Publication date: 05 Jul 2022
The legalization of gambling in Canada began in 1996. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission was established under MCR Act No. 26 (Gambling Act). By 1999, the organization had developed and approved the rules for regulating gambling in the country. After that, the issuance of licenses began, including that for online casinos and poker rooms.
- Kahnawake is one of the territories of Canada, a Mohawk reservation (local Indians) near Montreal. The Kahnawake regulator was one of the first in Canada and still operates today.
In the same year, the Canadian government completely legalized gambling. All states (10 provinces and 3 territories) have the right to create their own gambling commissions and supplement the budget by collecting taxes from online and offline establishments. Until 2009, gambling sites were officially banned, but Canadians were free to play on the sites of any casino in the world. The first province to issue an online casino license in July 2010 was British Columbia. Thus, the regulation of the online segment has officially begun in the country
Gambling Laws in Canada:
- Section 206 of the Criminal Code lists and defines prohibited gambling and activities
- Section 207 of the Criminal Code defines the rights of the provinces to issue licenses, control and regulate games.
Based on these basic laws, more detailed bills can be created at the local provincial level. The Criminal Code of Canada does not provide any penalties for visiting and playing in an online casino that does not have a license. Also, no measures are taken against the organizers of illegal gambling.
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The law also defines what online gambling is. This concept includes: lotteries
- casino slots
- table games
- poker and video poker.
Features of gambling regulation in different states of Canada
The regulation of gambling is at the level of local laws and has its own peculiarities.
- From the age of 18, it is allowed to play in Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec.
- From the age of 19, you can play in British Columbia, Labrador, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.
- Casino gambling is allowed in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.
- Online gambling is not available in the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario. In the rest of the states, online casinos are completely legal.
- In the state of Prince Edward Island, there is a racino – a hybrid of a casino and a betting pool.
A new brand, PokerStars (owned by Flutter Entertainment, the holding company that owns Betfair BC and Paddy Power), has launched in Ontario. In July 2022, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) granted PokerStars a full package of documents allowing it to provide gambling services.
It is planned that the operator will offer services in three directions: betting shop, poker room and online casino.
As a reminder, the regulated online gambling market in Ontario was opened on April 4, 2022. Those already granted gambling licenses include BetMGM, PointsBet, Coolbet, FanDuel, Bet365, LeoVegas, Unibet and others. “Ontario’s online gambling market is going through a phase of tremendous growth,” said Flutter CEO Dan Taylor.
How to attract a target audience from Canada?
The population of Canada is more than 37.6 million people, the official languages are English and French. The state is one of the richest in the world with a high per capita income.
- According to the site casinocanada.com, about 60% of the country’s population was involved in gambling, 43% of which spent between 1 and 20 Canadian dollars per month on the game.
- According to information from the site casino.org more than half of the country’s residents under the age of 35 visited the casino once or twice a year. Of these, about 19% visited gambling establishments at least once a month. The most popular gambling is the slot machine one.
Data for the beginning of 2020, before the introduction of quarantine due to COVID-19. Probably, now the online market is more in demand. In Canada, all conditions were created for the operation and development of any online casino. One of the advantages of the market is a high-quality payment infrastructure. For example, Visa and MasterCard transactions have a high approval rate of 60-70%. In addition, the operation of electronic wallets is stable, especially the most popular money transfer system in the country – Interac. For its part, the state does not block payments. Gambling companies have an unobstructed opportunity to advertise their own brands.
- Canadians are also active and gambling fans. The 3snet network has prepared top offers from bookmakers who are waiting for players and bets from Canada!
Canada has banned the use of bonuses and freebets in gambling advertising. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has clarified advertising rules for the gambling industry. It is now forbidden to talk about bonuses and other types of player incentives in advertisements. The standard applies to all online advertising, except for placements on its own websites or apps.
Taxation of winnings and casinos in Canada
Players are required to pay taxes on winnings only if they are designated as a form of earnings. According to the law, such winnings have several signs:
- availability of special skills
- regularity of payments
- waiting for subsequent payments.
Player Protection in Canada
The lack of proper regulation can negatively affect the protection of the rights of local residents. The Canadian Gambling Association believes that legalization will provide the necessary set of tools for the harmonious operation of the market and the balance of interests of the state, operators and regulators. But as of June 2021, no legislative initiatives have been put forward to tighten the Canadian gambling market.
Canada is one of the largest loosely regulated markets in the world. It’s hard to believe, but such conditions still exist! Most of the laws are adopted at the provincial level, the online sector is practically not controlled, and the sites of offshore casinos are freely available. This means that you can make very good money here!
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