Legal Gambling Ages in Canada
Gambling isn’t a new thing. For hundreds of years, people all over the world have enjoyed gambling as a hobby or leisure activity. For some people, it is an even more serious pursuit. However, it’s important to be aware of the legal gambling ages in Canada to avoid any legal issues.
Since the turn of the century, though, the gambling world has grown tenfold, thanks predominantly to the rise of online gambling, which has exploded in recent years and continues to grow at alarming rates all around the globe.
Canada is far from immune to the fallout from the gambling explosion. More and more people in Canada are interested in some form of gambling. Whether it be sports betting, online casinos or lotteries, millions of Canadians now engage in gambling activities, and the Canadian gambling market continues to grow and become more advanced.
In this article, we’re going to look at Canadian gambling from a legal standpoint, focusing particularly on the legal gambling ages that are in place in Canada.
Canadian Gambling Overview
Before we get into the legal gambling ages in Canada, let’s take a brief look at the Canadian gambling industry in general.
The Canadian gambling market is nowhere near as advanced as, say, the gambling market in a country such as the United Kingdom, a country that is awash with betting shops, casinos, plus a wealth of online operators covering every gambling niche possible. In Canada, things are less advanced, though the industry is growing and growing fast.
For example, there are now more online sportsbooks and casinos available to Canadian players than ever before, so much so that Canada now ranks as the eighth biggest country in terms of online gambling. That means that things are certainly moving forward.
Last year, in 2022, the Canadian gambling industry really began to thrive. 75% of Canadian citizens gambled in some way, with around 20 million Canadians partaking in online betting.
The above numbers resulted in the Canadian gambling industry going from a market capitalization of $12.5 billion to $16 billion in just a single year. It certainly seems that Canadians love to gamble.
Canada’s Legal Gambling Ages
The current legal landscape of the Canadian betting and gambling industry is such that everything is dealt with at a provincial level. This means that things are different depending on where you go. For example, something in Ontario might be in place that differs from Quebec’s rules and regulations.
This of course means that the legal gambling age varies depending on the province or territory. Unlike the United Kingdom, where citizens must be 18 to gamble nationwide, Canada’s age depends on provincial rules.
Therefore, as an example, the legal gambling age in Manitoba is currently 18, which means that 18-year-olds residing in Manitoba can legally engage in all forms of gambling. However, this differs from Nova Scotia, where 18-year-olds cannot legally gamble, as the legal gambling age in Nova Scotia is 19. It may be different from the legal gambling age in Nova Scotia.
Below is a full breakdown of each Canadian province’s legal gambling age:
- Alberta: 18
- British Columbia: 19
- Manitoba: 18
- New Brunswick: 19
- Newfoundland and Labrador: 19
- Northwest Territories: 19
- Nova Scotia: 19
- Nunavut: 19
- Ontario: 19
- Prince Edward Island: 19
- Quebec: 18
- Saskatchewan: 19
- Yukon Territory: 19
The above legal gambling ages apply to all forms of gambling in each province. This means that if you’re currently 18 years old and the legal gambling age in your province is 19, it is illegal for you to partake in any form of gambling until you reach the age of 19.
These legal gambling ages remain the same regardless of where you intend to gamble. This means that the legal age is the same for physical gambling facilities such as casinos as it is for online sportsbooks and online casinos.
Anybody not of legal age who is caught gambling, whether it be in person or online, could face legal consequences. These consequences may include fines and even criminal charges. Confirming the legal gambling age in your province or territory is crucial before participating in any gambling activity. Otherwise, you may face legal action.
Types of Gambling in Canada
So, what type of gambling can anyone of the legal age in each of Canada’s provinces enjoy?
Well, as is the case in most countries, the main types of gambling available to Canadians can be split into the following categories:
- Casinos – Canadian citizens can participate in casino gambling, which includes games such as blackjack, poker, roulette, and slot machines. There are lots of casinos available in different provinces, especially in the big cities. Players can also use online casinos.
- Online Gambling – Online gambling is also legal in Canada. This type of gambling includes all sorts, such as slots, casino games, poker, and sports betting. Players can access various online casinos and betting sites, but it is important to ensure that the site is licensed and regulated by the relevant authority.
- Lottery – Lottery games are legal in Canada. Such gambling includes scratch cards, draw games and sports betting. Lotto 6/49, Lotto Max, and Daily Grand are some of the popular lottery games available to Canadians.
- Horse Racing – Many Canadians love a day at the track, of which there are several in Canada, while bettors can also bet on the action from both Canada and racetracks around the world via many online betting platforms.
Gambling Ages Canada FAQ
Can I gamble in Canada if I’m 18?
Yes, you can gamble at 18, but only in certain provinces. You should check the legal age of gambling in your province before attempting to partake in any form of gambling, as the legal gambling age in many provinces is 19, not 18.
Which Canadian provinces allow gambling?
Currently, you can legally partake in any form of gambling activity if you’re in the following provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon Territory.
Be sure to check the legal gambling age in your area, as this changes from province to province.
Is the legal gambling age the same as the legal drinking age in Canada?
It depends on the province. In most cases, the legal gambling age in a particular province is the same as the legal drinking age in that province, though you should always double-check what the laws in your province state beforehand. Otherwise, you run the risk of legal ramifications.
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