10 Things to Know About Gambling in Canada
Online gambling may still be in its infancy but it’s already growing into a $77 million (USD) industry. A majority of folks aged 18 to 34 have given online gambling a try.
If you’re new to the concept of online gambling in Canada or if you only recently relocated to the country, there may be a few questions lingering that stops you from giving it a try. Is online gambling legal in Canada, for example, and if you do win, do you have to pay taxes for the winnings?
To help you take the step forward and enjoy the luxuries of online casinos in Canada, here are 10 things every newbie should know.
1. Is Online Gambling Legal in Canada?
This is the most complicated question of them all because there’s no black-and-white answer. There’s no blanket answer regarding the legality of online casinos. Instead, you have to break it down according to the three territories and 10 provinces of Canada.
Each province and territory has their own rules regarding online casinos and the games you can legally play.
In general, most of the provinces allow online gambling. Some provinces, like Quebec, legalize online gambling and even have their own official online casino site. Saskatchewan, on the other hand, only allows charity-directed online gambling and Texas Hold ‘Em games.
2. Taxes for Online Gambling in Canada
Again, there’s no blanket answer due to the different laws from each province and territory. However, most areas in Canada won’t force you to pay taxes for winnings from online gambling sites.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. For one thing, online poker and online slot machines in Canada draw in more players and some provinces do require you to pay taxes for these games. Other provinces will only tax you depending on whether or not you declared Canada as your current or primary residence.
Laws regarding taxes for online Canada casinos also differ depending on whether you’re playing professionally or for fun. If you make a regular flow of cash from online Poker, you may have to pay taxes because now it counts as your source of income.
3. Can You Play on Offshore Sites?
Yes, you can play offshore sites.
As a matter of fact, many international online casinos target Canadian players because of the growing popularity of online gambling in the country. There are official, government-run online casinos in Canada for those who want to play locally.
4. Using Canadian Dollars
The aforementioned international casino sites tend to focus on two currencies: the British Pound and US Dollar. However, many sites now offer Canadian Dollars too. This means you can directly deposit and withdraw Canadian cash into the different online casinos without having to convert the currency repeatedly.
5. Are Online Casinos Fair?
All casinos, whether in real life or online, favor the establishment. There’s always a percentage weighed against the gamblers and this is to ensure that the casino always earns a profit. At the same time, the odds are still high enough for the players to ensure that they have a good chance of winning every few rounds.
For online gambling in Canada, the eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance agency (eCOGRA) is in charge of checking every online casino operating in the country. This agency makes sure that the different casinos offer a fair chance while still keeping the house percentage in their favor.
If you are new to a casino site, look for the eCOGRA banner of certification. If it’s not there, there’s the possibility that you’re not getting the same fair percentage players should get.
6. What to Do When Encountering Unfair Gambling?
If you encounter any instance where you think the online site is unfair, report to eCOGRA. It is their responsibility to monitor online gambling sites and if you find evidence that the site you’re playing doesn’t give the players a fair chance to win, they could get shut down.
7. Is It Legal to Deposit and Withdraw Money?
Yes, it is legal to deposit and withdraw money with most online gambling sites in Canada. You can use direct deposit transactions with the banks and some online sites in Canada also accept PayPal transactions too.
8. What Games are Available?
The answer to this question depends on the site you’re playing at.
Most gambling sites will also offer some of the following games:
- Texas Hold ‘Em Poker
- Traditional Five-Hand Poker
- Slot machines
Some online gambling Ontario sites allow you to play online Poker, Bingo, and even an online lottery. Places like Alberta, on the other hand, have sites where online lottery comes from the official West Canadian Lottery Company as well as the Atlantic Lottery Corporation.
9. What About Bitcoin Gambling?
Bitcoin is still in debate in Canada. It does fall under the laws of currency regulation, which means the country does maintain the same level of monitoring as it does regular money for gambling. If you use Bitcoin for online gambling and got scammed, for example, you do have the right to bring this up to the authorities and file a legal complaint.
However, more debate is still up in the air regarding the value of Bitcoin and its nature as currency.
10. Where to Start?
As mentioned above, it is a good idea to start with recognized international casino sites or Canadian gambling sites carrying the eCOGRA approval banner.
You can also start by trying casino sites that offer the exact type of game you love playing. Do you love Poker or slot machines? Try searching for online casino sites that carry both a good reputation and those games you want to spend time and money in.
Also, make it a point to check if the gambling site allows you to try “free” games. You’ll still need to register and deposit real money later on, but a free demo to give it a spin helps you pick the right gambling site that suits your personal preferences.
Have Fun with Online Canada Casinos
Got all the information you need to start online gambling in Canada? This is only the beginning! Find the right online site and have fun playing and earn some winnings.
Want more information and tidbits? Visit us today and read up on our blog, like this post that debunks 5 slot machine myths.