June 9, 2021

Gambling in Canada: Change Is in the Air

Emily Tremblay
Written byEmily TremblayWriter
Researched byPriya PatelResearcher

The Canadian Gaming Association says that more than CA$14 billion annually is wagered by gamblers in Canada on foreign betting platforms.

Gambling in Canada: Change Is in the Air

To combat this and to prevent illegal gambling, there's a proposal to change the country's gambling law with a piece of legislation called the "Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act" or Bill C-218.

Introduced by Member of Parliament Kevin Waugh, the bill aims to legalize single-event wagering in Canada.

Canadian Gambling Law

In Canadian sports betting, gamblers must combine two or more wagers onto one ticket, or make a correct prediction on the outcome of at least two games to qualify for a win.

Many gamblers in Canada who wager on a single event mistakenly think they are patronizing Canadian online casinos and realize their error when something wrong happens. In fact, the Canadian Gaming Association regularly receives requests from Canadian gamblers to help resolve problems or disputes with non-Canadian betting sites.

Bill C-218 would amend Canada's Criminal Code to make it legal for gamblers to wager on the result of one single sporting game. Simply put, a bettor who places a single bet only needs to choose a team, decide the amount of the wager, and then place that wager. Instead of having to use an offshore betting platform, bettors can make their wagers through regulated online and land-based casinos in Canada.

Widespread Support

Having been reviewed by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, Bill C-218 enjoys a large amount of support all over Canada.

The National Hockey League, in particular, has called for the bill's approval and recognizes its role in the advancement of Canada's gaming scene. And since fans are enthusiastic about betting on football, basketball, baseball, and other sporting events, the proposed bill will bring about more betting opportunities.

Gambling Galore in Ontario

The province of Ontario is expected to be a gambling hub if Bill C-218 is passed into law. With a population of 14.5 million, it's a huge market with plenty of potential. The presence of major casino operators including PointsBets, DraftKings, theScore, and more, is also a major driver in expanding Ontario's gambling scene.

Canadian Online Casinos

The legal status of online casinos in Canada is somewhat complex. According to the Criminal Code, it is illegal to host a gambling website in Canada. The Code also states that only the national government and the provinces may operate any type of gambling. However, each of the country's ten provinces has the power to legalize specific types of digital gambling within its borders.

Several provinces, including Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, have online casinos that the province operates by itself or in partnership with private companies. They do not issue gambling licenses to private online casino operators.

However, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, one of Canada's First Nations tribes, has the power to issue licenses to online casinos. Because of this, there's a minimum of 250 online casinos that can legally accept players from all over Canada, even those living in provinces where online casinos are prohibited.

What's more, quite a few of these operations have glowing online casino reviews. Those looking for the best online casino in Canada can choose from these operations and enjoy a great gambling experience without having to worry about breaking the law.

About the author
Emily Tremblay
Emily Tremblay

Emily, a dynamic blend of tech-savvy and casino enthusiast, hails from the snowy landscapes of Canada. With her innate grasp of cultural nuances, she ensures online casino guides resonate deeply with Canadians. Emily's spirited and engaging nature makes her a favourite among peers.

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