Canada eCheck Laws and iGaming Regulation by Province

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 February 2024.

Current Gaming and eCheck Laws Related to Online Gambling in Canada 2021Canada 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, in one form or another, is not only legal but locally regulated. These include all 10 of three major provinces – Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and the collective provinces of Atlantic Canada; New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.

While the above provinces have moved forward with locally regulated iGaming, online gambling is not illegal in Canada’s three territories; Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon. It simply lacks local regulation, meaning Canadians in these regions (the entire country, for that matter) are not breaking any laws by gambling online with internationally regulated online casinos that operate overseas.

The following information will help shed light on the current laws of online gambling in Canada.

The Criminal Code of Canada in 2024

According to the Criminal Code of Canada, Part VII, Section 207 [1], it is lawful:

“(a) 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 simply means that only the government of a province can organize, run and regulate any online gambling activities (as the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and others have).

It stipulates that no province may license other companies to operate online gambling portals, unless that province enacts laws enabling the authorization of private operators. Ontario took that measure and ran with it, launching a competitive iGaming market in April 2022. Thus far, no other province has opened anything beyond a single, government-run gambling site.

An exception in the Criminal Code also allows for two or more provinces to work together (“in conjunction with the government of another province”) to present their residents with shared online gambling facilities. In such cases, residents of both provinces are able to participate in the online gambling activities provided by both provinces.

As an example, British Columbia and Manitoba teamed up in 2012 to offer their residents dual access to the British Columbia Lottery Corp’s (BCLC) iGaming website, Additionally, British Columbia and Quebec are partnered to share player bases, but 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.

Provincially Regulated Online Gambling in Canada

At present, all 10 provincial governments offer some regulated form of online gambling:

  • Alberta Casino, Live Casino, Sports, Lottery, Instant Wins
  • British Columbia – Casino, Live Casino, Sports, Poker, Bingo, Lottery, Instant Wins
  • Manitoba – Casino, Sports, Poker
  • New Brunswick Casino, Sports, Lottery, Instant Wins
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Casino, Sports, Lottery, Instant Wins
  • Nova Scotia Casino, Sports, Lottery, Instant Wins
  • Ontario – Casino, Live Casino, Sports, Poker, Bingo, Lottery, Instant Wins
  • Prince Edward IslandCasino, Sports, Lottery, Instant Wins
  • Quebec – Casino, Live Casino, Sports, Poker, Bingo, Lottery, Instant Wins
  • Saskatchewan – Casino, Live Casino, Sports, Poker, Bingo, Lottery

Please continue reading to learn more about Canadian online gambling laws by province. For historical reference, we’ve chosen to order them chronologically. These laws also impact echeck and iDebit echeck deposits. Visit for more information on making legal eCheck deposits.

Online Gambling in British Columbia

British Columbia was the first Canadian province to legalize online gambling. The activity is coordinated by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), which has been directing all lottery and casino gambling activities within the province for more than 35 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.

BCLC launched in 2004, accessible to B.C. residents age 19 and above [3]. Initially, the offering included only the sale of online lottery and sports lottery tickets. Digital casino games weren’t added until in 2010, followed by online poker in 2011. Site expansion has continued ever since, now presenting bingo, keno, instant win games, live casino tables, and pool betting.

Today, PlayNow presents an all-encompassing online gambling experience, complete with slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, arcades, video poker, sports betting, bingo, poker, lotteries, instant win games – everything you would expect to find in a large-scale, land-based casino, and then some.

Note: As of 2012, is accessible to residents of Manitoba, and as of (2022), Saskatchewan as well. See our segments on Manitoba and Saskatchewan below for more info.

Lawful Online Gaming in Quebec

Online gaming was legalized in Quebec [4] in July of 2010, allowing Loto-Quebec – Canada’s oldest lottery corporation – to present online gaming opportunities. Loto-Quebec, which has been in charge of mandating all gambling activities within the province since 1969, launched its provincial iGaming website, Espacejeux, in December 2010. 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.

Most forms of online gambling are authorized for representation on Espacejeux. To date, these include casino slots, table games, blackjack, roulette, keno, live dealer tables, poker, sports betting, bingo, instant wins 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.

Manitoba Legalizes Online Gambling via B.C.

The government of Manitoba took a different approach to iGaming. After witnessing the success of British Columbia’s online gambling portal – particularly its prosperous foray into online casino and poker games in 2010 and 2011 respectively – they figured, ‘Why create a whole new product, when there’s a perfectly good one up and running next door?

In April 2012, Manitoba Lotteries partnered with BCLC [6] to “deliver online gambling for Manitobans on a Manitoba site, based on BCLC’s online platform”. That partnership went into full effect in early 2013, when Manitobans, age 18+, gained equal access to BCLC’s See the section above detailing online gambling in British Columbia for more info on that platform’s iGaming variety.

Legal Online Gambling in Ontario

In 2011, Ontario became the third Canadian Province to legalize some form of gambling via a gaming website [7]. 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 [8].

Early on, the majority of online gambling opportunities were truncated to numerical state lotteries [9]. Regulations have since broadened to permit online casino games, instant wins, and sports betting via Pro-Lines, Pools and Point-Spreads.

What’s interesting about Ontario’s gambling laws is that the government scripted special forward-thinking amendments [10] in 2020. These amendments would automatically authorize the licensing of third-party online gambling operations, thereby opening the province to a competitive iGaming market, if and when that option becomes legally available.

They would go into effect, “On a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor”. That is to say, once the federal government authorizes competition within provincial internet gaming markets.

That day came soon after, leading to the launch of a competitive iGaming market on April 4, 2022. It started with a small collective of 18 licensed casino and sports betting portals. Since then, the number of authorized gaming sites has swelled beyond 75.

iGaming in Atlantic Canada (N.B., N.L., N.S., and P.E.I.)

The Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) spent an entire decade pitching a plan to launch an online gambling portal across the region’s four Atlantic provinces – New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island – before finally receiving an affirmative response. It came in mid-2020, when each was reeling from the effects of the pandemic, and subsequent loss of revenue from business closures.

New Brunswick was the first to accept ALC’s invitation to recover lost revenue via online casino gaming [11]. After N.B.’s launch in August 2020, N.L., N.S., and P.E.I. followed suit, each joining the virtual gaming revolution by Spring 2021.

The ALC’s online casino presents adult residents of those provinces (age 19+) with a range of lottery options, including number draws, scratch’n wins, and video lottery games. Members also enjoy a cacophony of sports bets, an iBingo platform, and an online casino complete with digital slots, video poker, blackjack, baccarat, roulette and other table games.

Legal Internet Gambling in Alberta

Alberta is among the latest provincial governments to authorize, regulate, and launch its own iGaming portal. Operating under the watchful eye of Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis [12], PlayAlberta went live on the AGLC website in October of 2020.

Patrons of the online gambling site – limited to adult residents of Alberta, age 18 and over – are privy to digital casino slots and games, live dealer table games, instant win games, sports betting, and can also purchase tickets for Alberta’s local and national lottery games.

Saskatchewan Joins Canada’s iGaming Race

Bringing up the rear is Saskatchewan. Provincial leaders finally took the plunge in November 2022 [13], hopping on BCLC’s tried-and-true gambling portal. Saskatchewan chose to implement the full gambit of gambling amusements, including live and RNG casino games, poker, bingo, sports betting and lotteries.

Sources and Additional Information:


  • Trevor Hallsey

    Passionate webmaster, devoted card game enthusiast, and proud son of the Great White North. With over a decade of iGaming experience, Trevor has launched numerous web portals to share his passion for game theory and all things Canadian gaming. With this site, he acts as a fact checker and mostly writes at the intersection of gaming and finance. He aims to offer statistical insights and unique information that you might see lacking in similar sites.

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