Legal Online Gambling Soon for All Canadians?

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Gambling has been one of the most favorite pastimes in Canada for quite some time now.

However, there’s been a bit of discussion about whether or not individuals indulging in these activities are breaking the law. This is due to the gambling laws in Canada that are subject to territorial and provincial laws, which has contributed to the confusion.

Is online gambling now legal in Canada?

Online gambling is legal in Canada, but only if the online casino you patronize is located offshore. As a result, many Canadians flock to sites like to play thrilling online casino games.

But local laws still apply; therefore, you need to seek out trusted casinos that are independently regulated and fully licensed.

The provincial laws are responsible for this confusion as gambling laws in Canada vary or differ from one state to another.

Canada’s gambling regulations

Gaming law specialists say every province empowers a specific agency to serve as a gaming regulator. A separate, government-controlled provincial corporation conducts and manages gaming on the government’s behalf. The only exception is the province of Alberta which merges these functions into a singular government agency.

The changes in the Canadian gambling landscape are now becoming apparent in several provinces. But this shift or shakeup actually began last year. Bill C-218 came into effect in August 2021. This bill is responsible for changing the Canadian Criminal Code that makes single-event sports betting legal.

According to the Canadian government, the change was made to strengthen the economy while keeping Canadians safer. This superb choice was partly determined by the simple fact that many Canadians have already started engaging in online gambling on gray market sites.

Sports betting can also occur in online and land-based casinos, according to another crucial aspect of Bill C-218. Since provinces can offer online gambling, the government’s target is to limit the use of gray market sites.

Canadians used gray market sites since they were not operating directly on Canadian soil. So, technically, it was not illegal to use these markets. But these changing laws were created to combat gray markets, so that competition can thrive in Canada.

However, provinces move at their own pace as regards the expanded online gambling regulations.

Provinces in Canada that offer online gambling

Several provinces have taken advantage of this massive shift in the Canadian online gambling landscape to launch – or expand – iGaming offerings. But not every province currently has the same regulations since they go by different timelines.

● Ontario

This was the first province that fully regulated online gambling with iGaming Ontario (IGO), its new provider. The latter is a subsidy of the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario), launched in April 2022. The iGaming Ontario also offers online casinos and eSports betting from third-party operators.

● British Columbia

British Columbia had always been in an excellent position to execute new online gambling regulations. Therefore, as soon as the bill was passed, British Columbia started offering single-event betting almost immediately.

The BCLC (British Columbia Lottery Corporation) established its PlayNow Sportsbook site immediately after the laws were enacted on August 27, 2021. PlayNow is British Columbia’s only regulated online gambling site, with zero plans for third-party expansion.

● The Atlantic Provinces

Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Labrador, and Newfoundland are part of the ALC (Atlantic Lottery Corporation). All ALC provinces, except Nova Scotia, permitted single-event sports betting almost immediately. However, it wasn’t until February 2022 that Nova Scotia pitched in and implemented the changes.

● Manitoba

Manitoba permitted single-event online gambling almost as soon as it was allowed. Manitoba, alongside Saskatchewan and Alberta, is part of WCLC (Western Canada Lottery Corporation). This agreement ensures that every province in the Western Canada Lottery Corporation has access to the Sport Select online gambling site.

● Saskatchewan

This is one of the provinces that waited just a little longer before implementing the new regulations. As a result, single-event betting only became available by November 2021.

The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA), via an agreement with SaskGaming, became the operator of the Online Gaming Portal. SIGA signed a deal with the BCLC in June 2022 to introduce the PlayNow site to the residents of Saskatchewan.


It took a little while for the Canadian government to expand its juicy online gambling offerings. However, every territory and province has started adapting to the changes at its own pace. As a result, online gambling in Canada will soon be the norm in a little while.

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