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Dana WilsonWhat are the legal restrictions regarding gambling in a Canada? There are a lot of legal directives that relate to gambling in casinos and online in Canada. What do those directives tell us? Taxes on winnings made from different types of gambling have also been a subject of controversy for far too long. I will attempt to shed some light on taxes, law directives as well as identify the categories of people allowed to gamble in Canada.

I will guide you on how and where to gamble and identify the details of legalities in Canada. For now, let us look at the difference between land-based and online casinos.

What is the difference between a Land-Based and Online Canadian casino?

Land-based and online casinos are very different beasts. One major difference, of course, is location. Land-based casinos have a fixed location; sometimes more than one, whereas online casinos do not, which means the client does not need to physically visit whenever they want to play.

Another difference is their mode of operation. Land-based casinos operate within a geographical location and have to abide by provincial or territorial legal restrictions in Canada. New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and Labrador do not allow land-based casinos. Online casinos, on the other hand, can operate remotely and cover areas and customers miles from their originating habitat.

A major difference between online and land-based casinos is the mode of payment: deposit and withdrawals. Land-based casinos make use of chips. It is necessary to buy chips to play; you must also cash them in to receive payment. Online casinos do not require chips; there are various ways to pay, play and cash out. Unlike land-based casinos, online casinos incorporate multiple payment gateways, not just cash, credit, or debit cards.

It should be noted that a company can run both online and land-based casinos.

What does the law actually say?

What exactly does the law state on land-based casinos? The laws on land-based casinos are very straightforward. In general, land-based gambling is permitted in Canada. However, certain provinces and territories may restrict certain forms of gambling. The law also states that it is illegal to run a casino or poker room that is not licensed, owned, or operated by the territorial, provincial or federal government. It is illegal for underage individuals to partake in gambling.

Online gambling only appears to be illegal in Canada if one doesn’t understand that offshore and online betting companies need to be operated from a government sponsored website.

How does the Kahnawake Gaming Commission fit into the picture?

The law generally involves two parties: those that make the laws and those that enforce them. In Canada, the Kahnawake Gambling commission is charged with the duty of enforcing gambling laws in Canada. In fact, in Canada it is the one responsible for the licensing and regulation of Canadian casinos. It reserves the rights to grant or withdraw the license of both land-based and online casinos.

Furthermore, the commission ensures that Canadian players get the best gambling experience. It does this by ensuring that Canadian land-based and online casinos meet certain requirements. Casinos must present necessary information about their funding, owners, and shareholders of the company.

Gambling companies also need to register at the Kahnawake office, provide documents of their existence and show details of their rules and pay-out system to be able to operate in Canada. The commission makes sure that gambling is limited to only individuals above 21 years of age by making the casinos pass frequent audits. In addition, casinos in Canada need to guarantee the safety of player data and information as well as large pay-outs to remain in operation.

Are my winnings subject to Canadian tax laws?

The Canadian tax authority does not tax casino winnings if you are a part-time player. However, you will have to legally declare that you earned an interest on your winnings via a T5 form. The law that states that you do not have to pay taxes on your winnings only applies to people who gamble for fun. This is not the case with professional gamblers. Professional blackjack or poker players are required to file on their winnings and be taxed.

Gambling is generally comprised of two types: games of skill and games of luck. Professional gamblers are taxed because they usually engage in games like blackjack or other card games where skill is a factor. Games of luck are not taxed. For example, this means that you do not have to file for tax when you win money through a lottery.

Canadians who gamble in the U.S. pay taxes on their winnings. You do not have to file for tax as 30 percent is automatically deducted from your winnings when you cash out. However, you can also file for a refund if you lose, and you will receive a tax refund.

Where can you find legitimate Canadian online casinos?

Where is it safest to gamble online in Canada? comes to the rescue in this area. Charlotte Fitzgerald, editor-in-chief at, runs the website to help identify Canadian casino sites which are licensed and regulated to operate within Canada. is an online comparison site which provides accurate information about online casinos. The easing of legal restrictions with regard to gambling in Canada has meant a surge in the number of online casinos. However, many online casinos do not work within the letter of the law.

Some of these online casinos may not exactly be fraudulent, but they may not be legal, which means danger for the player when the government audits them. Not only are there casinos that do not meet actual legal requirements, there are also fraudulent websites with criminal intent to exploit players – can you say identity theft? It is a dangerous virtual world out there. is a website designed to protect the interests of the player. This casino comparison site includes of a team of experts who know what to expect from a good online casino and complies data on which casino is currently offering a true no deposit bonus on their dedicated page. They also know which features are more valuable to online players with important about games that offer a better return to the player and the various sites that incorporate those games.

If a gaming site promises returns that seem too good to be true, it is because they are. provides players with the requisite information to make informed decisions and find those websites which will enable them to play legally, safely, and most profitably.

Responsible gambling and the warning signs of addiction.

Gaming can be fun and profitable to the player and provides undeniable revenues to provincial and federal coffers, not to mention jobs, but it can also become addictive. There are warning signs and it pays to be aware of them. Heather LeGuillox is a mental health blogger who has written an article providing tips on responsible gaming.

Research has revealed that more women began gambling during the COVID-19 pandemic and that teenagers who explore gambling have a far greater probability of becoming addicted – hence some of those legal age restrictions.

Here are some tips on how to gamble responsibly.

  • Do not gamble with money you have set aside for other uses.
  • Luck is not a strategy.
  • Know when to stop; it does not whether you are winning or losing.
  • When you want to adopt gambling as a full-time job ensure you realise it is a game of skill, not a game of chance.
  • Lotteries are games of chance.

Most importantly, research the games before you embark.

Dana Wilson is a freelance writer.

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