With numerous online casinos available, picking the right one can be an overwhelming task. To ensure a safe and enjoyable gaming experience, it’s important to understand all the aspects of an online casino and make an informed decision when choosing the perfect online venue for yourself.
In our online casino guide, we’ll walk you through all you need to pay attention to when selecting the best online casino for your needs, including:
- The gaming laws it needs to follow
- Casino’s reputation and licensing
- Convenient and secure payment methods
We’ll evaluate the best game offers, casino campaigns, and customer support to help you choose an online casino that matches your interests and offers variety. We’ll also present you with a list of the most reputable online casinos selected by our experts.
Staying on the Legal Side of Online Gambling
Before you choose an online casino and start playing, it’s important to ensure you’re compliant with the law. Knowing Canadian gambling laws is the only way to adhere to them and protect yourself from legal consequences.
In Canada, gambling is illegal according to sections 201(1), 203, and 207(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada. However, every Canadian province has the authority to regulate its gambling market conditions as it deems fit, which is why players can legally engage in gambling under their province’s rules.
Canadians can also enjoy gaming activities in off-shore establishments and Canadian venues that hold a license from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC).
In comparison to other Canadian jurisdictions, Ontario’s gambling rules are less strict. In 2021, the Government of Ontario partnered with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to develop iGaming Ontario (iGO), a unique online gaming industry that ensures players’ safety and security.
Safe Gaming Experience
To ensure fair and safe gaming, the online casino you chose should hold a license from specific regulatory bodies.
Casino regulators are organizations responsible for overseeing the operations run by casinos. Their primary task is to ensure that casinos adhere to all applicable laws and regulations and operate fairly and transparently.
Some of the main tasks of casino regulatory bodies include issuing licenses, conducting audits, establishing standards for fair gaming, and managing disputes.
Regulatory Bodies by Province
Within Canada’s respective territories, provincial governments are responsible for regulating online gaming in individual areas. Each province has a regulatory body responsible for monitoring online gaming and making sure operators follow local laws, safeguard players’ interests, and keep games fair.
These are the regulatory bodies in Canada:
|Alberta||Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC)|
|British Colombia||The Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB)|
|Manitoba||Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corporation (MBLL)|
|New Brunswick||New Brunswick Lotteries and Gaming Corporation (NBLGC)|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC)|
|Nova Scotia||Alcohol Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco Division|
|Saskatchewan||Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA)|
|The Prince Edward Island||Prince Edward Island Lotteries Commission|
|Ontario||Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)|
|Quebec||Québec Gambling Commission|
International Regulatory Bodies
When engaging in gaming activities in an off-shore establishment, make sure the casino has international regulatory licenses. These licenses prove the casinos follow all set standards and are safe gaming platforms, even though they’re not directly affiliated with Canadian gaming regulations.
Reputable international regulatory bodies include:
- Curaçao Gaming Control Board (GCB)
- Gibraltar Gaming Commission (GGC)
- Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
- Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA)
- United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC)
Reputable online venues typically offer a wide range of payment methods to cater to all players’ preferences and provide a variety of options for making deposits and withdrawals. While some payment methods may be available only in certain casinos or restricted to specific regions, the most popular ones are available almost everywhere. Some of the widely accepted payment methods include:
- Debit and credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro)
- Bank transfers
- Apple Pay
When checking which payment methods your chosen online casino accepts, it’s important to inform yourself about these four aspects as well:
- Availability—If the payment method of your choice is available as a deposit method, that doesn’t mean the casino accepts it for withdrawals. In this case, you’ll be asked to choose an alternative withdrawal method and possibly undergo identity verification
- Transaction limits—Some casinos set specific limits on deposits and withdrawals. Although these can vary depending on your chosen payment method and other casino policies, most casinos have a minimum deposit of $10. Checking these limits is important to make sure they fit your budget and to avoid any inconvenience with withdrawals
- Processing times—While deposit times are typically instant for all payment methods, it can take longer for withdrawals to be processed. How long it can take depends on the payment method, and it can vary from a couple of seconds to a few business days. Casinos can also withhold the withdrawals for a certain amount of time before allowing them to be processed. This mostly lasts up to 48 hours, and this practice is in place to prevent money laundering and fraudulent activities. For the same reason, casinos will sometimes ask you to verify your identity, which can result in additional waiting time
- Fees—Most online casinos offer free transactions to their users without charging any fees. However, you can still be charged additional fees for currency conversion or for withdrawing amounts that are under the minimum or over the maximum limits
Online Casino Games
Source: Randy Faris
In the online casino market, various reputable suppliers design games and offer them to operators. Some of the most well-known game developers are:
- Evolution Gaming
- Yggdrasil Gaming
- Pragmatic Play
These companies specialize in developing an extensive selection of games for online casinos, including slots, table games, live dealer games, and others. Casinos frequently work with various game makers to provide clients with a diverse range of game options.
If an online casino’s library includes some of these names, this can be a sign that you’re in for a satisfying gambling experience, as they offer high-quality, fair, and trustworthy games.
To ensure genuine fairness and randomness of game outcomes, most casino games use random number generators (RNGs) that prevent predicting and manipulating results.
Here’s a short overview of the most popular casino games:
- Table games
- Live dealer games
- Video poker
- Progressive jackpots
The popularity that slot machines enjoyed in land-based casinos only grew more once these games expanded to the online universe. Slot machines are easy to play, and they typically consist of three or more reels with different symbols. After placing the bet, you start the reels, and the goal is to get matching symbols on the screen. The symbols can be differently themed depending on the game you’re playing, including popular themes like movies or cartoons, mythology, adventure, and many more. Some slots even have special features and offer additional winning possibilities, such as wild symbols that can unlock hidden opportunities within the game.
While slot games depend on luck, winning at some table games, such as poker and blackjack, requires knowledge about the game and game strategies. Any reputable establishment includes casino classics such as roulette, poker, and baccarat. Each table game type has several variants and betting choices. To enhance the gaming experience, most casinos also offer sic bo, craps, and live dealer versions of the table games offered.
Live Dealer Games
Live dealer games have revolutionized online casinos by enabling you to experience the thrill of land-based casinos while staying in the comfort of your home. With advanced visuals, seamless gameplay, and chat features that let you interact with the dealers and other players, you’ll get a real brick-and-mortar experience through your screen. Popular live dealer games include blackjack, roulette, poker, and baccarat.
Video poker is a popular casino game that combines some aspects of traditional poker with new technology. It follows standard poker rules, but the game is computerized, and there are no dealers or other player hands to defeat. Instead, you make decisions on which cards to hold and which to discard to get a winning combination. The game is a combination of strategy and luck.
Progressive jackpots are especially popular among players, as they can lead to major winnings with small starting bets. The jackpots continuously grow with every new bet placed. The final amount can reach six-figure winnings, which adds to the excitement of playing. Progressive jackpots are mostly slot games, but you can also find them as video poker or roulette games.
Wagering requirements or playthroughs are specific conditions set by the casino for its campaign offers. They dictate the number of times you have to wager the claimed campaign funds before you can convert them into real money and withdraw them along with any winnings. For example, if you receive $50 by claiming a campaign, and the withdrawal amount is 30x, you’ll need to wager a total of $50 x 30 = $1,500 for the withdrawal to be possible. Most of the time, these requirements need to be fulfilled within a specific period.
Different games contribute varying percentages towards meeting the playthrough, so you’ll need to check campaign terms to be fully informed about all wagering conditions.
Efficient customer service will ensure a positive experience throughout your online casino journey, fostering trust and building loyalty. A responsive and knowledgeable customer support can promptly assist you with all potential inquiries about your account, payment management, game rules, campaign terms, and technical difficulties. Generally, online casinos offer customer service via live chat, email, and telephone.
To minimize the risk of negative consequences associated with gaming activities, reputable online venues generally offer some of these four measures to their players:
- Age verification—Responsible gaming requires confirming you’re of legal gambling age before you can access gaming services. An online casino can conduct age verification processes at any time to prevent underage gambling.
- Setting limits—Keeping your budget in check begins with setting deposit and betting limits. In some casinos, you can set this option during registration, while others may require contacting customer support to do this.
- Self-exclusion periods—When you need to take a break from gaming activities for a longer period, you can activate self-exclusion. The duration of these periods varies across venues, and you can even make it permanent.
- Professional help—If you’re having difficulty controlling your gaming behaviour on your own, most respectable businesses can put you in contact with organizations specializing in gaming addictions, such as ConnexOntario, to provide you with appropriate aid and support.
Explore Our Recommended Casinos
Now that our guide to online casinos helped you better understand how online casinos work and what online casino aspects to pay attention to, here’s a list of 10 trusted options you can consider when starting your casino journey.
|Golden Tiger||550+ games|
24/7 customer support
|Luxury Casino||550+ games|
Live dealer options
24/7 customer support
24/7 customer support
|Royal Vegas||700+ games|
Fast money transfers
|Caxino||3,000+ casino games|
Innovative player campaigns
|Lucky Days||900+ games|
24/7 customer support
|Zodiac Casino||550+ games|
24/7 customer support
|Grand Mondial||550+ casino games|
Fair wagering requirements
Quick withdrawal process
|Yukon Gold Casino||550+ casino titles|
Short withdrawal times
The casinos on this list have all the necessary licenses from regulatory bodies and provide their players with a safe and fair gaming environment.
Featured image source: Pixabay