How to Choose the Best Online Casinos in Canada
As one of the best online casinos in Canada, the team at JackpotCity wants all players to have a great user experience whenever they log on to enjoy a game. We think that our record stands for itself in this regard as one of the top rated online casinos, not just in Canada but the entire world. However, you don't have to take our word for it. There are plenty of ways that you can verify for yourself that you are playing at a high-quality Canadian online casino and not somewhere that operates unscrupulous and even illegal business practices. For example, you can check whether or not the gambling site in Canada you are considering is properly accredited. All the best legit online casinos in the country around will have their licence badge proudly displayed. As with JackpotCity Casino, a licence badge of this type is often situated at the bottom of the web page you are looking at. Furthermore, all you should have to do is to click on it in order to be redirected to the casino accreditation on the relevant website.
While you are checking out a Canadian casino’s proper accreditation, you should also look out for acronyms, such as TST and eCOGRA. The first refers to the most well-known testing agency which independently inspects software to make sure that the games you can play at the given online casino are fair. The second relates to a complaint-handling service. Furthermore, there are other factors you should confirm with any Canadian online casino you are considering registering with. These include the sort of encryption methods that are used to keep your personal details safe. In addition, you should read a review or two to check out other players' ratings of their level of customer service and responsible gambling measures.
How Are Online Casinos Regulated in Canada?
In the past, gambling regulations in Canada were tighter than in many other parts of the world. Indeed, only very limited forms of gambling were permitted until the 1970s when a series of legal changes relaxed the gaming sector a great deal. Although gambling at a bricks-and-mortar casino remains a strictly regulated practice in Canada with different provinces having their own particular laws, the burgeoning online gambling sector in the country is rather different. In fact, it falls into something of a grey area within Canadian federal law. This is because when Canada’s federal government authorised many forms of gambling back in 1985, it chose not to alter the country's Criminal Code. The result was that the control of most gambling regulation was devolved to provincial governments, not the federal one.
The consequence of a devolved regulatory framework wasn't so important in the 1980s, but that changed when the boom of online casinos in Canada occurred decades afterwards. After all, it allowed user to play best online slots in Canada from the comfort of their own home at a casino that might be miles away. Given that online casinos operate on a non-geographical basis, some people have understandably worried that betting at them could be illegal if they reside in one province and the online casino they are playing at is registered in another. Despite this concern, so long as the hosting service is based in a province that allows for gambling and the operator is properly licensed by the authorities there to do so, then online gambling among Canadian citizens is perfectly legal.
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission, or KGC as it is often referred to, is a third-party gaming commission that is in charge of regulating and distributing online gambling accreditations in Canada. The KGC operates from within Kahnawake which is technically a sovereign nation in its own right even though it complies with Canadian gambling rules. The commission first came into existence in 1996 and rules on interactive gaming followed just three years later in 1999 which still form the basis for much of the KGC's work with online casinos in Canada. It is important to know about the KGC in terms of online casinos in Canada from a legal point of view because the commission has to verify three crucial points under its licensing arrangements, each aimed to safeguard the player.
Firstly, the KGC establishes what it refers to as the general integrity and trustworthiness of the online casino concerned. This means it rules out widespread cheats or criminals from being able to become licensed. Secondly, it examines and inspects the gaming system and the software that is used to play casinos online, something important if you ever ask yourself the question of whether online casino games are legit or not. Finally, the KGC mandates that an approved testing company audits all of the gaming systems used by the casino on a regular basis to ensure that fairness is maintained. Quite apart from acting in its regulatory role, the KGC has gained a lot of respect since online casinos in Canada took off due to the work it does to ensure trust is maintained with players. Where complaints are made about operators, the KGC often finds in favour of players. That said, some top casinos in Canada, such as JackpotCity, like to double-up on their licensing arrangements and will often be regulated by the MGA as well as the KGC.
The legality of Online Canadian Casinos and Offshore Gambling
As mentioned, gambling at a regulated online casino in Canada is perfectly legal for all adult Canadians citizens, no matter where they live in the country, so long as the casino itself is properly registered with the relevant provincial authorities. Where the grey area still exists within federal law, however, is when Canadians access the games of overseas online casinos. This could potentially land players in legal strife although it is fair to say that few cases have ever come before the courts in this regard. If you want to log onto a French, British or Maltese online casino, then it is possible you could be in technical breach of the law. Thankfully, most of the online casinos offering online slots games are hosted in Canada, so it is not an issue. Just check the casino you are playing at is properly registered in its Canadian province and your concerns over legality should be met.
Indeed, the laws that concern gambling services in Canada tend to be more focused on the provider than the customer. That is why a good number of the best online casinos are hosted outside of their individual province, something that makes them offshore in a technical legal sense. Moreover, online casinos that are hosted in Natives Reserves fall under their own jurisdiction. This means that Canada has an online gambling loophole in the form of the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory which set up its own gaming commission to take advantage of it in the 1990s – good news for Canada's many online gamblers.
Top Online Casino Games on Offer
Some of the best online casino games in Canada are slots. Players love them more than any other game format. Essentially, online casino slots are a virtual representation of a real slot machine. You can find out a great deal more about this game in JackpotCity's Ultimate Guide to Online Slots in Canada. There are plenty of different slots to choose from to suit every budget and playing style. Another of the top online casino games you can play for real money in Canada is blackjack. Like online slots, this fun casino game, in which you try to get a high scoring hand without exceeding a score of 21, is hugely popular amongst Canadians. Various forms of the game exist which means you can find the right version of blackjack for you. Atlantic City, an American form, is popular, as is the standard European version of the game. These all have slight variations on the playing format, but the basic rules remain the same.
Nearly all top online casinos in Canada also offer video poker. This card game differs from blackjack in that you set yourself against other players rather than against the house dealer. The online version of this game really feels like you are in the same room as the other players so it can be extremely exciting, especially if you are a good judge of when others are bluffing! Another of the best casino games to play online is baccarat which is sometimes known as punto banco. It involves comparing your hand to the house's, and when a hand is played, there are only three possible outcomes – win, lose or tie – which makes it easy for novices to pick up. Online casino roulette is another popular game in the country. Offering multiple ways to bet, online roulette involves a virtual ball falling randomly into a numbered pocket on a spinning wheel.
Finally, another of the most popular online casino games around is keno. This is a lottery-like game that is offered at many bricks-and-mortar casinos in which you choose a set of numbers within a given range. Balls are then drawn randomly to see whether or not one of your choices matches, known as a 'hit'. With all such games, online gambling establishments should offer you the chance to play practice turns without any deposit, so you get to know how they work before you gamble.
Online Canadian Casino Software Providers
Online casino software developers produce a key part of the offering when you gamble online. These companies provide the games, such as VR roulette, slot machines and poker games, that you will find at all online casinos. In Canada, many of the online casino software companies and publishers which are not available in the United States can be played. Highly respected software providers, like Microgaming, have built up a great reputation for the games that they supply to online casinos in Canada. They provide some of the most popular games that the developers have come up with on an exclusive basis. In fact, Microgaming also offers independently verified auditing of its games so that players can rest assured that they are being offered a consistent chance to win, something that worries some players unnecessarily when they are playing a virtual game in the online world.
Even given the various checks and business transparency that many online casino software developers offer, some people continue to have doubts. If you are considering playing an online casino game, then check out the developer. Reputable online casinos in Canada will only have games developed by respected software providers. These days, random number generators are used to create genuinely randomised results in the way games outcomes are decided. This could be to determine the next card that is dealt or the way in which a slot spin ends up. A random number generator is a digital way of creating genuine chances to occur, and the best online casino software will always make use of them.
Best Bonuses for Canadian Online Casinos
An online casino bonus is something that can come in many forms depending on the site concerned. At JackpotCity, along with other top online casinos in Canada, you can get a bonus simply by signing up for an account. Although it is always advisable to read the operator's terms and conditions before opening an account, this can constitute one of the best online casino bonuses around. Some will be bonus systems that relate to certain games, and others will offer you additional benefits for customer loyalty, but all of the bonus systems are there to make gambling potentially more profitable for the player.
If you want to know how to make money from online casino bonuses, then you will need to read the fine print of the bonus system concerned. Typically, the best online casino bonus offers will give you money to match your stake. Depending on the particular playthrough requirement concerned, this means that the casino might match any deposit you happen to make when starting out. In other words, it is possible with some of the best bonuses at Canadian online casinos to deposit $100 and immediately see $200 in your account's balance to bet with. Other sorts of online casino bonuses might offer big prizes for a particular game that is being promoted. These tend to be around on a limited basis, maybe for a week or a month only. As such, you should always check the latest bonuses, match promotions and free spin offers when logging on so that you can maximise your chances of winning big rather than always playing the same game.
Secure Online Casinos in Canada
All secure online casino sites around the world use very advanced technology to protect their customers. In Canada, you will find some of the most secure online casino protocols of anywhere which is great to know if you happen to be a Canadian gambler. All reputable casinos in the country will offer their online services with a method of keeping all of your personal data safe, so that you can play online slots in a safe environment. Essentially, this boils down to powerful encryption tools which scramble any data you send to the online establishment so that they could not be read by a third party even if the data were to be intercepted. As such, your name is encoded when you register it with a new online casino account, for example, and only the intended recipient – the online casino itself – can decode the encrypted data. This also goes for all of your important financial information and even personal data, such as the times of day you tend to log on to play a few games.
The best online casinos in Canada use SSL-128 bit encryption and some even use higher-level SSL-256 bit security measures. This is the sort of security and encryption that you will find at only the most reputable online websites, such as those which provide banking services, for example. Before deciding to trust an online casino with your details, look on the web bar of your browser. If the address of the site does not begin with 'https://', then it is not secure. The 'S' in 'HTTPS' stands for SSL and relates to its encryption. It is also important to confirm that the online casino you are considering playing at has a genuine licence from the provincial authority concerned, something you can usually do by clicking on the licence's logo. Furthermore, the best legit online casinos will also be affiliated with eCOGRA. This organisation handles disputes between players and casino operators. Only reputable online casinos tend to be members.
There are many payment options for online casinos in Canada. You can use just about every conventional banking service you like to add credit onto your account. You can use a credit card, a debit card, a bank transfer or an instant debit service if you want. However, there are a good number of other payment options designed for the online world, as well. There are just as many online casinos that accept debit cards as there are internet gaming houses that accept PayPal deposits and web wallets. The choice is entirely yours. In Canada, the most trusted means for making online transactions tend to be Visa, MasterCard, Visa Electron, Maestro, Neteller or PayPal. Another option that some of the top online casinos in the country also offer is a pre-paid credit card or Paysafecard, a good option if you don't want these sorts of transactions to appear on your main bank account's activity.
Withdrawing your funds is also possible with a myriad of options. Although few online casinos accept payments in the form a cheque, you can certainly have a withdrawal made that way since this is a service that many operators offer. Pre-paid cards, debit cards and credit cards can all be used to withdraw funds as can direct bank transfers. It is best to check with the online casino concerned whether the establishment you bank is compatible with this sort of service, however, because not all will be. Bear in mind that withdrawals can take several banking days to process although adding credit to your account is usually instant.
How online casinos work when you need some help makes all the difference. Since many of the games at an online casino are automated, some operators fail to invest in the human touch which can really help when it comes to customer service. The best online casinos for Canadian players will have taken the necessary steps to provide support in cases where you need help or are experiencing a technical issue. Usually, only the best rated online casinos – as judged by their customers – take high-quality customer service seriously.
Ideally, players should have the chance to contact the casino operator by phone day or night. In addition, there ought to be some form of email support for non-urgent matters. The best live online casinos should also offer a text chatting service to help you resolve issues, too. Of course, being able to access a real person over the phone is often the fastest way to sort out the widest range of situations that may arise. It is just good to have other options to explore, as well. Finally, it is often overlooked but nevertheless important to check the service language that is offered if you are playing at an offshore casino. Customer service is of little help if you cannot make yourself understood, after all!
Canadian Online Casino Reviews
Like every internet-based service, online casinos are subject to review sites. You can find people raving about various casinos they have played at and some of the top online casino reviews can be either very complimentary indeed. On the other hand, even very reputable operators will receive poor testimonials from time to time at certain review sites. That is the nature of the internet, after all. However, you should take both glowing reviews and those which seem very harsh with a degree of scepticism. Sometimes, online reviews are not all they seem to be and, unfortunately, this applies to online casinos as it does anything else. Look out for multiple bad reviews from one user, for example. This is usually either someone with a grudge or who has been paid to write poor online casino reviews by a competitor.
Even so, there are reputable online casino review sites to look out for, such as AskGamblers, for example. Yes, you will come across some very opinionated reviews, which ought to be taken with a pinch or two of salt, but you will also find out lots of information about different operators and it can help you to find the right sort of online casino in Canada for you, such as one which offers the sort of bonuses or slots that you like most. Once you have played for a while, why not leave your own views which will be of benefit to other gamblers interested in getting a great online casino experience?
Responsible Gambling Sites in Canada
Player responsibility is the most important factor when it comes to gambling safely. Simply measures like setting a betting budget and sticking to it mean that online casinos can be used exactly the way they are intended - for entertainment. That said, the best online gaming sites also provide help and information on responsible gambling which is there to support players so they know when to exercise a little more self-control. A number of the leading gambling platforms in Canada have now enabled measures that mean you can keep yourself from internet gambling if you feel that is the only way to avoid developing a problem with responsible betting.
Such online control systems help players to establish transaction limits, and they force you to take a break if you reach your maximum setting. Such a cooling-off period can be really helpful and means that you can continue to enjoy playing without letting the fun turn to something harder to control. In addition, you could opt for an auto-exclusion policy, in which case the operator will freeze your account completely for a given period. Such measures help to make online casinos a safe environment for everyone. However, it should also be said that online gambling is an activity for adults only. As such, all responsible Canadian online casino sites will have strict control measures in place to ensure that everyone who registers to play can prove they are 18 years of age, or older.