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Online casinos accepting players from Canada

The state of online gambling in Canada hasn't changed much over the last two decades with one exception. Private/public partnerships have allowed provincial governments to get involved in online casinos through Crown corporations and lottery service providers. Aside from giving residents a way to donate to charitable causes through their gambling losses, the net effect on players has been negligible.

One negative aspect of the arrangements is that some game providers such as NetEnt and IGT have stopped allowing their content to be accessed by Canadians via offshore casinos - the games are only available at provincial websites like the British Columbia Lottery Corporation's PlayNow.com and the Ontario Lottery And Gaming Corporation's PlayOLG.com.

Top 8 Online Casinos for Canada

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In a nutshell, it's totally legal to gamble at an offshore website, but may or may not be legal for an operator to accept your bets.

A more in-depth analysis follows:

Any online casino with servers, administrative offices, or call centers, etc., located inside the country should be licensed by the provincial government in order to offer their services to Canadians.

There is nothing in the law [Section 202(1)(d) of the Canadian Criminal Code] barring players from accessing an online casino, located offshore, and not licensed for the gambling business by provincial authorities. "Common gaming houses", "common betting houses", and "disorderly houses" are described and legislated against, but nothing specifically refers to your own house, mobile phone, or any other internet access.

To our knowledge, no player has ever been arrested or prosecuted for gambling online. However, the same can't be said of operators who accept bets from Canadians -if- a substantial part of their business is located inside the country. In this case, they could fall under the criminal code thanks to case law as created by R. v. Starnet Communications International Inc. [(August 17, 2001), Vancouver 125795-1(B.C.S.C.)]

According to CBC News, there is one case of an operator, who was licensed in Antigua but kept an office in Vancouver, BC in the 1990s pleading guilty to breaching the criminal code.

Legal scholars can disagree on whether it was settled law or fear of prosecution of further elements of Starnet's business (which included internet pornography and possible links to organized crime via an outlaw biker gang) that made them restructure their corporation and pay the province $6,000,000 on top of a $100,000 fine - rather than going to trial and exerting their rights under the "foreign operator principle".

The foreign operator principle is about jurisdiction and is based on section 6 of the Canadian Criminal Code. It basically holds that it's not possible to be convicted of an offense that takes place outside of the country.

According to Thompson Reuters Practical Law, the overall issue of prosecuting licensed foreign operators, "Has not been definitively settled by the courts. If the legality of the offerings and operations were to be judicially considered, the question of extraterritoriality and whether there existed "real and substantial" connections to Canada would have to be analysed."

Regardless, for all intents and purposes, one can come to the reasonable conclusion that online gambling at offshore sites is absolutely legal in Canada.

What Sorts of Games are Available in Canada?

With the exception of NetEnt, IGT, and possibly NYX (some SoftSwiss casino terms and conditions state that NYX games are not available in Canada) the rest of the world is Canada's oyster for now! LCB.org has reviewed 6,497 slots to date (mostly virtual reels), and new games come down the pike almost every day.

Any type of game you can find in Canadian land-based casinos, or Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or Macau for that matter, can be found online. In fact, there is actually a lot more variety to be found over the internet. We list about 50 unique card games over 23 software developers in the Other Card Games section alone.

  • Progressive Slots - Often multi-million dollar jackpots
  • Reel Slots - Traditional and advance bonus mechanics, mostly 3-reels
  • Video Slots - The innovation laboratory and most popular games in the world
  • Video Poker - More than 1,000 variants, providers, and hand counts
  • Casino Poker - Casino Hold'em, Oasis, 3-Card Poker, etc.
  • Poker - Omaha, Hold'em, tournaments, etc.
  • Blackjack - Everything under the sun
  • Baccarat - Punto Banco, sidebets, dragon, squeeze, every variant
  • Sic Bo - 3-dice Asian game
  • Casino War - A rose by any other name
  • Craps - Every imaginable odds scenario
  • Roulette - 0/00/French
  • Keno - Use a keno calculator like the one at Wizard Of Odds to know if it's a sucker bet
  • Unique Games - Pull tabs, fixed odds, virtual sports and races, etc.
  • Other Card Games
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Live Dealer Casinos in Canada

Canadians can enjoy the thrill of playing against or with a live dealer from studios and casinos all around the world. Unfortunately, the only studios that broadcast games from inside the country are only available if you play at one of the Crown Corp websites.

Evolution Gaming's New Westminster, British Columbia studios went live in February 2018 in their first major expansion outside of Europe. The good news is that the world leader's games that come out of Europe, including several land-based casinos in MaltaBelgiumSpainRomania, and other locales are still available to Canadians via offshore casinos!

While Evolution's games may be found in more casinos than any other provider's, many people prefer the Playtech live dealer experience. In February 2017, they opened the world's largest cutting-edge live casino in Riga, Latvia at 8,500 square metres (91493 sq ft).

The studio features a 25m (82') wide LED curved wall that allows for atmospheric and environmental manipulation of the scene in multiple sections. Operators can render in real time and change the environment in a matter of seconds.

Playtech has additional live studios in the Belgium, Philippines, Romania, and Spain.

Canadian Mobile Gaming

In recent years the entire online casino industry has transitioned from one where a single software supplier provided games to branded casinos to a world where game aggregators plug their API modules onto a delivery platform with upwards of 3,000 games from as many 50 different suppliers. Along with that evolution has come a transition from single-software download casino clients and Flash-based instant play games to internet browser-based lobbies delivered in the next generation HTML5 framework.

What that means to Canadian players is that they can access any casino game on any device, regardless of the operating system without the need to download any computer software or mobile app. These device agnostic games play as well on a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop right in your internet browser.

The HTML framework allows super scant, fast-loading code to optimize the game experience for whatever sized screen you are using and in any orientation - landscape or portrait. The same game looks and plays great on a handheld device with a tinny speaker, with Bluetooth stereo speakers, or on your HD desktop monitor with subwoofers pumping.

Not all games have been converted to the new format yet, but Adobe plans to finally put the unstable and insecure Flash platform to bed forever at the end of 2020. All new games are created and delivered via HTML5 and the major developers and providers are busy around the clock converting all of their popular legacy titles into the newer, future-proof framework. For now, some casino lobbies offer more games on the desktop than for mobile, but the worlds are converging.

Deposit and Withdrawal Methods for Canadian Casinos Online

There are four basic ways to fund your online casino account in Canada and many also work as a withdrawal method.

  • Instant Banking
  • Bitcoin & other digital currencies
  • Credit & Debit Cards
  • Electronic Wallets

Instant banking

  • Interac
  • Instadebit
  • iDebit
  • UseMyBank
  • Bank Wires

Interac e-Transfers allow players to easily and securely transfer payments from their bank accounts, through a third-party, into their casino accounts. The service is widely used in Canada for other sorts of transactions and works perfectly well for online casino deposits. Click HERE to find a list of trusted casinos that accept Interac e-Transfers from Canadian players.

iDebit is another very popular method for casino banking, as are INstadebit, UseMyBank, and Bank Wires.

Crypto-currencies including Bitcoin

Players who enjoy lightning-fast payouts, high match limits for bonuses and the virtual anonymity of digital currencies prefer to do their online casino banking with Bitcoin or one of the other widely accepted altcoins.

Most operators support the method now because it saves them untold amounts of overhead as all transactions are final and fraudulent player behavior is next to impossible. Some will pass on the savings and most will offer much higher bonus amounts if you use a cryptocurrency.

Visit any casino on our Bitcoin list (more than 100) to find a tutorial on how to use crypto coins for casino banking, or jump in with both feet and set up your accounts on an exchange such as Coinbase. The help files there are extensive and comprehensive, while easy to read and understand. After a few transactions, it will all become second nature and you will be able to enjoy payouts in minutes from many gaming sites.

Credit and debit cards

Visa, MasterCard, Visa Electron, and MasterCard Maestro can sometimes be used to fund an online casino account. Most players have found better ways to deal with transactions being rejected as some banks simply won't process a transaction with a Merchant Category Code (MCC) related to gambling. Please visit this link for a complete list of Canadian banks that allow online gambling.

Paysafecards are available for casino deposits. They are available in increments up to $100 and can be purchased at local retailers. Go to the company website, type in your city/town, province, and country to see a list of kiosks and retailers near you.

Electronic wallets

Skrill and Neteller no longer accept gambling transactions from Canada. ClickandBuy and MyWallet have terminated services as well. UPayCard and Ecopays are currently the best choices for e-Money transactions.

Author: Lars Jones

Online casinos accepting players from Canada

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