10 March 2021
Canada takes the lead in the online gaming industry even though the government has strict gambling regulations and many are wondering why. The Canadian gambling scene is a huge contributor to the global gambling industry even though most provinces have illegalized online casinos.
Canadian residents have embraced iGaming more than most citizens from other countries. Statistics show that 70% of the Canadian population participate in slots, video gaming, and other forms of iGaming. The digital native check their online gaming profiles at least once every day.
Even though the government has not yet defined iGaming clearly, the people seem to enjoy everything it has to offer in terms of entertainment. Despite strict regulations in some provinces, accessibility to online sites that offer free slots and other iGaming variations hasn’t been interfered with.
Let’s explore the Canadian iGaming scene and why the residents have fully embraced this form of entertainment.
History of the Regulatory Framework in the Canadian Gambling Scene
Like is the case for most countries, Canada had put in place regulations that illegalised all forms of gambling. Canadian citizens were not even allowed to participate in the lottery.
The federal government then amended the criminal code in the late 1960s, legalizing lotteries at federal and state levels. The federal government made more alterations to the criminal code in the mind 1980s to allow provinces to regulate forms of gambling within their borders.
Most Canadian provinces legalised almost all forms of gambling and the people’s love for gaming started to grow here. Even though laws are different from province to province, each one is in favour of some forms of gambling. Some of the forms of gambling most provinces allow include land-based casinos, sports lotteries, slot machines, video lottery terminals and bingo.
iGaming and gambling laws in Canada
For a while, the Canadian government didn’t have much of a say in the kind of online gambling content citizens had access to. Recently, however, the situation has changed as the law is slowly taking shape.
Currently, very few provinces in Canada host online gaming sites that have all digital casino games. Adult residents in these provinces are allowed to sign up with as many online gaming sites as they want.
Even though the federal government in Canada is open to gambling in all its flavours, its strict attitude towards gaming and iGaming cannot be ignored. The separate commission established to exclusively govern online casinos is proof of the government’s sternness. Not to mention that Kahnawake Mohawk is the only territory in the whole of Canada where residents can access online casinos. Perhaps this is because it’s a legally offshore territory.
Other provinces that joined Kahnawake Mohawk to give residents access to online casinos include:
- British Columbia
Even though online casinos are a no-go zone for many provinces in Canada, residents can still enjoy numerous digital casino games by signing up with online site’s that aren’t Canada-based. In simpler terms, the government might have put in place strict regulations against online casinos, but they hardly affect the general public’s access to entertainment.
As long as a site has authorization from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) of any other gambling commission, a Canadian won’t find themselves on the wrong side of the law if they accessed it.
From the look of things, it doesn’t seem like the Canadian government is keen on changing regulations that govern the iGaming industry. Since the federal government allows individual provinces to regulate gaming activities within their borders, Canadians will continue to enjoy iGaming as a form of entertainment unless the criminal code gets amended again. One Canadian has different rights regarding their access to online casinos depending on which province they’re in, and which sites they’ve signed up on.
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