Gambling Laws in Canadian Provinces

Canada is a liberal nation, and its betting laws, whether nationwide or provincial reflect this, as we outline below. Disclaimer: the betting scene can move quickly, and so can corresponding legislation, so do double-check any areas of particular interest.

Nationwide Gambling Laws

Online gambling is entirely permitted under Canadian law, although casinos operating within the country must have the appropriate licence issued by provincial authorities. However, that does mean there are hundreds of offshore casinos at which Canadians can play.

Gambling Laws in Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador

In 2016, Quebec passed a law blocking online gambling providers not licensed by Loto-Quebec. Two years of wrangling and accusations of censorship saw the measure dropped after a court ruling found the measure unconstitutional due to the area of law being federal in nature. Casinos, lotteries, and sports betting are also legal in Quebec.

Newfoundland and Labrador is pretty strict on brick-and-mortar casinos, with only First Nations tribes having the right to open establishments of that nature. Otherwise, most forms of wagering are acceptable, with just the one racetrack, there's also sports, lottery, and charitable betting. Plus, of course online casinos.

Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan

Casinos, lotteries, sports betting, and online gambling are all legal in Nova Scotia (although the latter must be offshore casinos as the province has no online casinos of its own).

Prince Edward Island is the smallest province in Canada and has correspondingly few real life betting opportunities. The only casino is also a racetrack, with one other racecourse in the province. Online and sports betting are both legal too.

Saskatchewan has half a dozen casinos run by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, and a few thousand video lottery terminals. Online gambling is legal in the province but it's illegal for gaming providers to be based there so only offshore casinos are available.

Alberta, Ontario, and New Brunswick

Gambling is a popular pastime in Canada and especially in Alberta, where horse racing, video terminals, and sports betting are all on offer (though the latter has a cap on how much can be gambled in a day). There are dozens of casinos in the province, plus online options, with lotteries and charitable betting also in demand.

Ontario is also home to dozens of casinos, with horse racing popular as well. Slot machines are less common than they were following government action in 2013 to remove them from some racetracks.

New Brunswick has just the one casino, but otherwise has all the other options to gamble you might expect. Charitable bets are especially popular with literally hundreds of licences held by various organizations.

Gambling Laws in Manitoba and British Columbia

Manitoba has just one onshore online casino, the government-owned PlayNow Manitoba, although offshore casinos, as with elsewhere in Canada, remain legal. Real-life casinos are a mixture of First Nations and government-owned, with lotteries, sports betting, and charitable betting all legal.

British Columbia also likes to own its own betting outfits, such as the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, and PlayNow, the only legal gambling site within the province. There's just the one racetrack, but more than a dozen casinos, plus non-profit and sports betting.

That's the end of our quick look at gambling laws in Canada. And remember, do give any area you're interested in a check to see if the legislation in Canada has been updated.