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Gaming Laws in North America

ByDave Stopher

Apr 9, 2021

Different parts of the world have different gambling laws. While gambling was a somewhat taboo subject in the majority of countries around the globe up until a few years ago, today, the situation has changed. More and more countries are relaxing their gambling laws and making various forms of gambling legal.

But what about North America? Has the gambling law changed recently in this part of the world? Let’s find out more about it.

How is the Gambling Law in the USA Different from That in Canada?

When talking about gambling laws in the United States, each individual jurisdiction, or better said, each different state, has its laws. The same goes for Canada – different provinces in Canada might have different regulations. This is why it is important to check the regulations before engaging in any gambling activity.

Compared to the US, Canadian gambling laws are far more relaxed. However, in 2018 the Supreme Court struck down a federal law about gambling in the US, and some states took advantage of that to change their gambling bills. Now there are dozens of states where entertainment such as online casinos and online sportsbooks are legalized.

On the other hand, when gambling in the Great White North, the only casino Canada allows you to play at legally is the offshore ones. Operating a gambling website in CA is not considered legal. Another significant difference between these two is the taxes. Land-based casinos in CA are not taxed, while in the US, everything you win is taxable, and they can go as high as 30%.

Can I Play Online Casino Games in Canada?

Playing online casino games in CA is considered sort of legal, or at least it is still in the grey zone. To point out, operating a casino website from Canada is considered illegal. So the casino and sportsbook enthusiasts will only have an opportunity to play at offshore sites.

As a matter of fact, playing casino games online is quite popular in Canada, and nearly 19 million Canadians are actively gambling. Many online Casinos available in this part of the world offer incredible bonuses, free spins for $1, a range of great games, and many different banking options.

Besides, even though these casinos are not licensed and regulated in Canada, that doesn’t mean that they are not trustworthy. Most of them use SSL encryption for transactions and will keep all your personal information safe.

How to Find the Best Online Casino in Canada?

Finding a great and trustworthy online casino in Canada is both easy and hard. It is easy since there are so many gambling websites you can access. However, finding a perfect one might ask for some research. Here’s what you need to pay special attention to when looking for the best online casinos:

  • It needs to be licensed
  • It should have a great selection of games
  • It should have multiple banking options
  • It should have a great welcome bonus

What Types of Licenses Are There in the Gaming Business?

There are multiple types of iGaming licenses available to gambling websites. Let’s start with the basics. There are a few different general ones:

  • an operating license
  • a personal functional license
  • a premises license
  • a personal management license

In addition, there are plenty more licenses casinos might need if they want to offer specific services to their customers. Here are some of them:

  • Licenses for arcades
  • Licenses for betting
  • Licenses for bingo
  • Licenses for casino
  • Licenses for gambling software
  • Licenses for gaming machines
  • Licenses for lottery


Hopefully, all of this information will be helpful for your gambling adventure in North America. You need to be aware of the fact that you are the only one accountable for your actions, so learning all about the legal side of gambling is a must.