The online gambling industry in Canada has experienced significant growth in the last decade, becoming a key contributor to the country’s economy. With the rise of mobile gaming, the industry is poised to grow even further, overshadowing traditional gambling at brick-and-mortar establishments. The popularity of online gambling in Canada is thanks to the myriad of benefits this new form of gambling has over traditional gambling. These days, Canadian players can engage in casino gaming and sports betting right from the comfort of their homes, so it’s easy to see why it’s becoming more popular.

In this guide, we’ll provide an overview of the online gambling industry in Canada, including its meteoric rise, regulations surrounding the activity, the various forms of online gambling, and the future outlook.

Rise of Online Gambling in Canada

The meteoric rise of online gambling in Canada has been nothing short of remarkable, fuelled by several factors. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the appeal of online gambling has captivated many players, reshaping the gambling industry in profound ways.

In Canada, online gambling first became popular in the late 1900s and early 2000s, when online poker emerged. Since then, the industry has been on a steady growth trajectory with many Canadians turning to online gambling as a popular pastime and form of entertainment. The country’s legalisation of the activity and Ontario’s creation of iGaming Ontario (iGO) in 2022 further helped to boost this growth.

One of the pivotal elements driving the popularity of online gambling is the unparalleled convenience it offers. With a simple click, Canadians can immerse themselves in the vibrant world of online casinos from the comfort of their homes. The days of traveling to physical casinos are increasingly becoming a thing of the past, as players relish the ease and accessibility of wagering on their favourite games and sporting events through online platforms. This convenience is particularly appealing in a country as vast as Canada, where geographical distances can be significant, making traditional casinos less accessible to many.

The flexibility that online gambling provides in terms of time and location is also a major game-changer. Whether it’s the early hours of the morning, a break during the workday, or the quietude of a late-night session, online casinos are available 247, accommodating the diverse schedules of players across the country. This freedom allows players to engage in their preferred games or betting activities at their convenience, fitting seamlessly into their lifestyles.

One of the most significant trends contributing to the popularity of online gambling is the rise of mobile gaming. Nowadays, most Canadian players prefer playing games and betting on their smartphones and tablets, so it makes sense that online gambling will be on the rise.

The breadth and variety of gambling options available online catalyses its burgeoning popularity. Canadian players are greeted with several choices, ranging from classic casino games like roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and slots to the strategic prowess found in poker. Moreover, the integration of sports betting within online platforms adds another layer of excitement, catering to sports aficionados who seek the thrill of predicting game outcomes and following their favourite teams and events.

The combination of casino games, sports betting, and live casino gaming under one virtual roof ensures that there’s something for every player’s taste. This diverse range of options is a stark departure from the limited offerings of traditional brick-and-mortar casinos, making online gambling more appealing to Canadians seeking variety and novelty in their gaming experiences.

A key appeal of online gambling lies not only in the games themselves but also in the dynamic and adaptive nature of the platforms. These online gaming sites evolve constantly, incorporating new games, innovative features, and enticing bonuses to keep players engaged and excited. This adaptability contributes heavily to the industry’s growth.

Legal Aspects and Regulation in Canada

The legal landscape of online gambling in Canada is an intricate web that intertwines federal and provincial regulations, creating a complex yet navigable environment for both players and operators. Understanding the Canadian online gambling laws is paramount for players seeking a safe and secure online gambling experience within the country.

At the federal level, there’s a grey area when it comes to the legality of online gambling in Canada. The Criminal Code of Canada prohibits all forms of gaming within Canadian borders. However, it makes an exception for provincial governments, giving them the authority to regulate gambling at the provincial level. This means each province possesses varying degrees of autonomy in determining the legality and regulations pertaining to online gambling within their jurisdictions. So, you’ll find that the laws in Alberta, for example, are different from those in British Columbia.

Provincial governments play a pivotal role in overseeing and regulating online gambling activities. For instance, provinces like Ontario, which was the first province to legalise gambling in the country, have taken proactive measures to introduce online gambling regulations to ensure fair play, protect players’ interests, and promote responsible gambling practices. These provincial regulations aim to establish a secure and regulated gambling environment while generating revenue that contributes to public services and initiatives.

Licensing and regulatory bodies serve as guardians of integrity within the online gambling sphere. These entities are responsible for vetting and licensing online casinos and sportsbooks, ensuring compliance with stringent standards and regulations. For instance, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) oversees the licensing of online gambling operators in Ontario, upholding the principles of fair play, player protection, and responsible gambling. In 2022, the AGCO created iGaming Ontario (iGO), opening Ontario’s iGaming market to both local and foreign operators wishing to offer their services to Ontarians. The Ontario online gambling regulation move saw many online casinos tested and approved by AGCO and iGO, including BetMGM and Bet365.

Reputable online casinos prioritise the safety and security of their players’ personal and financial information. To foster trust and maintain credibility, these platforms implement robust security measures. Advanced encryption technologies, such as Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption, safeguard sensitive data transmitted between players and the casino’s servers. As part of the regulations, these platforms are also required to undergo regular audits and assessments to uphold the highest standards of data protection and fair gaming practices by independent testing organisations such as eCOGRA.

Exploring Online Casino Games

The evolution of technology has birthed several gaming options that transcend the limitations of traditional brick-and-mortar casinos, presenting many advantages that elevate the online gambling experience. From the excitement of spinning the roulette wheel to the strategic prowess required in poker, online casinos provide an extensive collection of games. These are some popular online casino games available to Canadian players:

  • Slots : Online slots are the most common type of casino game available. These are games of chance with spinning reels and various symbols, and the goal is to line up matching symbols to land a win.
  • Table Games : These include classics like blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and craps. They involve cards, dice, or a spinning wheel and some of them require a mix of luck and strategy.
  • Video Poker : Similar to traditional poker, the aim is to create the best hand possible. This game combines elements of slots and poker.
  • Live Dealer Games : Players can engage with professional dealers in real-time through high-definition live streams, recreating the atmosphere of a land-based casino from the comfort of their homes. Live dealer games, including blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and poker, allow players to interact, place bets, and experience the thrill of live gaming, complete with the social element available at land-based casinos.
  • Specialty Games : They cover a range of unique games like scratch cards, bingo, keno, and arcade-style games, and offer different experiences compared to traditional casino games.

One of the standout advantages of online casino games is the flexibility they afford in terms of stakes. Unlike their land-based counterparts, online games often feature adjustable stakes, allowing players to wager according to their comfort levels. This inclusivity appeals to both high rollers and casual players, fostering an environment where everyone can enjoy their favourite games without feeling constrained by betting limits.

The world of online gambling is adorned with attractive bonuses and promotions that entice players to explore and engage. Welcome bonuses, free spins, loyalty rewards, and ongoing promotions are commonplace at online casinos, adding extra value to players’ gaming experiences. An online casino bonus not only enhances gameplay but also extends the entertainment quotient, offering players more opportunities to win and enjoy their time on the platform.

Sports Betting in Canada

Sports betting has entrenched itself as a beloved pastime among Canadian enthusiasts, weaving a rich mix of excitement and anticipation around major sports events and leagues that captivate the nation’s attention.

One of the primary reasons for the popularity of sports betting in Canada is the fervent passion for sports ingrained within the culture. Canadians are fervent supporters of various sports, notably hockey, football, basketball, and soccer. Events like the National Hockey League (NHL), Canadian Football League (CFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), and the vibrant soccer scene attract a massive following, serving as prime opportunities for Canadian bettors to engage in sports wagering.

The advent of online sports betting platforms has revolutionised the landscape, offering unparalleled convenience and access to a diverse range of sports and betting options. These platforms cater to the varied tastes of Canadian bettors by covering a wide range of sports, ranging from the widely popular ones to niche leagues and international competitions. Whether it’s placing bets on the outcome of a hockey match, the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, or international soccer tournaments like the FIFA World Cup, online sports betting platforms provide a comprehensive platform for sports enthusiasts to engage in their favourite pastimes.

The best Canadian sports betting sites also offer several features that enhance the overall betting experience.

In-Play Betting

Also known as live betting, in-play betting allows bettors to place wagers as events unfold during a game. This real-time betting feature adds an extra layer of excitement, allowing players to adjust their bets based on the unfolding action, scores, or momentum shifts within a game.

Live Streaming

The integration of live streaming capabilities within these platforms further augments the sports betting experience. Bettors can watch live streams of their favourite sports events directly on the betting site, enabling them to follow the action closely as they place bets in real-time. This feature not only heightens the entertainment factor but also facilitates informed decision-making while betting.


Competitive odds are another key advantage of online sports betting platforms in Canada, ensuring that bettors have access to favourable betting lines and competitive prices. This allows players to maximise their potential returns on successful bets, amplifying the excitement and rewards of their betting endeavours

Responsible Gambling and Player Support

Amidst the excitement that comes with online gambling, the importance of responsible gambling cannot be overstated. Persistent feelings of distress related to gambling, chasing losses, neglecting responsibilities, or borrowing money to gamble are warning signs that necessitate attention. Being aware of these indicators allows players to take proactive measures to address potential issues promptly.

Most online casinos in Canada prioritise the well-being of their players by promoting responsible gambling practices and putting in place measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable gaming environment.


Reputable online casinos offer players the ability to set various limits, including deposit limits, loss limits, wager limits, and time limits. These limits empower players and bettors to manage their spending, time spent playing, and potential losses, preventing excessive gambling behaviours.


Self-exclusion tools enable players to voluntarily exclude themselves from gambling activities for a specified period. This tool acts as a protective barrier for individuals who feel they need a break or want to control their gambling impulses.


Online gaming platforms in Canada provide links to several resources and organisations that offer support to players struggling with gambling addiction, such as Be Gamble Aware, GamCare, Gamblers Anonymous, and others.

In Ontario, for instance, the AGCO has developed standards that all licensed operators are required to meet, from assisting individuals who may be experiencing harm to providing responsible gambling tools, and more. The AGCO also provides links to resources that help to keep gambling safe and fun.

Final thoughts

The rise of virtual casinos and sports betting platforms has no doubt redefined entertainment and convenience in online gambling. Canadians now have access to a diverse range of games, from classic casino favourites to thrilling sports betting options, all at their fingertips. By choosing reputable platforms and adopting responsible gambling practices, Canadian players can enjoy a fun and safe gaming experience.