Online gambling in Canada was once a wild west of unregulated sites and potential dangers, but thankfully there are top sites you can play nowadays that are monitored by an official body.
On this page we’re going to break down online gambling regulation, how things stand in Canada, and why it’s important to stick to regulated sites and apps. Once you’re read this page you’ll never play at an unregulated site again!
The age to gamble in Canada corresponds the drinking age, and will vary by the respective province or territory. Players will be required to be at least 19 years of age unless you are in Alberta, Manitoba, or Quebec where the minimum age is 18. This also applies to tourists who are visiting the country's magnificent casinos.
Gambling laws in Canada are defined by the individual provinces and territories. Each is obliged to determine their own approach to the law and what’s permissible within their borders. Some provinces have come out and approved online gambling in law, for example, while others take a more conservative approach.
It is the decision of some provinces to run their own online gambling properties, using the income to generate funds for worthwhile causes. In these territories only the government-run sites are permitted to operate within the borders and only players inside those borders can access the entertainment.
Sites that are tightly regulated are forced to maintain a high standard of security and meet all the requirements their licensing body sets out. Achieving an initial license is one thing, but being obliged to keep on top of things puts the pressure on a gambling site to continuously be improving their offering.
Online gamblers in Canada benefit from regulation as it upholds a high standard in the sites they play at. A well-regulated site is one you can trust in, and one you know is always striving to get better, both in terms of security and their entertainment offering.
Playing unregulated sites opens you up to potentially damaging consequences. You can’t be sure if an unregulated site is protecting your banking details, and you have no way of knowing if the software running the games is fair and secure.
You can identify a licensed site if it’s verified by strong regulating bodies. The following are the prominent regulating bodies around the world.
All our approved casinos are licensed and registered by one of these regulatory bodies which makes them completely safe and secure to use.
The best way to tell if a great site is regulated for players in Canada is to see whether it’s listed at Gambling.ca. It’s our prerogative to only feature regulated sites, so any destination on our shortlist is 100% guaranteed to be licensed and regulated by an official body – be it in Canada or overseas.
Another good piece of advice is to always check the site license numbers with the body purported to have issued them. It’s typically a straightforward process to contact a regulatory body and confirm whether a site is indeed holding a valid license.
Canada may choose to follow the lead of the UK government when it comes to overseas gambling sites. All overseas sites wanting to serve UK players with real cash gambling have to attain a license from the UK Gambling Commission. These sites are then regulated as if they were based in the UK.
Taking this step would open up the Canadian gambling market and make things a whole lot clearer in terms of regulation.