Online gambling in Canada is something of a grey area. Although there are laws specific to gambling, they’re not completely clear and are open to interpretation when it comes to online gambling. The main interpretation of the law is that online gambling is permitted, but only when offered by a state-run gambling provider. In other words, private gambling companies can’t run sportsbooks or online casinos in Canada.
While this law does seem like it would make gambling online in Canada difficult, the truth is that it really doesn’t. Millions of Canadians still enjoy online gambling, either playing at one of the government-operated gambling sites or playing at an offshore site. Although offshore sites aren’t strictly legal, there’s no danger in using them, provided they’re licensed and trusted.
Additionally, while the laws aren’t in place yet, some provinces such as Ontario are looking to establish an open gambling market. This would mean that offshore sites can be licensed in the province in order to accept Canadian players.
If you’d like to get started gambling online safely and legally in Canada, you can follow this guide.
Are Offshore Online Gambling Sites Safe?
While state-run gambling sites such as the OLG are available to Canadian gamblers, they don’t provide as much variety or promotional offers as offshore sites. As a result of this, many Canadians still sign up to play at offshore casinos and sportsbooks such as BetMGM Ontario. While this isn’t strictly legal, it’s not illegal either, and Canadian’s won’t face prosecution for using these sites.
Although there’s no legal risk, there is always the risk of losing money. Of course, when you’re gambling, you always have the chance of losing the money you stake. However, the games should always be fair, and the casino shouldn’t take advantage. The way to avoid untrustworthy casinos with unfair games is to look for sites that are licensed. All online casinos or sportsbooks should have a license from a gambling authority such as the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, or Curacao Gaming Control Board.
Aside from looking at the license, it’s also worth checking out online reviews of the site to see if it can be trusted. You’ll find plenty of user reviews online, as well as reviews from trusted casino sites. Always see if the payments are processed quickly and without charging fees and that players haven’t reported any issues with them.
Steps for Safe Online Gambling in Canada
Getting started with online gambling is easy enough. Just follow these steps for a safe and fun online gambling experience:
- Choose a trusted gambling site – You can opt for a government-run gambling site such as OLG or choose from one of the many offshore sites that accept Canadian players. Make sure it’s licensed and trusted before joining.
- Make a deposit – If you want to play casino games or bet on sports for real money, you need to first make a deposit. Choose from the supported payment methods and select how much you want to deposit. Make sure you don’t bet more than you can afford to lose, and set a deposit limit if you need to.
- Claim your bonus – Most gambling sites offer bonuses to new players. Be sure to claim it if you want to make the most of the site. You should always read the full terms before using it, though, as there will often be restrictions on how it can be used.
- Play responsibly – Always make sure you’re being responsible with your gambling. That means not gambling more than you can afford to lose and avoiding making it a habit.