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Canadian Online Gaming

Online gaming falls into two main categories in Canada – provincial and First Nation. According to Canadian law, only provincial governments are authorized to offer online gaming to their citizens. But First Nation tribes like the Kahnawake have consistently maintained that they have the right to license and regulate online gaming sites, and that those sites should be available to the world wherever online gaming is legal. As a result, the Kahnawake Tribe independently licenses and hosts online gaming sites for a wide variety of online gaming operators. Other First Nation tribes are also exploring their options.

Several provinces offer online gaming to their citizens. British Columbia was the first to enter the online gaming market when it launched its online casino, PlayNow.com, in 2010.

Unlike the United States, Canada has adopted a relaxed stance toward offshore online casinos, and most provinces have chosen not to block them or try to prosecute them. Instead, they allow Canadians to bet with those sites, hoping the provincial offerings will be both competitive and safer.

Québec, however, announced plans in March 2015 to propose new legislation that would compel Internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to a list of unlicensed sites. The legislation passed in May 2016, but is expected to face numerous legal challenges.

Canadian residents are able to bet on sports online, but single-game sports betting is illegal. However, a bill approved by Canada's House of Commons in 2012 that would legalize single-game betting appeared back on the floor of the Senate in late 2015.
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