Top 21 Canadian Casinos

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History Of Canadian Gambling

Gambling in Canada dates back thousands of years to local tribes who played a game called Slahal, a game played with bones and sticks. It started as a way to resolve conflict peacefully and continues today throughout the Pacific Northwest.

In addition to Slahal, native tribes played card games once the paper was introduced over 2,000 years ago. John Cabot discovered the tribes playing cards when he landed in Canada from Britain in 1497.

Since Canada fell under British rule after John Cabot arrived, he implemented British laws in Canada. Because King Richard III outlawed dice games in 1338 in England, those games were now banned in Canada, too, leading to less gambling in Canada.

It wasn’t until the early 1900s that Canada began to amend laws to allow certain forms of gambling. The first to be allowed was pari-mutuel betting, a betting system where money was collected in a pool. Horse racing and charities used this betting practice.

For the most part, Canada implemented few laws about gambling until 1970, when they changed laws to allow provinces to make their own rules on gambling. This legislation began the move to make gambling in Canada legal.

1985 saw sports betting legal in Canada with a restriction against single-game betting, which wasn’t made legal until 2021. The first land-based casino was established in 1989 in Manitoba and paved the way for other provinces to follow suit.

Online gambling has been added to the mix of gambling opportunities for Canadian residents, with many online casinos licensed through international governments.

Canadian Gambling Regulation

Like the US, where states regulate gambling laws, Canada leaves laws about casinos, online gambling, and sports betting to the provinces. That said, Canada decides on the legality of specific gambling and what is legal from a federal perspective.

Along with laws put into place by the Canadian government and the provinces, the Canadian Gaming Association provides guidance and assistance to every company running any kind of gambling, from land-based casinos to online gambling to sports betting. They provide information to Canadian gambling companies through extensive research and best practices for the gambling market.

An annual conference called the Canadian Gaming Summit is co-owned by the Canadian Gaming Association to offer gambling businesses in-person networking and discovering the latest gambling opportunities.

The Canadian Gambler

Canada’s population is close to 39 million people. Of those 39 million, over 19 million people gamble are active on online gambling platforms. That figure doesn’t include the number of people that gamble at live casinos and via the lottery. It’s estimated that over 70% of Canadians gamble in some form.

Why is that? For one thing, Canada’s laws make it easy for people to gamble. Mostly, all gambling is legal and online gambling is available in Canada and via international casinos.

Another reason Canada is so famous for online gambling is the ease of deposits and withdrawals. In addition to traditional methods offered by online casinos like credit cards and e-wallets, most Canadian banks allow bank transfers to transfer money directly to the casino.

Canadian gamblers also have the luxury of online casinos allowing deposits and withdrawals using the Canadian dollar. This process negates the exchange rate fees when converting to another currency. Canadian players can load their Canadian dollars directly into an online casino and begin playing immediately.

Taxes On Winnings

Before diving into gambling, it’s vital to understand what you need to pay for taxes if you win money. The good news is that most Canadian gamblers do not have to pay taxes on their winnings. We encourage you to contact a tax attorney for your specific case to get the full story on paying taxes.

Canadians who gamble non-professionally do not have to pay income taxes on their winnings from lotteries, online casinos, land-based casinos, sports betting, or any other game where money is the prize. If you earn interest on your winnings, you must report it via a T5 form, and you will be taxed on the interest. For US citizens who play the lottery, this is a significant change to the laws in the US that require almost half of your lottery winnings to go to the government for taxes.

Professional Gamblers

Taxes change when you are considered a professional gambler in Canada. In that case, you must pay taxes if your primary income is through gambling, either online or in a land-based casino. This law affects professional poker players, blackjack players, or any other professional gambler who operates a freelance business based on gambling.

Since most Canadian gamblers do not gamble professionally, there is no reason to worry about paying taxes on your winnings since it is not your sole source of income. Tax laws are intricate, so we encourage you to speak to a tax attorney if unsure of your gambling status and what you might owe in taxes.

Secure Gambling

Security is always at the forefront of our minds regarding anything online. When your money is involved, it raises the stakes even more. Ensuring you are gambling at a secure casino is imperative to your gambling experience. An illegitimate online casino could rob you of thousands if you’re not careful.

When searching for an online casino, ensure the casino holds a valid license through a government agency. Many online casinos have licenses internationally, like the Malta Gaming Authority or Curacao eGaming. A legitimate online casino should hold a gaming license regardless of where the license is held.

Why Is a Casino License Vital?

When a casino holds a license, they must follow strict laws and regulations for their online casinos. Things like RTP (return to player) percentages and randomly generated algorithms guarantee fair play for online gamblers.

eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) is a London-based testing agency that tests online casinos for fair play. They are one of several companies that audit online casinos to ensure they follow the rules and regulations and do not cheat gamblers. Once an online casino has the certification of the eCOGRA, a gambler knows they are a safe place to place their bets.

SSL

SSL or secure sockets layer is another avenue online casinos use to protect their customers. This encryption security allows you to give your personal and banking information to an online casino without being intercepted by an illegitimate third party. Reputable online casinos have a version of SSL that secures their players’ information and gives you a sense of security.

Payment Methods

Taking security measures a step further, payment methods like PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, Visa, and Mastercard have encryption methods in place to ensure that deposits and withdrawals remain secure. Monetary transactions over the internet are always a cause for concern as hackers are always lurking in the background. The good news is that online gamblers receive multiple layers of protection from the SSL encryption from the casino itself and more layers of security through e-wallets and credit card companies.

Resources For Responsible Gaming

There are multiple avenues for help if a gambling addiction is suspected. One of the first things you can do is contact the customer service of your online casino. There are multiple ways they can help, like timeouts, which suspend your account for a set amount of time or closing your account permanently. They can even facilitate getting you help through one of the methods that we list below.

Canada offers other avenues for responsible gaming through the Responsible Gaming Council. Known as the RGC, this council works to promote a wealth of knowledge for online gamers and their casinos to mitigate gambling addictions. Their website offers tools and research to help people with a suspected gambling addiction.

Canada also offers a Gambler’s anonymous program with tools like meetings and phone numbers for people that can help with gambling addictions.

Your Canadian Gambling Law Guide Is Complete

You now have all the information you need to decide on your gambling future in Canada. We have covered everything from taxes on your winnings to local and provincial laws about gambling to the security of online casinos. You can now gamble in Canada and feel confident that you have the most up-to-date information on rules, regulations, and navigating the online casino community.

Now it’s time to find your favourite online casino and start cashing in your winnings!

the author

Cam Hookey

Author

the author

Cam is a writer and entrpreneur that has a keen interest in iGaming and Web3 technology. His passion lies in bridging the gap between new technology and unwary consumers. Along with his team of passionate writers and clients, Cam seeks to shed light on upcoming tech ideas and the implications they have on various industries.