The Legality of Canadian Casinos
There aren’t any laws on the books in Canada that specifically reference the legality of online gambling, making the question of whether online casinos are legal in Canada or not difficult to answer. A lack of laws on the subject mean that older gambling laws are sometimes applied to the more modern online gambling market. According to Canadian law, it is only legal to gamble at places approved by the Canadian government. By the strict letter of the law, that means that you can only legally play at online casinos endorsed by the Canadian government. There are a few provincial casinos available to Canadian citizens, in British Columbia and Quebec, with many more provinces planning to open their own sites in the next few years. Are these the only legal online casinos in Canada?
The Canadian government isn’t yet interested enough in online gambling to take action. No Canadian has ever been prosecuted for playing at an online casino. In fact, in the United States, where online gambling law is far stricter, only a handful of cases were ever brought for breaking state online gambling laws, and those people were asked to pay small fines or not punished at all. Like in Canada, the US government is more interested in preventing online gambling by putting pressure on banks and financial institutions to stop processing transactions to gambling sites. So far, individuals are not the target of any action of the Canadian government against online gambling.
The Future of Canadian Online Casinos
It’s unlikely that the Canadian government will all of a sudden decide to prosecute people who play at online casinos. The future of Canadian online casino and online gambling seems to be with provincial-run online gambling sites. The success of provincially-regulated online poker and online casino gambling in some provinces (and the increased tax revenue they provide) means more provincial governments will pursue opening government-sanctioned gambling sites in the future.
Like in the United States, Canadian casinos licensed and regulated by the government will make up the majority of new Canadian casino action for the next few years. The Canadian government isn’t likely to make online gambling explicitly legal nationwide, and like the US government will probably leave it up to regional governments to decide the status of online gambling within their borders.
The Canadian online casino situation will closely mirror what happens in the USA. If gambling laws in the USA get stricter, so will laws in Canada. If US players lose access to more online payment transfer methods, so will Canadians. If you want to know what’s next in Canadian online gambling, look to what’s happening in online gambling law in America.
Online Casinos and the Canadian Dollar
Most online casinos don’t do business using the Canadian dollar, but that doesn’t mean that Canadians will have to convert their currency to play at online casino sites. There are some casinos that do business in the Canadian dollar, you just have to do a little digging around to find them.
When you do find an online gambling site that accepts deposits and pays withdrawals in the Canadian dollar, you have to do a little more research to find out how you’ll transfer money to your online casino cashier account. Some Canadian banks have started declining transactions between Canadian citizens and online gambling sites, and some credit card companies (VISA for sure, MasterCard in some cases) don’t allow their customers to use their cards to fund online gambling accounts.
Canadians who want to gamble online should find an eWallet service they like and set up an account (please note – you will not be able to deposit to a casino with PayPal.). If you find a payment transfer service or eWallet that accepts Canadian customers and has terms to your liking, using it to fund your online gambling account is much easier than trying to force your credit card transaction through. Many of these services allow Canadian customers and allow you to do business using the Canadian dollar.
How to Choose a Canadian Online Casino
Canadians looking for an online casino gambling site should consider a few things. First of all, look for online casinos that allow Canadian customers. Some sites, weary of troubles in the USA, closed their doors to all North Americans, Canadians included. Your second concern should be whether or not the site is doing legitimate business. Look for their licensing information, read online reviews, and choose an online gaming site that you trust.
While you’re at it, make sure your casino of choice does business in the Canadian dollar, otherwise you’ll have to pay extra fees and it may take longer to deposit and withdraw funds from your player account. Finally, check to see if you have an acceptable way of adding those funds. That means looking for a Canadian-friendly eWallet or other payment transfer service that you have access to. Remember that some Canadian banks and credit card companies are declining transactions to online casinos.
Canada online casino gamblers are going to face tough times as long as USA casino law keeps some online casino groups out of the North American market. Thankfully, provincial governments are considering opening their own online casino sites, and the legal situation in the USA seems to be improving, too. For now, doing a little homework before you choose a Canadian online casino is all it takes to make sure you’re obeying the law and playing at the best available Canadian online casinos.