Legal Gambling in Manitoba

You will find a mix of tribal and government-operated casinos in Manitoba. Compared to some provinces, the list of casinos is small. There are almost 3,000 slots, plus more than 50 gambling tables located in Winnipeg and around the province. A partnership with British Columbia also allows for access to the PlayNow online gambling portal. This gives you online casino games, sports betting and poker options.

Alongside casinos, you can bet on sports via pari-mutuel betting facilities. There are bingo halls, video lottery terminals, poker rooms and the big jackpot prizes of the lottery available, too.

This page covers all the types of gambling available in Manitoba. You will find details on how to legally gamble online, and where to find the best live casinos, poker rooms and sports betting facilities below.

Is gambling legal in Manitoba?

Yes. Gambling in Manitoba is regulated together with alcohol and cannabis. This is under the jurisdiction of the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corporation — which is part of the provincial government. It is responsible for licensing and oversight of tribal casinos, online gambling and lotteries. This crown corporation also runs two casinos in Winnipeg.

Recent changes include a halt on new casinos, which was enacted in 2018. The prevailing legislation is the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Act.

Manitoba’s legal gambling options

  • Casinos: There are two commercial casinos in Winnipeg, and they are operated by the provincial government. There are tribal casinos located around the province that provide slots, VLTs and limited table game options.
  • Sports betting: You cannot yet bet on single games, though parlays with two or more outcomes are possible in Manitoba (under national laws). Types of bets available include win, totals and props.
  • Horse racing: There is only one racetrack in the province, Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg. Most betting takes place via simulcast at OTB offices.
  • Poker: You can play poker at bigger casinos in Manitoba. Options include cash games and tournaments. Poker rooms are small, with the largest at Club Regent Casino having 16 tables.
  • Lottery: Manitoba pools its lottery draws with other provinces via the Western Canada Lottery Association. There are draws and scratch-card tickets — many with life-changing jackpots.
  • Online gambling: Residents can access the PlayNow online gambling portal, which was developed by BC. Manitoba entered a partnership for access in 2013. It is legal to play at offshore gambling sites from MB.
  • Bingo: You can enjoy bingo under charity gambling laws, alongside keno and prize draws.
  • VLTs: Class II gambling can be accessed via VLTs around the province. These are multi-game terminals that provide access to slots that have been adapted for Class II gambling, video poker and lottery-style games.

Live casinos in Manitoba

Manitoba has a smaller number of live casinos than most other provinces. The biggest venues are in the Winnipeg metro. Here is the current list:

  • Club Regent Casino: 1425 Regent Ave. W, Winnipeg. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. Sunday to Thursday and 24 hours Friday, Saturday and holidays. This is the largest casino in Manitoba. It is owned and operated by the Manitoba Lotteries Corp. and has been running since 1993. It has 900 slots, VLTs and a range of popular table games. There is a separate poker room with 16 tables. Club Regent includes a stage, bars, restaurants and an aquarium — plus a 146-room hotel.
  • McPhillips Station Casino: 484 McPhillips St., Winnipeg. This casino is open 24/7. McPhillips Station is also owned by the Manitoba Lotteries Corp. It enjoyed a renovation in 2015, and now offers more than 800 slots (including VLTs and electronic table games), plus 44 tables. You will find a poker room and regularly scheduled bingo sessions when this casino is open. Dining options include Michele’s Restaurant and Dixie’s Lounge. There is an event centre and bar/lounge area.
  • South Beach Casino and Resort: 1 Ocean Drive, Scanterbury. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily. This popular tribal casino and hotel has been running since 2005. The 40,000-square-foot smoke-free casino holds 600 slots and VLTs. There are six tables and a small poker room. This resort includes an art deco-themed hotel, ballroom, event centre and pool complex. There is a restaurant and bar/lounge with regular live entertainment.
  • Sand Hills Casino: 777 Sand Hills Drive, Carberry: Open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday to Thursday, and to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday. This mid-sized tribal casino opened in 2014. You will find 300 electronic games here, including slots and VLTs. There are also blackjack and roulette games. You can dine at the Oasis Bar and Grill — and enjoy varied live entertainment on Friday and Saturday.
  • Aseneskak Casino: MB-10, Opaskwayak: Open from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m., extended to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday. This casino claims to be the “Best Little Casino in Canada.” It has 172 slots (including VLTs), three casino table games and a tiny three-table poker room. The Eagle’s Nest restaurant has a separate pizza menu, along with a full range of dinner and breakfast items. Rewards are available to regulars via the “Trappers Club” loyalty program.
  • Assiniboia Downs Gaming and Event Centre: 3975 Portage Ave., Winnipeg. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. This is the only permanent racetrack in Manitoba. It is home to the Manitoba Derby. There is a small casino alongside betting (live and simulcast) facilities. You will find 140 VLTs, though no casino table games are available. The venue has an event centre for corporate shows/events and weddings. Dining at the Club West lounge includes themed evenings for steak, prime rib and wings.

Online casino gambling: The PlayNow site

In 2013 Manitoba partnered with British Columbia — giving residents access to the PlayNow online gambling portal. This portal provides a fully legal way to play table games and slots online. It works on both desktops and mobile devices.

Casino games include blackjack, baccarat, roulette, sic bo, video poker and scratch cards. You will also find slots online — many of them with progressive jackpots. Player vs. player poker is also offered. There are cash games, sit and go tournaments and larger multi-table tournaments. Poker promotions include a bad beat jackpot.

Gambling at offshore casinos is a legal grey area in Manitoba. The national criminal code applies. These laws predate online gambling. A strict interpretation shows that individual players are not breaking the law by playing for real money at sites that are not located in Canada. Reputable brands include giants like Bet365 and Stars Casino. Grey-market operators, often based in the Caribbean, should be avoided — as they enjoy little or no oversight.

Manitoba poker rooms

There are four poker rooms in Manitoba. You can legally enjoy home games as long as no rake or fees are charged by the host. There are also pub poker leagues. Online poker is legal. There is a poker room as part of the PlayNow portal — and the reputable offshore brands include PokerStars, 888 and Party Poker.

Here are the live poker rooms in the province:

  • Club Regent poker room: The largest poker room in Manitoba is at the Regent Casino in Winnipeg. This room features 16 cash game tables. Texas Hold ’em and Pot Limit Omaha are available, with a 10% rake capped at $5. There are weekly tournaments, with buy-ins of up to $125. Larger special events are spread throughout the year. Players can enjoy a special menu for table-side dining.
  • McPhillips Station poker room: This Winnipeg casino has a small poker room, with five dedicated tables. The poker room comes into its own when special events are running. Examples include “Satellite Nights,” where players compete for tickets into the big money PlayNow Poker Championships.
  • South Beach Casino poker room: This small six-table poker room offers occasional cash games and tournaments. They are dependant on demand, with games not always running. Casino table games with a poker element are offered more regularly.
  • Aseneskak Casino poker room: This casino’s three-table room offers Texas Hold ’em cash games two days a week and tournament play once a week.

Is sports betting legal in Manitoba?

You can bet on sports in Manitoba via the Sport Select service. This operates through kiosks and allows wagering on two or more sporting events (not single games), as long as some rules are followed. Sports betting is controlled at a national level.

Here are the current Manitoba sports betting rules:

  • Bets need to be on two-plus sporting events; no single wagers are allowed.
  • Bets types available are over/under, parlays (called pro-line, three to six selections), spread bets, props, pools, combinations (same event) and doubles.
  • Maximum wagers per person are limited to $250 per day.

You can bet on sports that take place outside of Manitoba, though the selection is not as wide as those offered by offshore sportsbooks. There are moves to expand sports betting via the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act. This aims to unlock the estimated $14 billion wagered at offshore sportsbooks every year. At time of writing, the act is making its way through the federal system.

If live sports betting came to Manitoba, the existing casinos would be in the best position to take advantage. With bars already showing games, the Winnipeg casinos and South Beach casino would be able to move fast to set up sportsbooks. The Assiniboia Downs racetrack is already set up for live and simulcast horse racing bets.

Manitoba lottery

Manitoba is part of the Western Canada Lottery Corp. This means that prize draws are shared with Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The WCLC works with the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corp. to ensure compliance with Manitoba laws and responsible gambling rules.

You can enjoy a variety of games. These include the big (million-dollar-plus) draws, smaller daily draws, keno, scratch cards and spin games. There are also second-chance draws and contests. The biggest prize draws are Lotto Max — which had a $42 million prize pool at the time of writing. The 6/49 Lotto had a $14 million prize pool at the time of writing.

Electronic ticketing allows you to buy tickets for up to 25 draws in advance.

The focus for money raised in the Manitoba Lottery is charitable, nonprofit and community groups. Funds are distributed via sponsorships and by running community festivals. Recipients have included organizations focused on arts and culture, health, social causes, sports and diversity/inclusion.

Bingo halls & charitable gaming in Manitoba

Charity bingo is allowed in the province. Any game that requires a buy-in requires a license — even if all the money raised goes to a charity or religious cause. There are permanent bingo halls in the Winnipeg metro. Bingo games takes two basic forms. There are “breakout” packs, which are prepackaged bundles of cards used for smaller charity events. You can also enjoy “Media Bingo” in Manitoba. Here the balls are drawn remotely, allowing for multi-venue games and shared prize pools.

There are bingo halls located throughout the province. Some of the biggest venues include Club 373 and Bingo Royale in Winnipeg. Many of these venues are set up by charities for the purposes of ongoing fundraising activities.

Other forms of charitable gambling include raffles, which again require a license.

Racetracks and off-track betting in Manitoba

Manitoba only has a single horse racing track. This the Assiniboia Downs track, located at 3975 Portage Ave. in Winnipeg. The season for live racing is from May through September, and both thoroughbred and standardbred racing takes place at the facility. The racetrack is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and to 11 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

In addition to live racing, Assiniboia Downs offers an OTB office. You can bet on races via simulcast. They are streamed from around the world (with Australian and European races outside of the North American season). This venue also features 140 VLTs.

Wrapping up: Enjoy gambling legally and safely in Manitoba

Manitoba does not have the huge choice of casinos and poker rooms like those you will find in Alberta or Ontario. There are some quality places to gamble, however. Most of the casinos are in Winnipeg, including the large Club Regent and McPhillips Station casinos — plus the only racetrack and OTB office in the province.

Further afield you will find tribal casinos with a smaller selection of slots, a few table games and VLT options. Players can combine their gambling with dining, entertainments and even stays in hotels.

There are also online gambling options for Manitobans. You can access the PlayNow portal, which offers casino games, slots and poker — plus sports betting. Offshore sites have a bigger selection of games, though you need to be sure you stick with the reputable brand names.

With legislation for sports betting on the horizon, your gambling options in Manitoba may be expanding in the near future.

Manitoba Gambling: FAQ

Is online gambling legal in Manitoba?

There is one legal way to enjoy Manitoba gambling online — and another that is legal by default as there are no laws preventing it. The PlayNow portal was developed in British Columbia. Manitoba partnered with British Columbia, giving residents access to casino games, sports bets and poker in 2013.

Offshore gambling is a legal grey area. Here national laws prevail, and those laws predate the internet and thus only cover “gambling house” establishments inside Canadian territory. Since you are not entering a gambling house (and offshore books are based outside Canada), it is legal to play at offshore sites.

 

Will online gambling ever be fully regulated in MB?

There have been numerous moves to regulate online gambling in Canada over the years. The current effort in 2020 focuses on sports betting. A new act, which is supported by the pro leagues, aims to allow single-game wagering in Canada, including Manitoba.

With so much money being bet on offshore casino, poker and sports betting sites, legislation would make sense. Many other countries have introduced their own licensing and taxation programs.

What is the legal age for gambling in Manitoba?

You need to be at least 18 to gamble in Manitoba. This covers all the formats, including casino gambling, VLTs, lottery, bingo, sports betting and poker games.

Do I need to pay taxes on gambling winnings in Manitoba?

No, Canadians do not pay taxes on gambling winnings unless that gambling is their main source of income. Professional poker players or sports bettors would need to file taxes. Lottery wins, jackpots and other gambling wins for non-pros are not subject to taxes.

Is it legal to play for real money at offshore online gambling sites from MB?

Yes, at least it is “not illegal” by the strict definition of the federal laws. You should keep in mind that not all offshore sites are safe or reputable. Many smaller sites that accept cryptocurrency payments are based in the Caribbean or Central America. These brands have little oversight. This means you have nobody to turn to in the event of a dispute or your bankroll disappearing. Big, reputable brands are the ones located and licensed in Europe. Brands like PokerStars and Bet365 welcome Canadian players — and have long track records of prompt payments and secure software.

 

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