Canada Gambling Laws are not as restrictive as in other countries, it is largely uncontrolled. Online gambling is legal and Canadians are permitted to use offshore gambling websites.

Canadian History

Canada Gambling Laws

Canada is now a huge country in North America stretching from the US in the south to the Arctic circle in the north. It also stretches westwards from the east coast of the Atlantic ocean to Alaska.

Part of Canada was colonised by France during 1604, we now know that area as Nova Scotia. Settlement spread across the western prairies beyond the great lakes and south to the Gulf of Mexico. Later in 1713 Nova Scotia, Hudson Bay and Newfoundland were lost to the English. In 1763 the English took full control with the Treaty of Paris. By then Canada was largely a French population but after the Treaty, many thousands of British and American Colonists emigrated to Canada.

During 1849, Canada was granted the right to self-government. Various parts of Canada were later created as provinces. Canada also purchased the Hudson Bay Company in 1871 taking control of more provinces. In 1931 Canada became part of the British Commonwealth giving them equal legal status to the UK. Canada now has 10 official provinces.

French descendants in Quebec, which was always a French-speaking sector had always been trying to improve their political and cultural status. There were many arguments about the official language. In 1980 Quebec held an independence referendum and the motion for independence was defeated by 60%.

Canada Gambling Laws

Since the 1892 Canada adopted English Laws which permitted gambling under certain regulations. An amendment during 1910 to gambling laws, known as the Pari-mutuel incorporated part of French gambling law. Essentially,  losers stakes were divided among winners after small cut was taken for the house. Charities and Religious orders were permitted to become stakeholders.

During 1970, a new law gave the provinces authority to licence and regulate gambling. There were a few small caveats, however a new gambling industry swept across Canada. Casinos sprang up in all areas and video lottery terminals were provided all over the provinces. The video lottery terminals have generated millions of dollars for the provinces resulting in large donations being made to good causes.

Sports betting at racetracks became a hugely popular pastime with billions of dollars being bet across Canada annually. It is the most popular form of gambling together with the state lottery.

Gambling laws are considered quite lapse in terms of law enforcement. Reportedly, there is still a good deal of organised crime and although gambling establishments are mostly legalised, there are still illegal private gaming houses. Cheating and swindling is very common in those illegal gaming houses.

Online Gambling

The new gambling law in 1971 was drafted long before online gambling came about. Some of the individual provinces operate their own regulated online casinos. Online sports betting and the purchase of lottery tickets are also regulated by the provinces. As you may know there are many thousands of online gambling websites in various jurisdictions all over the world. Most of those websites do not exclude Canadian players. At the moment, gambling laws do not ban Canadians from using offshore gambling websites. If an online gambling organisation is licensed and regulated in an offshore jurisdiction then it is operating legally.

Currently, the Canadian Government is powerless to prevent their nationals from using offshore gambling websites. This will be causing them to lose a lot of tax revenue which may result in a further change to gambling laws. If they do change the Canada gambling laws then they have two options to enforce a ban on using offshore gambling websites. They could either place restrictions on payments systems to offshore gambling organisation as the US has done. Alternatively, they could censor the IP addresses of offshore gambling websites as they do in Russia.

Read more about gambling laws in other countries.

Read more about gambling laws in the Americas including the Caribbean:

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