July 4, 2022

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Complete Guide to Gambling in Canada

For many, there is a misconception that gambling hasn’t been long-existing in Canada. This is one false claim that we aim to thrash in this Canadian casino blog. We will also stress some of the other points to help you understand how betting actually operates in modern-day Canada.

Although, it must be said that the legality surrounding gambling in Canada remains rather complicated. To sum it all up, the steps for online betting providers to get a provincial government license is somewhat difficult and has discouraged some local-based operators.

Regardless, we have seen the rise of some of the best Canadian online casinos over recent years. All of these would not have been possible, if certain structures hadn’t been built over time. Take our hand as we provide you with a brief but detailed complete guide to gambling in Canada.

History of Gambling in Canada

To help you understand the progress gambling has made in Canada, it is advisable to trace back in time. Gambling in Canada can be traced back to the 1400s. At this time though, there wasn’t an organized form of placing bets where bookies handle stakes as we see today. Instead, Canadian residents indulged in betting against each other. One of the earliest forms of betting in Canada saw citizens use gaming sticks for a span of centuries, before civilization brought about the use of cards and other gambling methods today.

However, the legalization of a more structural form of gambling started taking effect in 1892, when the Canadian Criminal Code was enacted. This code permitted gambling operations under strict adherence to specific terms. By 1910, there was an amendment of that law, which made way for Pari-mutuel betting. This form of betting encouraged the settlement of track, state and horsemen, by winners. Eventually, more betting practices were encouraged that were aimed at fundraising for altruistic causes and also religious causes.

Over time since 1910, the gambling laws faced timely adjustments and in 1970, more powers were given to the regulatory bodies to regulate gambling operations.

This change steered the diversification of the gambling industry, pushing it to gross more in earnings. It came as no surprise that in 1989, the invention of Canada’s first public casino took place in Winnipeg. In 1993, another commercial casino bloomed in Montréal which made way for the expansion of casino operations across Canada.

Gambling diversified extensively in Canada, leading to the introduction of Video Lottery Terminals (VLT) in casinos; a machine which awards its users winnings by coupons that are redeemable as cash with the casino. This form of gambling grew the revenue generated from the industry, transforming it to the multi-billion dollar industry that it is today.

Over time, gambling has grown from what is done within close circles in Canada, to what is recognized and regulated by the government and accessible to the public.

Canadian Gaming Commission

As is typical with most countries, there is a governing body responsible for overseeing betting operations in Canada. In this case, the Canadian Gaming Commission is the government body responsible for regulating gambling operations in the country.

Virtually every gambling establishment in Canada must have sought for a license from this body or their networks around the provinces, to be allowed rights to operate. This body was mainly formed in the interest of the Canadians, such that every gambling establishment has to be proof checked to assure that they are well-equipped to attend to customers.

In the event that any issue is raised in respect to the operations of any gambling establishment, this is the body tasked with the responsibility to resolve it.

How many Canadians indulge in Gambling?

Canadian gambling has experienced an exponential growth over the past decade and the numbers are there to back up that claim.

As per data from the Canadian Gaming Industry Report, the population of Canadian bettors that take part in online betting run up to 19.3 million. The data also went further to stress that Canadians ranked eighth in the list of countries that spend the most on online gambling.

To back up the above numbers, offshore gambling sites generate more than $4 billion yearly from Canadians alone. If that sounds impressive enough, it gets better with local casinos where there is an average revenue of $16 billion annually.

Narrowing it down to the demographics, most of the online bettors in Canada are aged mostly between 30-50. There are many younger bettors but the legality surrounding betting in the country makes it more considerable for the middle-aged enthusiasts.

In 2021, Canada’s gambling industry racked up an estimated $2.64 billion in profit alone and that figure is expected to rise even further with the increase of offshore investors with each passing day.

Is Paying Tax on my Winnings Necessary?

 It is standard practice that you are charged some form of tax on your winnings. However, this is dependent on whether you used Canada as your country of residence or not. What is important to note is that the amount of tax paid on winnings varies per state or province. This highlights the need to consult with a local tax specialist to keep you updated.

There is also a special caveat that involves tax payments for the lottery. According to the recent tax laws in Canada, taxes are not charged on lottery winnings. The twist though is that if you use the proceeds from lottery winnings to invest in another venture, taxes will be charged on the proceeds generated from that business.

Are Online Casinos Legal in Canada?

Yes, online casinos are legal in Canada. This explains why there is a fleet of online casinos that are operational in the country. However, those casinos with plans to have on-ground locations are expected to seek licenses from provinces they are planning to get established in.

These licenses are mandatory for these casinos with interest to own physical branches. For offshore casinos with no online branch, they are also accessible to Canadians. The downside of registering with offshore online casinos is that they are not regulated by the Canadian government and in the event of any major issue, they don’t have the rights to step in.

Are there Crypto Betting Casinos in Canada?

Yes. Cryptocurrency has quickly become the rave of the moment and best Canadian online casinos are including cryptocurrencies as possible means of making payments on their platforms. More casinos are coming on board with the idea of providing crypto payment options because they are beginning to realize how widely accepted it is by users. Most users prefer using this payment method because of the ease, speed of transaction as well as the privacy it assures.

For the most part, the major cryptocurrencies they feature are Bitcoin and Ethereum, given that they are the most reliable cryptocurrencies. However, while some casinos are catching the rave, there are still many betting sites with non-existent crypto payment options. Regardless, the good news is that if you would prefer to make payments via cryptocurrency, there are a lot of platforms that offer that means, depending on what exactly you are looking for.

We hope so far that you have been educated on the essentials that you should be familiar with about gambling in Canada. If by chance, you are a new entrant in Canada with little understanding about how gambling is run in the country, we believe this article would have offered you enough information.

To get started on your path to betting in Canada, simply explore some of the gambling establishments available both physically and online.