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From Coast to Coast: Legal Gambling Ages in Canadian Provinces

Source: Freepik

Unlike in European countries, Canada doesn’t use a single set of gambling laws. In fact, each province has the autonomy to regulate this hobby how they see fit. As a result, the legality of betting, casinos, and online gambling, as well as the legal gambling age will vary depending on provincial legislation. We are going to delve deeper into this topic and talk about the legal gambling age Canada has in each province and compare them with international standards.

A short answer to the question of what is what legal gambling age in Canada is 19.  There are only 3 provinces where this isn’t the case. So, let’s talk about them first.

Alberta, Quebec, and Manitoba

In Alberta, you need to be at least 18 years old to bet. This includes lottery, sports betting, and casino games.

Even for the players located in Quebec, the law is the same. Once you turn 18 you get access to the same type of entertainment as players from Alberta. That being said, the operators are allowed to have their own company policy and increase the age requirement. This is the case with certain sportsbooks in Quebec that only service those who are at least 19.

Finally, we should talk about Manitoba, where the legal gambling age is the same as the previous two. There are no special rules or exceptions when it comes to the type of gambling content one has access to once they turn 18. Players from this province are free to create an account on Manitoba online casinos claim promos, and enjoy the full spectrum of gambling entertainment slots, blackjack, video poker, roulette, etc.

It’s worth pointing out that there are some incredible retail casinos in this province:

  • Club Regent Casino - A commendable game lobby. This casino also has a unique live entertainment and dining experience.
  • South Beach Casino Resort - Guests get to enjoy lavish restaurant and hotel accommodations while exploring their favorite slots and table games.
  • McPhillips Street Station - Hosts entertainment events, and has a solid selection of slots and table games.

British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and others

If you didn't find your province on the list above, then it belongs on this list where the legal gambling age is a bit higher.

If you are from British Columbia, you must be at least 19 to gain permission to participate in lotteries, play table games, slots, and wager on sports. The body that manages all forms of retail and online gambling is The BC Lottery Corporation.

The rule is no different for the Ontario players too - the legal gambling age in Ontario is 19, as set by the AGCO regulation. But there is one exception. The legal age for the OLG lottery is 18, and it only applies to this lottery. Another fun fact about Ontario is that it’s a rare province that works with private casinos and sportsbook operators. These aren’t based in Canada, but they do comply with the regulatory body called iGaming Ontario.  

Just like the previous two, you have to be at least 19 to start betting in Nova Scotia according to The Alcohol and Gaming Authority. You can place bets on sports matches and races, as well as play lottery, scratch cards, and of course casino games.

If your province wasn't on this list, don’t worry - the rule is the same. Whether you're from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, or Saskatchewan, the legal gambling age is also 19.

Comparing Canadian Gambling Ages with International Standards

Source: Freepik

Compared to international standards these laws don’t really stand out. For US players, the legal gambling age can be between 18 and 21, depending on the betting format. If you want to bet on sports and casinos, you must be at least 21, while for lottery and horse betting it can lower down to 18.

As far as European countries go, the laws are very similar. In most countries, you’ll be eligible to gamble once you turn 18. But if you are in Belgium and Germany, the age requirement is 21, while in Greece it is no less than 23.

The same trend is observed when looking into the legislation of Asian and African countries. There the legal gambling age ranges between 18 and 21. The only exceptions to this would be Georgia where the legal gambling age is 25, or 18 if you are a foreigner. Another interesting exception is Portugal where you also need to be at least 25 to enter and play in certain casinos.

All countries can agree that this restriction is one of the pillars for successful regulation of this industry. People all over the world acknowledge the potential financial harm this hobby can bring, if one is undisciplined. Young people who are still developing are more susceptible to developing problematic behavior, especially if they don’t fully understand the value of money.

In a way, once you start to work and earn your own cash, your perspective changes. You become more careful with your expenses and develop better bankroll management. In other words, to truly enjoy gambling you need to spend responsibly, and not use money you cannot afford to lose.

About the author
Jamie Wall specializes in casino reviews. His in-depth understanding of the legal aspects of gambling ensures that his content is not only informative but also compliant with regulations.

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About Toronto Mike
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