Gambling licence in Canada

Gambling licensing in Canada is regulated at the provincial level, resulting in differences in the legal framework and licensing processes across the country. This article provides a detailed overview of the key aspects of gambling licensing in Canada, focusing on the legal requirements and procedural nuances.

Federal and provincial regulation

In Canada, the federal government sets the general legislative framework for gambling, but the main regulatory and licensing powers are delegated to the provincial governments. Each province independently determines its own gambling laws and regulations, including casinos, bookmakers, lotteries and online gambling.

Procedure for obtaining a licence

  1. Determining the licence category: Depending on the type of gaming activity, applicants must select the appropriate licence category, from casino operator to lottery or bingo games.
  2. Applying: Applicants must provide a complete application package, including evidence of their financial stability, professional reputation, and plans to uphold standards of fair play and player protection.
  3. Screening and Assessment: Provincial authorities conduct thorough background checks on applicants, which may include financial audits, background checks, and even criminal record checks on the applicant and key individuals in the company.
  4. Issuance of licence: Upon successful completion of all checks and approval of the application, the licence is issued for a fixed period of time with the possibility of subsequent renewal.

Features in different provinces


The process of obtaining a gambling licence in Canada requires careful planning and strict adherence to provincial laws and regulations. Successfully obtaining a licence not only opens the door to legal business opportunities, but also helps to maintain transparency, integrity and accountability in the gambling industry. Potential operators should be prepared for a lengthy and complex vetting process that emphasises the seriousness with which Canadian authorities take the regulation of this type of activity.

Online gambling licence in Canada

Online gambling licensing in Canada is a complex process that varies from province to province. Canada has a unique gambling regulatory structure where much of the authority is delegated to the provincial level. In this article, we will look at the key aspects of obtaining an online gambling licence in the various Canadian provinces, as well as the basic requirements and procedures.

Legislative framework

In Canada, federal legislation restricts gambling, but each province has the right to regulate and licence online gambling independently. Therefore, regulations and requirements can vary significantly from one province to another.

Provincial regulation

  • British Columbia: Online gaming is regulated and licensed through the BC Lottery Corporation. The province allows sports betting, casino games and lotteries online.
  • Quebec: Loto-Québec manages the licensing of online gambling. They offer various forms of gambling including poker and sports betting.
  • Ontario: In 2021, Ontario opened its market to private operators through the creation of the iGaming Ontario regulatory organisation, which operates under the auspices of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

Process for obtaining a licence

  1. Preparation of documentation: Candidates must prepare and submit an extensive package of documents, including information on financial stability, business plan, anti-money laundering measures and responsible gambling policies.
  2. Technical inspection: Provincial authorities conduct technical inspections of the proposed gaming systems and software to ensure compliance with safety and fairness standards.
  3. Compliance: Candidates must demonstrate compliance with all local laws and standards, including data protection and privacy laws.

Peculiarities of regulation

  • Responsible Gaming: All operators should provide a clear plan to ensure responsible gaming behaviour, including measures to prevent gambling addiction and protect vulnerable groups.
  • Taxes and fees: Operators are required to pay licence fees and taxes, the amount of which depends on the province and the volume of operations.


Obtaining an online gambling licence in Canada is a multi-step process that requires careful planning and strict adherence to local laws and regulations. Success in this endeavour depends on a thorough understanding of provincial regulations and a willingness to engage with regulators over a long period of time. This not only ensures that the business is legal, but also promotes sustainable and responsible business development.

 How to get a gambling licence in Canada?

Obtaining a gambling licence in Canada requires a thorough understanding of the regulatory environment and strict adherence to legislation that varies from province to province. This article outlines the basic steps and requirements involved in obtaining a gambling licence in the various Canadian provinces.

Step 1: Identify provincial requirements

The first step in the licensing process is to research the laws and requirements of the province where you plan to operate. In Canada, each province sets its own rules for licensing and regulating gambling. For example, in Ontario the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is responsible for regulation, in British Columbia the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB) and in Quebec the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (RACJ).

Step 2: Preparing the application

After reviewing the requirements, a comprehensive package of documents must be prepared to apply for a licence. Documents often include:

  • Business Plan: A detailed description of your operating model, including your marketing strategy, financial plan and compliance measures.
  • Evidence of financial stability: Including audited financial statements and evidence that the necessary funds are available to start operations.
  • Confirmation of identity and good reputation: Biographical information on key individuals in the project, including criminal record checks.
  • Technical documentation: Description of the gaming system, software and measures to ensure the safety and fairness of the games.

Step 3: Verification and evaluation

The application is followed by a review process that may include audits, interviews and technical evaluation of the systems provided. Regulators assess the applicant’s compliance with the established criteria, its ability to comply with responsible gambling standards and the effectiveness of the proposed anti-money laundering measures.

Step 4: Issuance of a licence

Upon successful completion of all inspections and confirmation that the applicant meets the provincial requirements, the licence can be issued. The licence is usually issued for a fixed term, renewable subject to compliance with all regulatory requirements.


The process of obtaining a gambling licence in Canada requires considerable effort, time and resources. Potential operators are required to have a thorough understanding of local laws and regulations, as well as a willingness to be highly regulated by provincial governments. Effective planning and preparation are key to success in this complex process.

 How much does a gambling licence cost in Canada?

There are various costs associated with obtaining a gambling licence in Canada, which can vary significantly from province to province and from licence type to licence type. In this article, we will look at the main aspects of the cost of obtaining and maintaining a gambling licence in different Canadian provinces, as well as highlight the additional costs associated with licensing.

Common components of the licence fee

  1. Application Fee: This is the initial fee you must pay when you apply for a licence. It can range from a few hundred to a few thousand Canadian dollars, depending on the province and the type of licence.
  2. Licence fees: Once a licence is approved, operators are required to pay a licence fee, which can be a one-off or annual fee. These fees also vary widely, ranging from several thousand to several tens of thousands of dollars.
  3. Additional costs: These include legal fees, technical audits, preparation of documentation and possible administrative fees for maintaining the licence and regular inspections by regulatory authorities.

Provincial peculiarities of the cost of a licence

  • Ontario: In Ontario, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) licences gambling. The cost of obtaining a licence can vary greatly depending on the size of the operation and the type of gaming activity. For example, online casino operators may face initial costs in the tens of thousands of dollars.
  • British Columbia: This province is regulated by the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB). The cost of the licence depends on the scale of operations and may include both fixed and variable components.
  • Quebec: The Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (RACJ) regulates gambling in Quebec. Here, the cost of a licence will also depend on the type of gambling activity and the volume of operations.

Examples of costs

According to some sources, the cost of obtaining and maintaining a gambling licence in various Canadian provinces can range from CAD 15,000 to CAD 50,000 per year. These values can vary significantly depending on a variety of factors, including new rules and regulations that may be introduced by provincial authorities.


Obtaining a gambling licence in Canada requires a significant financial investment and careful planning. Potential operators need to consider not only the initial and annual licence fees, but also other potential costs, including legal and administrative costs. Prudent management of these costs and an understanding of the regulatory environment are key to successfully obtaining and maintaining a gaming licence in Canada.

 How to obtain a gambling licence in Canada?

In Canada, the process of obtaining a gambling licence is regulated at the provincial level, which means that requirements and procedures vary from region to region. This guide outlines the universal steps and guidelines that prospective operators should consider when applying for a gambling licence in any of the Canadian provinces.

Step 1: Research provincial legislation

The first and key step is to thoroughly research the legislation of the province in which you plan to operate. Each province has its own regulatory bodies, such as the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) in Ontario or the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB) in British Columbia, which set the rules and conditions for obtaining a licence.

Step 2: Determining the type of licence

Depending on what games you plan to offer (casino, lotteries, sports betting, etc.), the type of licence may vary. Determining the correct type of licence is critical to legal compliance and business success.

Step 3: Preparation of documentation

An extensive package of documents must be prepared for applying for a licence, which usually includes:

  • A business plan including company structure, information on key individuals, financial projections and marketing strategy.
  • Evidence of financial sustainability.
  • A detailed description of the technological solutions that will be used to conduct gambling activities.
  • Measures to combat money laundering and ensure the integrity of gaming processes.

Step 4: Verification process

Once the documentation has been submitted, a thorough vetting process follows to ensure that the applicant meets all requirements. This includes a financial audit, professional and criminal background checks on key individuals, and a technical evaluation of the proposed gaming systems.

Step 5: Payment of fees

If the application is approved, the appropriate licensing and administrative fees must be paid to complete the licensing process. These fees may vary depending on the type of licence and province.

Step 6: Obtaining and maintaining a licence

Once licensed, an operator must comply with all regulatory requirements and undergo regular inspections to ensure compliance with the terms of the licence. This includes maintaining high standards of operational performance and gaming integrity.


Obtaining a gambling licence in Canada is a complex but achievable process. The key to success lies in thorough preparation and full compliance with the legislation. A commitment to transparency and accountability will not only help you to successfully obtain a licence, but also to ensure the long-term and sustainable development of your gaming business in strict compliance with Canadian laws and regulations.

 How long does it take to get a gambling licence in Canada?

Obtaining a gambling licence in Canada is a process that can vary significantly depending on a variety of factors, including the type of licence, the province in which the application is made, and the completeness and accuracy of the documentation provided by the applicant. In this article, we will look at the average timeframe for obtaining a gambling licence in different Canadian provinces and the main factors that affect the length of the process.

The main stages of the licensing process

  1. Preparation and filing: This is the initial stage, which involves gathering necessary documents such as a business plan, financial statements, ownership or lease documents for the premises, and information on key personnel. The preparation of these documents can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
  2. Application verification and assessment: Once an application is submitted, regulators carry out a detailed analysis and verification of the information provided. This phase includes compliance checks, audits and sometimes meetings with applicants. This phase can take 3 to 6 months.
  3. Licence issuance: Once the inspections have been successfully completed and all requirements have been met, the licence can be issued. The licence issuance process usually takes a few weeks.

Influencing factors

  • Application Complexity: Complex applications, such as those involving new game technologies or multi-level operational structures, may require additional time for evaluation.
  • Provincial differences: Each Canadian province has different regulatory bodies and procedures. For example, in Ontario, the process may take longer due to strict AGCO requirements, while in smaller provinces the process may be quicker.

Case studies

  • In Ontario, the licensing process can take 6 to 12 months depending on the completeness and accuracy of the documentation provided and the speed with which the application is processed.
  • Waiting times can vary in British Columbia, but are usually around 3-6 months for most types of gambling licences.
  • In Quebec, thanks to the efficient work of the RACJ, the process can be a little shorter, but still takes 3 to 6 months.


The process of obtaining a gambling licence in Canada requires careful preparation and an understanding of the regulatory environment. Timeframes can vary considerably, so applicants are advised to start preparing as early as possible and pay attention to the accuracy and completeness of the documentation provided. Engaging with regulators throughout the process can help expedite the licence and facilitate the successful launch and management of gambling in Canada.

 Do you need a gambling licence for a raffle in Canada?

In Canada, raffles, like other forms of gambling, are regulated at the provincial level, making the process of obtaining the appropriate permits varied and dependent on local laws. This article provides a detailed overview of the licensing requirements for gambling in different Canadian provinces and explains when and why a licence is required.

Legislative framework

In Canada, most forms of gambling, including lotteries and raffles, require a licence to be legally conducted. The main piece of legislation regulating gambling is the Criminal Law Code of Canada, which prohibits unlicensed gambling. However, provincial governments have the authority to authorise and regulate lotteries and raffles according to local needs and legislation.

Provincial differences

Each Canadian province has set its own rules for licensing draws:

  • Ontario: The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) administers the licensing of raffles. A licence is required for any raffle where the total value of prizes exceeds $5,000 CAD.
  • Quebec: Here, the licensing of raffles is controlled by the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (RACJ). Any raffles conducted for commercial purposes require a licence.
  • British Columbia: The Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB) regulates all gambling. Raffles for charitable purposes may be exempt from licensing if certain conditions are met.

Licensing requirements

In order to obtain a raffle licence, an organisation must provide:

  • Purpose of holding: Raffles must often be held for charitable purposes.
  • A detailed outline of the event: Including information on prizes, rules for participation and distribution of proceeds.
  • Evidence of trustworthiness: The organisation must prove its ability to properly manage funds and comply with legislation.

Exemption from licensing

Some small raffles or raffles conducted by non-profit organisations to raise funds within the community may be exempt from the need for a licence. However, the exact terms of the exemption are determined by each province individually and consultation with local regulators is required.


Understanding the need and process for obtaining a raffle licence in Canada requires knowledge of local legislation and active engagement with regulatory authorities. Given the variety of requirements in different provinces, potential organisers are advised to thoroughly research the relevant regulations and seek legal advice where necessary. This will ensure the legality of the event and help to avoid potential legal violations.

Who is the gambling regulator in Canada?

In Canada, gambling is regulated at the provincial level, making the regulatory picture relatively diverse and dependent on the specific laws and regulations of each province. This article provides a detailed overview of the main gambling regulators in the various Canadian provinces, their roles and their main functions in the context of gambling governance.

General principle of regulation

In Canada, the governance and regulation of gambling is delegated to the governments of each of the ten provinces and three territories. This means that there is no single federal body responsible for regulating gambling across the country. Each regulatory authority has the power to licence, control and supervise gambling, including casinos, lotteries and sports betting in its jurisdiction.

Key regulators by province

  1. Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO):
    • OLG is responsible for operating and managing lotteries, casinos and video lottery terminals in Ontario.
    • The AGCO regulates the licensing and supervision of casinos, online gaming and sports betting. AGCO also oversees the enforcement of legislation and the prevention of criminal activity in the gambling industry.
  2. Quebec Alcohol, Racing, and Gaming Commission (RACJ):
    • The RACJ regulates alcohol, racing and gaming in the province of Quebec, including casinos and lotteries. The body is involved in licensing, control and supervision to ensure fair and transparent gaming activities.
  3. British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) and the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB):
    • BCLC is responsible for the operational management of lotteries, casinos and online gaming.
    • GPEB provides regulatory support, licensing and oversight, and combats illegal gaming activities.
  4. Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC):
    • The AGLC manages, licences and regulates alcohol, cannabis and gambling in Alberta, overseeing all aspects of casino and gaming facility operations.

Role and functions of regulators

Gambling regulators in Canada fulfil several key functions:

  • Licensing of operators and establishments to ensure that only qualified and reliable companies can offer gambling.
  • Monitor and supervise licensed operators to ensure compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements.
  • Prevention of fraud and criminal activity related to gambling, which includes co-operation with law enforcement agencies.
  • Player advocacy, including preventing addiction and supporting responsible play.


Gambling regulation in Canada is characterised by a high degree of decentralisation and provincial control. Effective governance and control in each province is ensured through strict oversight and licensing to maintain the integrity and transparency of the gaming industry, protect the interests of participants and prevent illegal activity. Importantly, each organisation operates within established provincial laws and standards, making Canada’s gaming industry one of the most regulated in the world.

 What types of gambling licences exist in Canada?

Gambling in Canada is regulated at the provincial level, which means there is diversity in the types of licences available to the gaming industry in different regions of the country. Different types of licences are provided to account for all forms of gambling, including casinos, lotteries, sports betting and bingo. This article provides an overview of the main types of gambling licences used in Canadian provinces, their features and application.

Casino operating licence

This type of licence allows the holder to operate a casino, including running games on tables and slot machines. A casino licence includes strict requirements for the safety and fairness of games, as well as financial management.

Licence to conduct lotteries

Lottery licences are issued to organisations that want to offer lottery tickets, run raffles or other types of lotteries. These licences are often used by charities to raise funds.

Licence for bookmaker’s offices (sports betting)

With the implementation of legislative changes governing sports betting in Canada, this type of licence has become particularly relevant. Sports betting licences allow you to bet on sporting events both at land-based locations and online.

Bingo licence

These licences are for organisations that arrange bingo games as part of entertainment or for fundraising. Bingo licences can be issued to both commercial and non-commercial organisations.

Licence for video game terminals (VLT)

A VLT licence permits the installation and operation of video gaming terminals in certain locations. These devices offer different types of video games, often simulating poker or slot games.

Online gaming licence

With the rise of digital technology and the increasing popularity of online betting, many provinces have begun to introduce online gambling licences that allow operators to offer games over the internet.

Regulation and supervision

Each province in Canada has its own gambling regulatory authority, which is responsible for issuing licences and overseeing gambling. For example, in Ontario it is the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), in Quebec it is the Quebec Alcohol, Racing, and Gaming Commission (RACJ), and in British Columbia it is the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB).


The types of gambling licences in Canada reflect the diversity of the gaming industry and the different regulatory approaches adopted in different provinces. Understanding the specifics of each licence type and the associated requirements is critical to operating a successful gambling operation in Canada.

 What are the requirements for applicants for a gambling licence in Canada?

In Canada, gambling is regulated at the provincial level, with each province setting its own rules and licensing requirements. Despite the differences in legislation, there are general principles and standards that should be considered when applying for a gambling licence.

1. Legal basis

First of all, the candidate must ensure that it is legally possible to provide gambling in the chosen province. This includes researching relevant laws and regulations such as the Gambling Control Act and other regional acts.

2. Business registration

The candidate must be registered as a legal entity in Canada. Foreign companies may be required to establish a Canadian branch or subsidiary.

3. Licence requirements

Depending on the type of gambling that is planned to be offered, the applicant must meet specific licence requirements. This may include detailed gambling management plans, security systems and adherence to fair play standards.

4. Credibility check

Candidates are scrutinised for compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing legislation. Their financial stability and past business reputation are also assessed.

5. Financial guarantees

Evidence of sufficient funding to cover all anticipated operating costs, including winnings payments, must be provided. This may include bank guarantees or other financial commitments.

6. Observance of social responsibility

Candidates must demonstrate that their operations will contribute to the protection of players and the prevention of gambling problems. This includes self-exclusion programmes, betting limits, player awareness initiatives and staff training.

7. Technological infrastructure

A robust technological infrastructure must be in place to ensure the safe and efficient operation of gambling. This includes systems to protect user data, monitor gameplay and ensure fairness of games.


Obtaining a gambling licence in Canada requires careful preparation and understanding of local legislation. Potential operators must demonstrate not only their financial and operational readiness, but also their commitment to high standards of responsibility and integrity. Compliance with these requirements is key to the successful launch and long-term operation of a gambling business in Canada.

 What law regulates online gambling in Canada?

Online gambling in Canada falls under the jurisdiction of both federal and provincial legislation. The main law governing gambling in general, including Internet gambling, is the Criminal Law Code of Canada, but specific aspects are regulated at the level of individual provinces.

  1. Federal legislation

The Criminal Law Code of Canada is the basis for all forms of gambling in the country. Under the Code, all forms of gambling are prohibited unless there are exceptions authorised by law. Section 207 of the Code specifies that the licensing and regulation of lotteries and gambling establishments is the responsibility of provincial governments.

  1. Provincial regulation

Each province in Canada has its own laws and regulatory bodies to govern gambling, including online gambling. For example:

  • Ontario controls online gambling through the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), which operates sites that offer various types of betting and gaming.
  • Quebec manages online gambling through Loto-Québec, which provides a platform for online lotteries and casinos.
  1. Regulation in indigenous territories

Some Indigenous territories, such as the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, self-licence and regulate online gambling. Mohawk Internet Technologies, located in these territories, is one of the largest online gambling hosting centres in the world.

  1. Legislative initiatives

In recent years, Canada has seen legislative initiatives aimed at modernising and liberalising the online gambling market. For example, in 2021, legislation was passed to allow provinces and aboriginal nations to conduct and regulate betting on select sporting events, a significant step in the development of the industry.


The legislation governing online gambling in Canada is complex and diverse. The federal and provincial governments play a key role in licensing and regulation, while the Indigenous territories provide unique opportunities for operators and players. Understanding these laws and staying compliant with them at all times is integral to a successful and legal online gambling operation in Canada.

 Required documents to apply for an online gambling licence in Canada?

Obtaining an online gambling licence in Canada requires careful preparation and the collection of a number of documents. The requirements may vary from province to province, but there are general categories of documents that are required for all applicants.

  1. Application for a licence

The application must contain complete and accurate information about the applicant, including the company name, registered office, contact details, as well as details of managers and key employees. The application should also include a detailed description of the proposed activity.

  1. Company registration documents

It is necessary to provide copies of the company’s incorporation documents, such as certificate of incorporation, articles of association, minutes of meetings of founders and shareholders. These documents confirm the legal status of the company in Canada or abroad.

  1. Evidence of financial sustainability

Applicants must provide financial statements for the past several years, as well as evidence of sufficient funds to cover all anticipated operating expenses. This may include bank statements, audit reports and financial projections.

  1. Business operations plan

A detailed business operations plan should describe how the company plans to manage gambling, including information on technology platforms, games, security measures and data protection systems.

  1. Responsible Gaming Policy

Candidates must present their responsible gaming policy, which includes measures to protect players, prevent gambling addiction, identify and self-exclude players.

  1. Certificates of Conformity

It is necessary to provide documents confirming the compliance of gaming software and equipment with established standards, which often requires certification from recognised testing laboratories.

  1. Consent to security clearance

Applicants must consent to security checks, including criminal background checks, financial history, and other legal and ethics compliance aspects.


Preparing to apply for an online gambling licence in Canada requires considerable effort and attention to detail. Correct and complete completion of all required documents significantly increases the chances of successfully obtaining a licence and launching a legitimate online gambling activity.

 Features of a gambling licence document in Canada

A gambling licence in Canada is a key document that allows businesses and individuals to legally gamble. The specifics of the licence depend on the province where it is issued, as each province has its own gambling laws and regulations. The following are common features commonly found in gambling licences across Canada.

  1. Legal basis

The licence indicates the legal basis for gambling, referring to the relevant articles and laws of the province or territory. This provides legal protection for both operators and players.

  1. Types of games

The document defines what types of gambling are allowed under this licence. This can include everything from lotteries and bingo to casinos and sports betting. Detailing the types of games helps to avoid legal violations by operators.

  1. Validity period

Each licence has a clearly defined validity period after which it must be renewed. The validity period may vary, but usually ranges from one to five years.

  1. Conditions and limitations

The licence contains a list of conditions that must be followed to maintain its validity. This includes gaming regulations, reporting requirements, measures to ensure the safety and fairness of games, and conditions to protect players.

  1. Financial liabilities

The licence defines the financial obligations of the licensee, including licensing fees, taxes and other possible contributions. These obligations must be met to keep the licence active.

  1. Obligations to comply with legislation

The licence requires the licensee to strictly comply with all relevant laws, including those relating to money laundering, terrorist financing and player privacy.

  1. Liability for violations

The document sets out the procedures and possible consequences for breach of licence conditions, including fines, suspension or revocation of the licence.


A gambling licence in Canada does not simply permit gambling; it sets the framework for responsible and legal gambling activities. Licence holders must strictly comply with all requirements and conditions to ensure that gambling is transparent, fair and safe for all participants.

 Establishing a company for online gambling activities in Canada

Starting an online gambling company in Canada requires careful planning and compliance with local laws. Canada offers unique opportunities for online gambling, but also has strict requirements for operators. Below is a summary of the key aspects of starting such a company.

  1. Choice of legal structure

The first step is to choose the right legal structure for your company. In Canada, the most popular forms of legal entities for doing business are:

  • Corporation
  • Limited Liability Company (Limited Liability Company, LLC)
  • Partnership

Each of these forms has advantages and disadvantages, especially in the context of taxation and liability.

  1. Business registration

After choosing the legal form, the process of registering the business follows. This includes registering the company name, obtaining corporate tax numbers and possibly registering for GST/HST, depending on the expected sales volume.

  1. Licensing

The main and most complicated aspect of setting up a company for online gambling is obtaining a licence. The licensing of online gambling in Canada is controlled at the provincial level. For example, in Ontario it is handled by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). Each province has its own requirements for licences, including documentation, proof of financial stability, responsible gaming policies and player protection systems.

  1. Compliance with data protection legislation

Online gambling companies must strictly comply with data protection legislation such as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which regulates the processing of users’ personal data.

  1. Technological infrastructure

Online gambling operators must provide a robust technological infrastructure capable of supporting safe and efficient gaming activities. This includes investments in servers, software and fraud protection systems.


Setting up an online gambling company in Canada is a complex process that requires not only an understanding of the specifics of the business, but also strict compliance with legal requirements. Potential operators need to thoroughly research the regulatory requirements of the chosen province and prepare to invest significant resources both at the initial stage and throughout the company’s operations.

 History of gambling in Canada

Gambling has a long and complex history in Canada, ranging from primitive Indigenous games to today’s legally regulated casinos and online platforms. A look at the historical development of gambling in Canada helps to understand current trends and legislative frameworks.

  1. Indigenous gambling

Before the arrival of Europeans, Indigenous peoples in Canada actively participated in gambling as part of social and ritual practices. These games often involved betting on the outcome of sporting events or games such as lacrosse.

  1. Colonial period

With the arrival of Europeans in Canada, gambling began to spread among the colonists. However, in 1892, the Canadian Criminal Code banned all forms of gambling, except for lotteries for charitable purposes and a few other exceptions. This prohibition was a response to the widespread problems associated with gambling activities at the time.

  1. Legalisation of lotteries and horse racing

In 1969, a major change occurred when the government revised the Code and allowed provinces and territories to organise their own lotteries. This led to the establishment of the first provincial lotteries. Horse racing was also legalised and regulatory bodies were established to oversee betting.

  1. Casino development

The first modern casino in Canada, Casino de Montréal, opened in 1993. This opening was the result of changing public attitudes towards gambling and the government’s desire to create new sources of revenue. The following years saw a rapid growth in the number of casinos across the country.

  1. Online gambling

In the early 2000s, with the development of internet technology, online gambling boomed in Canada. Some provinces, such as British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario, launched their own official online betting and casino platforms. This has allowed the government to better control and generate revenue from this fast-growing industry.

  1. Contemporary Challenges and Regulations

Gambling in Canada is currently regulated at the provincial level, with each province setting its own rules and standards. Increasing attention is being paid to protecting players, preventing gambling problems and guaranteeing the integrity and transparency of operations.


The history of gambling in Canada reflects changing public attitudes and government policies. From initial prohibitions to modern regulation and recognition as a significant source of income and entertainment, gambling has come a long way and remains an important part of the Canadian economy and culture.

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