Toronto Mike

US vs. Canada: Are Laws for Online Casinos Different?

Canada and the United States share so much in common. From an ice-hockey talent to strong patriotism and holiday spirits, we can draw so many parallels between the neighboring countries. Nonetheless, the two adjacent territories at the same time differ from one another in so many aspects. In this specific article, we are stick to the differences in gambling laws (casinos in particular) between the neighbors.

How is online gambling regulated in two countries?

This is the core difference between the two and we had to place it at the top of the list of major distinctions. The United States took a much more serious approach towards their regulatory climate than their northern neighbors. Online casinos had been completely forbidden before 2011 when the assistant Attorney General decided to interpret the laws in a way to allow each state to legalize online casinos on their own. As of 2018 and the abolition of PASPA, online sportsbooks have also become available to Americans.

Several states took advantage of the mentioned law changes. New Jersey were the first to do so. By now, the new niche has flourished in more than ten states, from online gambling PA to online casinos MI. Some states, such as Oregon, have not embraced online casinos but have legal sports betting operators available. In short, Americans pay significant attention to the online gambling regulation, strictly applying both federal and state rules in the process.

The situation is drastically different north of the borderline. In Canada, online gambling is neither regulated nor prohibited. It means that there are no officially licensed online casino operators in the country. However, the Canadians are by no means forbidden to spin the slot reels or play their favorite table games at any offshore operator.


The percentage of the country's/state's cut is another significant distinction. In the United States, the taxman will take a quarter of the player's profits via the 25% standard tax. This makes a regular bettor's life much tougher as it is very hard to stay profitable in the long run while knowing that you always have to give away 25% of your winnings. This percentage is higher in some states than the others, though, and can also depend on the amount you've won.

Since Canada do not have a regulated industry, they don’t tax online casino wins. It means that the entire amount you win is yours to keep if you are a Canuck. We’ve seen a Canadian winning a staggering $7.5 million on a classic Mega Moolah slot in 2015. He took advantage of this rule and walked away with the full amount. Sadly, Americans can only dream about it.

The range of games

Finally, the Canadians have another big advantage in terms of the array of games they can choose from at the offshore operators. These casinos can provide the games crafted by any software developing company in the world without any restrictions whatsoever. As you already know, the regulations are much stricter in the United States where the players can only play the games designed by suppliers licensed to operate in the country. Knowing the likes of Microgaming, NetEnt, or Playtech are not there yet, we can figure the handicap for the US slot admirers.

To sum it all up, it is much better to play casino games in Canada than down the border. The only advantage the US players have is a safer environment. It will be very interesting to see if any of the two countries will make some changes to the current laws in the years to come.

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