Laws and Politics Regulating the Canadian Online Casino Industry

Traditionally, the gambling policy of Canadian authorities has remained strict. At the same time the current industry legislation is vague, and in many cases, allows for an arbitrary interpretation. The following fundamental documents encompass all the wagering legal activities in the country: The Gaming Control Act, Regulations, and the Criminal Code.

The last one declared, and legally secured, the historic transfer of all betting affairs from the federal government and is now under the complete control of the provinces and reservations. Now, they run their own casinos and officially approved interactive gambling outlets. However, there aren’t any official regulations relating to offshore websites.

Introduction to Gambling in Canada

Laws in Canadian online casino industry Six thousand years ago, sticks and pebbles were the first instruments to play games of chance in the contemporary Canadian territories. Betting entertainments in one form or another always accompany social development.

Scientists proved that such activities were the great importance for aboriginal tribes to strengthen their spirit, to train mental and physical abilities, to promote the exchange of goods and that time's money. The undying public interest to all types of wagering was demonstrated in Ottawa in 1999, where the federal government was forced to erase the prohibition of Richard III in 1380 to throw dice.

Main Licenses and Institutions

The principle regulatory institutions of gambling business in Canada are the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, the Industry Partners, the CGC and provincial controlling organs as operating agents of local authorities.

The KGC on the exclusive rights basis is appointed for licensing interactive worldwide online casinos, poker rooms and sportsbooks websites if they comply with certain obligatory criteria. Presently, that establishment issues four versions of specialized authorizations to cover all types of web gambling. It has already been licensed and hosted for about 200 companies, available to Canadian citizens.

Read our articles on the topic:

  1. History of Canadian Online Casino Law Establishment
  2. Criminal Code Regulation of Canadian Online Casino
  3. Interactive Gaming Council in Online Casino in Canada
  4. Canadian Online Casino Regulated by the CPA License
  5. Secondary CPA for Online Casino in Canada
  6. Key Persons License for Online Canadian Casino
  7. Online Casino Sites Regulated by the Canadian Provinces
  8. Gambling Industry Incomes from Nevada-Canadian Online Casino
  9. Charitable Activities of Canadian Online Casino
  10. Social Politics of Canadian Online Casino
  11. Tax Politics Regarding Online Casino in Canada
  12. Canadian Laws of Offshore Online Casino Activities
  13. Nevada Cross-border Online Casino Tax Regulations for Canadians
  14. Legal Transaction Instruments at Canadian Online Casino
  15. Bitcoin Regulation Law of Canadian Online Casino

Criminal Code

The Criminal Code of Canada, enacted in 1985, is a law that defines illegal gambling initiatives within the country. According to its provisions, the legality of web casino operations is proven by licenses issued by regional authorities. The activities not included in specified exceptions, Section 207, are illegitimate. All types of prohibited betting are depicted in Part VII of the document.

As to the “gaming broadcast” legitimacy, website operators are to comply with the CC and a set of Federal and Provincial Directives related to lawful airing. For example, it is forbidden to advertise any actions containing money exchange information.


Online casino regulations in Canada The Interactive Gaming Council was established as a USA non-profit organization in 1996, and furthermore was incorporated in Vancouver in 2000. Its mission is to provide a forum for all interested parties; to present actual issues; to move forward in the realization of joint interests in the global gaming industry.

In addition, it details guidelines for responsible practices; ensures the confidence of consumers in offered instruments, products, and services. The vital IGC task is to advocate branch trends and policy.


In accordance with the Criminal Code, all gambling markets and corresponding legislation have been handed over from the federal level to provinces and territories. The local business is determined as legal if it’s managed by duly licensed companies. The institution to confer such permissions is the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. The principal permit is the CP Authorization. Its holder is named as Authorized Client Provider. An application fee for the CPA is 25,000 US dollars. The contribution is refunded in the event of a negative response to the application.


The SCPA functions as a supplement to the valid Client Provider Authorization and to the Interactive Gaming License. This document covers almost the same requirements and rights as those with the above-mentioned permissions. The first peculiarity is that solicitors are not obliged to be hosted in the Kahnawake jurisdiction. And another one is that the Commission logo doesn’t appear on the website of the applicant.


Canadian politics of online casino The KGC is the only competent organ with the right to emit the Key Person License to the CPA and IGL holders. The aforementioned Authorized Client Providers must appoint a minimum of two persons to execute managerial and operational functions. Furthermore, these candidates inquire on behalf of the KPL.

The Commission issues such permissions if it comes to a positive conclusion that the ACP websites are useful financially, or meet a social interest.

The application fee for each key position is USD$5,000. This sum includes the assumed non-refundable money for the accomplishment of due diligence, and the first refundable deposit of one thousand dollars.

Laws in Provinces

Independent of the federal state, local authorities conduct gambling operations in 10 provinces and in 3 territories. The well-known Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake is the largest host center in the world for web operators, owning the servers net and with the headquarters of the KGC Commission. BC started the business in 2004, and was the first jurisdiction to open websites for players in 2012.

In Ontario, there are more gambling houses than other regions have. Here the AGCO (1998) is functioning as a regulatory organ. Manitoba legalized the branch life in 2013. The Saskatchewan governors acting on the basis of the GFA agreement, signed with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations in 2002. Tourists enjoy visiting Yukon to deal cards or to bet, thanks to low taxes and the best casino service on the globe.

Means of Funds Transferring at Online Casinos

In practice, all authorized online casinos provide players with different depositing and withdrawal methods. Commonly used are credit, debit or pre-paid cards: Visa, Mastercard. The latter, unfortunately, doesn’t permit Canadians to pull back their deposits. E-Wallets (PayPal and Instadebit) are especially great for citizens. Bank wire transfers are acceptable, but for that it’s required to submit some private data. The most interactive outlets prefer to return money in the manner it was delivered. Also, high-quality bitcoin wagering houses are at your complete disposal. Bill C-31, enacted in 2014, covers and regulates a full range of web gambling banking activities.

Branches of State Regulating the Industry

Online casino regulatory laws in Canada The regulatory state policy in the gaming sector mainly is focused on getting people away from the addiction and streaming foreign websites. In the first objective, the principle highlights the importance of gambling as a crime-free, fair and open business, that is able to protect vulnerable children and all who are addicted.

For example, the GREB organization in British Columbia regulates all industry services, providers, workers, and problematic customers. As to the second point, the situation is being resolved through taxation politics. The Canada Revenue Agency and OCA Committee crack down on any tax evasion of offshore-based sites.

The Government's Efforts to Improve Social Responsibility

Nowadays, a dynamic development of the gambling sphere puts the question of the problematic gaming at full strength. Corporate social responsibility has appeared a top priority for the authorities, corresponding provincial, and territorial commissions. They undertake practical activities to reduce high-risk wagering versions, requiring the operators to define maximum bets. Apply to problem bet-makers, to keep the daily expenditure limits. The effective preventive means are the availability of self-exclusion lists in a casino, a limited access to alcoholic drinks and to banking machines in the betting establishments.

Charitable Gaming

The Gaming Control Act and the KGC Regulations declare that authorized institutions in hosting of betting-for-charity acts are permitted to set out the limitations of the regional licensing. In Ontario, the Order of Council 1413/08 legalizes this statement. The AGCO issues such permits for bingo, raffle, break-open tickets, and all lottery schemes. In Alberta, the charities and religious structures gained the opportunity to manage about 3,400 philanthropic gambling events annually. There, the AGLC is functioning as a responsible apparatus to administer the authorizations related to the topic.

Taxation Politics

Online casino policy of Canadian authorities The Income Tax Act of Canada declares that all casino bonuses and winnings are tax-free. That relates to CAD and national online bet-makers.

This law is based on British legislation principles which state that all prizes initiated by wagering activities are not to be assessed. To the contrary, the earnings that appeared as bets with a bookmaker should be charged.

Offshore Online Casino Controlling

Lawyers and experts unanimously confirm that the Criminal Code of Canada doesn’t contain any issue on the legality of offshore online casinos. The players engaged with any gambling website by definition don’t commit any prohibited act. With that said, for Canucks in all regards, it is absolutely legal and safe to click PC buttons in the comfort of home instead of making thousand-mile tours to provincial land-based betting rooms.

Canadian Relationships with Nevada State of the USA

Unlike in Canada, Canucks can’t have tax-free wagering winnings in the USA. Even in Nevada, where Cirque de Soleil and Celine Dion actively develop Las Vegas’ gambling tourism.

This relates to the gaming in land-based casinos and websites. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service closely monitors the situation and retains 30% for each pick in an automated regimen. But craps, baccarat, roulette, blackjack, and a horse racing don’t undergo taxation. Moreover, the Inter-governmental fee treaty provides for a full or partial refund under certain conditions.