Factors that Determine if You’re Legally Gambling in Canada

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Gambling Legally. Image Credit: Shutterstock

The legality of gambling varies from country to country, and what might be seen as legal in one region could be viewed as unlawful in another. If you are a regular gambler who’s based in Canada, you should familiarise yourself with local and federal laws that govern wagering.

Gambling Through Regulated Providers

The easiest way to ensure that you keep to the letter of the law when gambling online in Canada is to use regulated online gambling providers. Regulated providers are either endorsed by local watchdogs, such as iGaming Ontario, or hold a licence from a reputable international gaming administrator, such as the Malta Gaming Authority.

Legal Gambling Age

Another critical factor to consider is the legal gambling age. A person must be 19 or older to gamble in Canada, except in Manitoba, Alberta, and Quebec, where the legal gambling age is set at 18. This age formula is also applied to all sports betting events. Similarly, the minimum legal age for taking part in Canadian lotteries is 18, although this limit is 19 in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Banned Betting Events

Be aware that sports betting on some spectator events is strictly forbidden and attending these could land you in hot water with the authorities. Betting on dog or cock fights is illegal since it promotes animal cruelty and almost always ends up in severe injury to an animal or even its death.

However, dog or horserace betting falls under a different category and is considered legal. Still, some countries might have different rules concerning these types of spectator sports.

Keep in mind that any game that you attend has the potential to turn into betting. Since the principle of chance is incorporated into a game’s outcome, you might have to first get a government authorisation should you wish to gamble legally.

Sports betting is prohibited in certain instances, such as college sports. This is because unscrupulous individuals often find it easier to coerce younger players into intentionally losing by paying them a certain sum of money so that one or more bettors can win a specific bet.

Gambling Across Different Jurisdictions

Players often unintentionally get involved with illegal gambling when they play games that are illegal in one jurisdiction but are permitted in another.  Some countries allow certain games of luck, and even though it’s unlawful to play these, you’d probably not get fined or arrested.

Ultimately, there are places globally where even a casual gambling game with friends is illegal.  So, if you plan to gamble but are unsure of its legality, veer clear of these games before you can verify the local laws.

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