Though recent developments have sparked sports betting growth in Canada, the country still has some catching up to do when it comes to online casinos. Players in specific provinces do have online casino options available to them, but current legislation and policies limit exactly how many online casinos can operate in Canada.
For example, British Columbia and Alberta both offer online casinos via their Lottery Corporations. Ontario does the same, but the province is currently in the process of opening the door for more operators to launch.
In short, online casino availability in Canada varies by province, but the country as a whole is generally trending toward legalization on most fronts.
Canadian Province With Legal Online Casinos
Similar to the neighboring US market, Canada allows its individual provinces to regulate online casinos. This means that online gambling sites are available in some, but not all provinces. And the number of options varies from one territory to the next.
|Province||Online Casinos Legal?||Details|
|Alberta||Yes||PlayAlberta is the only legal online casino|
|British Columbia||Yes||PlayNow is the only legal online casino|
|Manitoba||Yes||PlayNow is the only legal online casino|
|New Brunswick||Yes||Offered only by the Atlantic Lottery|
|Newfoundland & Labrador||Yes||Offered only by the Atlantic Lottery|
|Nova Scotia||Yes||Offered only by the Atlantic Lottery|
|Ontario||Yes||Offered only by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation|
|Prince Edward Island||Yes||Offered only by the Atlantic Lottery|
|Québec||Yes||Offered only by Loto-Québec|
|Saskatchewan||No||The province announced an agreement with the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Commission to allow online casinos in the near future|
Best Online Casinos In Canada
The structure of the Canadian online casino industry makes it difficult to choose a single “best’ online casino site. This is thanks to the provincial framework under which the country operates. Provinces are allowed to regulate online casinos on an individual basis. Many of the provinces in Canada have done just that–but there’s a catch. Most of them do not allow outside operators to launch online casinos. Instead, the lotteries of each province offer a single platform for online casino gaming.
Simply put: in any province where online casinos are legal, players only have one safe and regulated option. For this reason, each province’s single online casino is the best option for players in that region.
In addition to the current, limited options available for players in Canada, in early 2022 we anticipate additional online casino apps could launch. This could include BetMGM, BetRivers, and other casino apps well known in the US.
Ontario On The Way
Ontario is currently the most likely province to legalize online casinos on a wider scale. The Province has legislation in the works that could allow for more operators to join the fray.
There’s a lot yet to be determined in the region regarding the online casino regulatory framework. But thus far, Ontario appears as though it’ll be a qualitative market. This means that there won’t necessarily be an upper limit to how many operators can launch in the market. Instead, any operator that meets strict regulatory requirements will be clear to launch.
More detail about Ontario’s online casino outlook is available at the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s website. The AGCO is the governing body for online gaming in the province.
Online Casino Bonuses In Canada
When you gamble at a Canada online casino site, you’ll be treated to a number of great bonus opportunities. Keep in mind that they vary by region, but for the most part the bonuses are similar from one province to the next.
At PlayNow in British Columbia (offered by the BCLC), for example, new players can get a $20 casino token when they sign up, make a deposit, and place a wager.
OLG’s online casino site, on the other hand, offers a $100 deposit match on your first three deposits at the site.
Heads up–these bonuses usually come with a playthrough requirement. This means you’ll have to bet a certain amount before you get the full credit. Always double-check the terms and conditions surrounding a bonus before you claim it.
Outside of lucrative welcome offers, you’ll find plenty of other bonuses at Canada’s online casinos. For example, BCLC’s PlayNow offered a 10% rebate on net losses over the course of two weekends to celebrate Halloween.
You might also find offers that give you free plays on certain slot games once you’ve made a deposit or bet beyond a certain threshold.
Because there’s only a single online casino per legal province in Canada, it makes sense for players to sign up for loyalty programs. If you’re only betting at one place, you stand to earn more from the rewards since you aren’t spreading your bets across multiple sites. You can find details of these programs at your province’s online casino site.
Games Available At Canada Online Casinos
Canada’s online casinos have a wealth of riches when it comes to game libraries. You’ll find hundreds of available titles across various game formats. Whether you’re a slots enthusiast, a blackjack aficionado, or a roulette fanatic, there’s something for you at Canada’s online casinos.
Slots are, by far, the most plentiful games on the market for Canadian players. You can find dozens of the latest and greatest slot games on each province’s online gaming site. These games run the gamut from licensed third-party titles to proprietary themes, meaning you’ll always be able to find a game that perfectly fits your taste.
Some online slots include the possibility of winning a major jackpot. Such jackpots are usually listed on the title card of the game that contains them.
Plus, new slots are regularly released for Canada’s gaming sites. Check back often to see if a newly available game catches your eye.
If table games are more your style, the ever-popular blackjack is on offer at most online casinos in Canada. Many sites include popular variants of the game, too, such as Zappit Blackjack, Super Fun 21 Extreme, Multihand Blackjack, and Blackjack Poker & Pairs.
Of course, if you prefer straight-up no-frills blackjack, that’s an option as well.
Of course, you can find blackjack at multiple tables throughout a casino–and that’s true for Canada’s online sites as well. But there are a plethora of other great games on offer for those who prefer table games. Three Card Poker, Baccarat, Let It Ride, Mississippi Stud, Roulette, and others can be found at various sites available to Canadian players.
Live Dealer Games
If you prefer the speed and convenience of online play but still want the in-person touch, try out Canada’s live dealer games. Currently, four provincial sites offer live dealer games: Ontario, Québec, Alberta, and British Columbia.
Live dealer games feature an actual dealer doling out real cards (or spinning a real roulette wheel), which is live-streamed to your computer or mobile device. You play and make bets as if you were actually sitting at the table in the casino and the computer calculates wins, losses, and payouts. It’s a nice combination of online and in-person play that’s growing increasingly popular.
Lottery, Bingo, And Keno
Because Canada’s online casinos are mostly run by lotteries, there are other game styles available on most sites. You can find bingo, e-instants, keno, and even lottery tickets on the same sites that offer casino games.
Sweepstakes Casino Sites
If you prefer not to play casino games at Canada’s province- and lottery-run sites, you do have the option of sweepstakes casinos.
These sites work differently in that they run on a sweepstakes model. The best site is Funzpoints Casino, which gives players 250 Premium points on signup with this exclusive link.
At these sweepstakes sites, you can buy in-game currency with real money. Typically this currency is called gold coins. You can play with gold coins for fun–and win more gold coins to play with. But they are not redeemable for cash.
However, as you play, you can get a separate in-game currency called sweeps coins. When you play with these, you can exchange your winnings for cash prizes.
Sweepstakes casinos use an entirely different model from traditional online casinos, so they are available in most Canadian markets, even if there isn’t legislation allowing online casino sites to run there.
You also have the option at these sites to mail in a request for free sweeps coins. The terms and conditions surrounding these offers are quite specific but fairly easy to follow.
How Can I Gamble Online In Canada?
First step: check to be sure that online casinos are legal in your province. See the table above for reference–the majority of Canadian provinces have a lottery-run online casino.
From there, it’s just a matter of setting up your account. Head to the online casino’s webpage or app, then click “sign up” or “create an account.” Follow the prompts, and be prepared to give some personal information in order to create your account. The sites will need to confirm your identity with this information to prevent users from creating multiple accounts.
- Date of birth
- Phone number
- Home address
- Email address
- Password (you’ll create one)
- Government-issued ID
And likely a few other details. Submit this information as requested, and you should have no trouble creating your account.
Once you’re set up with an account, you can make a deposit and start betting as long as you’re within the borders of the province where you signed up. You can’t place bets or play online casino games if you’re not physically located within the province offering the games.
Deposits And Withdrawals At Canada Online Casinos
Deposit and cashout methods at online casinos can vary by operator. However, most of Canada’s legal sites offer similar options. Below are some of the most common types of payment and withdrawal methods. Always check with your province’s site to confirm which methods are available.
Most of Canada’s casino sites accept deposits via credit and debit card.
OLG’s PlayNow site accepts Visa, Mastercard, or INTERAC online payments. These options are slightly limiting but should mostly work without issue.
The one obstacle to depositing with a credit or debit card–especially if issued by a US institution–is the risk of charges being declined. You may need to contact the issuer to clear these transactions or get a card offered by a Canadian bank.
Other options are available in different provinces. BCLC’s site, for example, accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, INTERAC, PayPal, Online Bill Payment, and Web Cash.
Explore the deposit options available at your province’s online casino site and pick the one that works best for you. In our experience, PayPal is the best, easiest option wherever available. It has a low decline rate and can get you up and running the fastest when making deposits.
Withdrawals At Canada Online Casinos
Most of Canada’s online casinos require you to withdraw directly into your bank account.
When you sign up for an account, connect your bank account as soon as possible so it gets confirmed and you can be ready to withdraw. Payments to your account can take up to five days to process.
History Of Online Gambling In Canada
Canada has a long history with online gambling. The country has been mostly friendly to online gambling progress, though that progress has come with a healthy dose of caution.
For a long time, Canadians could only place sports bets as parlay wagers at lottery-run sites. That is changing, however, thanks to a federal bill that allows for provinces to regulate and allow single-event sports wagering.
Online casinos have had a tougher go of it. Canada’s provinces regulate online casinos, and they typically do not grant licenses for competitors. This means Canadian online casinos are all exclusively run by provincial lottery corporations. Players, then, only have one legal option.
That doesn’t look staged to change on a wide scale. However, Ontario is looking to create an open iGaming market that will allow various operators to join the fray. It’s yet to be seen whether other provinces will follow suit, but that’s a big step forward for Ontario. There’s also a chance that increased sports betting revenue could spur provincial regulators to embrace online casinos in a way they haven’t before. Time will tell.
Legal Online Casinos Vs. Illegal Online Casinos
Though Canada’s federal law prevents the operation of online casinos from within the country’s borders, the legislation is more relaxed regarding actually playing at offshore online casinos. For this reason, Canadian players have access to a number of grey market sites.
However, we don’t recommend using these sites. They are not reliable, and they aren’t regulated on a wide scale, meaning they can be very risky to use.
Protect Your Money
Though offshore sites may be regulated by a committee in a different country, there is no guarantee that they will protect your funds. It’s risky to deposit and keep a balance with these operators, because they could shut down at any moment, taking your money with them.
Canada’s legal online casino sites are overseen by provincial commissions that carefully and strictly regulate operations. Protections are in place to keep your money and personal information safe, meaning you can play with peace of mind.
While offshore or grey market sites may have rewards programs, you can never be sure that your money is safe. At legal sites, you can rest assured your funds are protected and enjoy the benefits of the rewards programs on offer.
Legal Online Casino FAQs
Yes. But the laws vary by province. Many of Canada’s provinces offer online casinos run by provincial lottery corporations. Sports betting is also legal, though most provinces only allow parlays. That’s changing, however, as single-event wagering is now legal federally–it’s just up to the provinces, like Ontario, to regulate and launch online sportsbooks.
No. Refer to the table on this page for a full breakdown of where online casinos are legal. Some of the country’s most populous provinces such as Ontario, Québec, and British Columbia allow online casinos.
19. The legal gambling age at online casinos in Canada is 19 in most provinces. You can play lottery games at 18, however.
Yes. Most of Canada’s online casinos offer streamlined and user-friendly mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.
It varies by province. You can use credit card, debit card, or INTERAC in Ontario. In BCLC you have those options plus PayPal and others. Check your province’s online casino website for more information.
Yes. As long as you’re using a regulated and legal online casino, your money is safe. There are various protections in palace to keep your money safe, including state-of-the-art encryption.
Most online casinos in Canada allow you to withdraw directly to your bank account. There are rarely other options available.
Yes. Canada online casinos employ SSL encryption, which encrypts your data as it travels from your computer or mobile device to the casino’s servers. This stops hackers from being able to see your information, and it’s an industry standard used by most online businesses.
Lottery organizations. The BCLC, OLG, Atlantic Lottery, and other provincial lotteries run online casinos in their respective regions. This could change, however, particularly in Ontario, where online casinos may expand to welcome commercial operators who meet strict safety and regulatory requirements.
Yes. Four provinces—Alberta, Québec, British Columbia, and Ontario—offer live dealer games at their lottery-run casinos. You can enjoy live dealer blackjack, roulette, poker, and many other games at these sites.