Legal Gambling Age in Canada

The gambling age refers to the minimum age set in a particular jurisdiction to gamble legally. in this post you get to learn all about the gambling age in Canada and other cities in the country. In some countries, betting is illegal irrespective of age, while in others, there is a different age limit set for various forms of gambling. Online betting has become a frenzy with popular options such as scratch cards, online casinos, lotteries, blackjack, poker, among others. These betting options are easily accessible on smartphones through dedicated apps and can be played anywhere, anytime. However, there is a serious drawback that children could indulge in gambling and become addicted, distracted from studies or lose money. With this ease of access to gambling, most jurisdictions deem it necessary to set gambling age limits.

There are several pros and cons of betting. Some advantages include entertainment and big prizes if you are lucky. Cons of gambling could include loss and misuse of money and addiction. Over the years, gambling in Canada has become very popular, hence the need for a robust regulatory system. Since most young people spend lots of time online, regulatory agencies are tasked with setting age limits for betting and licensing all gambling sites.

How old to gamble in Ontario?

In Canada, betting acts are governed on a territorial or provincial level, and thus the legal age could differ in different territories. However, the legal gambling age is 19 years for most parts of Canada. For example, Canada’s popular cities, including Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax, Winnipeg and the country’s capital, Ottawa, have their gambling age limit as 19 years. In contrast, the provinces of Quebec, Alberta and Manitoba have set their legal gambling age as a year younger at 18. Canada has about 111 casinos spread across different territories and thus plenty of employment opportunities. However, to work in a casino, you will need to meet the legal gambling and drinking age of the province in which the casino is based.

The Federal Criminal Code of Canada governs legalized gambling in Canada, but each territorial estate is responsible for its gambling activities. In Ontario, for example, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLGC) oversees all betting activities, including province-wide raffle games, commercial casinos, slot shops at race tracks, and charity casinos. Ever wondered how old you should be to gamble in Ontario? According to a law passed in 1997, selling OLGC tickets to children under 18 years is a provincial offence punishable with high fines. Therefore, in Ontario, one has to be 18 years or older to access a casino or purchase lottery tickets. OLGC laws are so tight that you cannot even purchase lottery tickets online.

Being within the gambling age limit allows Canadian residents to access and participate in the provincial lottery, buy scratch tickets, enter land casinos, and gamble online. Interestingly, the legal gambling age in Canada directly correlated to the legal drinking age in the respective territories. In the country as a whole, one is considered an adult when they reach 18 years, which is why some provinces roll the legal gambling age in line with the year adulthood. Below is a list of legal gambling ages in Canada per state.

State/ Territory Major Cities Legal Gambling Age
Quebec Longueil, Laval, Montreal, Gatineau 18
Alberta Red Deer, Edmonton, Calgary 18
Ontario Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Brampton, Ottawa, London 19
Nova Scotia Sydney, Truro, Halifax 19
Manitoba Steinbach, Winnipeg, Brandon 19
British Columbia Burnaby, Surrey, Vancouver, Richmond 19
New Brunswick Saint John, Moncton, Fredericton 19
Prince Edward Island Summerside, Stratford, Charlottetown 19
Yukon Whitehorse 19
Newfoundland, Labrador St. John’s, Corner Brook, Mount Pearl 19
Saskatchewan Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Regina 19
Northwest Territories Hay River, Inuvik, Yellowknife 19
Nunavut Iqaluit 19

Legal Gambling Age on Online Betting Sites   

Like land-based casinos, online casinos are governed by strict territorial laws and requiregovernment approvals and licenses. Proof of age is a mandatory requirement when signing in on online gambling sites. It is nearly impossible to cheat the system since you will need to show proof of age at the registration phase and when you are withdrawing your winnings. Proof of age documentation varies in different casinos, but most will ask for a passport, driving license, or a government-issued ID.

Gambling in Canada is legal, but it is necessary to validate that the site you are using is licensed during online betting. You can validate a site by checking whether the web address ends with “ca”. To be on the right side of the law, it is also necessary to understand the Canadian gambling laws. This will enable you to comply with your territory’s regulations on casinos, sports bets, or other betting facilities.  

In conclusion, Canada is diverse with a wide range of legal betting options ranging from sports betting, charities, online gambling, and land-based casinos. The country’s gambling industry is robust and well regulated, with strict legal gambling age enforced by each Canadian province.                                                                                    

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