In the past few years, Canada has become ground zero for online gambling in North America. The citizens of the Great White North have the privilege of being able to choose between a plethora of world-class online casinos they can sign up with and play their favourite games.
But it’s not all black and white. There are a lot of intricacies involved in the process of choosing the right casino site — a lot of things you should learn before getting in on the action.
You should get familiarized with the legal aspects of online gambling in Canada and learn everything you possibly can about payment methods, bonuses, and other online casino-related stuff.
The great news is that you don’t have to dig through the web to learn all of this — it’s right here, at your fingertips. You can think of this page as the ultimate guide to online casino gaming in Canada. By reading it from top to bottom, you’ll figure out:
Brace yourself, we have a lot of ground to cover!
Top Rated Real Money Online Casinos in Canada
Having so many options at your disposal is a blessing and a curse. The sheer amount of online casinos available makes it difficult for a recreational gambler from Canada to pick a genuinely great gambling site.
Worry not my Canadian gamblers — we’re going to help you make the right decision. We’ve pulled together market analysis, insights, and musings along with thoughts from our expert legal team to find the best online casinos in Canada.
Using our industry-leading selection process, we’ve weighed and measured every candidate over and over again. As a result of such extensive research, we’ve been able to separate the wheat from the chaff, listing only the absolute best brands.
Take your time and choose wisely!
How We Evaluate Canadian Online Casinos
To determine whether or not a certain online casino has what it takes to be considered truly the best, we put every candidate through a series of tests. In these tests, we do a thorough assessment of every characteristic and feature offered by the operator. Ultimately, if the casino proves to be of higher quality than other applicants, we put it on our exclusive list and present it to you guys.
In the paragraphs below, you can see what went into the handpicking of our recommended online casinos. We wanted to be as transparent as possible so that you can focus on high-quality gambling action and stop worrying about whether you made the right decision by trusting us.
Security and RegulationA hallmark of every first-rate casino is a licence by a respectable casino regulatory body. This virtual stamp is proof that the operator conducts a clean and legitimate business and has taken all precautionary measures to ensure a fair and safe gaming atmosphere.
If the online casino is properly regulated by a respected licensing jurisdiction, we proceed with our security checks. In this regard, we thoroughly examine the safety protocols the operator is using to protect its servers. Industry-standard security mechanisms include SSL encryption and high-end firewalls. With these in place, we are utterly confident that the online casino is safe to play in.
BonusesOn paper, every online casino is generous and offers exceptional bonuses and promotions, but not everything is as it seems. Most of these offers come with unfriendly terms and conditions, making it impossible for players to actually win anything. That’s why we pay attention to both the quality and the quantity of the bonus package. A great bonus should excel in size and have low wagering requirements. This is exactly the type of bonus our recommended online casinos have in store for you.
Game VarietyA great bonus can only get you so far. You need to have a diverse selection of games to choose from, so you can make the most out of your promotions. That’s why we look for online casinos with superior gaming portfolios. To earn consideration from our team, a site needs to have thousands of slots from the most elite software providers as well as a variety of table and live dealer games.
SoftwareThere is nothing more frustrating than depositing on a casino site only to later discover that the platform is laggy and unplayable. That’s why we pay special attention to the feel and usability of the software when reviewing online casinos.
The site needs to work impeccably across all devices, including desktop and mobile. All the features should run smoothly, and the player should not have to worry about running into performance issues while playing.
What’s more, the design itself should be user-friendly and intuitive. The content needs to be well arranged so that you can easily find any feature, game, or option. We avoid gambling sites with flashy visuals which only slow down the response time. A nice, simplistic design is perfect.
BankingIt’s paramount that an online casino has a wide range of banking methods available. You should have several different payment solutions at your disposal, including credit and debit cards, prepaid cards, a couple of e-wallets, and preferably a few cryptocurrencies.
More importantly, the fees attached to deposits and withdrawals should be low or non-existent. Withdrawal processing times are also something we take into consideration. We want you guys to get your hard-earned winnings as soon as possible — with three or four days at the most.
Customer SupportIf you’re a beginner who’s just starting to discover all the wonders of online casino gaming, you’ll need someone to show you the way. That’s where customer support kicks in. In our opinion, every great casino should provide 24/7 support via live chat and/or email. The support agents should be polite, professional, and efficient in solving players’ queries, especially when it comes to common topics regarding registration, payments, bonuses, and security.
Are Online Casinos Legal in Canada?
Gambling is a widely popular pastime in Canada. However, laws that regulate gambling activities are overly complex, much like they are in several other regions of the world.
At the moment, almost all forms of land-based gambling activities have been legalized by the Canadian government. As for online gambling, there hasn’t been a clear legal framework. Online gambling laws don’t specifically prohibit Canadians from using online gambling sites; only from operating one within the country’s borders.
So, from a player’s standpoint, it’s not illegal to play in an online casino — it’s only illegal to operate an internet casino in Canada. What’s interesting, and a bit paradoxical is that several iGaming operators are licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which is the main gaming regulatory body in Canada.
Canadian Criminal Code
From 1892 to 1969, Canada had a hostile stance towards gambling as only horse racing and charity lotteries and raffles were permitted in the country. A great breakthrough was made in 1969 when the Federal Government enacted a law that would allow 10 provinces in the country to host lotteries.
A turning point for the legalization of gambling in Canada happened in 1985 when the federal government put gambling firmly under provincial jurisdiction. This meant that every state was allowed to regulate the pastime on its own. However, the federal criminal code had not been changed at this point, which only added more confusion to the already complex matter.
According to the Criminal Code of Canada, it’s illegal to run a betting house or to play in one. But it’s unknown whether this vague and obsolete language applies to online casinos.
In 2012, British Columbia launched the first legal online casino in Canada. Unfortunately, players would have to be physically present within the province’s borders at the time of playing, and no one outside of the state was allowed to register.
Offshore Online Casinos to the Rescue
After reading all of this, you’re probably wondering how it is possible that Canadians have so many gambling options since the laws don’t allow gambling companies to establish operations in Canada. And the answer is — offshore casinos.
It’s perfectly legal for Canadian locals to enjoy their favourite casino games on offshore sites. The Criminal Code doesn’t address offshore gambling, and there is a horde of world-class casino sites offering their services to the residents of the Great White North. These gaming establishments operate from outside Canada, under licensing jurisdictions located in Malta, the UK, or other regions.
These sites welcome Canadians with open arms, and they are perfect solutions for anyone looking for high-quality casino action.
Most Popular Casino Games in Canada
It’s essential for an up-and-coming online casino that wants to make a name for itself in the fierce iGaming industry to offer a full suite of casino games. That way, they can cater to the needs of every player, regardless of his or her skills, interests, betting preference, and experience.
Each and every one of our featured online casinos boasts a diverse catalogue of games. Below, we’re going to talk about the three most popular categories of games available in Canadian online casinos. Stay tuned!
Slots are an integral part of every online casino and they are arguably the biggest attraction point for casino players. Although gaming has evolved past the simplistic approach of slot machines, they are still immensely popular among gamblers.
There are several reasons why players choose slots over other casino games. Primarily it’s because they are easy to learn — even an absolute beginner can play them and there is no strategy involved.
Some players are attracted to slots because of the possibility to win mind-boggling sums with a single spin. You can win big even when playing on a tight budget, and that makes slots ideal for recreational gamblers.
Finally, today’s slots offer a staggering diversity in terms of characters, themes, and gameplay bonuses. When creating slots, developers are given plenty of space to experiment. Therefore, with each release, you can see something unique.
Slots are undeniably fun, but nothing can match the buzz and excitement of timeless casino classics like blackjack, roulette, poker, and baccarat. For almost a century now, these games have enjoyed vast popularity among gamblers, and things haven’t changed much with the advent of online casinos.
In Canadian online casinos, you can try out hundreds of different variants of table games. And unlike brick-and-mortar casinos, you don’t have to wait for hours for an open seat — just load the site, find your favourite game, and you can start playing immediately.
At our exclusive sites, you’ll find online versions of roulette, blackjack, poker, baccarat, and craps, all supplied by the world’s most innovative software developers. Let’s take a look at the most sought-after online casino table games in 2020:
Walk into any casino floor on the planet, and you’re bound to find at least a dozen blackjack tables; that’s how popular this iconic game is. What makes blackjack so captivating are its easy-to-learn rules, fast-paced gameplay, and industry-low house edge. Pretty much every online casino in Canada has free-play and real-money versions of blackjack. Some operators even offer exotic variants with jackpots and side bets.
Roulette is the most prevalent casino game, available in brick-and-mortar casinos and online. Over the years, many variations of roulette have been developed, though the core principle remained the same. All top-tier casino sites will offer the ‘Big 3’ of roulette — American, European, and French. The outcome of each roulette spin is determined by the RNG (Random Number Generator) and the house edge varies from one variation to another.
Poker depends mostly on skill. Although luck plays a significant role in the game, it’s possible to mitigate the luck aspect by making mathematically correct decisions and using proper strategy. Both recreational players and high rollers can find Caribbean Poker, Hold’em, and 3-card poker in most online casinos available for Canadians.
Contrary to popular belief, baccarat is not a game reserved for the upper echelon only. The game is super easy to learn, and has a massive payout potential, especially when playing banker bets. Most, if not all online casinos in Canada have a couple of Baccarat tables readily available.
If you’re into Vegas-style dice games, then craps just might be what the doctor ordered. Two dice and lots of potential wagers to make; there’s no need to brainstorm a strategy. It’s fun, fast-paced, and potentially extremely lucrative. Better yet, almost every online gaming establishment in Canada has at least a couple of craps games on offer.
Live Dealer Games in Canadian Online Casinos
Truth be told, there’s nothing that can quite match the buzz and adrenaline that comes with playing in land-based casinos. At least that was the case before live dealer casinos emerged. Live dealer casinos mimic the thrilling atmosphere of a brick-and-mortar casino, but you can play them without having to drive hundreds of miles to the nearest gambling venue.
The action you see in live dealer casinos happens in real-time, with real, professional croupiers managing the games. It’s truly the best of both worlds — you get the convenience and speed of an online casino and the social interaction and excitement of a real casino.
The games are broadcasted via HD cameras from world-class casino studios and then streamed to players’ PCs or mobile devices. The action is shot from several angles to make the entire experience more immersive. You have the option of communicating with the dealer via chat.
Evolution Gaming is the undisputed king of live casino software. Most online casinos in Canada have teamed up with esteemed provider to provide a cutting-edge live casino experience. Here are some live dealer classics you’ll probably run into, regardless of which casino you sign up with:
- Live dealer blackjack
- Live dealer baccarat
- Live dealer roulette
- Live dealer poker
Mobile Casinos in Canada
The advent of smartphones has contributed to the development of mobile casino gaming. It’s now possible to play your favourite casino games from any location on the planet, as long as you have a compatible device and a stable internet connection.
There are two ways one can enjoy on-the-go casino gaming — via instant play casinos or mobile apps.
For the first type, you don’t need to download any software. Just load the casino site via your mobile browser (Chrome, Mozilla, Opera, Safari), and you can start playing. The majority of online casinos in Canada have been developed in HTML5, which means that they work smoothly across most devices and operating systems. They are basically exact replicas of their desktop versions, offering the same features and games.
Some casinos have released native apps for iOS and Android users. You can easily download them on the casino’s website, or the Google/App Stores. The installation process is straightforward and it takes only a couple of minutes to set everything up. The only downside to casino apps is that they usually feature fewer games than instant-play casinos.
Free play casinos are just like they sound — they give you a chance to play casino games for free, in demo mode. This is great for beginners who want to learn the basics of casino gaming, or maybe learn how a particular game is played. Once you get familiar with the betting structure, gameplay mechanics, and bonus features, you can switch to real-money mode.
Even advanced players can use free-play casinos to hone their skills and try out different strategies. Just think of how many times you were afraid to try something new because you didn’t want to risk losing your money. Well, here you can do it without having to pay a single cent.
Grab Juicy Bonuses in Canadian Online Casinos
Bonuses are the biggest advantage online casinos have over their land-based counterparts. These incredible treats give players a chance to get a hefty bankroll boost when they sign up for an account on an online gambling site. With the iGaming industry so fiercely competitive, gambling operators use bonuses and promotions as incentive tools, to attract as many players as possible, while keeping the existing customers engaged.
Online casino bonuses come in different shapes and sizes. Usually, there is a massive welcome bonus coupled with several ongoing promos.
This is where it all begins. As soon as you sign up with a Canadian online casino, you’ll be greeted with a gigantic sign-up offer. The size of the welcome bonus is usually a deciding factor for those looking for an online casino to play in.
A welcome, or sign-up bonus is given to new customers — those that never deposited any money on the site. The most common type of welcome bonus is a match bonus. Basically, the casino will match your deposit up to a certain percentage. For example, the operator may offer a 100% match deposit bonus up to C$2,000. That means that if you deposit C$2,000, you will receive an additional C$2,000 of bonus money to play with.
Usually, the casino will also throw some free spins into the welcome package. You may get 200 or even more free spins on popular slot releases like Book of Dead, Starburst, and so forth.
To claim a welcome bonus, your initial deposit must exceed the minimum deposit requirement, which is usually around C$20. In some instances, the sign-up offer may be broken down into several match bonuses, for the first couple of deposits you make on the site.
No Deposit Bonus
As the name implies, the no deposit casino bonus doesn’t require you to make any deposits beforehand. You merely have to sign up for an account, submit the bonus code, and you’ll receive a small amount of cash or free spins. The no deposit bonus usually comes with a winnings cap, which is around C$100. It’s also worth mentioning that no deposit bonus is hard to come by — only a handful of operators offer them.
This type of bonus partially refunds the cash you’ve spent on playing casino games. The return percentage is usually around 10%, but you could have a total of C$500 (or more) returned as bonus money.
Cashback bonuses are usually offered to high rollers or those who spend substantial amounts of cash on the site. The great thing about these offers is that they don’t come with any wagering requirements. As soon as you get your money back, you can withdraw it, if you wish to do so.
Free spins are particularly popular among slot players. Pretty much every online casino in Canada rolls out a couple of free spins bonuses, for both new and existing players. The spins can usually be used only on eligible games — a specific slot or a group of slots by a particular provider.
Reload bonuses work similarly to welcome bonuses, with a couple of small differences. The most notable one is that reload bonuses are offered to existing customers only, whereas welcome bonuses are exclusive to new players. Another difference is seen in the match percentage, which is usually around 50% with reload bonuses.
Some online casinos in Canada try to expand their user bases by offering a refer-a-friend bonus. Basically, they want you to invite your friends, and for every friend that registers on the site using a special link and makes a small deposit, you’ll be awarded free cash.
Online casinos in Canada run VIP and/or Loyalty programs to reward their most consistent players. These programs have a multi-tier structure, and as you move up the levels, you will earn increasingly rewarding perks. You could get faster withdrawal times, a personalized manager, customized bonuses, birthday presents, and more.
Depositing and Withdrawing in online casino Canada real money sites
Most Canadian online casinos are located offshore, which makes it difficult for some players to finalize their payments. Fortunately, Canadian-friendly gambling sites accept a wide range of easy-to-use and safe options for depositing and withdrawing.
The most commonly offered options include debit and credit cards, e-wallets, and bank wire transfers. Visa, Mastercard and Interac are accepted by almost every online casino in Canada. You can also find a couple of e-wallets, which are particularly popular due to their ease of use, and discretion.
Most Canadian online casinos also offer prepaid providers like PaySafeCard. Mobile payment services like Boku and Zimpler are also available at most sites. Cryptocurrencies are also gaining momentum, but have not been integrated into many casino sites.
Typically, there won’t be any fees involved in casino transactions. As a rule of thumb, deposits are processed instantly, while withdrawals may take up to several days to process.
Security and Data Protection in Canadian Online Casinos
Most players aren’t particularly comfortable with sharing their personal info and banking details, which is why cybersecurity in online casinos is more critical than ever. Top casino sites employ cutting-edge security measures to ensure the safety and integrity of their users.
If you sign up with an online casino from our list, you can rest assured that your money, as well as your personal details, will remain hidden from prying eyes. To ensure this, operators use SSL encryption and advanced firewalls. These preventive measures make it impossible for any unauthorized third party to gain access to players’ sensitive data.
FairnessFairness and randomness in online casinos are ensured by random number generators. Most transparent casinos allow independent audit agencies to test the RTP and RNG that is being used on the site. Technical System Testing, Gaming Laboratories, and eCOGRA are the leading companies in this field. If an online casino has a virtual stamp from these agencies, this means that you’re playing in a genuinely fair environment.
RegulationThe biggest indicators of a casino’s legitimacy are licences from reputable regulatory organizations. Some of the leading offshore licensing jurisdictions in iGaming are the Malta Gaming Authority, UK Gambling Commission, and Curacao. A number of online casinos are regulated by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
Our journey has come to an end. As you can see, the online casino industry in Canada is blossoming. With so many options at your disposal, all that remains is to find a gambling site that will fulfill your expectations. Make sure to check out our list — there may be some candidates worthy of consideration.
We urge you to gamble responsibly, regardless of what you choose. Good luck and we wish you all the best in your future gambling endeavours!