Many Canadians who play online casino games have to use offshore platforms. What’s more, no business entity is legally permitted to operate online Canadian casinos from Canadian soil, with the exception of Quebec where Loto Quebec runs Espace Jeux.
The Canadian Federal Government has granted legal independence to Canada’s provinces and territories, allowing them to regulate their land-based and corresponding online gaming environment. However, Quebec is the only province to take advantage of this today. Besides that, if you want to play a good variety of online slots, poker, baccarat, blackjack and other popular casino games, you will need to create a player account with a legitimate international online casino site.
The Legality of Online Canadian Casinos
While it is not actually illegal for Canucks to enjoy convention casino games online, no operator may run a casino site from the country, nor may they actively advertise and encourage people to play casino games.
The laws imply that you can play games online at any international online operator that accepts players from your territory or province. So, it’s important to do your research and ensure that the casino you want to play at is free to offer their services to players in your area and that the operator has acquired the necessary legal certifications to do so. Failing which, you may not be protected from fraudulent activities.
As for licensing, most of the online casino operators that cater to Canadian players are run from outside the country but must abide by Canadian laws. Most of these operators have obtained their licenses from places such as Malta, Gibraltar and Curacao.
Are Canucks Taxed on Casino Winnings?
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is very clear when it comes to casino winnings. Any earnings you make from playing online casino games may not be taxed and you do not have report your winnings to the Agency. However, if you’ve made your money from business-related activities, they will be taxed.
So, whether you land a sensational progressive jackpot windfall, win the ultimate poker hand or have a lucky break with the roulette wheel and consider yourself a pro-level player, you might just have to report your earnings as a form of income to the relevant authorities. However, if you have a regular income stream by some other means and your winnings are an aside activity, you may be exempt from taxation.
Some players who regularly play at online casinos have attempted to claim capital losses due to gaming, but the Federal Tax authorities have not permitted this.
What Does the Future Hold for the Market?
Online casinos look like they have a promising future in Canada. The Ontario government is actually in the process of offering a variety of games, too, via the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. They’re currently engaging with private entities to help them.
British Columbia and Alberta, too, are in the process of launching virtual casinos via lottery terminals in shops. They’re also said to be considering mobile casino platforms.