Gambling Laws and Regulations

By admin on 12th April, 2018

The online casino industry in Canada is and has been for a few years in a grey area. Without any specific entity in charge of licensing the Canadian online casino industry proves to be a challenge for both casinos and players.

At the moment online casinos on the Canadian market are treated as e-commerce sites.

However, the information in the legislation is slitty conflicting, as Canadian banks are not allowed to process any gambling related payments. Casinos and Canadian citizens had to be creative when it came to this issues. Therefore, the primary funding and withdrawal methods in Canada are e-wallets such as Neteller and Skrill. These payment methods do not put the player at risk at any point, on the contrary in other parts of the world these are preferred payment methods due to the fast withdrawal possibilities they offer.

Are there some regulations regarding casinos in Canada?

We would not call it a regulation or license, it’s more of a grey zone, as there isn’t one entity strictly in charge of licensing and regulating casinos. However, there are several provincial legislators that developed their gambling acts such as:

  • Alberta - Gaming and Liquor Act
  • British Columbia - Gaming Control Act
  • Manitoba - The Liquor and Gaming Control Act, The Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation Act, Order in Council (designating municipalities to license raffles with prizes under $3000 and First Nations Gaming Commissions to license on-reserve charitable gaming)
  • New Brunswick - Gaming Control Act.
  • Northwest Territories - Lotteries Act.
  • Nova Scotia - Gaming Control Act.
  • Saskatchewan - The Alcohol and Gaming Regulation Act. 1997 and The Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation Act.
  • Ontario - Gaming Control Act. 1992 and Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation Act.1999
  • Quebec - Several acts regulating and representing Lotteries
  • Yukon - Lottery licensing Act.

At core all these legal acts are relatively similar but, none of them has any specific regulations dedicated strictly to online casinos. Thus, we would say that concerning rules the Canadian market is dominated by international regulators such as Malta Gaming Authority, Curacao eGaming, The Alderney Gambling Control Commission, HM Government of Gibraltar and Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission.

How does regulation help me?

Regulators ensure that casinos respect a strict set of rules that provide that casinos obey a set of rules regarding payouts, advertising guidelines, and technical checks. However, most online casinos present in Canada take independent audits for quality control and technical examinations.

We recommend that you choose casinos that carry batches from certifiers such as eCOGRA, Canadian First Nations (Kahnawake Gaming Commission), Technical Systems Testing (TST) and the most crucial test of all, Random Number Generator software / Gaming Associates, BWM, and VeriSign.

Relevant international Regulating Authorities

For an atypical marketplace for online casinos as Canada is we would say that it is even more relevant that you pay attention to the reputation a casino has internationally rather than locally. An initial investigation would include the following:

Check online forums for a casino’s international reputation specifically in countries such as the UK.

Batches from foreign gambling regulating authorities

Batches of technical, quality control and random number generator software certifiers. Batches from any of the 14 licensers from Canada listed above

Further on, let us dive deeper into the individual international regulators and their abilities.

Malta Gaming Authority

The most popular and best-known regulator for iGaming in the world. Today the MGA holds about 10% of the total amount of amount of online and brick and mortar operators on the planet. The rise of the industry in the Maltese island has a lot to do with the favorable tax benefits that promoted investment in general in the country.

In today's iGaming market the MGA stands for fairness, thought regulations and fight against gambling addiction through support and contributions to charities.

Curacao eGaming

The first regulatory institution that implemented legislation for online casinos back in the 1990’s.  The Curacao institution has as core values the protection of players and licensing only online casinos that they believe can deliver upon their requirements. The licensor’s expansion continued over the years due to its initial support towards the online casino business. Today, a remarkable collaboration between the MGA and the Curacao eGaming regulator in favor of the player is evident.

The Alderney Gambling Control Commission

The core competency of the institution is the collaboration with others. It serves the purpose to unite all regulators and reach alignment among the institutions for example between the Maltese legislators and the Curacao ones. You will encounter this regulator’s batch in collaboration with others.

HM Government of Gibraltar

One of the newest legislators created under the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority - GRA back in 2000. Its primary purpose was to oversee electronic communication but has expanded to online casinos. The most remarkable feature they have is the attention they pay to the financial state the businesses they take under the license are before accepting them. 

Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission

The overseeing body was put together back in 1962.  Since then the legislator has been in strict collaboration with other regulators to ensure players safety. As the other commissions, they have the legal power to interfere in casino conflicts.

To wrap-up, regulators are essential to the safety and protection of players. Even though,  the situation is relatively complicated in the Canadian online casino market checking for the other legislators is always an option to get the right casino to play.

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