gambling Taxation

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The Income Tax Act does not have rules that apply differently to online and offline gambling. Using the same rules for online and offline gamblers is even safer. You need to note that as long as you are a professional gambler, you have to pay tax on your winnings, whether you are an online or offline gambler.


If you love gambling, Canada is the best place you should live in. Most gamblers do not pay even a single shilling from their winnings as tax in Canada. You never have to worry about taxation unless you make a living out of gambling.

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