Canada eCheck Laws

This document is intended to be a conclusive explanation and reference to all current gaming and echeck laws related to online gambling within the nation of Canada, updated as of January 2017.

Canada has come a long way in terms of legalizing online gambling, at least when compared to US laws. In relation to the United Kingdom, Canada still has a long road ahead of them. At present, there are several provinces in Canada where online gambling is legal. These include British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario.

According to the Criminal Code of Canada, Part VII, Section 207 [1], it is lawful “for the government of a province, either alone or in conjunction with the government of another province, to conduct and manage a lottery scheme in that province, or in that and the other province, in accordance with any law enacted by the legislature of that province.”

Extracting the legal mumbo-jumbo from that passage, it means that only the government of a province can organize, run and regulate any online gambling activities. They are not permitted to license other companies to operate online gambling establishments (i.e. PokerStars cannot operate in Canada). In addition, online gambling must be conducted on an ‘intrastate’ level. The term intrastate simply defines that only residents within that province can participate in the online gambling activities provided.

An exception in the Criminal Code also allows for two or more provinces to work together to present their residents with shared online gambling facilities if they wish. In such cases, residents of both provinces would be able to participate in the online gambling activities provided by both provinces. At present, British Columbia and Quebec are the only two provinces to share player bases, and only in regards to online poker.

There are two exemptions to the general rules of gambling, provided in the Criminal Code [1] that allow for “charitable” and “religious” organizations, as well as “fair or exhibition” organizers to conduct a lottery scheme, provided they are licensed by the province to do so.

At present, the following provincial governments have elected to legalize and regulate some form of online gambling; British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario. Please continue reading to learn more about Canadian online gambling laws by province. These laws also impact echeck and iDebit echeck deposits. Visit instadebit.echeckcasinos.ca for more information on making legal echeck deposits.

Online Gambling in British Columbia

British Columbia was the first Canadian Province to legalize online gambling. In British Columbia, online gambling is coordinated by the BCLC (British Columbia Lottery Corporation), which has been directing all lottery and casino gambling activities within the province for more than 25 years. The BCLC operates under the legislation and policies of BC’s Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch [2], which regulates all relative industry related legislature, investigates claims and enforces respective laws.

The BCLC operates the lottery system for the province, as well as a number of land-based casino operations and its own online gambling venue, PlayNow.com, accessible to residents of British Columbia who are of legal age to gamble, 19 and above [3]. PlayNow presents an all-encompassing online casino, complete with slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, arcades, video poker and everything else you would expect to find in a large-scale land-based casino. PlayNow also supports an expansive online poker room, sportsbook, bingo and lottery gaming divisions.

Online Gambling in Quebec

Online gaming was legalized in the Canadian Province of Quebec [4] in January of 2010, allowing Loto-Quebec to present online gaming opportunities. Loto-Quebec is in charge of mandating all gambling activities within the province, both land-based and online. The Province of Quebec sets its legal gambling age at 18+, unlike British Columbia and Ontario where adults must be at least 19 years of age.

As projected, it’s very own online gambling website, EspaceJeux, was launched in the fall of 2010. Most forms of online gambling have been legalized, including casino slots, table games, blackjack, roulette, poker, sports betting and, of course, lotteries. In 2011, the governments of Quebec and British Columbia agreed to share online poker player bases [5], permitting their residents to compete against one another. All other forms of online gambling in Quebec are restricted to citizens within the Canadian Province.

Online Gambling in Ontario

In 2011, Ontario became the third Canadian Province to legalize some form of gambling via a gaming website [6]. All gaming operations are controlled by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). The OLG website provides all legalized forms of online gambling in Ontario, available to provincial residents 19 years of age or older [7].

At present, the majority of online gambling opportunities are truncated to numerical state lotteries [8]., including 4 jackpot draws (Lotto 6/49, Lotto Max, Ontario 49 and Lottario) and 5 daily draws (Pick 2, Pick 3, Pick 4, Daily Keno and Poker Lotto). The only other form of online betting permitted by the OLG is sports betting. The Pro-Line segment of the OLG [9]. website offers sports betting, including Pro-Line, Pro-Picks and Point-Spread wagers on major sporting events, including hockey, soccer, football, basketball and baseball.

Sources and Additional Information:

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