Online gambling is on the rise in Canada, with increased interest from residents in real money digital sports betting, poker, and casino gaming. If you’re looking to play casino games online in the country, you may have come up against some confusing legislation that’s left you wondering whether wagering with real money is legal or not. The truth is, the laws governing gambling activities aren’t as clear-cut as those in Europe or other major gaming markets, but it is possible to legally enjoy a wide variety of real money experiences throughout the region.
This article will act as a guide to the landscape in Canada, with a particular focus on the best types of casino games you can play.
Is Casino Gaming Legal in Canada?
Compared to other mainstream iGaming markets like the UK, the legal framework surrounding gambling in Canada is quite confusing to beginners. For instance, some provinces have fully embraced iGaming and have set up government-regulated practices, including online casino gaming.
British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec have all opened the doors for fully legislated real-money gaming in recent years. However, in other provinces, such as Alberta and Manitoba, legislation is yet to be passed. This would enable operators to establish a presence in the territories.
So, what are the options for keen gamblers and punters who live outside states where digital gambling has been legalized?
It’s clear from the statistics that safe and regulated digital gaming practices are accessible to Canadians, regardless of their residence. In 2021, 45% of the total revenues generated by the gambling industry as a whole were produced by iGaming markets. A figure that has undoubtedly grown since then, as more platforms have been made available to residents. Instead of being limited to just a handful of options, it would appear the majority of Canada-based gamers are wagering at offshore platforms, which are operated by international companies with gaming licenses from jurisdictions like the Malta Gaming Authority and the UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission).
Playing Casino Games in Canada
Now that you have a better idea of the legalities of iGaming in Canada, let’s move on to the exciting part of the article. Covering the best games to play, the digital casino gaming market in the country is vast, with a wealth of real money games at your fingertips via web-based platforms and mobile apps. Here are some of the most popular games to try:
When it comes to playing online slots in Canada, they’re certainly not in short supply. Slot games form the backbone of digital gambling, so you’ll rarely find a gaming platform where they aren’t available. The electronic slots vertical is one of the most diverse and includes classic 3 and 5-reel games. Also themed slots, and even progressive jackpot titles, where the total winnings increase the more the game is played.
As with everything when it comes to online gambling, you should only choose trusted operators. Like Bodog (who we’ve linked to above) with which to play and wager your real money.
The “Devil’s Game” as it was colloquially known in Europe, is a game that’s been in play for centuries. So you can be assured you’ll find it at every online casino platform that’s accessible from within character. This casino classic offers a range of betting options, making it a favourite with everyone from beginners to experienced gamblers.
You’ll likely find different variants available at gaming sites, such as French, American, and even Live Dealer roulette. If you’re looking for highly realistic and immersive gaming, where you can interact in real time with croupiers, choose live dealer games. However, if you’re keen to maximize your odds of winning, opt for games played under European rules. As the “la partage” play can improve your odds.
Another staple casino game that has historical roots, blackjack is widely available at both Canadian and offshore casino platforms. Blackjack offers a more lightweight style of gameplay than roulette, making it ideal for casino newbies. But its strategic elements also make it attractive to regular players and pro gamblers.
If you’ve ever played blackjack at a brick-and-mortar casino, you’ll already have a pretty good idea of what the rules and objective of the game are (to beat the dealer, while trying to make a hand of 21, or as close to it as possible). Being a fast-paced game, blackjack lends itself well to virtual environments. And iGaming software providers have capitalized on its popularity by launching all manner of variants including Chinese Strip Blackjack, Double Attack Blackjack, Vegas Strip, Blackjack Switch, and more.
Although it could technically fall under electronic slot gaming, video poker has its online casino vertical. This highly engaging digital game fuses elements of slot machines with the strategy and thrill of poker. Like the card game on which it’s based, video poker is a skill-based genre. But it’s combined with the lightweight gameplay of online slots. Keep an eye out for titles like Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild at Canada-friendly gaming platforms.