How has legal online gambling in Canada grown?

The past decade has seen a steady increase in the number of Canadians who enjoy gambling and playing at online casinos. There is an increasing number of sites that are available for customers to play a wide variety of popular games at real money casinos. Whilst Canada currently holds only a fairly small market share within this industry, its land-based casinos have seen a surge in profits, even alongside the online sector that continues to thrive.

Interac is one of the biggest payment providers in Canada. 80% of Canadians who use online banking are registered to use the e-transfer system, giving the platform 15 million active users every month. In fact, 30 November 2018 was not just the busiest day for the company last year, but of all time. A recent acquisition allows us to infer that the brand has bigger plans for the payment market moving forwards. So, as 2019 winds down, how far can we say that Interac has helped transform Canada’s payments market? Interac Looks to Expand Capabilities News hit in early November 2019 that Interac purchased the Ottawa-based 2Keys in order to reinforce its digital identity offering in regards to its payments method. While the digital payment landscape may now be accessible to more people than ever, the next step looks to be using data alongside identity and money when making payments. In this vein, the 2Keys purchase enables Interac to use its expertise and the 100-strong workforce in order to actualize this in Canada. One of the major reasons for the rise in digital payments is the increasingly digital nature of how things are being done, from purchases to work and beyond. More people are having to take extra jobs or freelance work alongside salaried positions, and digital payment methods make receiving these payments easier. People are also moving towards a digital way of banking, as success stories such as Monzo show how we can arguably better track and monitor our spending and savings through apps and other online platforms. INTERAC Debit for In-App and In-Browser Payments with Apple Pay™ and Google Pay™ is now widely available. Expanding the e-Commerce footprint means more Canadians have an easy and secure way to spend their own money when making mobile payments.— INTERAC (@INTERAC) October 23, 2019 Where Can We Use Interac? The Cross Border system of Interac enables use of the payment method at more than two million retailers in the US, which shows just how committed the payment service is to converting more users. Integration with Samsung Pay enables Interac to be used as a mobile payment, too. This is applicable for hundreds of thousands of Canadian merchants and further opens up the avenues for different forms of payment. The more this is adopted, the more other merchants and retailers will offer the service. Interac is especially popular online, with many e-commerce shops making a point of offering several alternative payment methods to their customers. Indeed, as the list of popular Canadian online casino providers highlights, choosing a payment method is one of the most deciding factors for fans of the entertainment genre when choosing which site to use. Interac is listed as one of the prime payment methods in Canada due to its safety and speed, which can make all the difference between a player choosing a certain provider or not. The changing nature of how we are making payments has helped boost Interac as a form of payment. The company profess the safety and security of the system, and widespread adoption by many retailers and online entities shows just how it can work effectively in our modern world. The addition of 2Keys to the company means that further technological advances can be made for the software. Now that we are comfortable with making digital payments, the next stage of the payment revolution can begin. We know that we as a population choose and even enjoy digital payments, so the next step is seeing how the payments system can be further integrated into our lives.

However, with quite a vague legislation, it’s no wonder that many Canadians are still confused over the legality of gambling at online casinos. Essentially, individual provinces are able to decide how to regulate the online casino market, which leads to a lot of grey areas on what is legal and illegal.

Gambling at Land Based Casinos

There are many land-based casinos scattered across the country, including luxurious casino resorts such as Fallsview Casino Resort and River Rock Casino Resort. Many say that these luxury casinos could even give those found in Las Vegas a run for their money!

According to legislation, Canadians over the age of 18 years are able to gamble at land-based casinos in Manitoba, Alberta and Québec. For anywhere else in the country, players have to be over the age of 19 years.

With land-based casinos, there are several restrictions that have been put in place to prevent any money laundering activities. Some players may need to prove their source of funds and any transactions over $10,000 are automatically analysed.

It is important to understand, however, that any casinos that are privately-run are not regulated by the Canadian government. Therefore, whilst it is completely legal to play at a private casino, players are not covered legally should anything go wrong.

Online Canadian Casinos

The legislation regarding gambling at online casinos in Canada is more unclear. Provincial online casino sites in Québec, Ontario, British Columbia and Manitoba are only official sites in the country and they do not serve citizens in other provinces.

For this reason, many European-based countries target, and cater to, the Canadian market. Gambling at one of these online casino sites is completely legal as per the Canadian gambling laws. According to the government, they state that online gambling is at the risk of the individual player and all the licensing, regulation and compliance is down to the casino provider, often based abroad.

For this reason, before you deposit money and play at an online casino site, it is extremely important to check that the casino is properly licensed and regulated by a relevant governing body. If it is not, you may risk severe issues should something go wrong as you will not be protected by the authorities.

In Summary

The online gambling sector continues to grow within Canada and even revenue at land-based casinos is still rising. With mobile technology advancing and increasing numbers of casino sites and apps being introduced, the popularity of gambling in Canada is likely to grow significantly for many more years to come.


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About Joel Levy 2131 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography