The Best Canadian Online Casinos for Value and Gaming Experience
Thanks to a more relaxed attitude towards online gambling, players in the Canada can enjoy their favourite games online with greater peace of mind. Find your favourite Canadian online casino in our list below, along with more information that we carefully compiled in our in-depth guide.
- Best Online Casinos Canada
- What's in a Canadian Online Casino?
- A Concise History of Gambling in Canada
- Important Canadian Gambling Laws
- How to Identify the Best Canadian Online Casino
- How to Sign Up at the Best Online Canadian Casino Site
- Security at a Canadian Online Casino
- Best Canadian Online Casino Bonuses
- Favourite Online Canadian Casino Games
- Banking Options for the Canadian Online Casino
- Mobile Betting for Canadian Online Casino Players
- Canadian Online Casino Customer Support
- Land-Based Canadian Casinos
- The Best Canadian Online Casino – Summary
- Best Online Casinos Canada FAQs
Best Online Casinos Canada
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What's in a Canadian Online Casino?
Canadians love to gamble – so much so that recent figures indicate over 86% of the population visited casinos last year, generating a revenue of $31 billion.
However, when it comes to gambling online, the laws are less clear. Having said this, some provinces issue their own licences to online casinos in Canada situated within the country's borders.
Offshore casinos are forbidden from obtaining a Canadian licence. That said, they get around this by basing themselves in the Native American territories of Saskatchewan province. This is the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake, which is regarded as a sovereign nation within Canada's borders which does not fall under Canadian legal authority.
A Concise History of Gambling in Canada
Gambling in Canada pre-dates the arrival of European settlers in 1497, with games of chance already popular with the indigenous population. These included the game of Slahal, played with deer bones and with roots going as far back as the Ice Age.
Over the following centuries, foreign explorers such as John Cabot would arrive, bringing with them games such as poker and barbotte. With the latter played with cards and dice respectively, they were both easy to transport and offered instant entertainment.
The 1896 discovery of gold in the Klondike in Yukon brought about the subsequent gold rush, which attracted all sorts of people to the region. German immigrants played a banking game known as “Lansquenet.”
“Pharaon” was brought to Canada by a Scotsman, John law, in 1717. The name evolved through “Pharaoh”, “Pharo”, and finally into the popular game, “Faro”, which lasted in Canada as long as the gold rush did before moving south to the US for a few more years.
It was in 1970 that gambling really took off in Canada, as sweeping changes in the law allowed provinces to set up their own gambling legislation. Video lottery machines were introduced and bingo halls were opened. Then, in 1990, the first government-owned casino opened in Winnipeg. Three years later, another opened in Montreal.
The first Indian nation casino also opened in the early 1990s. With the First Nations Gaming Act passing in 1995, more and more casinos opened across the Saskatchewan province. Today you’ll find around 20 indigenous casinos spread across 6 Canadian provinces.
By 2003, 59 land-based casinos were bringing in around $11.8 billion. Most notably, around this time, the casino industry gradually began moving online.
Important Canadian Gambling Laws
Way back in 1892, the Canadian Criminal Code allowed gambling under certain conditions. In 1910, pari-mutuel betting was allowed for sports betting.
When the Criminal Code was changed in 1970, provinces were given the authority to licence gambling activities, which resulted in many initiating provincial lotteries for the first time in 1985.
Regardless of the fact that provinces can now make their own online gambling laws, the Criminal Code hasn’t been updated, so there is still lots of confusion surrounding this issue today.
Technically, you can gamble at any physical casino, though in truth, these businesses have been superseded by their online brethren. However, when it comes to gambling online, as there is no licensing body, it’s still unclear how the law stands.
Nevertheless, the Kahnawake Mohawk Nation were able to take advantage of this, allowing offshore online casinos to accept players within the region. As Canadian laws do not oversee their lands, this is not considered illegal.
Legality of Online Casinos by Provinces
As mentioned previously, online gambling in Canada is regulated via individual provinces, which is why it is illegal in certain regions but permitted in others.
For example, you can play casino games in Ontario but not in Newfoundland or Labrador. Likewise, you can play the lottery all over Canada apart from Manitoba.
Let's look at the major cities across different provinces in more detail.
Gambling Regulators in Canada
Canada is split up into several different provinces, and each one of these has their own legal autonomy allowing them to set their own gambling laws and rules. Fifteen provincial gaming boards and commissions oversee and regulate Canada’s gambling industry.
At this juncture, we should mention several Canadian organisations whose purpose is to help problem gamblers. If you feel the need to speak to someone, don’t hesitate to contact one of the associations below. You’ll find a sympathetic and helpful ear with an emphasis on getting your life back on track.
How to Identify the Best Canadian Online Casino
Though it may sound obvious, please ensure that your chosen online casino Canada accepts Canadian players. Then, go through the following factor we've listed below, as they are the foundations upon which the best online casinos in Canada are built.
How to Sign Up at the Best Online Canadian Casino Site
Virtually all online casinos Canada will go through the same sign-up process, which we've outlined below:
- Click the relevant sign-up button on the casino's homepage.
- Enter your new account details, including a username, password, your currency, and email address.
- Next, you'll need to verify your identity by submitting a copy of an official document, such as your driver’s licence, passport, or ID card.
Security at a Canadian Online Casino
Though there’s no central licensing body in Canada, offshore authorities such as eCOGRA and reputable gaming commissions ensure security and fairness for players at online casino sites.
In addition, all casino sites needs to fully verify players' identities and implement technology such as SSL 128-Bit encryption to protect customers and their funds when making transactions online. As a given, online casinos available in Canada are constantly monitored to ensure they conform to their licensing conditions.
Why a Reputable Gaming Licence Matters
When you first visit any online casino from Canada, one of the first things you should look at is the website’s gaming licence. This a sign that the operator in question is accredited and secure for players.
For Canadian players, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission is a sure sign that everything is in order. Otherwise, credentials issued by licensing authorities like the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority are marks of trustworthy business practices.
Best Canadian Online Casino Bonuses
All online casinos Canada will offer a variety of casino bonuses and incentives to welcome new players and keep satisfied customers returning. These range from welcome offers to no deposit bonuses. Choose the ones that suit you, though be mindful of any conditions and rules around your bonus limits.
Favourite Online Canadian Casino Games
When it comes to the variety of games offered by Canadian online casinos, you’ll find all your favourites, from table games and slots to live dealer options.
Without a doubt, real-money slots are the most popular casino games among Canadian players. After all, they’re fast-paced, are designed with fun themes and cool soundtracks, and offer potentially huge winnings.
Before you begin playing this popular dice game, we suggest that you spend five minutes learning the lingo and table layout. At first glance, the table layout can appear complex, with various numbers and prompts scattered all over the surface. Take note that there's a huge variance in the house edge between different betting types at every casino in Canada.
For example, the Pass bet gives you odds of winning of 49.3% but offers the casino a house edge of 1.41%. At the other end of the scale, the Any 7 bet offers you a 16.7% chance of winning, but the house edge here is a whopping 16.9%.
When playing online at a Canadian casino, the aim is to get as close to 9 as possible. The game is one of the simplest to be found, with just three types of bet: the Player, the Banker and the Tie bet.
There are a number of poker variations to be found at all online casinos in Canada, including Omaha, HORSE, 7-Card Stud, Razz, Omaha Hi-Lo, 2-7 Triple Draw, and by far the most popular variant, Texas Hold’em.
There are five stages to each round: the players are dealt their two cards, and the bets are placed. Then the community card is dealt with another betting round.
Next, the fourth car is dealt with yet more betting taking place. Finally, the final card is dealt with another round of betting. The players then reveal their hands in what’s known as the “showdown.”
As one of the world’s oldest casino games, roulette relies solely on luck. Nevertheless, there’s a delicious anticipation in waiting for the tiny ivory ball to fall into a numbered slot on the spinning wheel.
There are three main variants of the roulette wheel: the French, American and European, with each offering slightly different odds. It's always best to stick with the European version when playing at online casinos in Canada, as this offers a house edge of just 2.63%.
The game of blackjack requires both luck and skill. This latter factor makes the game highly appealing to players who are looking for something more challenging and cerebral.
The first point is to understand the house edge. Depending on the variant you’re playing, this can vary from 0.5% for regular blackjack up to 0.62%, with the European version and Atlantic City blackjack offering 0.36% in between.
Live Dealer Games
Thanks to advances in internet technology, it’s now possible to play your favourite table games streamed in real time to your desktop or mobile device. You'll even be greeted by a real-life croupier who'll be managing and overseeing everything, giving you the experience of playing at a land-based casino from the comfort of your own home!
Lotteries are the most popular form of gambling in Canada, and are available across various regions and provinces. The three national lotteries are Lotto 6/49, Lotto Max and the Daily Grind.
All of these are also open to foreign players who can purchase tickets online from anywhere in the world. The Daily Grind will be the easiest to win, though don’t hold your breath, as the odds are 1 to 13.34 million!
It’s fair to say that Canadians are crazy about sports, with a heavy focus on ice hockey and the NHL. In 2020, Canadians spent over $14 billion on sports betting, both online and off.
Because old national laws haven’t been rescinded, online sports betting remains technically illegal throughout most of the country. Nevertheless, within geographical limits, Canadian sports bettors can legally bet online only in seven provinces.
Banking Options for the Canadian Online Casino
Although none of the online casinos on our list will charge commissions or fees for deposits or withdrawals, certain payment processors may well do so depending on the method used. With this in mind, make sure you’re aware of any hidden commissions that third parties might charge.
Without a doubt, e-wallets will be the fastest method of funding your online casino account in Canada. Popular e-wallets include PayPal, Skrill, ecoPayz, NETELLER, and MuchBetter.
Both of these payment processors are native to Canada. Gigadat offers great privacy as funds are moved via the Interac debit payment system, which is well-integrated into most Canadian banks and credit unions. However, the use of Gigadat ensures that the banks can’t see any transaction records.
Credit and Debit Cards
Both Visa and Mastercard are accepted at all online casinos in Canada. However, you should be aware that some banks prohibit the use of credit and debit cards, like Maestro, for gambling purposes. Below, we’ve listed all the Canadian banks that allow these payment platforms to fund online casino accounts.
- Alterna Bank
- B2B Bank
- Bank of Montreal
- Bridgewater Bank
- Canadian Western Bank
- DirectCash Bank
- Equitable Bank
- First Nations Bank of Canada
- Laurentian Bank of Canada
- National Bank of Canada
- Simplii Financial
- WealthOne Bank of Canada
Prepaid cards offer an excellent means of monitoring your gambling expenditure, with the best known example being none other than paysafecard. Please note that you can’t make withdrawals with prepaid cards, and the actual deposit limits are very low.
Mobile Pay/Pay by Phone
Depositing funds via SMS or phone bill has become increasingly popular for Canadian casino players. Popular options in Canada include Boku and PayForIt. The only downside is that you can’t cash out with these methods, as the accounts aren’t tied to your bank.
Many of today’s online casinos in Canada are happy to accept all types of cryptocurrencies. These can include Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Monero, Ethereum, Ripple and Dash.
Mobile Betting for Canadian Online Casino Players
Most games available at Canadian online casinos have been fully optimised for both iOS and Android mobile devices. The gameplay will run smoothly and seamlessly, whether you choose to play from your phone browser or via the casino's native app.
Canadian Online Casino Customer Support
It’s surprising just how many players, in particular novices, overlook customer support at online casinos. In many ways, this is the only real customer-facing element of the whole site. So, it’s essential that you’ll find someone to help you out quickly if you run into any problems or experience any issues.
We strongly suggest that you only ever use an online casino in Canada that offers 24/7 customer support with live chat, available in both English and French.
Land-Based Canadian Casinos
Since the change in the Criminal Code giving provinces more leeway over gambling laws, over 75 casinos have been built. The largest of them is the Casino de Montreal, built for the World Expo Fair 67. There are five gaming floors in total, as well as bars, restaurants, and cabaret halls.
The Best Canadian Online Casino – Summary
The last five years have seen a gradual contraction within the Canadian casino industry, as the latter is not as popular with the younger generation. Though disposable income has risen, it’s being funnelled towards other leisure activities.
To keep the casino money tap running, the Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta governments are trying to introduce virtual casinos through lottery terminals. We suspect that the government will have to start licensing offshore casinos in the near future.
Best Online Casinos Canada FAQs
Our list of Canadian online casinos at the beginning of this article is a great place to start! While we highly recommend each site, the one you end up choosing should come down to your personal taste and expectations.
Gambling laws might differ across the provinces due to individual territorial laws. We recommend checking what the legislation in your area is first before you sign up and play. Above, we explore this in further detail.
Absolutely! All of our recommended online casinos in Canada are happy to accept the Canadian dollar, meaning you won't incur any currency exchange fees.
Yes, you can. Mobile gaming offers tremendous convenience and practicality for many players, with most casino games nowadays having been designed to operate seamlessly on your phone browser or from the casino's app.
This is mainly going to be down to your own preferences. Take a look through all the payment options listed on the banking page of the casino site – by default, all the most common banking methods should be there.
On average, it takes about five minutes to register an account with an online casino. Keep in mind, though, that this is usually followed by a verification process, during which you will need to provide some sort of documentation (e.g. your driver's licence or ID card) in order to validate your identity. Unless you do this, you will not be able to withdraw any winnings.
If your casino winnings come from recreational activity, then no – they will not be taxed, as they’re considered to be “windfalls” by the Canadian Revenue Agency. However, if you own a gambling business, then tax will apply, as this will be your main source of income.
Yes, you can! Many games at online casinos in Canada come with a free demo version, which offer players the chance to practice their gameplay and strategies without touching their bankroll. The downside is that you won't be able to win any real money – but it's still a good chance to get used to how things work before trying out the real thing.
Many online casinos in Canada will accept $1 as the minimum deposit. You’ll still be entitled to some bonuses.
Yes – each of our chosen casinos in Canada offer a vast array of bonuses and incentives. Always remember to read the terms and conditions attached before claiming any, so that you'll be aware of any bonus restrictions.
Simply choose your withdrawal method from the options listed on the casino's banking section. Bear in mind that certain methods, such as prepaid cards, do not process withdrawals.
The minimum age to gamble at both land-based and online Canadian casinos is 19, apart from Manitoba, Alberta, and Quebec, where it’s 18. All Canadian players have to provide is a copy of their ID as proof of age before being able to join any online casino site.
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Iggy Fenech is a well-known contributor to many local magazines. His career as a casino content writer spans a number of years and includes writing blog posts for the Malta iGaming Seminar 2014, content for the Malta Gaming Authority’s website, and SEO-enabled text for casino websites.