Players enjoy online slots and other casino games worldwide, but their legality depends on the country. When it comes to Canada, players often wonder whether playing slots is legal in online casinos.
As the answer has been tricky for a long time, most people have no idea if playing online casino games is legal in the land of the Canuck. However, we wanted to explain the rules and regulations and make the Canadian online gambling laws and regulations as clear as possible, so you’ll know once and for all whether you are allowed to play online slots.
Canada has always had an ever-changing relationship with gambling. At first, all forms of gambling were part of organized crime, but in the 1970s, things began to change when the government decided to legalize several forms of gambling.
First of all, bingo and raffles were legalized, as long as they were for charitable purposes. Then, in 1985, provinces and territories were given the right to decide what to do with gambling activities like lotteries, charitable gambling games and, most notably, slots. This practice is still in existence, and each province and territory has its laws.
However, Canada has later introduced the Canadian Gaming Commission, a regulatory body that deals with its gambling industry. Unfortunately, even though this body exists, there are still no specific laws that deal with online gambling.
What’s more, many gambling forms are still illegal, according to the Criminal Code of Canada. The good thing here is that most of these rules only pertain to individuals and organizations who illegally offer gambling services in Canada without government permission.
People in Canada are still free to gamble online, as long as it’s in offshore gambling sites. For that reason, online slot players play a wide variety of slot games in over a thousand unique offshore casinos that offer their services to Canadian citizens. The Canadian government doesn’t ban these sites, so you are free to join them and play slots.
Even though there are no laws that allow you to do this, the government has never prosecuted anyone for playing online gambling games, which is precisely why everyone who wants to play them can do that.
Naturally, we say this not only because the Canadian government is very lenient with online gambling in offshore casinos, but because the Criminal Code doesn’t specifically state that playing on an online casino site is a criminal offense.
As the law does not ban these activities, and since there are no specific laws that cover online gambling, the practice is also not taxable. As a Canadian citizen who plays slots online, you are under no obligation to pay taxes. You only need to pay tax if your gaming activities are a form of employment. If you’re playing purely for fun, there’s no need to pay any taxes on the winnings.
Nothing indicates that the current complicated situation with online gambling will change soon. The government doesn’t have specific plans to legalize offshore online casinos, but it’s not trying to prohibit them from offering their services to Canadian citizens either.
This status quo will likely remain in the foreseeable future, which is not a bad thing if you are a regular player who wants to play online slots in Canada. However, you need to be careful while choosing an offshore online casino, as no laws and regulations require that casinos protect Canadian citizens’ rights. You will still have to find a licensed and reputable international site if you want to play online slots safely.
As you can see, the legality of online gambling and playing online slots is very complicated in Canada. The country prohibits online gambling, but each province and territory can still have its own rules, and some of them allow iGaming sites to register and operate legally.
However, most players play slots in offshore online casinos as no laws in Canada prohibit them from offering their services to Canadian citizens. For that reason, you are entirely free to play online slots on these sites, and you don’t need to fear that the government will fine or imprison you for doing that. You can even use your Canadian bank-issued credit cards to make deposits and withdrawals.
In other terms, Canada is a ‘grey’ market when it comes to online gambling, and this will likely remain the case in the foreseeable future.
Is it legal to gamble online in Canada?
Online gambling is permitted as long as the site is registered and allowed to operate in the specific Canadian province or territory where you live. However, offshore casino sites still operate freely in Canada, and players can join them and play slots without the fear of breaking the law, as no rules cover the practice.
What Canadian banks allow online gambling?
Even though playing slots in offshore casinos are not legalized in Canada, many banks allow people to use their credit cards on offshore casino sites. The four major banks that allow you to deposit money in these casinos are the Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Toronto-Dominion Bank, and Royal Bank of Canada. The remaining major Canadian bank, Scotiabank, allows online gambling payments only in provincially-regulated iGaming sites.
Are online gambling winnings taxable in Canada?
No, they are not. As long as you’re playing for fun, your winnings are not taxable. However, if you’re gambling and playing slots as a form of job, you will have to pay taxes.
Can a foreign citizen gamble online in Canada?
All online casinos require proof of identity, so you won’t be able to create an account. However, you can still do so in international casinos that cater to players from your country.