US vs. Canada Gambling Laws Compared


The US shares a lot with Canada. Let’s start with the border. It’s the longest of its kind. Then there’s language use. In both countries, English is the predominantly spoken language. And as a result, most government documents are published in English.

There’s plenty to compare in customs, foods, sports and traditions. But in this article, we’ll focus on a hot topic in the US: gambling. The Supreme Court struck off PASPA in 2018 to give states the power to regulate the industry.

Here’s an overview of the US and Canada since then.


Gambling Legality

  • Canada

In Canada, casino gaming is neither legal nor illegal. It’s not even discussed in the country’s laws, which is why there are so many foreign casinos that accept Canucks. They operate on certain terms, though.

For starters, offshore casinos can’t open offices locally. That’s because Canada does not license gambling businesses. However, they can offer all their services to Canadians without facing legal problems from the government.

  • The US

Online gambling varies by state. New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are so far the only states that have allowed all forms of gambling. They support sports betting, slot machines, poker, blackjack, roulette and bingo.

In many states, casino gaming is limited to some extent. You can bet on sports but you can’t play slot machines. Or you can play poker, but you can’t touch blackjack or roulette.


Software Providers and Games

Most online casinos provide games created by developers from all parts of the world. In Canada, gaming sites can offer games from any gaming creator. In the US, strict laws must be followed.

Before 2018, the US only allowed a handful of software providers to provide their games in American casinos. They included Scientific Gaming, RTG and Betsoft. Post PASPA, more developers have acquired licenses to operate in states where gaming is legal.

In New Jersey, for example, you can play slots and card games from all the bets developers: Microgaming, NetEnt, BTG, Playtech, Play’n GO and Evolution Gaming. That means you can relish Gonzo’s Quest, Thunderstruck II or Starburst stress free.


Banking Options and Policies

In some countries, payment options aren’t created equal. For example, you can’t used credit cards to finance online gaming in Britain. Fortunately, most payment options are legal in both Canada and the US.

From e-wallets and credit cards to Bitcoin and ACH, there are many ways to fund your casino in Canada. However, the specific payment methods you can use vary from one website to another.

Most payment policies also depend on the website. For example, some casinos process withdrawals within two days. Others could take a month. Similarly, some companies have low betting limits whereas others are flexible.



Bonuses are part of the online gaming experience. And gladly, they come in plenty for both Canadian and American casino players. Also, there are many sites where you can find, for example, Grosvenor casino welcome bonus or any other bonuses for your online game.  At the best casinos, you get free betting credits immediately you sign up an account.

In many casinos, you receive a bonus after you make your first deposit. It’s usually worth it, especially if it features friendly terms. You receive more offers in future deposits. Or you could earn loyalty points and VIP rewards.

A bonus is only useful if you can use it to win real money. It’s even better when you can cash out your profits instantly.  If you have to meet some terms, though, they show be easy to complete.

That said, bonuses in land-based casinos are different from their online counterparts. On the Internet, anyone can claim a bonus. In Las Vegas or first nation establishments in Canada, comps are for the limited few. Precisely, you must be a high roller to get great offers.


Taxes and Gambling Age

For a long time, the legal gambling age in America was 21 years. In Canada, it’s always been 18 or 19 years. These days, the gaming age in the US differs from one state to another. Some jurisdictions allow 18-year-olds to visit casinos. Others set the limit at 19 or 21 years.

When it comes to taxes, Canadians win this battle. They don’t pay taxes unless they gamble professionally. If you have doubts, there have been several stories whereby Canucks won millions of dollars gambling and didn’t have to pay taxes.

In the US, taxation is compulsory. Professional gamblers pay 25% of their wins to the Federal Government. And depending on their state, they could pay more. In New Jersey, players part with 8% of their wins as tax. In Pennsylvania, things are a tad better. Players pay 3.07%.

Of course, casinos must pay taxes too. In the US, the specific amount varies from 6.75% in Nevada to 83% in Rhodes Island.


Gaming Oversight Roles

As we mentioned above, Canada allows first nation business persons to run casinos in specific areas. These establishments are regulated by the Kahnawake Gaming Reserve. It primarily allows land-based casinos. But there are a few offshore casinos with servers in the region.

In contrast, every state has a gaming control board. These regulators formulate the rules and govern casinos. They also provide intervention in cases where players have disputes with gaming companies.

Gaming control boards are crucial in ensuring people play casino games safely. They do background checks, check personal information and audit gaming platforms regularly. As a result, you can play knowing you won’t be scammed by a licensed company.


Problem Gambling Protection

In the US, protecting problem gamblers is part of the deal for casinos. A gaming website can be held liable if it fails to problem vulnerable players. That’s why all websites in New Jersey require identity verification.

In Canada, casinos also protect vulnerable players. But they don’t do it because it’s a requirement from the government. Instead, it’s a rule from their licensing regulators in Britain or Malta.

Britain’s Gambling Commission is particularly adamant in protecting players. And it has partnerships with multiple websites geared to prevent gaming addiction. It also asks for multiple verifications to ensure people spend money they can afford to lose.






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