When it comes to playing at online casinos in Canada, the more you know in advance, the better.
While there’s nothing particularly complicated about online casino gambling, there are a few things to know going in that can improve your experience.
Here, PlayCanada offers 5 helpful tips for a better online casino experience.
Not all online casinos in Canada are equal
Nowadays, many online casinos Canadians see advertised aren’t legal in their home province.
Unless you live in Ontario, which welcomed private operators last April, most ads will be for unregulated apps or sites. And even there, folks regularly see promotions for unsanctioned Ontario online casinos and sportsbooks beyond the nearly 40 legal sites.
But the fact is, outside of Ontario, the only legal online gambling for Canadians is through provincial lotteries. So if you’re in Nova Scotia and gambling anywhere other than Alc.ca, you’re playing on an unregulated site. (ALC serves New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland too). The same goes for Alberta’s PlayAlberta.ca, EspaceJeux.com in Quebec, PlayNow.com in British Columbia, Manitoba, and soon, Saskatchewan.
If you’re fortunate enough to be in Ontario, the best way to know if you’re on a regulated, legal site is to look for the iGaming Ontario logo. iGO is responsible for managing Ontario’s commercial operators, and its logo will have prominence on any legal site. You’ll also see the logo on any ads for legal operators.
If you want to ensure you’re playing at a regulated casino, check out iGO’s up-to-date list.
You might ask, ‘why is playing on a regulated site important?’
The main reason, as always, is safety. Players are at the mercy of the site’s operators if something goes wrong on an unregulated gaming site. On regulated sites, players (and their information) receive better protection up front. And if something goes wrong, there’s legal recourse with the regulator on your side.
The other benefit of regulated casino sites is their operators are paying revenue back to the provinces. So playing on legal sites means some money goes back into the local community to fund programs and services, including problem gambling help.
Experience not required at Canada online casinos
Fortunately, for Canadians looking to try online casinos, there’s a low barrier to entry.
If you know how (and have the tools) to access the internet, you’re basically good to go. Otherwise, all you need is the ability to register for an online account and make a deposit. And reputable online casinos make both as easy as possible while ensuring customer protection.
But what does that mean for a new user? First, it means providing the online casino with basic information like name, birthdate, address, email, and proof of identification. When it comes to making a deposit, it simply means transferring money into your casino account. Depending on the casino you choose, you can deposit using a bank or credit card, PayPal, or even an e-transfer.
Most online casinos in Canada offer a selection of ways to fund an account, sometimes even more than mentioned above. But, an important note: currently, it’s not legal to use cryptocurrency at Canada’s online casinos and sportsbooks. So, if the casino you’re visiting offers crypto payments, it’s confirmation you’re on an unregulated site.
Start with slots
When it comes to actual online casino games, the good news is there’s not much experience required to get started.
That said, if new to online casinos, it’s worth starting with slots, a no-skill required game of chance. Even so, keeping wagers low is best until you get a handle on how that specific game works. Once comfortable with those, the next step, skill-wise, is probably roulette which needs no expertise.
To take it further to skill-based table games, learn about the game you want to play before jumping in.
Whether blackjack, poker or something else, make sure you understand the rules before taking a virtual seat. That way, once there, you can relax and experience the game instead of figuring out how to play as you go. On top of being frustrating, jumping in too quickly can make for an unnecessarily expensive learning experience.
Online casinos in Canada are easy access
One benefit to online casinos in Canada (or anywhere else) is that you can access them practically anywhere.
As long as you have internet access and a computer or mobile device, you can sign-up, log in and play from wherever you are. That contrasts the travel time required to visit land-based casinos, especially if it’s a trek to the nearest casino floor.
The only actual barrier is geographical. Players in NB can’t sign up to play on BCLC’s PlayNow, and BC gamblers can’t play on BetMGM Ontario. That said, Canadians visiting Ontario can take advantage of the many legal Ontario online casino choices.
Online casinos offer unparalleled choice
Another bonus an online casino can have over an IRL casino floor is more choice.
Often, online casinos will have 100s or 1000s of available games. On the other hand, land-based casinos need room for tables and slot machines. That requirement of physical space often limits selection and availability.
Think about it, in a retail casino, if someone is at you’re favourite machine or table, you must wait your turn. That need to share doesn’t apply online.
Another aspect of choice, online casinos can easily add to or change out the games on the virtual floor. In a physical casino, adding or swapping out games is more complicated. As a result, what’s available for play is likely not to change as often.
If extensive gaming choice is what you’re after, Canada online casinos are likely the best answer. Particularly those without nearby access to Canada’s bigger local casinos.
Responsible gambling a top priority at legal online casinos in Canada
Whether you’re most concerned about the safety of your personal information or having tools to combat potential gambling harms, legal Canada online casinos are best to support and protect Canadians.
In each province, operators have responsible gambling safeguards embedded in their platforms to help players with a problem find help. Through legal sites, players can access tips to manage their gambling entertainment, including setting limits or taking a scheduled time out. They also provide access to problem gambling hotlines and support programs.
In Ontario, they even go a step further. All private operators there are required to become accredited by RG Check, a comprehensive program for responsible gambling evaluation. The Responsible Gambling Council developed the program to assist operators in evaluating, monitoring and managing their RG strategy.
The more you know
Playing at online casinos in Canada can be a fun and entertaining experience. The best way to ensure it stays that way is to have some knowledge. That way, if it stops being fun, you know where to turn for help.
Hopefully, this piece has you well on your way to a positive online casino experience.