The Complete Lowdown on Casino Legislation in Canada in 2017
Interested in online gambling and live in Canada? Then it’s a good idea to understand what kind of legislation is in place regarding enjoying some online fun. Canada’s legislation sits somewhere between the laws in the United Kingdom and the United States. Right now, Canada has adopted a sit back and see what happens approach to online gambling in the country. Why?
It’s murky waters.
Since 1969, Canadians have had the ability to bet on things other than fair lotteries, horse races or lotteries for charity if they lived in one of the 10 provinces. The Canadian government gave the provinces the ability to decide on all types of gambling in 1985. The only problem is that the criminal code in the country didn’t change to specify what people could and could not gamble on.
To this day, the Criminal Code of Canada states that running a betting establishment or being caught in one is a criminal offense. However, online betting houses are not mentioned anywhere in the criminal code, making the waters murky when it comes to dealing with online Canadian casinos. Plus, it states that provinces are allowed to run different gambling forms, including lottery schemes, which include lotteries that are operated via the computer. That is how the online casinos got started in Canada. British Columbia opened the first legal, regulated casino in the country, however, the site is only available to residents of that province.
So how do people throughout Canada play and keep from breaking the laws?
It’s called “offshore” casino sites.
These sites actually have their offices outside of Canada, but their servers are located in the country, especially the reputable online sites. Most of these servers are located in the sovereign Kahnawake Mohawk Nation. Because this native reserve is considered a “sovereign nation” of their own, they can run the online casino or offer server space to other online gambling sites as a lease option while still being within Canada’s borders. Other private gambling enterprises that operate legally in Canada, however, cannot run an online casino or poker site simply because of the way the Criminal Code of Canada is phrased.
So, are online casinos and gambling legal in Canada?
Sort of. Canadians can gamble through online casinos that are located “offshore” and have good, solid reputations. The Canadian economy gets money thanks to advertising and in reality; these online gambling sites actually help the brick-and-mortar casinos. The hope is that the Criminal Code in Canada gains clarification that specifically permits online gambling. Until then, Canadians have the chance to play at online casinos that cater specifically to them.
Always gamble safely and research the site you want to play at thoroughly before making your first bet. Enjoy yourself and if you are looking for some horse racing action, well, you might need to visit a legal brick-and-mortar casino, which is good as well. Sometimes you just need to get out of the house.