International vs Local Online Casinos in Canada

Comparative study of online casinos Canada, detailing the most common differences between international and locally regulated internet gambling sites.


online casinos CanadaIf you live in Canada, and have a desire to gamble over the internet, you’re probably aware that there are two ways to go about it. You can sign up an account with a locally regulated iGaming website, or you can register with an offshore operator that’s governed by international authorities.

There are lots of questions circulating about these types of websites. Is one any better than the other? Which is safer? Who has the best game variety? Can I place all types of wagers, such as casino, poker, bingo and sports bets?

These are all valid questions, and the importance of each answer will determine which is best for individual players.

International vs Local Online Casinos Canada

Let’s start by looking at the mot significant difference between the two types, and that’s simply which government regulates them them. Within Canada, online casinos are locally run by three governments; British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Residents of Manitoba can access the BC version thanks to a provincial agreement.

Outside of Canada, there are thousands of online casinos governed by various regulatory authorities, such as Curacao, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Malta, and the UK.

I personally don’t trust Curacaoan websites, simply because the government does not enforce any explicit regulations to prevent them from going rogue. They might be good, or they might not. Avoid them and you won’t have to worry about it.

The other aforementioned authorities are top-notch, enforcing strict standards of operation and player protections (much like Canada’s operators).

Are They Legal?

The short answer is, ‘Yes’. It is perfectly legal to gamble online at an international gaming site. However, for the online casinos regulated in Canada, only players who are physically located in that province can participate (i.e. only Ontarians can play at OLG’s PlayNow website).

If you happen to live in any province or territory outside of BC, Manitoba, Ontario or Quebec, you will have no other option than to play at internationally regulated online casinos.

Safety & Security

All reputable online casinos in Canada and beyond use the strictest security measures to ensure the safety of all members’ personal and financial information. The only real difference here is that Canadian customers will have a local office to complain to if they take issue with a provincially-run operator. For international sites, they must complain to the appropriate, offshore regulatory body.

Game Variety

There’s not too much of a difference here, as far as available wagering verticals go. Canada’s online operations offer casino games, poker, bingo, lotteries and sports betting. You’ll find the same opportunities at offshore gaming sites.

International sites are able to offer a wider selection of games types, though. Where online casinos in Canada may have a hundred slot machines, offshore sites like Royal Vegas will offer 400+. Sports betting rules are very different, too. In Canada, only parlays are legally acceptable. Overseas sportsbooks offer better odds, with straight-up wagering on every sport imaginable.

Payment Methods

There’s a huge difference in the number of payment methods available at local and international gambling sites. In Canada, only a few methods are provided. Credit/Debit cards and Interac bank transfers are static. BC also offers online bill payment, while Quebec accepts Argent Web coupons.

Offshore gambling websites offer most of these options, as well as eWallets like Skrill, international bank transfers, eChecks, prepaid cards and more.

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