Online Gambling Laws in Canada 2020

Canada is renowned for its weather, the interplay of culture by its unique population, the accompanying experiences that come with this mix, and gambling.

It is ironic to think that a country with a population of less than 40 million would have one of the highest concentrations of gamblers in the world. However, this is exactly the case with Canada.

Of the various factors which may be identified as reasons for the growing interest of Canadians in online gambling, the ease with which individuals can access these platforms is probably the most pivotal.

It’s not surprising that most people rely on online casinos comparison tool to be on the safer side.

Canadians have been involved in betting for decades and the introduction of online gambling sites has only encouraged this preoccupation. Still, are there regulations that govern online gambling and determine the level of involvement of bettors?

To answer this question, we will attempt to identify the different laws that regulate the gambling industry in Canada.

Why are gambling laws enacted?

Like all other human activities, betting and online gaming are subject to varying levels of abuse. In essence, laws regulating the gambling industry are intended to ensure the overall protection of the state’s interests.

A perfect example of such laws is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 which prohibits banks from conducting transactions with offshore gaming sites.

The legal status of online gambling in Canada

There is no explicit law prohibiting online gambling.

Originally, gambling laws in Canada were quite restrictive and only limited forms of gambling were allowed. The 1970s saw a change and the revised regulations gave individual provinces the authority to regulate gambling in their territories.

For a while, there have been talks of enacting rules and regulations to guide online gambling but at present, no such laws have been passed. This simply means that you can access any online gambling site without fear of legal reparations. But there’s a catch.

Only licensed gambling platforms are allowed to offer gaming services to Canadians.

It is illegal to operate an unlicensed gaming site or online casino within Canada. Things could get a bit confusing at this point, but look at it this way – gambling is legal in Canada as long as your chosen site possesses the required license which indicates government approval.

The law is quite clear on this issue. However, an exception comes in the form of gambling companies that operate from overseas.

Unlike the US, Canada has no laws regulating offshore gambling and it would be impossible to argue on the legality or otherwise of such sites especially if they originate in countries where online gambling is legal.

Gambling laws and sports betting

Interestingly, there is a federal law that prohibits Canadians from betting on sporting events. Still, yet another loophole exists.

The law does not restrict bettors from making bets on sporting events via online gaming sites. Even fantasy sports are largely unregulated so you can enjoy your favorite games whenever you like.

Final thoughts

Just so you know, the Criminal code of Canada does not explicitly criminalize online gambling activities.

Also, your winnings are not taxable unless your gambling activities are seen as a form of employment. With the information provided, you can enjoy your online gaming experience without the fear of being on the wrong side of the law.

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