Every day, hundreds of thousands of web-surfing Canadians come across advertisements for online casinos. And while the idea of playing a little game of online poker to relax in the comfort of your living room may be tempting, many hesitate due to their lack of knowledge regarding the legalities of gambling online in Canada or because they aren’t sure of how to find a reputable gambling site.
First, what is the law?
Just like anything having to do with the web, the laws regulating online casinos in Canada are far from being all black or white (or simple), but here are the main points to keep in mind when gambling online.
Is online gambling legal?
The short answer to that is a yes, but there of course has to be the proverbial “but”. In Canada, you cannot operate an illegal or clandestine gambling house. Basically, that means that you cannot open a casino in your garage hoping to make a quick buck on Saturday nights. That also means that if (for example) you are located in Toronto you cannot create an online casino and keep the server in your basement. The online gambling (click to read more) sites that are considered legal by the Canadian Government are located outside Canada, which by the way includes native reservations recognized by the Government, as reservation land is not considered to be part of the country. That’s why a large quantity of Canadian-owned online casinos are located on reservations.
If the online Casinos are not in Canada, can Canadian gamble?
Absolutely, Canadians are allowed to gamble online, there is no law preventing it, it’s as simple as that. That said, we’ll see why you still should be careful where you gamble with your money.
How do I find gambling sites?
Finding online gambling is not difficult. There are ads for them everywhere you look. The trickier part is finding reputable and safe online gambling sites.
When you see that tempting flashing ad that pops up in your face, before you click on the link, take a little time to search their name and really look at the results you get. If people have had bad experiences with the casino, you’re bound to see some trace of it in the form of feedback. Read carefully before you register on a site.
If you prefer avoiding ads, there are sites that specialize in rating online casinos. Make sure you check a couple of those sites to avoid biased services. If one review site says that XYZ casino is fantastic while one or more of the other services put them at the bottom of their list, you might want to stay away. There is no shame in taking your time and exploring your options. Selecting the right online casino can prevent a lot of headaches in the future.
Headaches? What headaches?
Even with the best and the safest online casino, there are precautions any online gambler should take.
Make sure your money (and your winnings) stay in your pocket.
Every online gambling site will require one thing: some banking information to be able to deposit your winnings or pay the debt you incur when you lose. Whenever possible, the best and safest solution is to use a third-party payment solution, such as PayPal to only name that one, as they remain the best way to protect your money. Your second-best solution would be to use a credit card, as credit card companies generally offer good protection in case of fraud. The riskier solution would be to link your bank account directly to the online casino. While the casino itself is probably 100% honest, hackers are becoming more and more agile at breaking the defenses of sites, and they usually like to go where there is money. So what better place than a casino? If you really have to use your bank account, it may be a good idea to use a secondary account where you put limited amounts of money, to protect yourself from thieves and also from any “oops” moment where you may get carried away and spend a bit more than you intended.
Avoid swimming in shark water
Some, but not all, online gambling sites allow players to interact via chat during the game. Since the Internet is the perfect place for anonymity, those chat functions are a perfect tool to recruit players from reputable sites to bring them over to scam sites. Beware of that guy who’s lost big for a little while. He might only be pretending to be a horrible player to convince you to follow him on another site, only to become the best player you’ve ever seen and clean you out in a flash.
As you can see, online gambling can be a lot of fun if it’s done responsibly and carefully and there are plenty of wonderful online casinos that are perfectly legal and act in an ethical way. As long as you follow those simple guidelines and use your common sense, you can gamble safely, and make a bit of money while you’re at it.