Canada is one of the biggest gambling destinations in the world. They have a population size that is just a tenth of the size of the United States. But they also have some of the biggest casinos in North America, as well as an online gambling operation that caters for each and everyone of its citizens.
Canada Online Gambling Laws
Canada has had a tricky relationship with gambling in the past. When British armies first arrived they banned games of dice in order to keep their soldiers from getting complacent, and this law stuck throughout the years. However, in the last few decades things have steadily changed, turning this from a restricted gambling nation into one of the most relaxed in the world.
In this article we’ll focus on the best online casinos for real money, all of which cater for players in Canada.
Canadian gambling laws are confusing, to say the least. There are legal lotteries and casinos in the country and this is also home to some of the biggest online gambling companies in the world. However, there have been calls to tighten-up on overseas operators offering their services to players in Canada.
It’s not that they think this is immoral or in anyway wrong. They just want to keep all of the gambling money and the tax from it in the country. That’s actually one of the main issues that governments have with gambling. In a casino they can tax the operators and they know that every penny that is being spent there is being pumped into the local economy. There is also a boost received from tourism and from foreign gamblers and investors. It’s a win-win for any government and it’s why you will find grand casinos even in countries that heavily restrict gambling.
The problem is, when casinos are based online and overseas, there is no tax income to be made, there is nothing to be gained from tourism, and all of the money that is earned within the country is being risked and lost overseas.
The only thing that players have on their side is that governments don’t want to be seen to be greedy. They don’t want to be seen to make overseas online gambling illegal, while making all other forms legal. Not only that, but it is also very difficult to make this form of gambling illegal because it’s hard to keep all of those overseas operators in check.
Amaya and Gaming Giants
In Canada they have another issue where online gambling is concerned and that comes in the shape of Amaya. You may not recognize this company, but you most certainly recognize their subsidiaries. Amaya is Canadian, and it is the largest gambling company in the world.
It owns PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker and it also owns a piece of many online casinos, sports books and the betting brands. This is a brand that Canada is very proud of, and rightly so. And because of that, they tend to give Amaya free rein to do what they do best, which in turn makes Canada a haven for online gamblers, whether they are casino gamblers or poker players.
In fact, this is why so many players from the United States have moved north of the border, setting up shop in Canada so that they can enjoy complete freedom where online gambling is concerned. It may not have the most relaxed gambling laws around, but when you consider its proximity to the United States, a country that has very confusing gambling laws and has placed many restrictions on it, it can seem like paradise.
Are Canadian Casinos Based in Canada?
It may seem like an odd question to ask, but the truth is many casinos around the world are located in obscure locations. The casinos that predominantly cater for players in the United Kingdom, for instance, are found in the Channel Islands and in Malta. The casinos that offer their services to players in the United States tend to be based in Curacao or in Panama.
However, Canada is one of the few exceptions to this rule. There are many casinos, sportsbooks and poker sites that are based outside of the country and offer services to players inside of it, but there are also many that can be found in Canada.
These are licensed by the Canadian government under authority of Indian gaming regulators and the Canadian Gaming Association. In all cases, whether you are gambling in these casinos or in ones that are based overseas, there are no legal issues. There are certainly plenty of grey areas, as mentioned above, but it is not something you need to worry about as a player.
What Makes a Good Canada Casino?
You have your pick of some of the best online casinos in the world if you are based in Canada, but there are also a number of them that just don’t cater for Canadian players. Still, that doesn’t mean that you should accept inferior services or that you should “settle” for a casino you wouldn’t usually play on.
You should always focus on a casino that is popular with Canadian players and caters for those players. Such is the case with the Digimedia brand of casinos and with companies like BetWay and Spin Palace. Of course, it’s hard to know whether they cater for Canadian players just by looking at them, but there are a few things you can do to check.
Domain: Most casinos will use the “.Com” domain extension. If they do not use this as a main domain extension and use something like “.co.uk” or “.eu” instead, then these should be avoided. If they do use “.com” then check to see if they also have a “.ca” website. This will show that they have made an effort to appeal to Canadian players and that they want to be a big player in the world of online Canadian casinos.
Banking Options: Canadians like PayPal as much as anyone else. But they also use eChecks and instant banking transfers like iDebit a lot. So, check the banking options screen and make sure that the casino in question offers these banking options. If so, it means they are happy to cater for Canadians by giving them the services they like to use.
Lotteries: Canadians love a good lottery, both in the form of set lotteries and instant lotteries, and in the form of scratch cards and keno. A site that is going to cater for Canadian players will offer a wealth of lottery games for you to play. So, take a look around and see what you can find in that department.
Currency: Many casinos will focus on USD and GBP, maybe with some EURO thrown in there as well. USD is standard and doesn't necessarily indicate a casino that caters for US players, but GBP does signify a casino that caters for players in the UK, while EURO indicates one that aims its services at European players. To make sure they cater for Canadians, look for CAD as a currency option. The is very important as it’s an easy step for them to take and if they haven't taken it then there’s a good chance they don’t cater for Canadian players.