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Canadian players have a lot of good options when it comes to the online casinos they play from. However, they also have some confusing laws and regulations that can make it unclear what those options are.
There’s an interesting history behind gambling in Canada as a whole, and that just provides the background for how things are for Canadian online casinos in today’s industry. This is a country that has a higher level of regulation for the industry than what you see in a lot of places, but it’s done in a way that consists of a lot of half-measures that can just be downright confusing for players. We want to clear things up and show you the best options overall depending on what exactly you’re looking to play.
As you’ll see below, there are basically two groups of online casinos in Canada to pick from: sites regulated in the country and sites regulated elsewhere. The ones you pick will depend a bit on what you’re looking for exactly, but you have great options either way.
Your best bet is to always go with sites that are licensed either inside of Canada or that have their licensing from one of the other top regulatory bodies in the world. These tend to be the United Kingdom, Malta and Gibraltar. From there, you’ll just want to check that they have a reputation for paying out withdrawals on a reliable schedule as a basic safety measure.
Once it’s established that there’s a strong regulatory body involved and that cash outs are going to come quickly and without any unnecessary delays, then you can look at a variety of other aspects of the situation to really narrow down what you’re looking for specifically:
Outside of that, it’s largely subjective and will vary from player to player, but this is a basic outline of how to spot the best Canadian online casinos for pretty much any player outside of the more specific points of game and bonus selection.
Some players are under the mistaken belief that there are laws in Canada that ban online gambling. This spawns from one particular sports betting regulation on a national level, which is honestly one of the strangest laws that we’ve ever seen on the books anywhere involving the industry. The law says the following:
Players are only allowed to make online sports bets if they parlay three or more wagers. Bets on just one or two sporting events is illegal on a national level.
This is the only law that bans any type of online gambling on any level in Canada as a whole. It’s strange and oddly specific, and since it’s virtually never enforced, players still make bets on sports for single events and two-event parlays all the time, which makes the law pretty much completely useless.
Something the government does allow is for the provinces to set up their own regulatory bodies concerning online gambling. Unfortunately, it does not allow them to set up licensing processes for third-party companies to come in and run games. Instead, the games have to be operated by the provincial governments like local and state lotteries are in many parts of the world. Not all provinces have regulatory bodies along these lines, but a number of them do.
This way of handling things, specifically not allowing the provinces to license outside operators, creates a variety of problems. The point of these regulated online casinos in Canada is to raise funds for local and community projects, but because they’ve put themselves at such a competitive disadvantage compared to sites licensed outside of the country, these regulated sites only get a small percentage of the market.
Estimates have been anywhere from 10 to 15 percent in terms of market penetration for these regulatory online casino portals. The reason for this is simple: The provincial governments, with little to no experience, were thrown into trying to compete against companies that had been in the industry for decades. Along these lines, they pretty much get slaughtered when it comes to the competitive elements of the sites going up against each other, and that’s hardly surprising.
Players need to know that most of the provinces don’t have any rules whatsoever about which sites you can play from, and that makes the situation above even worse for them. You basically have the choice between a provincially operated online casino portal that has a worse game selection, worse payout rates and worse promotions than the industry standard or plenty of other options ran out of other countries that give you some of the best the industry has to offer. It’s not exactly a difficult choice.
If you like one of the regulated portals that the provinces offer, then you’re more than welcome to play there. However, you’re almost always going to get a better experience on every level with everything involved if you play with sites licensed somewhere like Malta or the United Kingdom instead. This includes everything from software selection to game selection, promotions, banking method selection and more.
The laws and regulations for online casinos in Canada are a bit strange, but they offer players a pretty tremendous selection of options, and that’s really the most that anyone could ask for. While it’s important to understand how the laws work so that you don’t have misconceptions about what’s allowed and what’s not, there’s not really anything here that players need to worry about all that much, so it’s mostly a non-issue unless you’re wanting to specifically enjoy what the regulated web portals have to offer.Menu