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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.

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 has since been tied up in a series of legal challenges. In August 2018, the Québec Superior Court ruled the legislation unconstitutional; the Québec government has since filed an appeal.

Canadian residents are able to bet on sports online, but single-game sports betting remained illegal.

On March 25, 2021, a Canadian Parliament committee unanimously passed an amended bill to legalize single-game sports betting. The amendment that was added to the bill allowed horse racing to continue offering parimutuel bets. Under the new proposed legislation, fixed odds wagering on horse racing would not be permitted. On 22 June 2021, the Senate of Canada passed Bill C-218 without any amendments, 57-20, with five abstentions. The new law will legalize single-event sports betting in Canada, potentially by the end of calendar year 2021.

Online Gaming Properties Operating in Canada

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