Legal Status of Online Gambling
In this article, we try to shed some light on the ambiguity, based on public information available online.
The Canadian Federal Law authorizes the governments of the provinces to operate gambling which is performed via computers. Following this authorization, several provinces have launched online gambling websites offering online casino and poker gambling.
More on Gambling in Canada
But the status of online gambling in Canada does not end here. One of the most thriving worldwide online gambling licensing regimes is in Canada! The Kahnawake Gaming Commission in from the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake in Quebec is responsible for the licensing of a substantial portion of the online gambling operators and websites in the world. The Federal and provincial authorities have not taken any enforcement action against this Commission in connection with its online gambling licensing activities.
The existence of a regulator of gambling activities is crucial as it serves the purpose of ensuring that all gambling operators operate fairly. This regulating body acts like a governor of the site, and is equipped to deal with any issues. If a site breaks the rules as set by this regulator, they may then lose their license as a consequence, which means that they would cease to have the right to offer their services.
Essentially, the sites can be shut down for non-compliance. Should a site break one of the rules set by the regulator, its license can be pulled and it would no longer be able to offer any of the games you might like to play.
Kahnawake was actually one of the first jurisdictions worldwide to see the potential of this industry. It’s continued on its mission to regulate interactive sites. Back in July 1999, the Commission put regulations in place concerning interactive gaming. This means it’s the longest-serving regulator of its kind.
Their primary job is to provide protection to players, not to police them. Any sites used by players have to be permit holders, a privilege granted to them by the Commission itself. The Commission then regulates such websites in a variety of ways. Everything is done to keep games fair and honest. Players have rights, and their key right is to be treated fairly. All of these rules are good news for you – you are to be paid promptly, and your information has to be held in confidence.
The Commission is also the body concerned with regulating underage players; those under 18 years of age must not play (or be encouraged to play) at any time. Vulnerable people should also not be targeted by websites, as they may not understand the risks that are involved.
As such, the Commission ensures that each website must have a mechanism to give the player back control of his or her gaming. They must be allowed to limit their playing, even if that means setting their limit to zero. Concerned family members are also allowed to apply directly to the Commission, who can help ensure that their family member prohibits the person at risk from able to place bets or wagers at that site anymore.
Everything has to be reasonable and open, with the Commission seeing that contracts are properly adhered to, with their initial terms being acceptable, fair and not out of the ordinary. This means they have to be easy-to-read, and provided in English (or any other such languages as are deemed appropriate).
Finally, the Commission also ensures that there are places for players to turn if they have any problems. Exploitation is absolutely unacceptable, and you have the right to dispute your treatment by any gambling sites. They have plenty of dispute resolution mechanisms at their disposal to address player complaints, up to and including the possibility of third party arbitration. They pride themselves on staffing a full-time Dispute Resolution Officer to promote the efficient and just treatment of any player who should find themselves with a complaint.
It’s important to note that online gaming operators that are licensed by the Commission have to conduct their business by hosting at Mohawk Internet Technologies, which is their data center located within that territory. It’s managed by Continent 8 Technologies. However, it’s not just restricted to sites here – it is also one of the most-used regulators for sites all around the world.
Can I Get In Trouble for Playing Online? What makes a casino legal remains unclear until concise laws are written and passed. While this may be a while away, many people still play at casinos online every day.
Sports Betting: Betting on sporting events is illegal under U.S. law, but not under Canadian law, whose Criminal Code allows parlay bets of three or more matches (as opposed to single matches). An effort is being made to remove that restriction from the Criminal Code, permitting wagering on single sporting events. Check out our sports betting page to learn more or try for yourself.
no*Disclaimer – This article should not be considered legal advice but rather a general overview which is based on publicly available information. Local legislation, restrictions and enforcement are subject to change. Internet gambling may not be legal in some jurisdictions and we are unable to provide you with any legal advice or assurances in respect of your use of any site in your jurisdiction. Please verify the relevant laws in your jurisdiction before playing. In addition, we have no responsibility to update this page for events or circumstances occurring after the date of its initial publication.