What is the Difference in Gambling Laws in the USA and Canada?

While the United States and Canada are closely adjacent, their gambling laws as well as legalization in terms of casinos differ greatly. We will compare the US and Canadian betting laws on this website and talk about the situation with online casinos in the United States and Canada.

Business in the USA: Time View

The United States addressed the issue of gambling more than ten years ago during an online poker boom after casino operators in Nevada realized how much revenue goes to foreign gambling sites. Oregon, Delaware, and Montana joined later.

Under intensive lobbying by representatives of the gambling industry, Congress acted swiftly and in 2016 there was issued the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act that prohibited accepting payments from online gambling in states where gambling is illegal.

Congress made sure that the law covers businesses that they can control — banks and other companies that process customer payments on gambling sites.

But this allowed Americans to participate in online gambling (like in Canada, not a single American gambling player was punished for placing bets on foreign sites). Many foreign resources ceased to serve American customers, so smart gamblers used workarounds, such as proxies and third-party payment companies, which allowed gamblers to replenish their accounts, acting as an intermediary between bettors and banks. As a result, the annual outflow of currency amounted to billions of dollars.

The US was forced to extend the scope of the complete legalization of betting outside Nevada by acknowledging this fact. In New Jersey, then, there was the bill to legalize sports betting. The federal statute prohibiting sports betting has been challenged this way.

However, all four major sports leagues in North America opposed the repeal of this law.

Lawmakers repeatedly appealed to Congress with a request to adopt a federal framework that would allow Betting to be authorized in professional sports, to enforce strict regulatory requirements and technical safety measures.

While, the Sports Prohibition Act (PASPA) was abrogated by US lawmakers in May 2018. A new era for the US betting market started with this announcement. Thus the online gambling market in the States has started to develop aggressively.

In the process of large-scale regulation, lawmakers came to the decision: each state should regulate sports gambling independently.

Today, a number of US states, including West Virginia, New Jersey, etc., have legalized sports betting. According to experts, this should lead to the cessation of the currency outflow abroad, which amounts to billions of dollars.  

Canada Situation

Such a zeal for change does not take place in Canada. Here it is estimated that they earn $ 4 billion a year from bets through offshore sports bookmakers.

In several provinces now (Alberta, Labrador, Ontario and British Columbia), it is allowed to conduct sports gambling through lottery companies. Online games are also allowed, and there are land-based gambling establishments. However, in most Canadian cities bettors are limited in stakes, where they must correctly predict the outcome of various games. Provincial lotteries also offer lower payouts at these rates than offshore sites.

In 2016, the bill that would allow betting on certain games was introduced in Ottawa. It generally expanded the capabilities of operators and players.

However, the liberal government said it was going to reject the bill.

Gambling in Canada is still banned. And here a certain scheme still operates: under the guise of lotteries, gambling establishments and bookmakers work. This is easily feasible thanks to the law, which allows organizing “lotteries”. However, various forms of gambling business operate in the country, as the law does not clearly explain what these lotteries should be.

At the same time, given that the Royal Corporation is an online gambling operator, we can say that the government has a monopoly on online gambling in the country. Since 2016, authorities have tried to impose restrictions on access to illegal websites. However, in 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada recognized the attempt by local authorities to force Internet providers to block access to online gambling sites unconstitutional.

What Is Then?

With the implications of gambling regulations in the USA some players find it difficult to use different payment options in online casinos. In general, the UIGEA has somewhat murky and weakened authority over online gambling in USA.

At the same time, the neighboring country did not have to overcome the difficulties. Canada’s online casinos are freely run and regulated under each jurisdiction. Since they are not subject to legislation like the UIGEA, they can transfer money to gambling establishments, such as Las Vegas USA Casino for instance, and remove them using a wide range of payment options. This online gambling approach has less barriers to tackle and makes playing more streamlined.

Gaming can be a successful and rewarding experience in both Canada and the US. Both countries offer various types of games, such as slots, blackjack, poker and even Asian popular games. But there is a deeper sense of economic freedom for Canadian bettors. They do not need to follow laws such as UIGEA, which makes it easier to be pleased with gambling games.