Is Online Gambling Legal in Canada?

Canada-FlagBetting and playing in casinos for real money are some of the most popular entertainment activities on the territory of Canada. Local gambling laws, however, are considered a bit complicated, just like the situation with other parts of the world.

Up to date, several forms of land-based gambling activities have been legalized by the country’s Government. The same applies to a few forms of Internet gambling. Still, some laws related to casino and gaming services provided by companies based overseas are yet unclear.

The situation looks even more complex when it comes to Internet gambling. Companies are actually not allowed to operate any online casinos and poker rooms in Canada, but here is the paradox – most offshore gaming servers are located on the Kahnawake native reserve, which is still on the territory of the country. Also, some of the most trusted offshore companies licensed by Malta Gambling Authority and UK Gambling Commission support online casinos in Canada.

From a player’s point of view, it is actually not illegal to play at an online casino. In fact, it is only illegal to operate a web-based casino from Canada. The offshore websites, whose servers are located on the native reserve of Kahnawake come to prove this. So, even with the laws saying that players are not allowed to be found in an illegal betting house, the rules stay murky and not very clear.

Still, even under the present situation, the country remains an attractive gaming environment for its residents and is also considered as relatively safe for them to enjoy online casino games.

Gambling Laws in Canada

legal-gambling-and-the-lawThe casino and gaming industry in the country has a complex history. As in many other countries around the world it was first legal, but certain pieces of legislation proclaimed it out of law in 1892. With the time going, the law became more and more relaxed.

After the 1900, bingo and casual raffles were allowed for charitable events only, and a decade later, horse races were legalized. The great breakthrough came in 1985, when gaming machines were made legal. Several years later, casinos started to appear on the territory of the country, as gambling operations started to become more and more popular among local players.

Canadian Criminal Code

The Criminal Code of Canada is the bill that sets a definition of the illegal gaming activities within the country’s borders. Up to date, the provinces are able to operate, regulate and grant licenses to certain casinos, including web-based ones.

Generally speaking, the Criminal Code of the country defines gambling and conducting any gaming activities in Canada as illegal, unless these activities are included in specific exceptions pointed in the Code itself.

The provisions that prohibit gaming operations on the territory of the country can be found in Part VII of the Code. Some exceptions can be found in section 207. The situation, however, is a bit more complex, as provincial governments are provided with the right of organize and control lotteries, as well as some games of chance that are operated on or through a computer (online gambling). According to the current Canadian legislation, such websites are to be operated by the provincial governments themselves.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission

Kahnawake_Gaming_CommissionThe Kahnawake Gaming Commission is a special gaming regulatory body that is entitled with the right and responsibility to issue licences and regulate several web-based casinos, as well as online poker rooms and sportsbook websites. A total of three land-based poker rooms situated within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake in Quebec are also put under the control of the Gaming Commission.

In order to receive a license from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, casinos are required to meed certain criteria. This online legislation model as a whole has come as a result of the Government’s efforts to make the environment favorable for Kahnawake Internet gambling. This is exactly the reason why the legislation model that provides certain provinces with the right to monitor, control and regulate the gambling industry within their borders is believed to be suitable for Canada.

The Gaming Commission is the organization that bears the responsibility for monitoring the compliance of the gambling legislation within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake in Quebec. It is also the organization that also takes care of granting the online poker and casino providers, as well as the sportsbook gaming providers with valid licenses.

The principles of work of the commission include fair gaming, payouts guarantee, as well as geographical reference. Currently, the Commission issues four types of licenses under the regulations that correspond to Interactive Gaming of September 22nd, 2010.

Online Gambling in Canada

casino-gamesNowadays, almost every form of gambling has been legalized on the territory of Canada. However, online gambling is considered as a trickier situation, as the country’s Government does not grant local companies with license to operate Internet casinos.

Web-based casino and gaming operations have always been considered as a grey area in the Canadian law. The country was a fierce opponent to gambling until the 1960s, but then the Government granted provinces with the right to make decisions whether to allow gambling or poker activities within their borders. This is when some provinces began holding lotteries and some casinos were constructed in the country.

Up to date, according to the Criminal Code of the country, hosting a gambling website on the territory of Canada is defined as illegal. However, every province has the permission to legalize specific types of gambling that may be “operated on or through a computer” within their borders. This is what actually is considered as opening the door for each Canadian province to decide on the matter of legalizing online gambling operation within its own confines.

The situation is considered even more complex due to the fact that there is a section of the Criminal Code of Canada that specifically points out that it is only the Government of the country and its provinces that may operate any form of gambling.

There is one exception of this rule – the Kahnawake Mohawk Nation has received a permission to provide its own casino website to players. This operation was strongly opposed by the country’s Attorney General, who described it as illegal under the Canadian gambling laws. However, no actions against the Kahnawake Mohawk Nation have been undertaken, including shutting the casino down.

Money Transactions at Legal Online Casinos

A large part of legal Canadian online casino websites are based actually outside the country. This makes it difficult for some players to complete their payments.

For example, Visa that is probably the most-used credit card option, is not accepted at every Canadian casino website. On the other hand, there may be some restrictions imposed. For example, players may be required to set up an account with a third-party money transfer website. Players also need to comply with the fact that there are some online casinos that prefer wire transfers, while others require the payments to be made through a list of accepted payment methods.

Deposit Methods

Here are the two most common deposit methods used for making online casino deposits in Canada.

Citadel

citadel-commerce-logoCitadel is one of the legally permitted payment methods used for making deposits in online casinos in Canada. It offers a specialized Internet-based payment method service that guarantees that every money transaction is processed in the most safe and secure manner possible.

Citadel Commerce also provides its customers with an Electronic Internet Check that offers them the chance to transfer money in a reliable, inexpensive, easy and absolutely safe way. Such transactions can be executed from any computer or mobile device that has access to the Internet.

Probably one of the best reasons why Citadel is among the most-preferred online casino payment methods is the fact that using it is not associated to using a credit card and revealing any personal or banking details to third parties. All that online casino players are required to have in order to use Citadel, is a valid bank account. Once they have entered the information needed when creating a Citadel account, they are not requested to fill in any personal details.

In addition, all information filled in by the player when registering an account is protected thanks to an encryption technology that is normally used by financial institutions all over the world. This encryption technology guarantees a 100% safe and secure environment for money transfers.

Another advantage of the Citadel payment method is the fact that the system is very quick. Most transactions are processed and finalized within 72 business hours.

ClickandBuy

clickandbuy-logoClickandBuy is not only among the payment methods allowed in the online casinos on the territory of Canada, but also one of the most used deposit methods within the entire online gambling industry and e-commerce sector in general. What makes this method so preferred by players and customers all over the world is the fact that the method is completely safe and secure, user-friendly and extremely simple to use.

The process of registering the player’s ClickandBuy account is quick and simple. Filling in some personal details such as name, address, contact information, etc. is required. In addition, players are also requested to enter some financial information and go through a verification process in order to prove the details filled in are actually theirs.

The deposit and withdrawal process to and from the online casino player’s ClickandBuy account is fast and easy, as the transactions are processed through a direct bank transfer. The payment is normally processed within 3-5 business days.

Visa

visa-card-logoBeing on of the most widespread payment methods in contemporary everyday life, Visa has also managed to become a leading online casino deposit method.

Up to date, the major bank institutions in Canada issue Visa debit, credit and prepaid cards to their customers. The fact that Visa products are accepted in more than 150 countries basically means that owners of the card are provided with the opportunity to use it not only when making purchases in real brick-and-mortar stores, but also on the Internet.

There are different types of Visa cards that are suitable for all kinds of customers. The most-used types of Visa cards when it comes to making a deposit in an online casino account are the credit cards. All players need to do is visit the deposit section of the casino website and fill in the fields required.

If the money transaction is approved, the player is allowed to start playing instantly.

MasterCard

MasterCard_LogoMasterCard is another brand, which is known for its reliability, products diversity and high level of security provided to customers. The fact that the products of MasterCard ad accepted all over the world makes them one of the most-preferred ones when it comes to making purchases online and offline.

The brand provides a variety of debit, credit and prepaid cards, which can be used for making deposits in online casinos. However, there is one major difference between Visa and MasterCard products – while Visa allows players to make a withdrawal of their casino winnings, MasterCard does not provide such an option.

As a matter of fact, the prepaid cards offered by the brand are some of the most-preferred and used deposit methods when it comes to online casinos.

Many online casino players consider these cards as the best solution for making deposits in their casino accounts, because of the fact that each prepaid card has a limit, which cannot be surpassed. Of course, prepaid cards are reloadable, and some of them have expiration dates.

Ukash

ukash-logoUkash is one of the payment methods that are not only easy to use, but also most secure, as it does not require from online casino players to make a registration in order to use it as a deposit method.

Simplicity and safety is all that Ukash stands for. Ukash offers special prepaid cards that offer customers the opportunity to use it for a variety of purchases. In order to use it as an online casino deposit option, players need to only go to a store where the cards of the brand are available and get their card with a 19-digit code in exchange to their money.

Whenever a money transaction is initiated by the player or payments are made, the aforementioned 19-digit code must be filled in. Ukash is not required an activation unlike the prepaid cards offered by Visa and MasterCard.

Instadebit

instadebit-logoInstadebit is probably the most-used online casino deposit method in Canada. It has become so popular thanks to a number of reasons.

For instance, when using Instadebit, players are allowed to deposit money and withdraw winnings instantly to and from their online casino accounts. This is a great advantage of the method, because most payment options require too much paperwork or take too much time until the transactions are processed.

All this makes Instadebit a fast and easy to use payment method when depositing funds to an online casino is concerned. In addition, the payment system provided by the brand is secure enough in order to guarantee players maximum satisfaction.

Canadian players are allowed to register an account with Instadebit in case that they are already customers of the following local bank institutions: TD, BMO, RBC, Scotiabank, as well as to some other credit unions.

FundSend

fundsend-logoFundSend is one of the most convenient payment methods available for Canadians when making deposits in online casinos. The system provides online casino players to deposit funds to a certain website or even directly transfer a certain amount of money from a bank account to another.

In order to be allowed to use the services of FundSend, customers are required to have active accounts.

In addition, they should be aware of the fact that every FundSend account features an ID that is unique and should be filled in in order for a money transaction to be completed.

paysafecard-logoPaySafeCard is another payment method that is commonly used by Canadian citizens when making online casino deposits. The brand offers a regular plastic pre-paid card that can be used for all kinds of online and offline purchases.

One of its major advantages is the fact that customers do not have to reveal any personal or bank account information. Depending on customers’ location, PaySafeCard can also be found as an electronic voucher, which is also fast and easy to work with. No bank account number is required to be filled in when making payments or online casino deposits with the system.

The prepaid card offered by PaySadeCard is a reloadable, multi-use one. The PIN code provided to customers at the time of the card’s purchase remains the same no matter how many times the card is being reloaded. Making a money deposit in an Internet casino does not differ in any way from a regular online purchase.

All the players need to do is choose PaySafeCard as a desired depositing method and fill in the information required by the casino.

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