Betting Sites in Canada

Canada has a clear and precise regulatory system that governs the gambling activities, making it sure that betting sites operate in compliance with the set standards. The paper will be about the gambling laws of Canada, their history, regulatory authorities and how they are related to licenses and fees for gambling establishments. and the types of bets allowed or prohibited and gambling taxes. This article provides simple and clear information about betting sites in Canada and Canadian sports betting.

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History of Canada’s Gambling Laws

The legal environment of gambling in Canada has changed a lot over the years. Here is a brief timeline of key legislative milestones:

  • 1892: Gambling was made a crime under the Canadian Criminal Code.
  • 1969: An amendment made it possible for the provincial and federal governments to carry out lotteries.
  • 1985: The federal government gave to provinces the exclusive rights to carry out, license and control gambling activities.
  • 2022: Online gambling and sports betting in Ontario was made legal, but subject to the regulatory requirements.

Overview of Gambling Laws

The main rule regulating gambling in Canada is the Criminal Code of Canada (the “Code”). Key sections include:

  • Sections 201-209: Describe what are the illegal gaming and betting activities.
  • Section 207: The bill specifies the cases when exceptions can be made, which means that provincial governments will be able to conduct and manage lottery schemes.

Key Legal Provisions

The Code generally prohibits all forms of gambling unless they are conducted and managed by the provincial government or fall within specific exceptions:

  • Lottery Schemes: The province or the licensed charitable/religious organizations are in charge of it.
  • Pari-mutuel Betting: Allowed in horse races.
  • Online Gambling: Legal only in certain provinces like Ontario that have set up the regulated marketplaces.

Gambling Law and Regulation in Canada – 5 Things to Know

The way Canada deals with gambling is a complicated one.

Remaining in the loop about legislative changes is a must for compliance.

AGCO reduces the utilization of athletes and influencers in ads from 2024.

Online gambling and sports betting are going to be legalized in Ontario in 2022.

The provincial governments are the main bodies that regulate gambling activities.

Regulatory Agencies of Betting Sites in Canada

Gambling in Canada is regulated both at the federal and provincial levels. Below are the primary regulatory bodies by province:

  • Alberta: Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis Commission
  • British Columbia: Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch of the Ministry of Finance is a department that deals with gambling in Canada.
  • Manitoba: Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba.
  • Ontario: Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)
  • Québec: The Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux and La Société des loteries du Québec
  • Nova Scotia: This is the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation.
  • New Brunswick: Gaming, Liquor and Security Licensing Branch of the Department of Justice and Public Safety
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: Consumer Divisions of the Digital Government and Service NL
  • Northwest Territories: Local and Community Affairs Department
  • Nunavut: Department of Health
  • Prince Edward Island: Prince Edward Island Lotteries Commission and the Consumer, Corporate and Insurance Division of the Department of Justice and Public Safety.
  • Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority & Indigenous Gaming Regulators (SGAFF)
  • Yukon: Professional Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Branch of the Department of Community Services

Types of Gambling Licenses and Fees

The Canadian gambling licenses are of different types and they also have their own jurisdictions. Below are some common categories:

  • Casino Gaming: Contains both the slots and table games such as roulette and blackjack.
  • Poker: Both online and land-based poker rooms.
  • Bingo: Licensed for charity.
  • Betting: It covers sports betting and horse race betting.
  • Fantasy Betting: Operated almost exclusively by the AGCO in Ontario.

Key Licenses and Fees

  • Interactive Gaming License: For online casinos and poker.
  • Interactive Wagering License: It is for sports betting.
  • Charitable Gaming License: Bingo you may play for charity.

Taxes and Revenue Share

Canada does not have a specific gambling tax. On the contrary, they are taxed at a corporate level and revenue-sharing agreements. The federal corporate tax rate that applies to all the companies is 15%.

Key Points:

  • Corporate Tax: Applied to the whole income.
  • Gaming Tax: With reference to the income generated from gambling activities, it is usually substituted by revenue-sharing agreements.
  • Revenue Share: Apportionment of the gambling-related revenue among all stakeholders, including licensing authorities and operators.

Prohibited and Permitted Bets of Betting Sites in Canada

The varieties of bets permitted in Canada are governed by the laws of each province, which can be quite different. Generally, the following are permitted:

  • Lottery Schemes: Governed by the provincial governments.
  • Sports Betting: Legal in the provinces like Ontario.
  • Pari-Mutuel Betting: Horse races are permissible.
  • Fantasy Sports: Controlled in Ontario.

Prohibited Bets:

  • Unlicensed Online Gambling: Prohibited unless by a provincial government.
  • Certain High-Risk Bets: The particular kinds of high-risk betting activities might be banned by the provincial laws.

Timeline of the Legislative Key Events

Here is a concise list outlining the major legislative milestones in Canadian gambling law:

  • 1892: The first prohibition of gambling.
  • 1969: The amendment that allows the lottery schemes.
  • 1985: Provinces were given the right to supervise gambling activities.
  • April 4, 2022: The online gambling and the sports betting in Ontario are legalized now.
  • August 29, 2023: AGCO bans the use of athletes and social media influencers in advertisements, with effect from February 28, 2024.


Canada’s way of dealing with gambling is complex and it includes both federal control and the regulation by provinces. The knowledge of the legal environment, regulatory agencies, license types and tax issues is very important for anyone who wants to bet on Canadian betting sites and Canada sports betting. With the industry progressing, it will be a must to know about the legislative changes and regulatory updates for compliance and success.

FAQ about Betting Sites in Canada

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