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The history of online casinos in Canada



This article is presented to you by Ontario Casinos. Must be 19 or older. Ontario only. Please play responsibly. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, visit

In recent years, Canada’s gaming and entertainment industry has undergone significant changes, thanks in part to the introduction of online casinos. Canada is a vast and diverse country, and as such, online gaming is regulated at both federal and provincial levels, which has played a vital role in shaping the industry’s growth and development over time.

This article will explain the history and current state of online casinos in Canada. With a comprehensive overview of the regulatory framework, the inception of online casinos, and the current status of the iGaming industry in the country, you will receive valuable information to understand the complexities of online gaming in Canada.

Regulations for online casinos in Canada

The Criminal Code of Canada is the primary legislation governing online gaming across the country. However, each province has the autonomy to regulate and license gaming within its borders.

This decentralized approach has created a diverse landscape for online casinos across the country, resulting in a patchwork of regulations. Some provinces operate their online gaming platforms, such as PlayOLG in Ontario, while others rely on private operators.

The inception of online casinos in Canada

The introduction of online casinos in Canada can be traced back to the mid-1990s when the Internet began to gain widespread popularity. The first online gaming operators in Canada were offshore companies that served Canadian players.

These digital platforms offered a variety of casino games, from classic table games to online slots, providing a convenient and accessible alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar casinos.

The rapid growth of online casinos in Canada prompted both federal and provincial authorities to address the regulatory gaps. In the absence of licensed online casinos, Canadians turned to these offshore platforms, prompting a need for a more comprehensive regulatory framework.

Ontario iGaming market

The iGaming market in Ontario experienced a groundbreaking moment when it officially went live on April 4, 2022, marking a significant milestone in the province’s gaming industry. This move allowed Ontario residents to access various online gaming options, from casino games to sports betting.

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Current status of the iGaming industry in Canada

As of today, the iGaming industry in Canada continues to thrive, offering a diverse and dynamic range of online casino experiences. Provinces like Ontario have expanded their online gaming offerings, providing players with a secure and regulated environment.

The industry has also witnessed the emergence of innovative technologies, including live dealer games and mobile gaming, further enhancing the gaming experience for Canadians.

As offshore operators are on the rise, it is crucial to establish a secure and lawful market. Regulators are committed to guaranteeing the safety of players and funnelling generated revenue back into local communities.

What’s Ahead

The story of online casinos in Canada is one of constant progression and adaptation. Overcoming the challenges posed by regulations and technology, the industry has evolved from offshore operators operating outside of provincial systems to the establishment of robust privately licensed regimes, such as Ontario, where licensed operators all fall under the same rules and regulations.

As Canada continues to explore the immense potential of the iGaming industry, the focus remains on creating a secure, responsible, and highly enjoyable gaming environment for players across the nation. With the future looking bright, online casinos in Canada are poised for further growth and refinement, as they solidify their position in the global digital gaming landscape.

This article is presented to you by Ontario Casinos. Must be 19 or older. Ontario only. Please play responsibly. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, visit

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