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Gambling Becoming More Popular in Canada

It was a rough start, but gambling is now hugely popular in Canada. 65 per cent of Canadians old enough to gamble will place an online bet in the coming year – a percentage that explains the $15m in sports betting.


It’s true that until relatively recently, gambling within Canada was no easy feat. Premises had to be run by or licensed by the provincial government.

Naturally, you could play online on sites meant for other country. But that just meant sending money out of the country.

These days you’re able to gamble online with no risk.

History of Gambling in Canada

Gambling laws in Canada are just a little bit complicated. Luckily there are still lots of places you can gamble if you live in Canada. There are even websites – such as – that can help you pick the top-rated sites. Lists such as these also offer up information on bonuses and links to reviews.

All of this has to fit into a pretty complicated legal situation when it comes to gambling in Canada. Despite online gambling being extremely popular in the country, the legal status is still unclear on certain things.

The main issue is that the government must have some hand in running gambling establishments, either directly or through licensing. It becomes more complicated because, in 1995, the First Nations Gaming Act became law. That meant aboriginal tribes and communities were able to start gaming institutions and online gambling sites. Most offshore gaming servers are located on the Kahnawake native reserve, which is still in the territory of the country. It’s an odd mix of worldwide relevance and strict laws only made possible by the First Nations Gaming Act.

But it’s all by the by. For the most part, this makes no difference to gambling in Canada. Like in other parts of the world, finding your favorite game is as easy as jumping on Google and hitting search.

If you’re just playing, you’re doing nothing illegal. If you want to start your own casino, you probably are. But who needs the stress of founding your own establishment when there are already so many out there?

Safety and Payments

The good news in all this is that gambling is very safe in Canada – so long as you’re using a licensed venue.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission ensures that:

  • All interactive gaming under its jurisdiction is fair, responsible and honest
  • That no interactive gaming site or establishment is associated with organized crime
  • To ensure that no gaming site under their jurisdiction allows anyone under the age of 18 to gamble
  • The commission controls, through regulation, all gaming activities that are either offered form or based in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake
  • The commission ensures that all interactive gaming operators licensed through them treat all of their players honestly, pay all winner in good time, provide all necessary information to new players, and ensures that all player account details are kept strictly confidential

There are more than 100 online casinos that accept Canadian players worldwide. Around 65% of Canada’s legal gambling age population will bet in an online casino over the next year. A quarter play some type of lottery game every single week. And Canadians have wagered over 15 million dollars on sports betting.


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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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