Canada does not have an extensive history of legal gambling. In fact, gambling in all forms was illegal for most of the country’s history and this didn’t began to change until the 60s and 70s, at which point several laws were enacted that made this practice a little more accessible.
As is the case with the United States, Canadian laws are set on a provincial basis, which is to say that each province has its own laws and can set and change those as it sees fit. The state that attracts some of the most gamblers and has some of the most interesting laws is Ontario.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the gambling laws for this country and see where you stand as a gambler and Ontarian resident.
Online Gambling Laws in Ontario
You need to be 18 years of age to purchase lottery tickets and scratch cards in Ontario and you need to be 19 if you want to play in casinos. However, this only applies when you are in Ontario and it doesn’t remain to be the case all over the world just because you are an Ontario resident.
You’re probably thinking that this isn’t a big deal. After all, it only applies if you plan on travelling the world and maybe stopping off in some countries like the UK and Australia, where the laws are a little more relaxed. But it actually has a deeper meaning than that because it means you may be able to gamble at 18 years old if you use an online casino, providing that casino is regulated in a country where 18 is the legal gambling age.
This is actually true for most casinos in Europe, and this is where the world’s biggest and best online casinos are based. It’s an often overlooked fact, and one that puts a lot of 18 year old Canadians in a place of uncertainty.
Of course, we would only recommend that you gamble when you are of legal age to do so, but if you are 18 then you are of legal age for the majority of online casinos. You’re not breaking the law, you’re not even accessing a loop hole. You’re simply abiding by the laws of the casino and the country in which they are based.
If this sounds suspicious to you, think of it another way: Cannabis is legal in parts of Canada, but does that mean that you can take your cannabis with you when you fly to the Middle-East, China, or South Korea? No, it does not. And no matter how much you insist that you purchased it legally or even show them a prescription, you’ll still be arrested and could even be charged with smuggling.
That’s because you are not bound to the laws of your nation or province but to the country that you’re in. As soon as you cross that boundary line then Canadian laws no longer apply, and this is key with online casinos because you’re crossing a virtual boundary line every time you click onto them.
How to Spot a Good Ontario Online Casino
The majority of online casinos based in Europe allow Canadian players, but not all of them are good, regulated, or safe. So, always ask yourself the following questions and be sure to read to the end of this article to find the casino we recommend the most:
- Is it Regulated? All online casinos need to be regulated in order to operate legally. If they are not, then what we said above about abiding by the laws of the country do not apply. In fact, you may actually be breaking the law if that casino is based in a country where gambling is illegal. It’s important to make sure it is regulated with absolutely no exception.
- Where is it Regulated? Not all regulators are as strict as they should be. A regulator should be there to ensure fairness and safety and to act as a mediator if need be. There is a certain regulator based in Central America that is notorious for not doing this, and there are also regulators in the UK that do not apply here in Canada. The Malta Gaming Authority is one of the better ones and the one we would recommend the most.
- Is it Secure? A basic requirement of all sites that process payments is that they use an advanced SSL and update their software on a regular basis. Keep an eye out for this.
- Is it Blacklisted? Google the name of the casino followed by the word “Blacklist” to see if it is blacklisted anywhere. This is something that is never done lightly and something that you need to look into if you find it.
- Can You Use Canadian Banking Options? You want a site that doesn’t just accept Canadians, but also embraces them. One key indicator of this is if they offer Canadian online banking options, such as iDebit. Not only does this give you more options as a player, but it means they are or likely to offer other Canadian features.
The Best Ontario Online Casino
We review hundreds of online casinos every year, dismissing all but the very best. Many of these are available to Canadian players because Canada is one of the hottest markets right now, but only a few are regulated, secure, and generous enough to pass muster. There was a time when Canadians, just like their neighbours south of the border, settled for what they could get, and what they could get wasn’t much.
But thankfully that is no longer the case and now we have the pick of the bunch, with some of the world’s biggest and best online casinos at our disposal. To see the very best of these, simply click the link at the top of this page. This will take you direct to our casino of the moment, one that we believe has the best bonuses, the best games, the strictest regulation, and everything else that you could possibly ask for in an online casino.
And because it’s on this site you know that it’s available for players in Canada, including all you casino fans in the province of Ontario.