Gambling License in Canada Is it legal

Gambling License in Canada: Is it legal?

Table of Contents

Canada is a country located in North America that has the second largest land area in the world. Canada is a federal country consisting of 10 provinces and three territories. The gambling industry is divided into land-based establishments and digital platforms. Gambling is regulated by the federal authorities, according to the Criminal Code of Canada, which states that gambling is forbidden only until the local authorities decide otherwise and allow it. 

Canada is one of the brightest representatives of the gambling industry. Canadians spend more money on gambling than Americans or Britannians. 65% of Canadians of legal age have had some kind of experience playing online casino games in 2021, according to Statistics Canada. 

Online Gambling Legislation in Canada

Local provinces established their own requirements for applicants and rules for the organization of companies, which are based on three federal laws — №204, №206, and №207. Therefore, each of the 13 regions may have different rules regarding the organization of gambling, ranging from age limits to restrictions on any kind of gambling.  

Since 1999, casinos have been legal in the jurisdiction of Canada, and gambling is now legal nationally. Officially, the online casino industry has been allowed at the nationwide level only in 2009. However, Canadian gamers are familiar with gambling on the Internet. Unlicensed offshore gambling sites are located in the «gray» legal zone and can operate more or less freely in the country. It is prohibited for them to target the Canadian audience but Canadians themselves are not forbidden to visit such offshore sites. The province of Ontario legalized Internet gambling on April 4, 2022, and now any gambling company wishing to provide its services to players from Canada can do it absolutely legitimately.

Gambling in the Provinces

Alberta

The province issues permit for all types of gambling services, including online lotteries. But casinos that operate on a permanent basis must register as charitable enterprises and donate a portion of profits to programs for the nation’s population. Operators can work with local and foreign audiences over 18 years old.

British Columbia

British Columbia was one of the first to have legalized online casinos in the country, opening its first online casino in 2010. The Game Policy and Law Enforcement Division (GPEB) is the provincial regulatory authority. The regulator operates according to the provincial Gambling Control Act. It is directly linked to the BC Lottery Corporation, which owns PlayNow, the only legal online gambling website. 

Anyone over the age of 19 can legally attend:

  • sweepstakes (especially horse racing);
  • bingo clubs;
  • land-based casinos;
  • slot machines.

Manitoba

Manitoba is a Canadian province located in the center of the country in the Canadian Prairie region. Manitoba is home to more than 100,000 lakes, including Lake Winnipeg, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. Agriculture is one of the main pillars of the province’s economy. 

In 2014, the Manitoba government merged MLCC with Manitoba Lotteries Corporation to form Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corporation. These include land-based casinos, lotteries, and betting on horse races. Sports betting is permitted with a wagering limit of CAD $250 per day, and the only site available is Sport Select. Gambling is available to players over the age of 18. 

New Brunswick

It is a province in eastern Canada, one of the three so-called Maritime Provinces and the only federation officially declared bilingual. Talking about the officially legalized gambling types, there are land-based lotteries and betting on horse races. As for online gambling, there is only one legal provider, Atlantic Lottery Corporation, which currently offers digital online gambling through its iGaming platform. Gamblers have to be at least 19 years old.

Ontario

Ontario is home to about 40% of the country’s total population. It is a province in east-central Canada that borders the United States. It is home to the country’s capital city of Ottawa. On April 4, 2022, Ontario authorities officially allowed online gambling. Citizens can now bet on casino games, sports, and other AGCO-approved online activities. However, gambling is restricted to people under 19 years of age.

Quebec

Quebec is the largest French-speaking territory in the world. The heart of Quebec is the St. Lawrence River. Loto-Québec is an authority on gaming and betting in the province. Loto-Québec has subsidiaries that control provincial casinos. Over 1,000 employees work for the gaming conglomerate of online gaming businesses. The province has about ten offline casinos, its own public online platform Espacejeux and the sportsbook Loto-Québec. Gaming is accessible from the age of 19.

Prince Edward Island

The Prince Edward Island Lottery Control Commission regulates gambling. Land-based casino and horse racing betting are available for gamers, and players can join in the National Lottery. The situation is not as good in the online sector, the government only allows its own online lottery. Access to all games is open to provincial residents over the age of 19.

Saskatchewan

Web-based gambling is illegal in the area but players can visit public casinos and bookmakers’ offices, or play on offshore websites.

Yukon Territory

Public and private lotteries are available to gamblers, as well as nonprofit casinos. The territory does not have a separate website for online gambling. Offshore sites are the only option for local players to gamble.

Kahnawake Online Gaming Jurisdiction

Kahnawake is one of several self-governing Mohawk Indian territories located within the borders of Quebec, Canada, however, the territory is not under the jurisdictional control of Canada. The Kahnawake government was nearly one of the earliest in the globe to realize the profit potential of the gambling industry. 

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is the official regulator of gambling in Quebec. It was founded in 1996. At the moment, more than five dozen companies that provide services in the gambling industry are residents of Kahnawake. 

The competence of the commission also includes the detection and suppression of fraudulent transactions and actions by unfair operators, monitoring the quality of services provided by gambling houses, consideration of customer complaints, and more.

In addition to issuing licenses, the Commission offers its own servers to customers to host Internet casinos, keeps records of issued licenses, and monitors the organization of gambling activities in the offshore zone.

Kahnawake License Benefits

A gambling license in Kahnawake has a variety of advantages:

  • The Kahnawake Commission is a trustworthy authority. 
  • Kahnawake is an internationally accredited licensor. 
  • The procedure of obtaining a license is quite simple and rapid, and the price is not too high compared to other jurisdictions.
  • The tax rate in the jurisdiction is 0% and there is no additional gambling tax.

Types of Licenses

There are four types of licenses available in the Kahnawake Gaming Area, including:

  • Interactive Gaming License (IGC) — hosting registrations. 
  • Client Provider Authorization — provision of services in the gambling business, including online casino services.
  • Key Persons License — a key entity license. Granted to persons involved in the management functions of the operator-owner of the CPA license.
  • Inter-Jurisdictional Authorization — organization of digital gambling companies if licensed from other offshore zones.

The obtaining process

The process of obtaining a Kahnawake license cannot be called complicated, the jurisdiction asks for a standard set of documents that can be prepared in a short period of time. The list of required documents includes the following: 

  • License application
  • Documents for a legal entity
  • Documents of founders, shareholders, and senior managers with biographies and CVs
    • original certificate of absence of criminal record 
    • certified copy(s) of passport(s)
    • birth certificate(s)
    • original bank documents
    • individual financial reports 
    • original or certified copies of utility bills
  • Control System Submission
  • A letter from the holder of an active IGL license that states that he/she is informed about the addition of a potential licensee and gives his/her approval
  • If you are a public corporation, it is necessary to provide a financial report for the last 3 years
  • Detailed descriptions of the games and software

The process of obtaining a gaming license in Kahnawake, Canada can be a bit longer than in other jurisdictions. Pending an application for a license takes from 4 to 8 weeks, during which time the Kahnawake Gambling Commission checks your pack of documents. 

Operators are required to go through the CSS procedure, due diligence checks, and MIT notification. Then, if all is well,  there is a next step of the CSS procedure and the URL request. After the tracking process, a final CSS report must be submitted. The compliance officer creates a certificate and sends the HTML code to the operator. A second license is issued after the final verification. 

The cost of a gambling license in Kahnawake is low in comparison to other jurisdictions:

  • $35,000 is paid for the work of representatives of the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. Before a license is issued, an investigation is conducted into the firm’s principals, operations, and other aspects of the management staff
  • $20,000 is the license renewal fee 
  • $5,000 is the key person permit application fee (per person)
  • $2,500 is the key person permit renewal fee (per person)
  • $1,000 is the annual fee for a key person permit 

The total cost of the license is $61,000, not including the costs relating to the licensee verification process.

FAQ

How to get a gambling license in Canada? 

First of all, it is necessary to choose the region of operation and explore all the details of the process of obtaining a license. The process of getting a license is not always complicated, but as in other jurisdictions, the process of getting an online casino license in Canada is quite bureaucratic. Each step in licensing is extremely important, you have to fill out the application form correctly, collect documentation packages with no mistakes and submit the application to get the license. 

LicesingAid is an expert in the gambling industry with years of experience. We work to promote and support the legal gambling market worldwide, helping new businesses enter the world of licensed gaming. Contact our specialists to get a free consultation, our team of professionals will be happy to answer any questions about obtaining an online casino license in Canada.

Get your gambling business started
Fill in your contact details and one of our specialists will get in touch
Set up a consultation:
By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Your message has been successfully sent
By clicking on the Ok button, you accept our website's cookies policy. Find out more.