Jun 13

Ultimate new user guide to online casino gambling in Canada.

Canada Online Casino FAQs for New PlayersGambling is an extremely popular pastime in Canada. In 2000, right around the time internet casinos were starting to blossom, an international study revealed that 70% of Canadians participate in some form of gambling each year. With the rise of online and mobile gaming options, that number is sure to have increased.

Those of you seeking to venture into that realm surely have a lot of questions. Is it legal? Can I access offshore websites? Are there convenient banking methods, and are they secure? Today’s ultimate new user guide to Canada online casino gaming will answer these questions, and more.

Is Online Casino Gambling in Canada Legal?

Yes, it is. Gambling is legal in every province and territory of Canada. There are no specific laws that discriminate between land-based and online gambling. Therefore online casinos are perfectly legal, too.

There are two basic types of online casinos for Canadian players. There’s the provincially regulated variety, and the offshore variety. Only the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec host provincial casino sites (plus online lottery in the Atlantic regions), and you must live within the respective province to access them. Offshore casinos accept players from various countries, with Canada typically included.

Are Offshore Online Casinos Legal?

Yes, they are. Despite the efforts of provinces to change that fact, there is no law preventing Canadians from accessing internationally regulated gambling websites. It is equally legal for an international gaming operator to accept Canadians, so long as they follow one express rule.

The Criminal Code determines what types of gambling can be legal. The only way an online casino would be illegal is if it has a physical presence in Canada, but does not acquire a provincial licence. By remaining offshore, and opening no offices on Canadian soil, no laws are being broken.

How Do Deposits and Withdrawals Work?

Most online casinos offer a wide range of deposit methods. Credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, online payment processors (EcoPayz, Neteller, Skrill, etc.), bank transfers, instant eChecks—these are all common options. The key is to pick the one that best suits your needs.

They are incredibly secure, as well. So long as you choose reputable gaming websites, and keep your own computer or mobile device secure, you have nothing to worry about.

Are Online Casino Winnings Taxed?

Typically no, Canadians do not pay taxes on any gambling winnings. The Canada Revenue Agency states, “an individual may be subject to tax on income derived from gambling itself, if the gambling activities constitute carrying on the business of gambling”.

Therefore, the only players who pay taxes are those that gamble ‘professionally’. If you gamble regularly, and make consistent profits from it, then you may be subject to taxation. But as a casual player, no.

You can learn more about the minutiae of Canada gambling taxes here.

Can I Play in CA$?

Yes, usually. If you play provincially regulated Canada online casino games, all wagers are in Canadian Dollars. If you choose to play at internationally regulated websites, some of them do offer CA$ deposits and withdrawals. Be sure to skim over the banking options and payment details to see if it’s available.

The major benefit to online casino gambling in Canada’s own currency is the avoidance of foreign exchange rates. Although relatively inexpensive, currency exchange fees do add up over time, taking away from cash that should be part of your bankroll.

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Feb 23

Is the lack of online gambling promotions crippling Canada online casinos?

Online Gambling Promotions at Canada Online CasinosThere are only a few notable differences between Canada’s online casinos; the home-grown variety and the internationally regulated ones. The most significant of all – one that’s contributing to a hauntingly wide gap in revenue generation – may be the lack of online casino promotions on Canadian gaming sites.

Online Gambling Promotions Crippling Canada Online Casinos

According to the Criminal Code of Canada, gambling promotions are, for the most part, illegal. No gambling operator, online or on land, is permitted to entice a player to continue wagering beyond their means. They must also uphold strict responsibility guidelines, making it difficult to judge which promotional material is appropriate, and which is not.

Handing out free betting credits to entice new players to sign up at an online casino is a pretty clear violation of Canada’s gambling laws. Thus you won’t find any ‘welcome bonus packages‘ at sites like Playnow (BC , Manitoba), PlayOLG (Ontario) or EspaceJeux (Quebec).

However, you will find these in abundance at offshore online casinos. They are extremely prominent, often promoting $1,000 or more in bonuses to new players. The value of these bonuses continue to increase over time, due to the exponentially competitive nature of the internet gambling industry. But not here in Canada.

Canada Can’t Win Without Online Casino Promotions

Without any form of promotions, it’s extremely difficult for Canada online casinos to compete with their offshore rivals. It’s not just welcome bonuses that are grabbing the attention of players, but continual promo offers. Make another deposit, get another bonus. It’s your birthday? Here’s another bonus. Climbing the VIP ladder? Here’s an even bigger bonus!

The promotional offerings from internationally regulated casinos that accept Canadians are incredibly enticing. If provincial regulators aren’t allowed to do something similar – even on a much smaller scale – convincing players in BC, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec to choose them over offshore sites will only become more difficult.

Who’s Really Losing Out? Revenue vs. Responsibility

When it comes to responsibility, Canadian gambling laws do make sense. The nation is on a narrow track in its efforts to reduce at-risk and problem gambling. As journalist Russel Wangersky of The Telegram points out, promotions of this nature would be terrible for a recovering gambling addict.

“It would be the equivalent of the liquor store sending a recovering alcoholic a coupon for a free flask of vodka,” he says.

In Wangersky’s case, the issue arose when he received a free $20 voucher in the mail from Atlantic Lotto to place bets at ALC.com. His story went a bit deeper though.

Back in late 2014, in order to fulfill due diligence in an investigative report, he joined ALC.com and dropped $20 in his account. He then wagered his way through it, playing various online lotto games, and went about writing his article. With his account tapped out, he let it go dormant.

Then all of a sudden, just last week – more than 3 years later – he received a plain white envelope in the mail. No return address or other information was visible on the envelope. Inside was letter that began, “We miss you!”. It was from Atlantic Lotto, who missed him so much they sent him a free $20 betting coupon.

“I’m glad I’m not a recovering gambling addict,” says Wangersky, who went on to analogize the situation with a recovering alcoholic enticed by free liquor.

It brings into focus two questions. First and foremost, is the ALC in violation of Canada’s gambling laws with that kind of material? And second, would a potential spike in problem gambling be worth the vast increase in revenue that legalizing Canada online casino promotions could create?

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Dec 21

ALC can’t compete with offshore online gambling in Atlantic Canada.

Offshore Online Gambling in Atlantic CanadaFor years, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) has provided residence of its associative provinces with a limited variety of online gambling services. For most of those years, they’ve implored local governments to allow an expansion of those products. Yet for all those years, they’ve been denied.

Now, with new research emerging and legislative changes brewing to the south, the provinces of Atlantic Canada may be forced to listen, or suffer potentially disastrous consequences. If the latest research report – in particular the industry forecast – is to be believed, these provinces are losing a lot of money, and could lose a lot more in the coming years.

Offshore Online Gambling Offers Better Options

There are a lot of things you can do online in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island (collectively Atlantic Canada). Residence can purchase lottery draw tickets and instant win tickets online. They can play instant bingo games. They can even participate in Canada’s infamous Pro-Line sports betting.

However, there are many more things that residence aren’t permitted to do – at least, not on the ALC website. Online casino games like slot machines, table games and video poker are off the menu. Online poker is not an option either. It may be the online sports betting limitations that are having the most notable effect on potential players.

Atlantic Canadians Prefer Straight-Up Sports Betting Online

According to the latest review by H2 Gambling Capital, residents of Atlantic Canada spent a staggering $90 million wagering at offshore sportsbooks from January to November 2017. Offshore casinos raked in $28.9 million, and online poker $18.9 million.

That may not seem like much compared to the $60 billion US citizens spent betting online with offshore companies. But it’s still a much larger number than the $10 million Atlantic Canadians spent buying Pro-Lines at ALC.ca.

To make matters worse, H2 Gambling Capital doesn’t think it will get any better any time soon. The research firm predicted that figure – the $90 million spent on offshore sports betting – will increase by 80% by 2022.

US Legal Climate Could Bring Change to AC

The United States has done a much better job of regulating online gambling. In states where it’s authorized, offshore operators tend to keep their distance. With valid threats from the US Department of Justice looming, who can blame them? That’s certainly not the case in Canadian provinces, where offshore online gambling is considered a ‘gray market‘ that the federal government doesn’t have time for.

There’s a big issue brewing in the federal waters below the 49th parallel, though. The US is on the cusp of legalizing sports gambling. If that occurs, the odds are very high that more states will legalize online gambling to get in on that highly lucrative action.

Atlantic Canada is already having a terrible time competing with offshore companies. If our neighbors to the south manage to succeed in ousting international rivals, and delivering a product their ganlbing enthusiasts can appreciate, there’s every chance Canada will follow in step.

It could mean the Atlantic provinces will, 1) open the doors to online casino and poker gambling, and 2) push the federal government for a better, more competitive sports betting market.

Due to federal law, Canadian provinces may only offer Pro-Line sports betting, which means betting “parlay” style. For years, we were forced to select 3+ contests. That number recently recently dropped to 2+. But every pick has to win to collect a prize, resulting in terrible odds.

Offshore online gambling sites, on the other hand, offer much better odds on single-event bets. If Canada doesn’t do something soon, the amount of revenue flowing out to offshore online gambling from Atlantic Canada is only going to grow.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Nov 01

Canada Casinos Online and On LandGambling is nothing new to mankind. We’ve been doing it ever since our cavemen ancestors learned to throw rocks. In Canada, casinos – online and on land – have a rich history, and no doubt a bright future ahead.

Origins of Gambling in Canada

While it’s impossible to say just how long Canadians have been gambling, the earliest records point all the way back to 1485, when King Richard III outlawed dice games for fear his archers had become overly distracted from their duties, putting the safety of the country in jeopardy. That ban wasn’t lifted until March 15, 1999 by the government of Ottawa; 611 years later.

In 1497, John Cabot discovered Natives playing games of chance. He noted that these games weren’t just random gambling amusements, but had a deeper meaning for the tribes, encouraging physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth.

78 Years of Prohibition

The first form of relative legislation came about centuries later, when a blanket ban on gambling was scripted into the Criminal Code of Canada in 1892. All gambling, in all forms and manners, was outlawed.

It wasn’t until 1970 that the legal landscape finally began to change. The country gave individual provinces the right to authorise and regulate certain forms of gambling, and it didn’t take long for them to build the first casinos in Canada.

New Era: Canada Casinos Online and On Land

In 1971, Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall officially opened as the country’s first casino (of legal standing, that is) in Dawson City, Yukon. Other provinces were slower to react, with Calgary, Alberta’s Cash Casino opening next in 1980.

From there, it was a virtual onslaught of Canadian casinos as more than 100 gambling facilities of all sizes and orientations were established. From British Columbia to Quebec, the last four decades have seen provincial lotteries, racetracks, casinos and sportsbooks launch across the nation, mostly as charitable entities that benefit government programs and local communities.

In the late 1990’s, we began to see online casinos in Canada. The digital gambling industry evolved quickly, and grew at a rapid pace in the True North, but mostly from international sources.

In 1999, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, based in Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake, became the first to regulate Canada casinos online from within the country, but did so on sovereign land, and therefore under sovereign law.

The first provincially run sites were launched and regulated by the Atlantic Lottery Corp (ALC) and British Columbia Lottery Corp (BCLC). Both were established in 2004, but choose to restrict the games to online lotto only.

Then in 2010, the BCLC expanded its services on PlayNow to present the first true, Canadian-licenced, real money online casino. In the beginning, it offered games like blackjack, roulette and slot machines, expanding over the coming years to include poker, bingo, keno and sports betting.

Loto-Quebec launched EspaceJeux in December of that same year, followed by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG) launching PlayOLG in January, 2015.

Future of Live and Online Casinos in Canada

For now, provinces provide the only locally regulated Canada casinos online, and despite the claims of some, it is perfectly legal for residents to deposit and play at offshore, internationally licensed operations. That could change if provinces manage to pass some type of ring-fencing legislation, but Canadian law has consistently prevented them from doing so.

It’s also possible that provincial governments could seek to ally with offshore operators, generating revenue by providing licences to international sites and collecting applicable taxes. But that’s not likely to happen so long as governments continue to focus on ways to shore up their monopoly, rather than sharing in the wealth of a steadily growing global industry.

As for land-based casinos in Canada, revenue has been on the decline in most regions. Some blame the digital age and efficacy of mobile gaming. Others point to a flagging economy, reduced interest from millennials, or increased competition across the US border. These are certainly all contributing factors, but with a population of fun-loving, entertainment seeking Canucks, the brick-and-mortar gambling industry won’t be fading away anytime soon.

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Oct 24

Atlantic Lottery wants to host Online Casino for Real Money

Blog, Canada, Casino Games, Safe Casinos Comments Off on Atlantic Lottery wants to host Online Casino for Real Money

ALC pushes for Real Money Online CasinoIn the last few years, three Canadian provinces have moved to launch their own, provincially regulated real money online casinos. These include British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, but none have elected to share liquidity across borders. Now, the Atlantic Lottery Corp (ALC) wants to host an online casino for real money that integrates players from Atlantic provinces.

The story was leaked by CBC News early this morning, following a probe by CBC Investigates that uncovered a series of documents through Access to Information. As it turns out, this scheme has been in the works for quite some time, with CBC reporting Newfoundland and Labrador (N.L.) and the ALC have spoken at length on the topic dating back to January of this year.

NL, ALC Talk Real Money Online Casino

NL Finance Minister Cathy BennettThe report relates to meetings between N.L. Finance Minister Cathy Bennett and ALC President and CEO Brent Scrimshaw. Mr. Scrimshaw had been given documents, prior to the meetings, outlining some of the concerns ALC was faced with. Among them were “lightning-speed developments” taking place within the online and mobile sector of the gaming industry.

Within those notes, the ALC pinpointed “the proliferation of e-gaming and its undeniable trend as the future of lottery.” The gaming company’s primary focus was to “move aggressively to ensure that it has the right games delivered through the right channels.”

Clearly, the ALC is hoping to expand its existing website, which only provides internet lottery sales at the moment, branching out with a real money online casino. However, when CBC attempted to gather more information from Finance Minister Bennett, she curtly downplayed the importance of hosting an online casino for real money.

“The provincial government has indicated to ALC that iCasino is not a priority at this time,” read a concise response from Ms. Bennett.

A statement from the ALC neither confirmed or denied their stance, stating only basic facts. “While Atlantic Lottery currently offers games online at ALC.ca, there has been no decision reached regarding casino-style games.”

The company went on to clarify that they have no official say in what does or does not happen regarding the gaming industry among Canada’s Atlantic provinces. Those policies and regulations are left in the hands of the respective provincial governments.

The ‘iCasino’ Plan, In A Nutshell

Atlantic Lottery Corp wants to host Online Casino for Real MoneyThe initial campaign to get the ball rolling on a provincial “iCasino”, or internet casino, was a request to spearhead “approvals, procurement and software developed through 2016, with a launch in early 2017”, reported the CBC.

The purpose was to bring about lawful conduction of real money online casino games, including common gambling amusements like slot machines, blackjack, roulette and other table games. According to the ALC, they are fully prepared to initiate such a platform, already having the required player account management system and website in place.

The documents claimed that hosting a provincially-run online casino for real money would not be promoting a new avenue of gaming to residents, but rather supplying a safer, more cohesive environment for players who are already accessing these types of websites via unregulated, overseas operators.

“This is about player safety in an offshore online gambling world that is already the gambling destination of thousands of Atlantic Canadians, and tens of millions of Atlantic Canadian dollars,” read the documents obtained by CBC Investigates.

Shared Liquidity Preferred, But Not Required

The ALC would prefer to host a real money online casino that incorporates players from all four Atlantic provinces, but clarified that it would be able to proceed with less participation, due to the profitability of the interactive market.

“Only P.E.I. Is too small to proceed alone to realize profit. Ideal profitability is most likely to be achieved should all provinces participate to share the costs,” said the ALC.

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