Many online casino brands operate in Canada, offering residents of the country a multitude of digital gaming options. Despite this, the only online casino games legally available in the country outside of Ontario are offered by provincial lotteries. All the other well-known casino companies, such as Jackpot City, Spin Casino, and Wheelz Casino operate in a legal grey area.
Best Canada Online Casinos
For those residing in Ontario, a growing suite of licensed casino apps and websites are now available at your disposal following the province’s iGaming market launch on April 4, 2022. From that date forward, brands that were previously illegal or operating through Canada’s grey market can now apply for a license with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and accept action under the supervision of iGaming Ontario. On top of some local favorites making the transition, numerous popular U.S. operators such as FanDuel and DraftKings have also joined the party up North and headline a stacked roster of brands now live in the province.
As for the rest of the country, changes are likely on the horizon. Canada online casino gaming is here to stay and will only get better after being fully legalized and properly regulated by provincial gaming authorities.
This page is your guide to every aspect of online casino gaming in Canada. From the legal grey area to the pending launch of legal, regulated casinos, to the province-run sites, to the most popular games, to the banking options – we will cover it all, including a very special FAQ to wrap things up. Let’s get started.
Online casinos in Canada
Canadian legislative leaders likely didn’t anticipate the rise of online casino gaming when they outlined a legal framework for the regulation of casino gaming in the country. It likely seemed pretty simple at the time: online casinos are not allowed to be based in Canada. The problem is that it is not explicitly illegal for offshore casinos to operate in the country, nor is it written into law that Canadians are prohibited from using online casinos.
In Canada, there isn’t even a wink-and-nod approach to gambling online; operators gladly accept Canadian customers, and Canadians gladly gamble with those offshore operators. The government seems content to remain on the sidelines: Not a single person nor company has been federally prosecuted for engaging in online gaming in Canada. These online casino companies do not have a physical presence in Canada, so they aren’t breaking the law that prohibits casino companies from being based in the country, but the ambiguous laws have resulted in a thriving grey market online casino industry.
New Ontario regulations allow iGaming
It was big news when the Canadian Parliament passed C-218, which allowed provinces to fully legalize single-game sports wagering and regulate it as they see fit. Before that, single-game wagering had the same fate as online casino gaming, floating in a sea of ambiguity, not legal but not technically illegal either. The federal government did the right thing by giving full authority to the provinces, most of which already operate online sports betting through provincial lotteries. The money that flows to offshore sportsbooks will now stay within the provinces that choose to legalize and launch a structured iGaming market.
Ontario took the lead on single-game wagering, quickly amending its provincial laws to explicitly legalize sports betting and allow a variety sportsbook brands to come to the province. Proline+, the province-run sportsbook, has offered single-game wagering since late 2021 and was joined by a fleet of commercial sports betting operators on April 4, 2022, the day Ontario debuted its new iGaming market.
Additionally, all the operators that have opened up shop in the province are licensed and regulated, adding layers of protection to the identity and finances of bettors that are sorely missing from offshore companies.
What hasn’t been as widely reported is the fact that the same rules that legalized sports betting in Ontario also legalized iGaming in the province. Online operators that offer a sportsbook, online casino, and/or online poker platform now have the ability to launch all three offerings in Ontario, if properly approved and licensed. This is great news for both the operators and bettors in the province. The tax revenue generated from iGaming will pay for many important programs in the province, and bettors will be able to wager knowing their deposits are protected and available for withdrawal at any time, pending operator approval.
Online casinos in Ontario
Since the iGaming market rollout in Ontario on April 4, 2022, many of the province’s licensed operators made sure to equip their sports betting platforms with a built-in online casino. While only a handful of states in the U.S. allow for online casino gaming, we’ve seen these multi-purpose platforms debut in New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to much success. Ontario-based casino gamblers can now get their fix through any of the legal, regulated operators listed below.
In order to officially go live and begin accepting bets in the province, each casino site needs to successfully register with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario as well as execute an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario. While a handful of casino operators have already done both and are currently live, a ton of brands still await their own launch – but they’re on the way.
Casino operators listed with an official launch date are live, available for use, and accepting customers in Ontario, right now. Any brand listed as ‘TBD’ has successfully registered with the AGCO but still needs further approval from iGaming Ontario. If and when additional casino apps or websites are licensed and go live, we’ll be sure to provide any updates right here.
|Ontario Online Casino||AGCO Registration||iGaming Ontario Operating Agreement||Launch Date|
|PointsBet Casino||April 4, 2022|
|FanDuel Casino||April 4, 2022|
|theScore Bet Casino||April 4, 2022|
|Caesars Casino||April 4, 2022|
|BetMGM Casino||April 4, 2022|
|bet365 Casino||April 4, 2022|
|BetRivers Casino||April 4, 2022|
|888casino||April 4, 2022|
|Unibet Casino||April 4, 2022|
|Coolbet Casino||April 4, 2022|
|LeoVegas Casino||April 4, 2022|
|Royal Panda Casino||April 4, 2022|
|bwin Casino||April 12, 2022|
|Party Casino||April 12, 2022|
|DraftKings Casino||May 18, 2022|
|NorthStar Bets Casino||June 8, 2022|
|PlayOjo Casino||June 8, 2022|
|SlotsMagic||June 8, 2022|
|SpinGenie||June 8, 2022|
|Dream Vegas Casino||TBD|
|Gate 777 Casino||TBD|
|Jackpot Village Casino||TBD|
Popular online casinos operating in Canada
Outside of Ontario, the only Canadian province to instill any sort of a legal iGaming market thus far, the options for online casino players remain fairly the same. Grey market operators will continue to accept action and most bettors will likely continue to give it to them until each and every province decides to launch a digital market and regulate its casino operators just like Ontario.
We’ve already seen various industry-leading Canadian casino brands make the transition from the country’s grey market to Ontario’s legal market and expect a similar outcome as other provinces begin to regulate iGaming.
But for now, some of the more popular online casino brands available throughout all of Canada include:
- Jackpot City
- Spin Casino
- 888 Casino
- Wheelz Casino
- Betway Casino
- LeoVegas Casino
- Unibet Casino
Kahnawake Gaming Commission
The Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake is located in Quebec and is a sovereign authority not under the jurisdiction of either provincial or federal governments. As such, in 1999, tribal leaders had the interesting idea of creating an independent regulatory authority with the express purpose of licensing online casinos. As mentioned, before 2021 it was against the law for online casinos to have a physical presence in Canada.
The Kahnawake saw a way around this and began to license online casinos to operate in Canada using their sovereign authority. This authority wasn’t recognized by the Canadian government and resulted in an additional legal grey area, but the Kahnawakes insist their authority was/is legitimate and have allowed licensed online casinos to house servers and other processing facilities on their territory to operate in Canada. Of course, they collect a licensing fee, which has proven to be very lucrative for the tribe.
This has resulted in another grey area, because while the government doesn’t recognize the Kahnawake authority as an online gaming regulatory body, officials haven’t investigated or prosecuted any of the casinos licensed by the Kahnawake, thereby leaving them to operate in Canada without the threat of prosecution.
Here are the biggest online casinos licensed by the Kahnawake:
- Bwin Casino
- Bet99 Casino
- Spin Casino
- Jackpot City Casino
- Royal Vegas Online Casino
- Quatro Casino
- Cafe Casino
- Zodiac Casino
Kahnawake vs. Ontario
Ontario’s legal iGaming market has presented the first test as to how provincial online casino gaming authorities will affect Kahnawake authority. Now that iGaming Ontario has the ability to regulate online casino gaming as they see fit, casino brands must register with both iGO and the AGCO in order to eventually open up their virtual doors in the province.
We’ve already seen the popular online casino brand bwin successfully register with the AGCO and come to an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario, resulting in its launch on April 12, 2022. This launch is noteworthy because bwin, like many other popular online wagering platforms, had previously operated through Canada’s grey market under one of the Kahnawake licenses. Considering bwin’s platform is now up and running in accordance with iGaming Ontario, other brands in the same boat should have no trouble making the switch to a legal, regulated market.
Canadian province-run online casinos
We’ve gone over which online casinos are already in Canada and which might be coming soon. Now it’s time to cover the province-run online casinos, the only ones that are fully legal throughout the country. Like most U.S. states, all 10 provinces in Canada offer a government-run lottery program.
Unlike most U.S. states, in Canada, the lottery commissions also offer online casino gaming and sports betting through their own apps. This has worked well for the provinces because the online casinos generate a great deal of revenue for government programs and services. Let’s go over all the provincial-run online casinos in the country, starting in the Atlantic and heading across to the Pacific.
Atlantic Province online casinos
The Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) runs a successful lottery program for the residents of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. The leaders of the four provinces decided to pool their resources instead of running four separate lotteries. This has proven to be a wise decision, as the ALC is by all measures a well-run organization that generates a great deal of revenue for the four provinces. ALC offers an online casino that features all the top slot titles, table games, video poker options, and more!
Quebec online casinos
Loto Quebec is the province’s lottery provider, and, like the other provincial lotteries, it offers keno, lottery games, sports betting, and an online casino. All the major slot machine providers are featured, including IGT, NetEnt, and others, and a live dealer option is also available for table games.
Ontario online casinos
Prior to expanding to an open market, Ontario-based bettors were restricted to using the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission’s online casino platform, available at OLG.ca. While likely a less-popular option in comparison to some of the bigger brands now live in the province, it’s still a quality offering and extremely easy to use. Signing up for an account is simple, and any deposits made are shared with the Proline+ online sportsbook should you want to wager on sports in between hands of blackjack.
Manitoba online casinos
Similar to their Atlantic friends, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta share a lottery commission: the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC). Unlike other provincial lottery commissions, the WCLC does not offer online casino gaming. This leaves the prairie provinces, as they are colloquially known, to independently offer online casino games.
As a result, the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation (MBLL) entered into an agreement with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation to offer the popular PlayNow online casino app in the province. We will go over PlayNow in a little more detail in the BC section, but it includes slots, poker, and table games and seems to be popular among Manitobans. The offering also includes a sportsbook, lottery games, poker, and bingo.
Saskatchewan online casinos
The most prairie of the prairie provinces did things a little differently. Saskatchewan has a lottery, as mentioned, and a few retail casinos, but until now didn’t offer a provincial-run online casino option. In September 2021, provincial authorities signed a ground-breaking agreement with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) to establish a tribal partnership in which the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA), which is overseen by FSIN, will manage all legal online gaming in the province.
On June 6, 2022, the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority inked a vendor agreement with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation to begin the development of the province’s own online gaming platform. The BCLC’s famous PlayNow.com wagering hub will be revamped and customized to fit the Saskatchewan market, eventually offering online casino games and even single-game sports betting in the province. The new wagering platform is expected to debut in Saskatchewan by Fall 2022.
Alberta online casinos
PlayAlberta is Alberta’s province-run lottery option, regulated by Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis (AGLC). The website is the only regulated online gambling platform in Alberta and offers a top-notch online casino similar to Ontario and Quebec. Top slot titles are available, including Cleopatra, Fortune Coin, DaVinci Diamonds, The Price is Right, and dozens more. All of the industry’s most popular table games are available on the website, as is a live dealer option. PlayAlberta does a great job offering everything a player could want in a province-run, regulated online casino.
British Columbia online casinos
As we get to the west coast of Canada, we are greeted with the aforementioned PlayNow.com platform, the excellent online casino run by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC). PlayNow is the class of Canadian province-run online casinos. Its home page is easy to navigate and it offers over a hundred slot games, all of which can easily be accessed on a mobile device as well. PlayNow even has a rewards program, which is almost unheard of for a government-run entity.
Video demonstrations of how live dealer games work are available for those new to table games, and a robust FAQ section has answers to most questions. Plus, for those who like to bet on sports and play casino games, PlayNow also offers a sportsbook that shares a virtual wallet with the casino. PlayNow is a superior product that will more than hold its own when/if the BC online casino market is opened up to outside operators.
Games offered by online casinos in Canada
We’ve already gone over most of the gaming options available to online casino bettors, but it is helpful to have them all in one place. Canada’s online casino game options include:
- Jackpot slots
- Video poker
- Casino War
- Casino Stud
- Poker – sit & go, multi-entry, challenge, head-hunter
- Live dealer – blackjack, roulette, baccarat, poker
- Online lottery games
- Online keno
- Online bingo
Online casino banking options
Here is a list of all the major deposit and withdrawal options that are typically available in Canada. Major online casino operators entering the legal, regulated market will offer most, if not all, of the following banking options:
- Visa/Mastercard/American Express credit cards
- Visa/Mastercard debit cards
- INTERAC online payment
- Online banking/bill pay
Due to the diversity of the market, there will be additional banking options available. We recommend checking with the FAQ or support team of your chosen Canada online casino before registration.
Canada online casino FAQ
It depends. If your preferred online casino is one of the provincial lottery-run options (PlayNow, PlayAlberta, etc.), very little will change for you. However, if you prefer to wager with an offshore operator, things are going to change for the better. The many online casino companies currently doing business in Canada are operating in a legal grey area. Now that legal, regulated iGaming is coming to many provinces, bettors will have even more choices. Many grey market operators will look to get licensed and transition into the legal market, which would result in users having to create a new account with the brand – but it also means more security, more banking options, and bonus offers. Outside of provinces like Ontario that have gone ahead and legalized, it appears as though the offshore grey market operators will continue to do business in areas with few legal wagering options.
Right now we do not believe all 10 provinces will end up moving to an open, competitive marketplace right away. Ontario led the charge by launching its legal, regulated iGaming market on April 4, 2022, but so far they are the only ones to do so. Alberta is moving towards opening up its market as well, but with only a handful of operators. Other provinces seem content to give their provincial-run lotteries exclusive access to the legal online casino gaming marketplace, at least for the time being. Of course, this means that unregulated online casinos will continue to operate throughout Canada.
Most people that wager with offshore casinos in Canada probably do so without any problems. Deposits are easily made and withdrawals are usually processed without delay. The slots and table games seem fair. But say something does go wrong. Your requested withdrawal isn’t processed. The website freezes and doesn’t let you wager or shows an incorrect balance. Maybe your account isn’t credited with a winning hand or slot payout. Who do you turn to for assistance? The government of Malta, where many offshore online casinos are registered? Good luck with that. In Canada, each province has (or will have) clear regulations spelling out consumer protections and technology requirements that all online casinos must meet to become licensed to operate in the province. Bettors can use a licensed online casino knowing that their deposits are safe and the games they are playing are fair, which cannot be said for offshore casinos.