Any online casinos in Canada has some social responsibilities towards their employees and players. These responsibilities are stipulated in the acts and policies of provincial bodies. Some of such responsibilities include periodic training of all employees, advising players on what product to go for, and providing adequate information about the aggregate limit, betting limits, aggregate winnings, etc. Players should be informed about responsible gaming and betting. Most provincial regulatory bodies have representatives in major private establishments. This is to ensure that these establishments follow the regulations to the fullest.
Online and Digital Forms of Speculations
There is no complete definition of what constitutes online gambling in Canada. For reference, online betting will be classified as all forms that are not offered in land-based facilities. They are offered through the internet, electronic and digital means. For such gaming media, all provinces are allowed to organise events either alone or as a group. These events must, however, not go against any of the population of the Federal Criminal Code. The Canadian law stipulates that companies running online betting schemes in Canada without registering with the Canadian government are illegal and should be closed down. This is because they do not pay taxes to the government or follow the stipulations of betting regulatory bodies.
Both Federal and Provincial governments have, however, not taken any steps to limit people’s access to offshore gaming sites. Players can easily access any of such services anywhere in Canada. Quebec tried to do that in 2016 by passing legislation to limit access to online gaming sites not being operated from Canada. The Quebec Supreme Court nullified the law in 2018. The case is still being appealed. If later upheld, Quebec will be able to limit players’ access to these sites.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoins are currently not recognised as legal tenders by any government in Canada. However, the use of digital currencies is allowed and regulated. Private gambling houses using digital currencies are mandated to follow the stipulations of the Canadian Anti-money laundering laws. Recently, the Canadian Securities Administration has given a document stipulating how Canadian laws regulate the use of digital currencies. The document renders advice on the use of digital currencies in different industries, including the gaming corporation.
Available Forms of Betting in Provinces and Territories
Yukon, Nunavut, and Northwest Territories are territories, not provinces.
- Slot machines are available in casinos and horse racing tracks in the provinces.
- In Yukon, there are no permanent land-based casinos. The law requires that a casino be set up for three days at a time. Such casinos must be recognized by law. They are usually set up for charity. Three days casinos are set up to raise funds for charitable events. More often than not, they are set up by Non-Profit Organizations and churches.
- Sports betting is regulated by the Criminal code. Individuals are not allowed to bet at single events. Sports betting is only legal in Canada when it is done in multi-events. This is likely to change soon.
- Charitable gambling can be conducted by a registered organization or religious institution. Gambling is considered as being for charitable purposes if it’s meant to alleviate poverty, benefits education, and religion or help the community in one way or the other.
Gambling Crimes in Canadian Provinces
Unregistered gambling houses are considered as being illegal. Individuals found in such establishments can be found guilty and sentenced to a maximum of two years and a minimum of fourteen days according to the provisions of the Federal Criminal Code. Judges, however, have been very lax in cases such as this. Most individuals caught in common game houses have been able to get away with it by just paying fines. Registered game houses that do not follow provincial governments’ stipulations can be found guilty and closed. In such cases, the organisers or directors of such businesses will be found guilty. Players mostly get off easily, while corporations and other service providers that breach the law face the wrath of the law.
In a situation where an individual has incurred a gambling debt, there are two rulings. If the debt was incurred in a registered corporation, then the law can be used to make the defaulter pay. Gambling debts that are incurred in unregistered or illegal corporations have no standing before the law. Such debts are not binding. It cannot be taken to a court of law, nor can the gaming debt be retrieved by the court of law. This is stipulated in the Criminal Code as well as in the acts and statutes of each province.
Prosecution for gambling crimes is very uncommon. That is because most game houses are owned by the government or registered. Most prosecutions involving gambling crimes are crimes related to money laundering. Individuals and corporations that are confirmed to be fronts for money laundering will be punished as stipulated by the law. Individuals can also be prosecuted when it is confirmed that they are gaming with the intent to defraud other people.
Expected Future Changes to Gaming Laws in Canada
One law that limits sports betting in Canada is multi-event sports betting. The bill has been presented and nullified twice in the past. In 2019, the Ontario Finance Minister, in conjunction with the Canadian Gaming Association, has introduced the case of the Federal Finance Minister. The legalisation of single sports betting is still being considered. Many people are hopeful that it will be legalised. This will reform sports betting and wagers all over Canada.
The Quebec appeal for ISP blocking is still being considered too, but not many people are positive that the ruling against it will be changed. If allowed, then online sites will have to register with the appropriate authorities to operate in Canada.
These laws guide betting, wagers and gambling in all Canadian Provinces and Territories. It is essential to have complete knowledge to avoid contravening any of the situations of the law.