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Learn everything about Canadian online casinos

Now is probably one of the best times to try out Canadian online casinos. Major steps forward in regulation have drawn a huge wave of online casino brands both big and small to cater to Canadian players. And although their core services have remained the same, new innovations and fresh ideas coming to casino sites constantly make sure there is something new to see and experience.



Why are we the experts on online casinos?

Every casino player wants to get the most out of their online casino sessions. While one can get most of this at any of the larger brands, we at InsideCasino know that there are better options if one knows where to look. To do this, our expert reviewers test each casino first-hand with our own money so we can get an accurate impression of how the casino treats its players.

What is an online casino?

For the most part, an online casino really is as its name suggests: it is a casino that is online. Players log on and wager with real money on the games that the casino hosts.

Generally, online casinos can either be played directly on your web browser or have a dedicated game app that you will need to download. Thanks to major strides in website design over the years, download-based online casinos are very rare nowadays, with the vast majority of online casinos in Canada all being web-based.

How do online casinos work?

At its core, an online casino is a website that hosts online casino games that people can log on to and play for real money. From the biggest brands to the freshly-launched startups, all online casinos in Canada work more or less in the same way. As with any service, though, the systems that keep online casinos running get vastly more complex when you look under the surface.

Our online casino diagram shows a pretty good summary of the interconnected systems that come together to give you the online gambling experience you have come to expect. As illustrated, there are five key components to every online casino: the game developer, the payment processor, the customer service provider, the casino software provider and the casino operator. In the following sections, we will try to break down each of their functions and how they contribute to your online casino experience.

A diagram of how online casinos work
Customer service provider

The customer service provider is one of the forward-facing parts of an online casino website and serves as the primary support network for players to get info and resolution for their concerns and complaints. Data and insights from player feedback is also sent to the casino operator to help improve their services.

Payment processor

Whether you’re paying by bank transfer, credit card, an e-wallet or a prepaid card, the payment processor is the actual provider that handles the flow of money between you and Canadian online casino. Through their proprietary systems, these payment processors transfer player deposits and withdrawals to and from the casino’s accounts. Naturally, they come in a variety of different forms such as casinos with Gigadat that are popular among Canadian players.

Game developer

Although players see and interact with casino games on a casino site, they are not actually hosted on the site at all. Instead, online casinos have to licence them from the game developers that make them. These game developers, examples of which include Microgaming, NetEnt and Pragmatic Play, distribute their games to casino software providers and online casino sites through a CDN, or Content Delivery Network.

Casino software provider

For a large chunk of the online gambling industry in Canada, casino software providers serve as the core of many online casino sites. Firms like Softgamings, SoftSwiss and White Hat Gaming provide casino software platforms that have just about everything one needs to start a casino on the internet. These platforms are often referred to as “turnkey solutions,” and casino operators pay for their services on a percentage of net revenue.

Casino operator

At the centre of the online casino business, of course, is the casino operator. They serve as the actual business that owns, manages, and runs the operations of online casino sites. Examples like Dama N.V. and 888 Holdings create the site design, art direction, and management policies for their casino sites. But in many cases, their sites are actually built by the casino software providers, which already handle most of the features required.

Get started at an online casino

An online casino for Canadian players will have its own approach to various things like claiming bonuses and finding casino games, but their basic functions generally have the same processes. We've made a few step-by-step instructions on how to complete the most common aspects of playing on a casino site.

How to register at an online casino?

How to deposit at an online casino?

How to withdraw winnings?

How to complete the KYC check?

What Makes a Top Canadian Online Casino?

A top online casino in Canada will excel at the main processes we mentioned above. When you go to our list of top online casinos, all of the sites there have performed well and passed the tests set by our reviewers. Areas that we test include:

  1. Casino Games

    A casino games portfolio should provide an online casino player what they like. Many Canadians prefer to play online casino games, although popularity of live dealer games, slots and sports betting is also on the rise. We hold some game portfolios in high regard, which we explain in our reviews.

  2. Mobile Platform Support

    As playing on the go is the norm now, having great mobile platform support is vital. A quality casino will make it easy to play casino on your mobile as well. This is often done via their parallel mobile casino site. Alternatively, some operations also have their own downloadable app, although this is often restricted depending on your country of residence.

  3. Casino Bonuses

    Casino bonuses used to be just that – extras that were nice to have but were ultimately unnecessary. Nowadays, Canadian casino players look for best online casino bonuses available. Competition in this area is fierce, with casinos trying their hardest to attract new players. of course, there can be hidden caveats attached to a casino bonus. Our reviewers, know all the tricks and this allows us to separate the good bonuses from the bad and our reviews explain this in detail.

  4. Payment Processing

    Casino payment processing can be crucial among Canadian players. Firstly, it is important that casino payment methods are available, that the player is comfortable with and is happy using. Secondly, the speed of the transactions needs to be swift and hassle-free. When you play online casino, great payment processing should be a given, which is why we test this area fully.

  5. Customer Support

    Good customer support is crucial for all casino players, regardless of how experienced they are. A top online casino must have a customer support team that’s easy to reach and will quickly respond to issues and inquiries. Most offer email support and live chat, while the top casino sites are also available by phone 24/7. We also look into the which languages are supported.

  6. Security

    Fully security audited casinos are important for us here at InsideCasino. We look for and verify that a casino site has valid certifications before we consider them for recommendation. While they aren’t required for legal compliance, their stricter testing standards does more to prove a casino site’s security and fairness when it comes to its games and its systems.

  7. Regulation and Licensing

    Canadian online casinos are regulated and licensed, but to what extent? Casino licensing varies, with some licenses holding a higher credential than others. We review Kahnawake casino sites through to sites that are licensed overseas. Recent developments within Canada has meant that some Canadian online casinos are also becoming regulated and licensed to operate locally within provinces. We understand regulation and licensing is not as interesting as other areas, but it is still important for player safety nonetheless, which is why we examine it thoroughly.

Online Casino Sites

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Are online casinos legit?

Legit online casinos in Canada are not hard to find. Just one look at our online casino list will show you that basically all of the popular sites being played today are also some of the safest online casino sites in Canada.

But while this sentiment may apply to most popular casino sites, they do not apply to all of them. Bad actors that skirt the edges of the law do still exist today. And even the casino websites that pass all of the legal requirements can still treat players unfairly through their policies.

Thankfully, the online casino industry has developed and taken measures to help both casino players and operators stay within the bounds of the law. The efforts of trusted casino certification bodies like eCOGRA and iTech Labs have been very effective in weeding out malicious sites and creating more legitimate casinos in Canada and around the world. If you want to learn more about how they work, you can check out our guide on casino certification which goes into more detail about what it takes to be certified as a safe casino website .

Playing at Canadian online casinos

Despite some of the extra nuance and complexity around Canadian gambling laws, one of the nicest things about playing trusted casinos online in Canada is that it really isn’t that different from the experience from anywhere else in the world. As long as you stick to safe casinos, you can be assured of a fun and straightforward gaming experience.

That said, casino sites are not without their nuances, and there are a few in particular that you should be aware of, which our team at InsideCasino explains.

Online Gambling in Canada by Province

Each of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada has two sets of rules and regulations on online gambling: one that applies across Canada and another on the provincial level. Because of Section 207 of the Canadian Criminal Code, these provinces have the authority to create and enforce their own rules on top of federal laws. This means that different provinces will have slightly different rules, which we've summed up for you in the list below.

Alberta

All online casinos in Alberta are under the jurisdiction of the AGLC, short for Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis. The AGLC does not allow hosting for-profit casinos, online or otherwise, although they do allow gamblers to play on offshore sites once they reach or exceed the age of 18.

British Columbia

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation regulates all gambling operators in BC. This includes land-based casinos and sports betting, as well as online casino games through the PlayNow.com website, which was the first legal online gaming site in the country. The legal gambling age in British Columbia is 19.

Manitoba

The Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba and the Manitoba Lotteries Corporation oversee all of the gaming and lottery businesses in the province. Residents 18 or older can play online casinos in Manitoba through PlayNow.com as well as offshore gambling sites without any restrictions.

Canada provinces

New Brunswick

Both land-based and online casinos operate under the jurisdiction of the New Brunswick Lotteries and Gaming Corporation. Currently, NB only has two land-based venues and no online casinos based in the province; thankfully, players can access online casinos in New Brunswick by visiting offshore sites, without any restrictions.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador explicitly ban opening casinos in the province. However, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation does allow a very limited range of betting and gambling activities (mostly sports and event betting) within its boundaries. Of course, players can still gamble online if they want with no worries.

Northwest Territories

Although online casinos are not prohibited in the Northwest Territories, there are no casinos operating in the area. Sports betting is popular among residents, and the sole legal service available is provided by Sport Select. However, many people prefer to place their bets through offshore online casinos instead.

Nova Scotia

Gambling in Nova Scotia is overseen by the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, which involves such activities as lotteries, sports betting, and casinos. Players need to be at least 19 years old to be able to play at any gambling operation in the province, and while there are no online casinos based in the area, casino players in Nova Scotia are permitted to play on offshore casino sites.

Ontario

Since the opening of iGaming Ontario in April 2022, Ontario has become the first (and so far only) province in Canada with a fully regulated online gambling market. Residents 18 years or older can now play Ontario casinos online, as long as they are being hosted by licensed operators and software suppliers.

Prince Edward Island

The betting options on Prince Edward Island are pretty limited, pushing players to play online instead. Bettors in the region must be 19 years or older, and all sports games are governed by the Prince Edward Island Lottery Commission as well as the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC).

Quebec

While offshore gambling is a grey market here, Quebec has a quite diverse gambling market overseen by Loto-Quebec and the Alcohol, Racing and Gaming Commission. Players need to be at least 18 years old to play Quebec casinos online, which includes offshore sites and the few locally based sites including the provincially-operated Espacejeux.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan does not have any official online gambling options, which is why most players in the province prefer to play on offshore sites instead. The minimum legal betting age in the region is 19 years old, and all gambling activity is governed by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority and the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority.

Yukon

This territory is most notable as permanent casino establishments are banned from opening in the area, but temporary licences for events are allowed for up to 3 days. Although there are no online casinos operating in the territory at this time, players can play on offshore sites without restrictions.

Online Casino Licences

Licensing is one of the key components of safe online casinos in Canada. The reason for this can be boiled down to two aspects: compliance and credibility.

Having a valid casino licence is basic compliance for any legal casino site that wants to open its services to Canadian players. This is especially true for casinos opening in Ontario, which need to acquire a licence specifically from the provincial regulator, iGaming Ontario.

Those serving the gambling market in the rest of the country, meanwhile, have a slightly different incentive. While the licence isn't technically required, the optics of having one is valuable enough that most operators will apply for a licence anyway. Having that badge of honour that verifies that they have safe online casinos pays dividends in terms of gaining player trust.

Casino operators entering the market have several options for safe regulation and licenses. We've listed a few of the most noteworthy licenses, that permit legal casino sites to offer their services to players in various countries across the globe, including Canada:

Online casino licenses in canada

Top 10 Online Casinos: Our Picks

At this point, we’ve covered enough info about what makes a top casino in Canada; now, some examples are in order. Below is our list of the top 10 online casinos in Canada, which we have hand-picked for their features and service that goes above and beyond the typical casino site choices.

Arcanebet is an online casino that prides itself on taking players directly to the games they want to play with its simple presentation, intuitive design, and great game sorting features.

Jackpot City is one of our top casino picks for its strong customer support system, great game catalogue, and smooth site performance on both desktop and mobile devices.

The minimal look of Katsubet lends itself to being a very accessible online casino site, allowing even first-time gamblers to find their way around their 2000+ game catalogue with little assistance.

Canadian players will be treated to a gambling experience fit for a king with King Billy Casino’s great game library, big bonuses and long-term rewards for the most loyal—provided, of course, that you pony up the money for it.

The neon blue and pink hues on the Miami Dice website welcomes players to a casino experience with fun games and a special VIP club for the site’s biggest bettors.

The bright and whimsical graphics of Nomini Casino does little to hide its over 4000 online slots, live casino, and table games that all work great on mobile devices.

Despite its roots in online poker, Pokerstars’ online casino section is quite competitive with some of the bigger brands in the business thanks to a large game library and excellent site performance.

Red Spins’ generous casino bonuses and loyalty program rewards Canadian players who look to stay and play at the casino for a long time.

A smooth site experience and an excellent mobile version lands SpinAway a spot on our picks for top online casinos in Canada.

The vibrant presentation of this Canadian online casino keeps the gaming experience exciting for players of all budgets, with well-sorted games and lots of events with fun prizes up for grabs.

Online Casino Pros and Cons

Online casinos feel like a no-brainer option for the modern-day gambler. But ignoring some of the more fundamental arguments about gambling in general, playing casinos online does have its own set of pros and cons you will need to consider before you jump in:

Pros
  1. ✔️Play Anytime & Anywhere:

    The convenience of online casinos is currently unmatched by any other option you can find in Canada. If you are the type who wants to gamble when they feel like it, Canadian casinos online are arguably the only good way to do it.

     

  2. ✔️Play at Any Budget:

    Where heading down to a land-based casino typically involves setting aside a sizable amount of money to make your trip worthwhile, online casinos in Canada let you start gambling for as low as a dollar at some low deposit online casinos.

Cons
  1. 🚩Too Much Convenience:

    Being able to gamble for real money whenever you want might be really convenient, but this inherent quality of online casinos can be a bit too convenient for players who might have trouble curbing their gambling impulses. This, when paired with near-instant deposits, can be dangerous if left unchecked.

  2. 🚩Internet Risk:

    Even with all of the regulation and third-party certification surrounding online casinos in Canada, any online casino player still runs the risk of security breaches, phishing, and other malicious acts just by being on the Internet. No matter how safe your online casino is, it’s important to take safety precautions as you play.

Our Thoughts on Online Casinos

Online casinos are one of the best options you have for playing in Canada. While the country has no shortage of land-based gambling options, the convenience of playing anytime and anywhere online, is unmatched in terms of convenience.

If you were still on the fence about online gambling in Canada, you can dive a little deeper by reading some of our casino reviews, which you will find in our list of the best online casinos. You can also check out some of our more detailed guides on specific casino games or bonuses for more useful information.

Online Casinos FAQs

Is it safe to play at online casinos?

It is generally safe to play in online casinos in Canada, mostly thanks to stringent rules that make sure responsible gambling is practised both by the casinos and the players.

Are online casinos rigged?

Although all gambling games are designed to favour the house, the good online casinos are not rigged because they are strictly required to be as fair to their players as they declare themselves to be.

Are online casinos legal in Canada?

Yes, online casinos are legal in Canada, but with slightly different rules depending on where you live. Online casinos sit in a grey market in most provinces in Canada, but Ontario casino sites fall under a regulated market that requires a separate licence.

Can I play online casino games for free?

Yes, you can play online casino games for free. A lot of casino sites in Canada let you play demo versions of their games that have all of the mechanics of the real deal but with no real money risk.

What games can I play at an online casino?

Video gambling games like online slots, video poker and other table games are the staple games you can play at an online casino. Several sites go above and beyond this, though, offering gambling options like online bingo, live casinos, sports betting, and lotteries.

What is the best online casino?

We at InsideCasino consider Jackpot City Casino to be the best online casino for Canadian players because of their solid selection of games, bonuses, and features that you can experience on both PC and mobile devices.

How do you play at an online casino?

To play at an online casino, simply find a site you like, sign up for an account, add money into that account, then start playing!

How do you start an online casino?

Starting an online casino is a fairly involved process that requires many different components coming together: a strong casino website, a range of payment processors, licensing from casino game developers, and backend software to put it all together. In most cases nowadays, all of this is handled by casino software suppliers like White Hat Gaming and SoftSwiss, which give casino operators everything they need to get started.

How do online casinos make money?

Most of the money that online casinos make comes from the “house edge” of all of the games offered by the online casinos. The house edge is a percentage that represents how much of all possible bets on a given gambling game are lost to the casino, or “house”.

Are casino winnings taxable in Canada?

No, any winnings you get from gambling—be it from an online casino, sportsbook, or otherwise—is not taxable. Assuming one is playing at a safe and legit online casino in Canada, you can expect to claim the full amount of your jackpot.

Are there famous casino scams?

There have been many famous casino scams that have been documented over the years, often involving players using complicated techniques or devices to gain an edge over the house. But with how secure modern gambling tech has become, you will have even less luck gaming the system today than you would actually winning the jackpot fair and square.

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