Is Online Gambling Legal in Canada?

Gambling is available at any time of the day and night. Betting money on our favourite slot machine is indeed an enjoyable experience. However, since this activity requires using your wallet, abuses can unfortunately occur. To protect Canadian players from fraud and ensure that online gambling remains a pleasure in its own right, iGaming Ontario was established in 2022. When the market opened, many gambling sites applied to get this strict license, but only the best succeeded.

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If you are one of the millions of online casino players in Canada, it is normal to wonder about the legal framework of online gambling in this country. Our comprehensive guide offers everything you need to know about legal gambling in Canada.

Legal Gambling in Canada: The History

The federal government in Canada has been relatively progressive since they allowed provinces to regulate their gambling activities in 1985. This allowed players to gamble freely in land-based venues across Canada. However, online gambling was still a grey area until recently. Since the rise of the internet, there have been several plans to legalize online gambling in Canada. There were good reasons for this. Modern legislation and strict supervision ensure safer and fairer gambling. The provinces could also better combat illegal providers, and there would be more options to prevent addiction.

The first step towards this goal was taken in 1996 when the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was established. This development reflects the changing attitudes towards gambling and its regulation within the country. In 2022, Ontario legalized online gambling, setting a precedent for other provinces.

Legal Gambling in Montreal

Canadian players can take a gamble legally in Montreal since 2010. This was made possible through the Société des Loteries du Québec by establishing the first legal online casino, Espacejeux, which allows players to legally and securely access various online gambling options, including casino games, sports betting, and lotteries. Before this, the legality of online gambling was a grey area in Montreal, with residents often using internationally licensed sites.

Montreal players can either register on the Loto-Québec website or try their luck at a foreign casino. But before opting for a Curaçao licensed casino, you may as well check your options with an Ontario license. iGaming Ontario has been giving out licenses since 2022, and legal options like BetMGM casino must meet rigorous regulatory standards set by this licensor. This includes providing secure payment methods, transparent bonus terms, and ensuring game fairness.

What Is a Legal Online Casino?

A legal online casino is an online gambling provider that operates under an agreement with a regulatory body. In Canada, there are various regulatory bodies. The legal agreement with a Canadian regulatory body has strict requirements to ensure that players gamble online in a safe and responsible environment.

Legal online casinos in Canada must prove the fairness of their games through regular audits and secure player data with advanced encryption technologies. The operators must also verify the identity of their players to prevent fraud and money laundering.

How do you recognize a legal casino? You can recognize a legal provider by the mention that you usually find in the footer of the provider’s website.

Where Can I Gamble Online Legally?

In Canada, you can legally gamble online through sites regulated by reputable gambling authorities. In Quebec, the only Canadian provider currently is Espacejeux, the official gambling portal Loto-Québec operates. However, Quebec residents also have access to a range of offshore online gambling sites. The best among these are the online gambling sites with an Ontario license. BetMGM Casino is one of them, and it is a safe and reputable online casino regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

The Benefits of Playing at Legal Online Casinos in Canada

For many Canadian people, being able to play safely online is enough reason to choose a legal casino. However, playing at legal online casinos in Canada has many other advantages. Here are a few of them:

Fair Gambling

If an online casino wants to serve in the regulated provinces of Canada, all games must be thoroughly inspected and checked by independent inspection bodies. This applies to both online slots and live casino tables, like roulette and blackjack. This means you can be 100% sure that the game is fair.

All online slots work based on a random number generator (RNG), which ensures that the game’s outcomes are entirely random. So, the site owner cannot manipulate the games. Online casinos without a Canadian license may have less or no control over fair play.

Transparent Payout Rates (RTP)

Legal online casinos in Canada must state the payout percentage for each game. This is called return-to-player (RTP). By seeing what the house edge is for each game, you can compare the chances of winning for different games and see which online casino has the best-paying games.

Safety and Privacy

The money you have in your account at an online casino is yours, and at legal online casinos, your money is always safe. How this is arranged differs per casino — varying from players’ assets being in a separate bank account or with a special foundation to the casino having arranged a bank guarantee. In any case, even if the casino goes bankrupt, you will get your money back.

Regulated gambling sites also take your privacy very seriously. You can be sure that these providers won’t sell your data to third parties.

Responsible Gaming

At all legal online casinos with a Canadian gambling license, you are required to set some limits when you register. You choose the maximum number of hours you want to play per week, the money to deposit, and the amount you can afford to lose. If you reach one of these limits, you cannot continue gambling online. This way, you control your gambling behaviour in advance, and you are less likely to develop a gambling problem.


If you go beyond your boundaries and gamble more than is good for you, you can easily request a ban from all legal casinos in your province by registering yourself in the self-exclusion program. This is a voluntary register for anyone who no longer wants to gamble, temporarily or permanently. Every casino with a gambling license in Canada should offer a self-exclusion program.

Legal Gambling in Canada

Playing with a legal gambling provider is the best option for Montreal residents. Not only because you are doing so lawfully but also because you know everything is done according to the rules.

In addition to the safe gaming environment of the Espacejeux in Montreal and other legal providers in Canada in general, there are even more advantages to gambling online with a recognized license holder. The legal online casinos also contribute to the local economy through licensing fees and taxes. The progress in regulation helps ensure that the enjoyment of casino games and sports betting remains a positive aspect of Canadian culture.