Federal Law Definition Of Gambling

Legally defined, gambling requires 3 elements: A game of chance, Consideration for the opportunity to play the game, and An offering of a prize. The federal law on illegal gambling and gaming was passed in 1955, but the rise in online and sports gambling has implicated several other statutes of the U.S. Code and federal law. Illegal gambling could be prosecuted under several different criminal statutes, each with a different degree of punishment and potential outcome.

The nation of Canada is a unique blend of natural beauty and urban modernity.
From the frozen tundra of Nunavut to the steel and glass skyscrapers of Toronto,
the world’s second-largest country in terms of total area has a lot to brag
about. This sense of national pride also applies to their robust gaming
industry, as well as the gambling laws created to keep it running efficiently.

While other nations across the planet swing wildly from one extreme to the
other on the question of gambling, the citizens and lawmakers of Canada have
managed to take an even-handed approach despite the allure of easy money. In
most cases, the laws remain flexible while still keeping the welfare of the
public in mind at all times.

In this report, it’s my goal to provide you with an overview of the gambling
laws in Canada, specifically as they apply to various forms of gaming. I’ll also
include additional statistics and factoids in order to add a greater layer of
depth and distinguish this document from those of a similar nature.

Please keep in mind, however, that I am not a lawyer. The legal landscape of
gambling in any nation can change rapidly, so even the most well-intentioned
information can become outdated within a short span of time. If you want to be
cautious, it’s always best to consult with an attorney or email a government
agency directly before embarking on the life of a high-rolling Canadian gambler.

Illegal Gambling in Canada

Several decades ago, illegal gambling in Canada was largely the domain of
organized crime. And since most forms of gambling were outlawed throughout the
country prior to 1970, these unsavory individuals had plenty of chances to ply
their trade.

That slowly began to change in 1970, when certain previously-illegal gaming
activities were made accessible to the average citizen. Another major leap took
place in 1985, when provinces and territories were given the right to oversee
activities such as slots, charitable gaming, and lotteries.

While modern organized crime figures still rely on illegal gambling as a
primary source of revenue, the practice has also been adopted by a more
tech-savvy generation of independent crooks. In either case, these unscrupulous
individuals bilk customers, rig sporting events, and avoid paying their fair
share of taxes. This has resulted in a greater burden for city and provincial
law enforcement, as well as national organizations such as the Canadian Security
Intelligence Service and Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The Criminal Code of Canada deals with a wide array of illegal gambling
offenses, but the following are the most common:

  • Section 201Includes a large number of offenses, but the most common involves keeping a common gaming or betting house.
  • Section 202Deals with illegal betting, book-making, and pool-selling.
  • Section 206Offenses related to lotteries and other games of chance.
  • Section 209Cheating at games of chance with the intent to defraud either the customer or house.

In July of 2010, the above offenses were adjusted in the Criminal Code to be
considered “serious offenses.” Under the laws of Canada, a serious offense is
indictable under the code or act of Parliament, and the federal government
doesn’t need to bring the matter before Parliament as an amendment to the
existing legislation.

While some serious offenses within Canada carry a maximum prison term of five
years, gambling-related offenses often fall significantly short of this mark.
Most are limited to two years imprisonment, while an offense such as knowingly
keeping a common betting house is limited to no more than six months in jail and
a $5,000 fine.

When compared to their neighbor to the south, Canada has rather lenient
gambling laws. This is in keeping with their desire to be a more progressive
nation, reserving long stretches of prison time for crimes such as murder and

As a general rule, a form of gambling is illegal within the borders of Canada
if it’s not licensed or managed by the government (either on a federal or
provincial level).

This certainly applies to major gaming operations such as
land-based casinos, but it also applies to charitable options such as bingo and

Online gambling often falls into something of a grey area. Canadian law
doesn’t prohibit the practice of betting via the Internet, but it does require a
service to be licensed or owned by a provincial government in order to be
considered legal. This hasn’t prevented over 1,000 unlicensed offshore sites
from offering their services to Canadian citizens.

One case of prosecution involving online gambling came when British Columbia
went after Delaware-based Starnet Communications International and forced them
to forfeit almost $4 million in revenue. Another example occurred in 2013, when
Ontario authorities conducted 10 raids, charged 19 people, and seized more than
$2 million in funds from users of Platinum Sports Book.

Luckily, despite all this, there are still plenty of safe online gambling sites
for Canadian players. Casumo is currently our most trusted site for Canadian vistors.
If you haven’t already, check them out today!

Gambling in the Provinces

The nation of Canada is divided into 10 provinces, including the following:
Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Colombia, Prince
Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Each
province is a self-governing entity, with power granted to the various
lieutenant governors by the federal government, and any major changes in this
relationship require an alternation to the nation’s constitution.

In this section, we’ll examine the current gambling laws in each of the
nation’s 10 provinces, especially as they relate to the average citizen.

Gambling Laws in Ontario

Ontario has the highest population of all Canadian provinces, and over 90% of
residents in Southern Ontario are within a one-hour drive of a legal gaming
establishment. Considering this last fact, it should come as no surprise that a
2011 poll found that 82.9% of adults within the province had admitted to
gambling at least once during the calendar year. If you want to be included in a
future percentage, give one of these legal forms of gambling a try:

  • Casinos

    Over 25 land-based casinos are active in Ontario, and these
    range from privately-owned entities to charitable locations run by the

  • Slot Machines

    Free bitcoin cash roulette apk. In addition to casinos, slots may be found at racetracks
    and other select locations. There are more of these gaming devices in
    Ontario than any other province in Canada.

  • Horse Racing

    Quarter horse, Standardbred, and thoroughbred racing is
    available at racetracks from Ottawa to Fort Erie. These tracks enjoyed great
    success when slot machines were added in 1998, but their withdrawal by the
    government in 2013 has resulted in a massive downturn.

  • Sports Betting

    Players may use the Pro-Line service to wager on
    multiple types of sports through the Internet or land-based lottery centers.
    At least two games must be wagered on, although the customer can choose from
    a number of betting options such as the point spread or over/under.

  • Lottery

    In addition to national lottery drawings, residents can take
    part in provincial drawings that are administered by the Ontario Lottery and
    Gaming Corporation. Ontario boasts one of the largest lottery networks in
    North America, and in 2011 their fiscal revenue was in excess of $3 billion.

  • Charitable Gaming

    This includes raffles and bingo. The Ontario Lottery
    and Gaming Corporation oversees licensing of such games, and they also
    manage a number of eBingo websites. Along with various lottery games, bingo
    generates the largest amount of gaming revenue for Ontario.

Gambling Laws in Quebec

Quebec has been offering legal games of chance since 1970, and the available
options have continued to grow over the decades. If you find yourself in this
predominantly French-speaking province, here are the most readily available
forms of legal gambling:

  • Casinos

    Quebec currently has nine land-based casinos, and these are
    popular with both locals and neighboring residents in New York, Vermont, New
    Hampshire, and Maine. All activities are overseen by the Quebec Alcohol,
    Racing, and Gaming Commission.

  • Horse Racing

    Only one race track currently exists in the state, and it
    primarily offers harness racing. In addition to placing wagers at the track,
    bettors can also pick their favorite ponies at several off-track facilities.

  • Lottery

    A wide range of lottery games are offered, from Lotto Max and
    Quebec Extra to Tout ou Rien. Drawings are held on a daily basis, and the
    lottery represents the oldest form of legal gambling within Quebec.

  • Online Gambling

    Residents can play at any online site that’s willing
    to accept them, including the government-owned Espacejeux. This may soon
    change, however, as the Quebec government has announced plans to block any
    online gaming site that’s not approved and licensed by Loto-Quebec.

  • Sports Betting

    Legal residents of Quebec can wager on sports teams or
    individual athletes through a game known as Mise-O-Jeu. Players can wager on
    two to eight options, although all picks must be successful in order to
    receive a payout. Wagers can be made online or at participating locations
    such as convenience stores.

  • Video Lottery Terminals

    Quebec was one of the last provinces to offer
    video lottery terminals. In 1994, it was estimated that over 40,000 illegal
    machines were in operation within the province. That number has dropped
    substantially since over 12,000 VLTs have been legally placed in select
    brasseries, bars, and gaming hall complexes.

  • Bingo & Charitable Gaming

    From bingo and Kinzo to raffles, all
    charitable gaming within the province is regulated and licensed by

Gambling Laws in Nova Scotia

The second-smallest province in Canada in terms of area, Nova Scotia is known
for agriculture and fishing. They also have a respectable gaming scene, with 87%
of adults playing games of chance at least once a year (for an average annual
expenditure of $609). The following forms of legal gaming are available
throughout the province:

  • Lottery & Charitable Gaming

    Video and ticket lotteries, as well as
    other charitable games such as bingo, fall under the domain of the Atlantic
    Lottery Corporation. Tickets can be purchased online or from over 1,000
    retailers throughout the province.

  • Casinos

    There are two land-based casinos in Nova Scotia, and both are
    government owned. Casino Nova Scotia has locations in Halifax and Sydney,
    and both facilities offer traditional slots and table games. The average
    payback percentage for slots, as reported by the Nova Scotia Provincial
    Lotteries and Casino Corporation, is 92%.

  • Horse Racing

    Three legal horse racing tracks are currently available
    in Nova Scotia: Inverness Raceway, Northside Downs, and Truro Raceway. A
    handful of teletheatres are also available for those who want to bet but
    can’t make it to the track.

  • Sports Betting

    The Atlantic Lottery Corporation uses the Pro-Line
    system to allow residents to wager on sports. A minimum of two athletes or
    teams must be wagered on in parlay fashion, and this is common throughout
    the nation. Customers must be 19 or older in order to participate.

  • Online Gambling

    The province offers no gaming sites of their own, but
    residents can still seek out thousands of offshore casinos and sportsbooks
    without fear of legal troubles.

  • Video Lottery Terminals

    There are over 2,700 VLTs in Nova Scotia at
    more than 300 licensed retailers. The average prize payout ranges from 93%
    to 95% of the total wagers. Legal games are only found in age-restricted
    locations such as bars and liquor stores.

Gambling Laws in New Brunswick

Even though the population of the province stands at less than one-million,
residents have a wide range of legal gambling activities to choose from. These

  • Video Lottery Terminals

    In 1990, New Brunswick became the first
    province to introduce video lottery terminals. The minimum payback
    percentage required by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation is 80%. Almost all
    of the province’s 2,000 machines, however, have a 93% payout.

  • Casinos

    The only casino in the province is located in Moncton, and it
    contains an assortment of slots, table games, and poker.

  • Horse Racing

    Permanent racetracks are located in Saint John and
    Fredericton, while the Great Western Fair circuit brings the excitement of
    racing to various regions of the province on a rotating basis. As of 2015,
    off-track betting facilities were available in Dieppe and Quispamsis.

  • Online Gambling

    Residents can choose from a large number of offshore
    casinos and sportsbooks, although none of these are regulated by the
    government. In recent years, New Brunswick has openly discussed the idea of
    launching their own casino website in the mold of Manitoba and British

  • Sports Betting

    The Atlantic Lottery oversees Pro-Line, a parlay-style
    sports betting game that can be purchased online or through hundreds of
    licensed dealers.

  • Lottery

    Lottery tickets can be legally purchased at over 900
    land-based dealers. Drawings and payouts are conducted by the Atlantic
    Lottery Corporation.

  • Charitable Gaming

    Over 800 charitable licenses are currently issued to
    non-profit organizations within the province. Raffles are the most common,
    although bingo remains the most popular gambling activity among adults 65 or

Gambling Laws in Manitoba

Gambling is legal in this western Canadian province, and activities are
overseen by the Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba (which was created in
2014 by combining the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission and the Manitoba Gaming
Control Commission). Residents and visitors can enjoy the following legal forms
of gambling within the borders of the province:

  • Online Gambling

    After British Columbia enjoyed success with a
    government-owned gaming website, Manitoba adopted the same business model in
    2013. While over 1,000 unlicensed casinos and sportsbooks are available from
    offshore operators, PlayNow Manitoba is the only one operating within the
    borders of the province.

  • Casinos

    Manitoba has a mixture of government-owned and First Nations
    casinos. Winnipeg has two of these facilities, and both are owned by the
    provincial government.

  • Horse Racing

    Both thoroughbred and Standardbred races are conducted in
    the province, and Assiniboia Downs is the only permanent track for such
    events. Winnipeg has several off-track betting facilities, and both live and
    simulcast events are overseen by the Manitoba Horse Racing Commission.

  • Lottery

    The Western Canada Lottery Corporation offers lottery tickets
    and scratch-off cards. These can be purchased online or at licensed
    retailers such as convenience stores.

  • Charitable Gaming

    Not-for-profit organizations within Manitoba can
    apply for a license to conduct one of the following forms of charitable
    gaming: bingo, raffles, breakopen, Monte Carlo, Calcutta auction, sports
    draft, and Texas Hold’em poker tournament.

  • Sports Betting

    The Sport Select system allows players to wager up to
    $250 per day on two or more sporting event outcomes. The minimum age to play
    is 19, and participants can choose from options such as props, pools, and

  • Video Lottery Terminals

    These games of chance are confined to VLT
    lounges throughout the province and overseen by Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries.
    The three most popular versions of the game are spinning reel, poker, and

Gambling Laws in British Colombia

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation has been offering gaming to BC
residents for more than three decades, and the available gaming options have
continued to grow over the years. Whether you live in British Columbia or
neighboring U.S. states such as Oregon and Washington, here are the legal forms
of available gaming:

Us online gambling law
  • Lottery

    The British Columbia Lottery Corporation has been offering
    government sanctioned games since 1985. Players must be 19 or older to buy a
    ticket, and winners have one year from the draw date to claim their prize.

  • Horse Racing

    Fraser Downs is the only active track in BC. For those
    who don’t want to drive to Surrey, off-track simulcasts can also be enjoyed
    at over 15 locations throughout the province.

  • Casinos

    There are over 15 casinos within the province, with a single
    facility belonging to the First Nations. The largest in terms of gaming
    space is Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, and it contains 1,000 slots, 70 table
    games, a poker room, and 8 baccarat tables in a high-limit room.

  • Charitable Gaming

    Non-profit organizations may apply for a license to
    conduct one of the following charitable events: ticket raffles, bingo,
    poker, wheel of fortune, and social occasion casinos.

  • Online Gambling

    The only regulated and entirely legal gambling site in
    BC is PlayNow, which is owned by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation.
    Launched in 2004, the site contains sports betting, lottery, bingo, poker,
    and casino games.

  • Sports Betting

    Tickets are available in convenience stores and other
    licensed locations. Players must wager on at least two games, and most
    contests require a 100% winning percentage in order to receive a payout.

Gambling Laws in Prince Edward Island

Consisting of one major island and 231 smaller ones, Prince Edward Island is
the smallest province in Canada. The Prince Edward Island Lotteries Commission
has been overseeing gaming in the region since its creation in 1976. Even though
the province consistently has one of the lowest gambling rates, the following
types of gaming are offered:

  • Sports Betting

    The Pro-Line service allows anyone 19 or older to make
    parlay bets on various sporting events. Tickets may be purchased online or
    at licensed land-based retailers.

  • Lottery

    The provincial lottery is operated by the Atlantic Lottery

  • Horse Racing

    There are two race tracks on Prince Edward Island:
    Charlottetown Driving Park and Summerside Raceway. Unfortunately, there are
    no off-track betting facilities currently in operation.

  • Video Lottery Terminals

    In 2003, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation
    became the sole VLT operator for Prince Edward Island. In 2008, an
    initiative was enacted to reduce video lottery sites by 50% and the number
    of terminals by 20%. In 2014, there were 268 terminals at 39 sites, and
    rules were relaxed to allow these devices to operate every day of the week.

  • Charitable Games

    Non-profit organization can apply for a license to
    conduct charitable games such as bingo, raffles, and lottery-style contests.

  • Online Gambling

    Offshore gambling is unregulated, but it remains
    available to any PEI resident who can locate a site willing to accept their

  • Casino

    The only legal casino is actually a “racino,” as it combines
    harness racing and casino-style gaming. Blackjack, poker, and slots are
    available, and anyone over the age of 19 can take part.

Gambling Laws in Newfoundland and Labrador

Located in the easternmost section of Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador
allows most forms of gambling within its borders. The most notable exception is
land-based casinos, although First Nations tribes do have the right to open
their own facilities. The following forms of gambling are currently legal within
the province:

  • Charitable Gaming

    Charitable gaming such as raffles and bingo are
    overseen throughout the province by the Department of Government Services,
    and over 3,800 charitable licenses are currently in use.

  • Lottery

    Managed by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, this provincial
    lottery offers top jackpots ranging from $10 million to $50 million. Tickets
    may be purchased online or at one of over 1,000 licensed retailers.

  • Horse Racing

    St. John’s Racing and Entertainment Centre is the only
    legal horse racing track currently operating in Newfoundland. In addition to
    live racing, patrons can also take advantage of simulcasting facilities to
    enjoy races from other Canadian tracks, as well as annual events such as the
    Kentucky Derby. This form of entertainment is co-regulated by Standardbred
    Canada and the Canadian Pari-mutuel Agency.

  • Video Lottery Terminals

    Overseen by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation,
    more than 2,000 of these devices are present at 500 age-restricted retailers
    across the province. The minimum payout percentage is set at 80%, while the
    more generous machines have a maximum of 93%.

  • Online Gaming

    Since land-based casinos are currently banned in the
    province, numerous citizens turn to the Internet to get their gaming fix.
    While no sportsbooks or virtual casinos are located in Newfoundland, there
    are over 1,000 offshore sites willing to accept players.

  • Sports Betting

    The Pro-Line service offers parlay sports wagering to
    anyone who meets the minimum age of 19 (which is also the legal drinking age
    in Canada). Tickets can be purchased for as little as $2, while the maximum
    daily wager is capped at $250.

Gambling Laws in Saskatchewan

According to a study conducted by Statistics Canada, residents of
Saskatchewan spend more per household on gambling than any other province. If
you happen to be a citizen of this sunniest part of Canada, here are the legal
gaming pastimes currently available:

Internet Gambling Laws

  • Video Lottery Terminals

    These machines have been present in the
    province since 1993. A cap of 4,000 machines has been set, and there were
    3,991 at 620 sites as of March 2015. Revenue from the games goes to the
    government’s General Revenue Fund. For 2014-15, the provincial net income
    from VLTs was $179.6 million.

  • Charitable Gaming

    Any not-for-profit organization may apply with the
    Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority for a license to conduct bingo or

  • Casinos

    The province has six casinos run by the Saskatchewan Indian
    Gaming Authority, as well as two more operated by the Saskatchewan Gaming
    Corporation. In the case of First Nations casinos, revenue is split between
    the First Nations Trust, the government’s General Revenue Fund, and
    Community Development Corporations.

  • Lottery

    This form of gambling has been available in the province since
    1974. Operated by Saskatchewan Lotteries, proceeds are used to fund more
    than 12,000 groups.

  • Sports Betting

    Sports Select offers legal parlay betting on the
    following sports: baseball, basketball, hockey, football, and soccer. Wagers
    generally range from $2 to $100.

  • Online Gambling

    While online gaming providers are prohibited from
    being based in the province, offshore sportsbooks and casinos are still free
    to offer their services to residents.

  • Horse Racing

    There are three legal tracks operating in the province,
    although the West Meadows Raceway was forced to temporarily halt business in
    2014. A few provincial teletheatres also exist, allowing patrons to take
    advantage of off-track betting facilities.

Gambling Laws in Alberta

The largest of the Prairie Provinces in terms of population, Alberta has a
long tradition of sports and gambling. They receive over 4% of their budget from
gambling revenue, which is more than any other province in the nation.
Unfortunately, a 2013 study showed that half the revenue came from problem
gamblers, which means the province has a long way to go in terms of identifying
and treating gambling addiction. Some of the most popular legal forms of gaming
in Alberta include the following:

  • Horse Racing

    Legal horse racing is available in Alberta at the
    following: Alberta Downs, Century Downs, and Northlands Park. In addition,
    15 teletheatres are also available in such diverse locations as Leduc and
    Peace River.

  • Video Lottery Terminals

    Managed by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor
    Commission, these devices are located at age-restricted, liquor-licensed
    facilities across the province. Retailers are limited to 10 machines, while
    gaming centers can have from 15 to 30. Over 6,000 are currently in

  • Sports Betting

    The Sport Select service allows players to wager on two
    or more games in parlay style. No more than $250 in wagers can be made per

  • Casinos

    Over 25 casinos are located in Alberta. Most of these are
    charitable operations, which means the casino splits the profits with
    various charities throughout the region. A couple of government-owned
    casinos are also present, as well as a handful that are operated by the
    First Nations.

  • Online Gambling

    Residents of Alberta can gamble at online casinos and
    sportsbooks without any limitations.

  • Lottery

    Drawings occur daily and are overseen by the Western Canada
    Lottery Corporation.

  • Charitable Gaming

    In addition to most of the casinos in the province,
    Alberta also offers legal charitable gaming such as bingo and pull tickets
    to qualified non-profit groups.

Gambling in the Territories

In addition to the provinces, Canada includes the territories of Yukon,
Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories. These areas are smaller in terms of
overall population (a combined 107,265 in May 2011), and they are largely
administered by the federal government. To many Canadian residents and
foreigners, this entire region is simply known as “The North.”

In this section, we’ll look at the gambling laws of Canada as they apply to
each territory. While opportunities for legal games of chance are rare in these
regions, they still exist if you know where to look.

Gambling Laws in the Yukon

With a sparse population of just over 34,000, the Yukon is not known as the
gambling center of Canada. A few legal opportunities do exist, however,
especially for those living in and around the territorial capitol of Whitehorse.

  • Charitable Gaming

    Under the law of the Yukon, only non-profit groups
    are allowed to host charitable gambling events as a fundraising method.
    These groups must first be approved by the Registrar of Lotteries, and they
    must also obtain a license for bingo, raffle, or lottery. In addition to
    giving away money, lotteries and raffles in this territory are also known
    for giving away meat and other forms of food.

  • Lottery

    The Western Canada Lottery Association gives Yukon residents
    the opportunity to win millions of dollars through the purchase of a single

  • Three-Day Casinos

    Permanent casinos are not allowed in the Yukon,
    although temporary gaming establishments may be permitted for no more than
    three days at a time. These events require a casino license, and they can
    only be conducted by a religious or charitable not-for-profit organization.
    Games such as blackjack, roulette, and wheels of fortune are permitted, and
    all patrons must be at least 19 years of age to participate.

    The only semi-exception to this rule is Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling
    Hall. This Dawson City landmark holds the distinction of being Canada’s
    oldest casino, and it operates during the months of May through September.
    All proceeds are invested back into the town, making it a permanent
    not-for-profit structure. Available games include roulette, poker,
    blackjack, and slots.

  • Sports Betting

    Legal sports betting is available through a service
    known as Sport Select, allowing residents to wager on their favorite CFL or
    NHL teams (among others). Options such as futures and over/unders are
    available, although the customer is always required to make a parlay bet on
    two or more teams.

  • Online Gambling

    Residents can legally place bets over the Internet,
    whether it involves an online sportsbook or casino. It doesn’t matter if the
    provider is located within Canada or at an offshore location.

Gambling Laws in Nunavut

Nunavut is the newest and least populated territory in Canada, and the
capitol of Iqaluit only has slightly more than 7,000 inhabitants. Despite its
remote location and harsh weather conditions, the region offers a surprising
number of legal gambling options to its citizens. While each of the following
are legal under Yukon law, keep in mind that the limited population might
prevent all of these options from being continuously available.

  • Video Lottery Terminals & Slots

    These free-standing games of chance
    with random number generators can sometimes be found in bars and taverns
    throughout Nunavut.

  • Charitable Gaming

    This applies to bingo, pull-tickets, poker
    tournaments, raffles, and temporary casino-style gaming. Residents must be
    at least 16 to play pull-ticket games, and charitable casinos must cease
    operation by 2am on Monday through Friday and midnight on Saturday. For
    Texas Hold’em tournaments, the maximum entry fee per player is limited to

  • Lottery

    Residents can play the national lottery conducted by the
    Western Canada Lottery Corporation. Tickets can be purchased at licensed
    retailers or through the official online site.

  • Sports Betting

    Despite a complete absence of professional, semi-pro,
    or collegiate sports teams, Nunavut residents may wager on everything from
    basketball to American football courtesy of Sport Select. This service is
    available online and at select retailers, and it allows customers to choose
    from props, pools, point spreads, over/unders, and several more options. A
    minimum of two games must be wagered on for any given ticket, and all
    selections must be correct in order for the player to receive a payout.

  • Online Gambling

    Just like in other parts of the nation, Internet
    gambling is legal within the borders of Nunavut. This applies to both online
    sportsbooks and casinos, although those in more remote locations may have to
    struggle with a lack of Internet service.

  • Horse Racing

    While this sport is allowed in Nunavut, there are no
    permanent tracks or regularly-scheduled events within the territory.

  • Private Wagers between Residents

    This is one of the most common forms
    of gambling due to the small size of the territory, and private wagers
    between adults are not subject to government regulations.

Gambling Laws in the Northwest Territories

The most populous of the three Canadian territories, the NWT is comprised
primarily of Aboriginal peoples. The climate is harsh by most standards, ranging
from polar to subarctic. But despite unpleasant weather conditions and differing
cultural backgrounds, gambling and games of chance are still popular with local

According to territorial law, the following pastimes are currently legal
within the Northwest Territories:

  • Lottery Games

    This category includes casino-style lotteries, bingo,
    raffles, and Nevada or pull-tickets. These may only be conducted by
    non-profit organizations, and a license is required before they can be
    legally offered. All lottery games within the territory are regulated by the
    department of Municipal and Community Affairs, although they are also an
    associate member of the Western Canada Lottery Corporation.

  • Land-based Casinos

    There are no laws prohibiting land-based casinos in
    the Northwest Territories. Despite this fact, there seems little interest in
    building such a facility due to the low population and remote location.

  • Sports Betting

    Governed by the NWT Lotteries, this form of gambling is
    legally available online or at land-based retailers through the Sport Select
    brand. Players can wager on the results on most major sporting events and
    choose from a variety of options such as over/under and point spread. A
    maximum of $250 can be wagered at a single location per day, and each ticket
    must be in the form of a parlay (which requires the customer to correctly
    predict the outcome of two or more events).

  • Online Gambling

    From online sportsbetting to virtual casinos, all
    forms of Internet gaming can be legally enjoyed by the residents of the
    Northwest Territories.


Canada is a diverse country that promotes the celebration of various
cultural, religious, and racial backgrounds. The same can be said of their
gambling landscape, as a wide range of gaming pastimes are legally available
throughout the nation’s 10 provinces and three territories.

Charitable and online gambling are two of the most common, with the former
providing much-needed income for non-profit organizations such as churches. The
latter is available throughout the country with few regulations, which marks a
distinct difference between Canada and the heavily-regulated Internet gaming
climate of the United States.

Casinos are also prevalent and legal throughout the nation, especially in
southern provinces such as Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. These come in
all shapes in sizes, from those owned by First Nations tribes to establishments
operated by the Canadian government. In addition to local residents, casinos
near the U.S. border also draw a sizeable number of foreign patrons.

Unlike the United States, sports betting is widely available throughout the
provinces and territories of Canada. However, this form of gambling is commonly
limited to parlay bets, requiring customers to successfully wager on two or more
games in order to receive a cash payout.

Ultimately, the nation of Canada seems to have found a perfect approach to
conducting legal gambling within its borders. Most forms of gaming are allowed,
although reasonable laws and regulations exist to keep the hobby from becoming a
detriment to its citizenry. While no system is perfect, the model conducted by
the lawmakers in the Great White North stands as a shining example for all other

In decades past, gambling used to be a crime almost everywhere other than Las Vegas, Nevada and Atlantic City, New Jersey. Today, more and more states have legalized various types of gambling, ranging from Indian casinos to poker rooms and horse racing tracks. While some states have legalized certain types of gambling, other types of gambling are still illegal. All states have laws that prohibit at least some type of gambling.

Gambling is sometimes referred to as “gaming.” Depending on the language of state laws, gambling and gaming can mean different things or the two terms can be used synonymously. “Gaming” typically refers to playing games for wagers, such as craps, card games, slot machines, and roulette. “Gambling” may refer to these same types of games, but it also includes other types of activity such as sports wagers.

Gambling is defined in numerous ways, but requires betting or wagering on an outcome that is at least partially based on chance, and done so in order to win something. Illegal gambling is any type of gambling that is specifically prohibited by state law.

Gambling Involves a Bet

While most instances of gambling occur when someone bets money, courts have ruled that gambling can occur whenever a bet is made using anything of value. The item of value is sometimes known as “consideration,” and can encompass anything that has any worth. The amount of the bet doesn't matter, and as long as the property that's at stake in the game is worth some value, the game is gambling.

'Games of Chance'

State gambling laws outlaw games, bets, or wagers that are at least partially dependent on some element of chance. If a game or competition that gives prizes to winners is based on skill, such as a car race or a shooting competition, it is not considered gambling. (However, other laws or restrictions may apply in order to make such competitions legal.)

What differentiates a game of skill from a game of chance is usually determined by which of the two elements has the greatest impact on the outcome. If chance is the biggest factor, the game is one of chance, and making bets or wagers on such games is gambling. Courts have ruled that in games that involve both skill and chance, and where a small group of skilled experts routinely win, this does not necessarily make the game one of skill. In determining what defines a game of skill or chance, courts often judge the game on the average player. If the average player's chances are dominated by chance, the law considers it a game of chance.

A Chance of Winning

If you don't have any chance of winning something of value, you're not gambling. Gambling requires that there is a chance you might win something for your bet, whether it's money, property, or even more chances to play. Further, courts have ruled that you personally don't need to have placed any wager to be convicted of gambling. As long as a group of people have a chance to win something and at least some of them have made a wager, you can be convicted of gambling if you are part of the group and stand a chance at winning.

Prohibition Against Making a Profit

Those who win at gambling have obviously made some money. But aside from the players, what about the businesses who run or operate the gambling game or establishment?

Some state laws specifically allow for 'social gambling' while prohibiting gambling as a business. Business gambling occurs when a person or organization operates a gambling hall that collects fees or takes a portion of the amount the players bet. For example, a person who holds a 'casino night' party and charges an entry fee is engaged in an illegal activity in a state that prohibits business gambling or gambling for profit. So-called “social gambling,” where the players are all equals an no one is collecting fees or making a profit apart from the outcome of the game -- such as in a home poker game -- is often not considered illegal. However, even social gaming is illegal in some states.

Federal Gambling Laws


While all states criminalize gambling to some extent, they also have vastly different penalties associated with gambling crimes. The type of penalty someone faces after being convicted of illegal gambling largely depends upon the state and the circumstances of case, though sentences typically involve many of the same types of penalties. Gambling can be classified as either a misdemeanor offense or a felony, depending on the situation and state law.

Jail or Prison

Anyone convicted of misdemeanor gambling faces up to a year in a county or local jail, though state laws differ widely. Some states impose small maximum jail sentences for misdemeanor gambling, such as 20 days in jail. Felony convictions, on the other hand, can bring a year or more in prison, and sometimes as much as 10 years, especially where organized, professional gambling is present.


Misdemeanor fines for gambling are quite common, and range from a few hundred dollars up to $1,000 or more. Felony gambling fines can be significant, sometimes as much as $20,000 or more. Fines can be separate from, or in addition to, jail or prison sentences.


Instead of, or in addition to jail time and fines, courts can impose probation sentences for gambling convictions. These probation periods usually last 12 months or more. When a court orders probation it tells you to do (or not do) certain things. For example, the court may order you to stop gambling or to participate in a gambling addiction treatment program. You'll also probably have to report to a probation officer and stay out of trouble with the law. If you don't live up to the probation conditions, the court can revoke your probation and send you to serve the original jail or prison sentence.

Federal Law Definition Of Gambling Addiction

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Federal Law Definition Of Gambling Laws

Federal Law Definition Of Gambling

Gambling Laws Usa

Illegal gambling charges can impose significant penalties and can have a serious impact on your life, even if you aren't convicted. Anyone charged with a gambling crime needs to speak to a local criminal defense lawyer at the first opportunity. A good defense attorney will know the gambling laws in your state and have experience with the local prosecutors, judges, and court system. It's always in your best interests to speak to a local criminal defense attorney anytime you are charged with a gambling crime.