Online Gambling in Canada
If you want to learn more about legal online gambling in Canada, you're in the right place. Whether you prefer casino games, online betting, or fantasy sports, this article has you covered.
We also explain Canadian gambling regulations and list the most popular payment methods. Please keep reading to see our top gambling sites, or check out the rest of the article for more info about safe online gambling in Canada.
Online Casinos in Canada
Canada is a wealthy country with many internet users, so all the top online casino sites are lining up to accept Canadian players. That's why you won't have a problem finding where to play your favorite games.
Online casinos in Canada offer all of the most popular slots, as well as a great range of table games, including roulette, baccarat, and dozens of blackjack variations. More experienced casino enthusiasts will be happy to hear that live casino games are also available.
These are our picks for the best Canadian online casinos. They are all licensed and 100% reliable, so you don't have to worry about safety. We test every casino before listing it on PlayingLegal, meaning that all you need to do is register for an account and enjoy your favorite games.
How Are Online Casinos Regulated in Canada?
Let's make things clear right from the start – licensed online casinos are perfectly legal in Canada. You are free to play both at European online casinos and those located in Canada.
Playing at non-Canadian online casinos is usually an even better option since they have licenses from highly respected gambling regulation bodies, such as Malta Gaming Authority. Most of our top-rated casinos are well-known online gambling operators with spotless track records, and all of them are located in Europe.
Canadian laws don't restrict citizens from playing at online casinos. You are free to pick any site you like, however, we highly recommend sticking with licensed operators because they guarantee fairness and players' safety.
Online Sports Gambling in Canada
Online sports betting is legal in Canada. However, under the current laws, Canadian punters can only place parlay bets, while single betting is prohibited. This means that betting sites can only accept sports wagers which contain at least two bets combined in one.
If you still prefer single over parlay bets, note that the new bill C-218, which will legalize single-game betting, is in the pipeline. The US Government recently legalized online sports betting on a federal level, so Canadian legislators are under pressure to do the same. This means that there is a solid chance of single betting becoming legal sometime soon!
These limitations haven't stopped Canadian betting sites from offering a plethora of odds, markets, and promotions for a broad range of sports. On top of that, bookmakers in Canada are usually also equipped with a range of advanced features, such as live streaming and in-play betting.
Top Sports to Bet On
Top betting sites in Canada usually offer a great range of both domestic and international sports events. You can bet on almost anything, from the most popular leagues, such as NHL and NBA, and even many niche sports such as snooker or carling.
Here are a few of the most popular sports among Canadian punters:
- NHL – Hockey is easily the most popular sport among local bettors. That's why it's featured at every decent betting site around here. Bookmakers are thrilled to offer a plethora of odds, markets, and promotions for every NHL game.
- NFL – Even though it's way more popular in the US, Canadians also love to watch and bet on the NFL. Superbowl is huge in Canada as well, so don't be surprised when bookies start showering you with markets and betting specials.
- NBA – Canadian punters love to bet on popular NBA teams and especially Toronto Raptors. That's why basketball betting is a complete must-have for every decent sportsbook.
- UFC – Martial arts betting is becoming increasingly popular in Canada. With 40+ events and hundreds of fights each year, UFC is an obvious choice for many local punters.
- Soccer – Soccer betting is another rising star among Canadian bettors. Local sportsbooks focus on North American leagues, such as MLS and CPL, but you can also bet on top European leagues, like EPL, La Liga, and Serie A.
Online Poker in Canada
The Canadian government has taken an open approach to online poker, players can find many great options to hit virtual tables. Most of the world's best poker sites are available in Canada as well, meaning that you can legally join the majority of the top online poker platforms and enjoy all their merits.
Canada offers such a healthy poker environment that even the US players have started to cross the border and play major events on local sites. We have listed below some of Canada's most popular poker websites, so go ahead and give them a look.
Online Horse Racing
Betting on horse racing has been legalized in Canada since 1969, which means that you can place racing bets at any licensed betting site. Even though racing isn't the most popular pastime, Canadian betting sites usually offer an excellent selection of events alongside a remarkable range of markets.
Domestic racing events like The Triple Crown and International Stakes usually get the most attention. However, the US races, such as Kentucky Derby and Breeder's Cup are also becoming increasingly popular. Additionally, European events like Cheltenham and Grand National are becoming increasingly more popular.
Not to mention, regular horse racing promotions typically include free bets, best of the best odds, and cashback.
Fantasy Sports in Canada
Fantasy sports took the Canadian online gambling market by storm and quickly became one of the favorite pastimes among local punters. Almost every major sports league worldwide is available, so you won't have a hard time finding a fantasy contest you like. The top fantasy operators, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, offer everything from NHL and NBA to golf and fantasy horse racing.
No Canadian legislation prohibits fantasy betting or forbids Canadians from playing at licensed fantasy sports sites. This means that you are free to join any fantasy sports contests you like. However, we advise you, for your own safety, to stick with the tried and tested fantasy sports operators listed below.
- Get 20% of your first deposit as a bonus. Minimum deposit $5. Maximum Bonus $500.
- $2500 first deposit required to unlock full $500 bonus.
- $1 in bonus funds released per $25 wagered for 90 days after the account is opened.
- Massive prizes
- Loyalty Rewards Program
- Ongoing promotions
- Excellent range of sports and contest types
- Tricky welcome bonus terms
- Low 20% welcome bonus only
- Poor customer service
- Restricted in a small number of states
DraftKings is completely legal in Canada, so you don't have to worry about safety when playing with this fantasy sports site. They are one of the world's biggest and most popular DFS operator, which means that you can be sure all the contests are 100% fair.
If you want to compete for the market-leading awards, DraftKings Canada is the place for you! Since they are the wealthiest fantasy sports website, DraftKings can finance massive prizes for winners of their major fantasy contests.
They offer an excellent selection of sports that ranges from the most popular leagues such as NHL, NFL, and NBA to the likes of golf and CFL.
On top of that, they also accept InstaDebit, which makes it super easy to quickly place a deposit or withdraw your winnings. Here are a few more things we liked about DraftKings:
Despite all this, we believe FanDuel has the X factor that puts it ahead of DraftKings.
- Up to $500 in bonus funds when you make your first deposit.
- FanDuel will match 20% of your first deposit so to get $500 you need to deposit $2500.
- Bonus funds cannot be withdrawn and must be used on fantasy sports only within 30 days of being issued.
- 20% of First Deposit Matched Up To $500 in bonus funds.
- Daily fantasy tournaments available for NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, CFB, CBB, NASCAR, Golf, Tennis, UFC and EPL soccer.
- High quality iOS and Android FanDuel fantasy apps.
- Excellent software and desktop site nicely designed.
- Play against your friends in private fantasy leagues.
- Restricted in a small number of states.
- Customer support could be better.
FanDuel is the second largest fantasy sports site and the only real competitor to DraftKings. They also offer an amazing selection of sports, as well as a range of exciting contest types.
Plus, we especially liked FanDuel Canada because they take players' safety very seriously. Everything from on-site security measures to excellent customer support, this operator is an excellent example of how a reliable DFS site should look like.
Apart from excellent safety features, FanDuel also offers a lot of other great things. For example, their native apps are an excellent choice for anyone who likes to enjoy fantasy sports on the go. Here are a few more reasons why we believe FanDuel is a perfect choice for your next DFS host:
FanDuel is a leader in both Canada and the US when it comes to fantasy sports.
Mobile Gaming Apps
Online gambling in Canada, and around the world, has taken a sharp turn towards mobile apps. Having a fully optimized mobile gambling app is a complete must for every decent online casino or sportsbook.
This is what makes a great mobile gambling app:
- User experience – Navigation is straightforward, and pages load quickly.
- Great design – You can reach everything with your thumb, and everything is easy to read, even on a smaller screen.
- Extra features – Native apps usually come with additional features, such as push notifications.
The easiest way to play on mobile is to install a native gambling app. However, they can be quite different depending on the device you use. We strongly suggest you stay away from gambling websites with a weak mobile presence since they most likely don't invest too much in improving the gambling experience.
Moving forward, we will explain how to get both iOS and Android gambling apps down below.
Android Gambling Apps
Many Canadian gambling sites offer native apps for Android devices. All you need to do is visit the Google Play Store and start the download. Everything is the same even if you want to get a gambling app on your Android tablet.
However, some operators still haven't posted their apps on the Play Store, meaning that you'll have to get them directly from their sites. If you find yourself in a situation like that, just follow the guide below.
- Open the gambling site using a mobile browser
- Find the ‘Android App' page
- Click the ‘Download' button
- Go to your device's security settings and enable apps from unknown sources
- Visit the ‘Downloads' folder and tap the app file
- You can start playing once the installation is complete
Unlike with Android, every iOS gambling app is available on the App Store. All you need to do is go there and start the download. In case you want to play casino games or place bets on your iPad, all you need to do is switch the App Store tab and get the iPad version of the app.
In case this your first time downloading a mobile gambling app on an iPhone, take a look at our step-by-step guide below.
- Open the App Store
- Search for the brand name
- Click the ‘Get' button
- You can start playing once the installation is complete
Available Payment Methods
The selection of payment options is one of the main factors we use to determine whether a gambling site will find its place in our top list. All the operators mentioned above offer at least a few of the top banking methods. Some operators also include less popular but very user-friendly options, such as Jeton, EcoPayz, or Neosurf.
Almost every gambling website in the world accepts credit/debit cards and bank transfers to focus only on the Canada exclusive methods. Each has its perks and drawbacks, which means that you should first think about what you want from a payment method and decide based on that.
- Interac – This method offers an easy way to deposit or withdraw funds when gambling online in Canada. It's rapid and easy to use, so we recommend it to both new and seasoned punters. Even though Interac charges fixed fees, it's still one of the most affordable banking options.
- InstaDebit – Almost every gambling site in Canada accepts InstaDebit. This payment method acts as a facilitator between your bank and gambling sites. Note that InstaDebit transactions are free, but they will charge you a small fee when transferring money to and from your personal bank account.
- iDebit – This e-wallet is a great substitute for discontinued options like PayPal and Skrill. It offers an easy setup and swift deposits and withdrawals. But the best thing about iDebit is anonymity. They won't disclose any transfers to online gambling sites, which means that your bank statements will stay clean.
Canadian Gambling Laws
Since the state laws aren't easy to understand, many casino and betting fans ask whether online gambling is legal in Canada. The short answer is, yes, online gambling is legal in Canada. However, regulations aren't straightforward at all.
Local governments regulating land-based casinos, while the jurisdiction of Kahnawake monitors Canada-based gambling sites. The problem with the local gambling websites in Canada is that there are very few of them. Plus, they've had many security issues in the past, so local players tend to avoid them.
European operators have proven to be a much better option in Canada. Many of them are well-established brands with great products and tens of thousands of customers around the world. These websites usually hold licenses from highly respectable regulators, such as Malta Gaming Authority or United Kingdom Gambling Commission, so you can be sure they are 100% safe and secure.
Province Specific Laws
The Canadian Government doesn't ban online gambling on a state level, but it lets provinces create their own gambling laws. Since there are 13 different jurisdictions altogether, things can get messy. But the important thing to know is that you won't be prosecuted for gambling online at Canadian or European casinos or betting sites.
Ontario is the biggest Canadian province, which makes it a great place to gamble online. All of the top sites accept Ontario players, so you won't have a hard time finding a suitable gambling site. Both online casinos and sportsbooks are perfectly legal for all Ontario residents, meaning that all you need to do is find a suitable operator and start playing. On top of it all, this province doesn't tax gambling incomes, which means that you get to keep everything you win!
Alberta is another Canadian province that takes a hands-off approach towards online gambling. Even though some Canadian gambling sites are located in Alberta, most of the top operators are listed European. Gambling activities in this province are monitored by an agency named Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis, so feel free to contact them if you have any specific questions.
Quebec residents can enjoy a few state-owned gambling websites. However, the majority of seasoned players tend to stick with the European operators because they have a far better gambling offering. The Quebec Alcohol, Racing, and Gaming Commission is responsible for monitoring gambling activities within this province, meaning that you should go to them if you need any further info about online gambling in Quebec.
Most Reliable Gambling Licences
Most of the Canadian gambling sites hold one of the licenses listed below. We'll rank the top 3 gambling licenses and explain everything you should know about them.
Having a seal of approval from a reliable regulator is the best indicator that an online casino or a bookmaker is worth your trust, so learning more about these licenses is essential for every serious punter.
- Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) – MGA is one of the first widely accepted online gambling licenses. It's considered to be very reliable, so if you see an MGA seal of approval, you can be sure that the gambling site is trustworthy. Most of the sites from our list hold an MGA license, meaning that you'll be safe with any of them.
- Curacao eGaming – This is one of the oldest gaming licenses. However, Curacao eGaming isn't as reliable as it used to be. Their license is easy to obtain, so even some shady operators have had it over the years. We're not saying that the Curacao license is worthless, but it would be worthwhile to double-check the gambling site if you see their mark.
- Kahnawake Gaming Commission – Kahnawake is a Canadian regulator, so you'll see quite a few local betting sites holding their license. However, they are the least reliable of the bunch. We recommend you stick with the MGA casinos and betting sites and avoid Kahnawake whenever possible.
Having advanced responsible gambling features is a necessity for every gambling website on our top list. Luckily, most of the leading Canadian operators are very well equipped. Here are some of the tools you can use to regulate your spending:
- Loss and deposit limits
- Session limits
- Wagering limits
- Cool off period
In case you prefer to talk with someone in person, don't hesitate to contact any of the organizations we list below. They are all experts in problem gambling and will offer you expert advice free of charge. Visit their sites to learn more about their work.
As a Canadian resident, you can safely enjoy all forms of gambling online. Whether it's with a local site or one based in Europe, you will get your winnings paid out in full. Moreover, the games are audited by their respective regulators, and the betting odds are fair. The fact they accept Interac deposits says a lot about the importance of Canadian customers.
Online Gambling in Canada FAQs
Is DraftKings legal in Canada?
Yes, DraftKings is 100% legal in Canada. No laws forbid Canadian citizens from playing daily fantasy sports with licensed operators. DraftKings is the world's leading fantasy sports site, so you can be sure that they are safe and reliable.
Where can I gamble online in Canada?
There are lots of online gambling sites that accept Canadian players, and we list only the best ones in our top list. We suggest you join some of the European gambling websites since they are much better and more reliable than Canada-based operators.
Is FanDuel legal in Canada?
FanDuel is completely legal in Canada. Canadian citizens can't be prosecuted for joining any of the regulated daily fantasy sports sites. FanDuel invests a lot in players' safety, which makes them one of the best DFS operators in Canada.
Is it legal to gamble online in Canada?
Yes, it is 100% legal to gamble at licensed online casinos or betting sites. You can play at both European and Canada-based online gambling operators. However, we suggest you stick with reliable EU gambling websites since they are much more reliable.