Legal Casinos

Quintin van Wyk by Quintin van Wyk Reading time: 13min

If you want to bet for real money, the issue of legal casino sites often crops up. That's why we've created this 2024 legal gambling Canada guide for players. The topic of legal gambling internet casinos for Canada is something that confuses quite a lot of people. This is still a slightly "grey" area because it's a complicated subject that involves the federal and provincial governments, and native claims. Gambling has always been popular in Canada and in our legal casinos guide we provide you with all the information you need as well as reviews for the best 2024 legal casinos to play real money games. There's information on legislation, legal and legit online casino choices for Canadians, and more. You'll find all the latest happenings for all the provinces including the legal gambling status of online casinos in Ontario, BC, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta, Winnipeg, and all areas of Canada.

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Gambling in Canada - A Brief History

Legal gambling, particularly legal internet casinos, in Canada is still a bit of a grey area. Gambling has been around since the time of the natives. In 1497 playing cards were introduced and this brought about early versions of poker and blackjack. In the late 1800s gambling came under scrutiny by the government who wanted to regulate and limit it. In 1892, the Canadian Criminal Code was enacted and included statutes that permitted legal gambling. That part of the Criminal Code was amended in 1910 to allow pari-mutuel betting for horse racing, and other games of chance were allowed for charitable and religious purposes. Citizens demanded their freedom to play games at legal casinos and by 1970 the government decided to leave the gambling decisions up to the individual provinces. This was done in an amendment to the Criminal Code again. The first land based casino in Canada was built in 1989 in Winnipeg, with more legit establishments following in Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan. In addition to legit land based casinos and horse tracks, many provinces approved the installation of video lottery terminals, which generate revenue for the provincial governments. Today the decisions about legal online casino gaming are left to citizens themselves with the provinces controlling what happens within their borders. If you are looking for the best legal casinos to gamble at in Canada our 2024 best real money sites are a great place to start.

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Play Your Favorite Games For Real Money

Legal casinos are plentiful, and it is not illegal to gamble real money on online casino games in Canada. It is however illegal to operate an internet casino from within Canada's borders. Most legit sites are offshore establishments that are perfectly legal. Some of the best legal casinos have their servers based on a native reserve such as Kahnawake, or elsewhere which means they are technically operating from outside of Canada.

Whether you are interested in playing live poker or playing your favorite slots games online, you are free to do so and with a no deposit bonus you with it you can test out some of the best legal casinos online with absolutely no risk. You can even win real money. Canada has gained a reputation as being friendly to gamblers and this in turn has led to a lot of legit international casinos accepting players over the past number of years with many of them offering the best free spins bonuses to help get you started.

Playing at Provincially Legalized Casinos Online

Over the past number of years, certain provinces have decided to introduce their own legal provincial casino sites. British Columbia has PlayNow where residents of BC can play real money casino games, bingo, lottery, sports betting, and poker. Quebec also has its own legal casino online called EspaceJeux and the Ontario online casino is Play OLG. If you want to gamble at any of the provincially run legal online casinos, you must be a resident in that province. Legal online gambling per province varies. Each province has its own gambling laws and while some allow gamblers to place real money bets at the age of 18, others don't allow it until a person is 19 years of age. Below you will an overview of the provincially run legal online casinos within Canada. These may or may not be the best choices when it comes to legit real money gambling for Canadians and our 10 best Canada online casinos for 2024 as well as our exclusive bonuses and promotions offers can help you find the best deals for you.

  • Ontario

    Legal casino gambling online in Ontario is regulated by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and the provincially run legal online casino PlayOLG was launched in 2010. To gamble here, you must be a resident of Ontario, Canada. To gamble on real money games, the law requires you to be 19 years of age. PlayOLG offers a range of slots, roulette, blackjack, and video poker games from top software provider IGT and High5 Games. It is compatible with mobile and desktop and new players who signup for a real money account is treated to a welcome bonus package offering $1,000. This is spread out over your first three deposits. As mentioned, this legal online gambling site is only an option for those living within Ontario so whether that's Montreal, Niagara, or Toronto this is a legit option. PlayOLG is not the only legit gambling choice and there are international legal casinos that accept online gamblers from Canada. Our Ontario online casinos review page and top 10 lists can help you find the best bonuses and promotions for 2024 as well as the best slots and table games from big brand software providers like Microgaming.

  • BC

    Legal casinos for those living in BC, Canada including the provincially run legal online casino site PlayNow. PlayNow is licensed and regulated by the BCLC and if allows residents of Vancouver and other BC areas to enjoy real money legal gambling online using their mobiles, tablets, or desktop. BC Canadians can expect to find a range of bonuses and promotions as well as slots, poker, table games, and even progressive jackpot. PlayNow also allows BC residents to purchase their lottery tickets online and offers legit live dealer games so there's no need to travel to a land-based casinos. The BCLC ensures that everything is legit and safe and to get in on the action players must be 18 or older. BCLC's PlayNow online casino offers a signup bonus of 100% up to $100 which isn't the best bonus you'll find for Canadian player and our top BC online casinos for 2024 include some of the best legal offshore casinos with generous bonuses including free chip codes and free spins with no deposit required.

  • Quebec

    Legal gambling in Quebec is overseen by Loto Quebec and this is another Canadian province that allows online gambling. Loto Quebec operates the provincially run legal online casino EspaceJeux and it offers a range of slots, blackjack, poker, bingo, lotteries, and sports betting for real money players. Loto Quebec is responsible for licensing and regulating all things gambling in the Canadian province of Quebec and the EspaceJeux website is compatible with all operating systems so residents can enjoy all the games and sports on iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones and tablets, PC, and Mac. EspaceJeux's primary language is French but it is available in English too and you can enjoy legal gambling in CAD so there are no currency exchange fees to worry about. You must be 18 to gamble legally in Quebec and those looking for the best bonuses and promotions might be a little disappointed with what is on offer at EspaceJeux. The best promos including free spins and no deposit codes can be found at legal international casinos that accept players from Canada and our top best Quebec online casinos for 2024 feature the best CAD sites.

  • Alberta

    Gambling in Alberta is regulated by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) but residents won't find a government run online casino. There are numerous legal casinos including First Nations land based establishments and residents of Alberta can play real money games at legal casinos that are based offshore and accept players from Canada. The legal gambling age in Alberta is 18 and you can enjoy online roulette, blackjack, slots, and more. Alberta has been home to legal bingo, horse racing betting, and more since the 1920s and residents can also enjoy lotteries and real money casinos at any of the land casinos in Edmonton and Calgary. To enjoy Alberta online casinos be sure to check out our dedicated page before you get started.

  • Manitoba

    There is plenty of legal gambling to be had in Manitoba. The Western Canada Lottery Corporation is responsible for the sale of scratch cards and lottery tickets while gambling activities are regulated by the Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba. There are land based casinos and Manitoba is home to numerous tribal and government owned casinos. Winnipeg is home to two provincially run gambling establishments. Sports betting is legal, but the minimum betting age is 19 and gamblers can only bet on two or more sporting event outcomes at a time with the Western Canada Lottery Corporation overseeing this. Horse racing is a popular choice too and Winnipeg is home to several horse racing tracks that are overseen by the Manitoba Horse Racing Commission. For residents of Manitoba online casinos, the British Columbia owned PlayNow is also open to residents of Manitoba. PlayNow is run by the BCLC in partnership with the MLLC so residents can enjoy online casino games like slots, poker, blackjack, roulette, bingo, and lottery. Sports betting services are regulated by the Western Canada Lottery Corporation and SportSelect is the betting site. Even though legal gambling is available many of the best bonuses and promotions can be found at top international legal casinos that accept players from Canada.

  • Saskatchewan

    The Saskatchewan province is home to more than a million residents. While it's one of the least populated provinces in Canada, Saskatchewan still plays host to several gambling houses and casinos. Some of the best land-based casinos in the region include Casino Regina, Dakota Dunes Casino and Northern Lights Casino. The gambling laws in the province have gone through turbulent changes over the last three decades. Prior to 1990, the only forms of gambling that were considered legal were pari-mutuel horse race betting and lottery games. With the progression of the Canadian Criminal Code, Saskatchewan was given the right to establish its own regulations and gambling laws. Unfortunately, the province doesn't have an official gambling website. Not yet anyway. However, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and the provincial government entered an agreement in 2021, allowing the Indian Gaming Community in Saskatchewan to bring online gaming to the province. In June 2022, it was revealed by SIGA that the British Columbia Lottery Corporation was the leading developer of the gaming site. This means that residents in the province can access PlayNow, one of the best Saskatchewan online casinos on desktop and mobile devices.

  • Atlantic Canada

    Atlantic Canada, also referred to as the Atlantic provinces or the Maritimes, is situated in the eastern region of Canada on the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Each of these are picturesque in their own way and provide a wide range of activities, including sailing, rafting, kayaking, and watching numerous deer, elk, birds, and formidable black and brown bears in their natural habitat. Apart from exploring the wilderness, you can also look forward to loads of entertainment when it comes to online gambling. Although you won't find a provincial-run online casino in Atlantic Canada, there are loads of gambling sites catering to players in this region. The Atlantic Lottery Corporation is the only legal and government-run regulated provider of sports betting and online gambling in this region. Simply select your region below to explore some of the top-performing online casinos in 2024.

  • Rest of Canada

    Apart from the 10 Canadian provinces in the country, you will also find three territories, including Yukon, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories. When it comes to overall population, you'll notice that each of these territories are much smaller and are primarily controlled by the federal government. To most of the residents and foreigners in Canada, most refer to these territories as 'The North'. In the Northwest Territories, the Department of Municipal & Community Affairs (MACA) is responsible for gaming regulation, casino, and lottery in the province while the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) operates gaming-related activities and lottery for members in Nunavut. In Yukon, the Professional Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (PLRA) department handles gambling activities on a provincial level. Unfortunately, you will not find a government-run online casino in any of these territories, but you can legally gamble online at several casino sites on desktop and mobile devices. Simply select your territory below and discover some of the best casinos online in 2024.

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How to Find Legit Sites to Play At

With so much choice out there, it is important that you only play at legal casinos online and those that are properly regulated. Our expert best legal online casino reviews will help you to do just this. The best online gambling sites are legit, and all offer secure wagering for real money. They are regulated through international gaming commissions. This means you are guaranteed, honest, reputable, and trustworthy Canada friendly legal casino sites for your hard-earned cash. You can make deposits and withdrawals without having to worry about currency conversions either because the Canadian legal casino sites we recommend allow you to gamble in CAD.

On top of this, we also make sure the legal casinos we review for 2024 have excellent software available in download and no download instant play options, superb graphics, advanced gameplay, high payouts, and the best bonus offers available to Canadian players. We have a section of our site dedicated to no deposit offers and free spins so be sure to check these out too. Most of the top legal gambling casinos for Canada also offer mobile gaming and the games can be enjoyed on mobile and tablet devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and Android. Don't forget, a lot of legal casinos will allow you to play the games for free with no deposit required so you can try them out first before making a real money deposit.

Canadian Casinos: Things to Remember

  • Canadian citizens are not at any legal risk by gambling online. The Criminal Code of Canada does not make it illegal to gambling online.
  • No charges have ever been brought against those taking part in online gambling in Canada. Servers hosting online casinos and poker rooms from Indian reservations were deemed to be illegal by the Attorney General but no charges were filed and the servers continue to operate.
  • Sports betting is only available using parlay bets of three or more matches. The C290 bill which will change this and allow single event bets has been caught up in the senate since 2012.
  • Online gambling sites can operate legally once they are based outside of Canada
  • The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is regarded as a sovereign nation in its own right and is therefore not governed by Canadian laws making gambling sites licensed by them legal casinos for Canada.
  • Legal provincial casinos online within Canadian borders are PlayNow for residents of British Columbia, PlayOLG for residents of Ontario, and EspaceJeux for residents from Quebec.
  • Canadian vs U.S. Law: In Canada, provincial governments can allow and license legal online casinos but U.S. states are not allowed to run online gambling websites.
  • The tax laws in place in Canada do not require you to pay tax on any gambling winnings unless they are deemed to be gained through a business orientated transaction. Taxes are applied to professional poker players.
  • There are no laws prohibiting Canadian players from accessing and gambling at online poker sites that are located outside Canada.
  • Our site only recommends legal casinos that Canadians can play at so there is no risk to you.

Legalized Casino Sports Betting and Poker

Online sports betting and poker are very popular in Canada. Sports betting has been legal for many years now but there is a downfall to this. Canadian residents are only allowed to make parlay bets. What this means is that they can only place bets on the outcome of two or more events. This decreases the odds of winning greatly. If players want to place single bets, they must do so through international offshore betting sites. The C290 Bill was introduced to parliament in 2011 which if passed this will amend the Criminal Code to allow legal gambling on single sporting events in Canada. The bill however failed to move forward and in early 2016, Bill C-221 was introduced. This again looks to amend the Criminal Code of Canada and make betting on single sporting events legal. The C-221 bill also stalled in parliament and was in late September 2016, defeated. There is a third effort in play to introduce single sports wagering through Bill C-218 but it never got past the first reading due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopes were high that it would be passed as it had the support from members of all parties, but the ruling Liberal minority has prorogued Parliament and when it resumes the attempt to get full, legal sports betting in Canada will have to start again.

When it comes to legal gambling on online Poker is available through the Canadian Poker Network (CPN) which is operated by Spielgo G2 but the only legit sites authorized to operate within Canadian provinces are EspaceJeux, PlayNow, and PlayOLG. The problem with this the small network size. This is why Canadians often prefer to play at legal casinos and international online poker sites that allow players from Canada.

Playing at legal casinos offers peace of mind as well as the best games and security protocols. Our expert review team vet all the sites we list to ensure that our Canadian readers are guaranteed the best real money games and experience when they play online. We check for fast withdrawals via Interac and popular e-wallets, CAD and French and English customer support, and more. We do all the hard work for you, so you don't have to. We list all the best offers including exclusive deals and with our recommended no deposit codes you can play free and keep what you win too.

Legal Casinos Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I gamble legally at an international online casino?

    Yes you can. There are no laws that specifically prohibit you from using international sites. Many of the best offshore brands allow you to place real money wagers on games like poker, blackjack, video slots and more.
  • Can I legally deposit and withdraw money from an online casino?

    Yes you can. There are numerous deposit and withdrawal options available at legal casinos for Canada in 2024 including Instadebit, Interac, bank transfer, and e-check which are all very popular. Our review team make sure that withdrawals to your bank are approved in the quickest time and that all players are catered for.
  • Can I place wagers in CAD?

    A lot of the best Canadian friendly international sites will allow you to deposit and withdraw in CAD. This means that you don't have to worry about exchange fees or rates. In addition to this, some of the larger international legal casinos offer game play in CAD too. Check our best legit Canada casinos reviews for more information.
  • How do I know my funds are safe?

    You should look for online gambling sites that are properly licensed. This ensures that site is legit. In addition to this, you should look for certification seals and banners from the likes of eCOGRA which shows that the casino is deemed to be responsible and trustworthy. The best Canada friendly legal casinos for 2024 have their RNGs regularly audited so you always have peace of mind.
  • Is fair play guaranteed?

    Legal casinos will be properly licensed and use encryption software and Random Number Generators to ensure customer safety. Fair play is also assured and all protections must be in place for these online gambling establishments to maintain their licenses.
  • What can I do if I suspect unfair games?

    If you are suspicious about any of the games you can contact the Canadian Gaming Association and their local governments. Players can also contact eCOGRA or the licensing entity for any site that they suspect of unfair activity.
  • What is the legal age to gamble in Canada?

    Legal gambling will vary from province to province. Many have age limits of 18 but some provinces require you to be 19 to legally gamble so be sure to check.
  • I live in Quebec what legal gambling choices do I have?

    If you live in Quebec you can play at the Loto Quebec EspaceJeux gambling site or any of the best international casinos we list and review. You can play in CAD and choose from French and English platforms.
  • Is PlayNow the only legal casino for BC?

    No. There are plenty of great choices for BC residents included in our top 10 best international sites that we list and review on our site. The government owned and provincially run PlayNow is the only legal casino based in Canada for Vancouver and BC residents, but you can play for real money at any of the recognized licensed and regulated offshore casino too.
  • What casino bonuses can I get in Ontario?

    If you live in Toronto, Montreal, or anywhere in Ontario and want the best bonuses, PlayOLG offers a welcome package worth up to $1,000 when you signup for a new account. If you are looking for no risk gaming the top casino bonuses can include no deposit cash and free spins codes and you'll find these at international casinos along with excellent rewards for existing players too like reloads, cashback, VIP programs and more.
  • Can I play free games at EspaceJeux?

    While the best legal sites for Canada offer the fun play or demo versions of their games, this is not an option at Quebec's EspaceJeux. If you want to try things out with no risk the fun play option is great. It lets you learn the rules for the different table games and try out the latest slots. You can practice for as long as you like too. If this is something you are looking for, we recommend checking out our best Canada friendly sites for 2024 where you'll also find the best bonuses when you want to play for real money too.
About the Author
 Quintin van Wyk
Quintin van Wyk - Lead Editor

Quintin is a strategic wordsmith and avid gambling enthusiast who has been editing and writing content for the iGaming industry for over 10 years. With the gaming industry constantly expanding and evolving, he is ready to guide both newcomers and experienced players with comprehensive news articles, unbiased casino reviews and informative how-to guides you can trust.

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