This question is a confusing one, as many of you will say that they have seen many options for online casino players for many years already. The problem here is that while these online casinos were not necessarily illegal, they weren’t strictly legal either. Why this is the case will be explored in more depth later on, but suffice to say the whole situation is quite baffling for many people.
With the latest legal gambling news being all about the legislation changes, it has also led to many people going online for the first time to play slots and table games and finding many more options than they expected. This has piled even more confusion onto the question of what is legitimate and what is not, and left many caught on the horns of a dilemma.
This guide will show you where you can find a list of legal Ontario online casinos (which is constantly updated as each new one is approved). It will also explain the current rather confusing situation so that those of you who are worried about taking the next step forward can proceed with confidence. To do that effectively, this guide needs to not only report on what has happened recently but also take a good look back at what has occurred in Canadian gambling over the last 100 or so years.
This is necessary because, until recently, Ontario’s gambling laws were also Canada's gambling laws. Originally, these came into being at the end of the 1800s. Before this, gambling was unregulated and generally chaotic, a situation that was abruptly brought to a halt with the blanket banning of all gambling activity.
Since then, there has been a very gradual drip-feed toward the current situation that players, like yourself, in Ontario will recognize, This included the betting on various sports and activities being allowed again as time progressed. First horse race betting was legalized, then the Government decided that the revenue from some lotteries would come in handy, but the move to legalize sports gambling and online casinos came much later and went through several incarnations first.
The situation that most of you will be familiar with, is the model of parlay betting. Here, you may place a wager a bet on two or more results rather than just one. It was thought that this might stop any instances of match-fixing occurring but only led people to seek alternative outlets offering illegal betting online.
Due to some rather ambiguous gaming legislation (much of which was painfully out of date) and the more widespread use of the internet created a situation where, while it was illegal to run an online sportsbook or casino, the hordes of people making frequent visits to one had resulted in zero prosecutions.
These offshore options were for the most part legitimate, being offshoots of brands established in the UK like what would become Bet365 Ontario, as well as other big names from some USA states. However, a small number of less scrupulous outfits also appeared, taking advantage of the rather lax situation and also many Canadian bettors. This meant that some online players looked at all the available options with a skeptical eye, which you may have done in the past, too.
Clearly, it was time for a greater degree of regulation, and that came with the Safe and Regulated Sports Gaming Act in the summer of 2021. This allowed each Canadian province to essentially do their own thing regarding sports and online casino gambling, and as expected, the biggest province of Ontario led the way.
The changes in Ontario began to be visible at the start of April 2022, with each online casino and sportsbook needing to be approved by the iGaming regulator, a process that had two benefits for existing operators. Firstly, Ontario-based sportsbooks could now offer single event betting. Secondly, and more importantly, you could now play online slots and table games in a safer environment. Many of the established offshore brands like PointsBet Ontario online casino, could now get the official seal of approval.
However, with some of the other offshore, less reputable options still out there, you could now benefit from a simple ‘go to’ source to see at a glance what is legit and what is not. Ideally, rather than just a list of the legal sites that are available, you would benefit the most from detailed reviews of the legal online casinos involved, so that you can see what each one has to offer.
By checking the online reviews and comparisons on this site for legal Ontario online casinos, you'll not only see where you are most likely to be safe, but you can also find an operator that accepts your preferred payment method or offers the best online customer service, or whatever other feature you may happen to be looking for.
One of the biggest draws, however, will be the range and types of games on offer to you, and to help offered to you if you are only starting out in the world of online casinos. The next part of this guide will give an overview of the types of games you can expect to find.
The largest contingent of any online casino’s game roster will be the slots with many online casinos like PlayNow Ontario having at least several hundred, and others having over a thousand different titles to offer players. These will cover every niche possible, including brands that you might already be familiar with outside of online casinos, like Monopoly. There may even be some film and TV tie-ins as well. These are supplied by big-name providers, some of whom you may have heard of before as suppliers of video games.
This huge range can include regular slots and progressive jackpot slots, where the top prize increases in size as more money is wagered on it, or one of the associated slots that are also linked into the same jackpot pool. The reviews on this site will typically ‘test run’ a selection of all types of slots to make sure they load easily and play without glitches.
The table game selection is typically smaller, but you are likely to find that the better online casinos will have several versions of the staples like blackjack, roulette, and video poker. All of these games are played against the house using a random number generator to decide the outcome of a spin on the roulette wheel, or which card will appear next at blackjack.
This same setup applies to other table games as well, including baccarat and various incarnations of Hi-Lo and wheel of fortune type games. Again, the selection of these can vary greatly, so looking at the comparison and reviews first is a good strategy before getting involved.
If you want the most authentic experience possible, there are live dealer options available at many of the newly accredited online casinos. Depending on the time of day and the online casino involved, the range of games will vary. However, most players would expect to see some sort of blackjack or roulette available 24/7.
These games are different from the video versions because you are up against a real dealer via a live video feed and the spin or deal is ‘real’ as it would be if you were standing on a casino floor. As with all other games, the reviews on this site will look at the game quality and connectivity.
Many online casino players (and maybe even you) use their mobile devices for playing casino games, along with pretty much everything else that they do. For that reason, it is important that you know which of the newly accredited operators have apps, and where you can download them safely.
The betting operators will have apps for both Android and iOS devices, and ideally, these can be installed on your device safely at the usual locations like the Google Play Store or Apple's App Store. These details are available to you and all other Ontarian players using the reviews and comparisons on this site.
The changes in legislation in Ontario have led to a complicated state of affairs that has left many people confused. However, after reading this short guide, you will not only be aware of the finer points of the situation but will also know where to find the information that leads you to a regularly updated list of all of the legal online casinos for Ontario.
This means that by checking back regularly you can not only stay updated with all of the latest online casino and sportsbook news, but can also use the other guides on the site like this one to improve your knowledge of playing slots and table games online.
With the many changes in legislation and Ontario being allowed to develop its own approach to online gambling at both sportsbooks and casinos, it can be hard to know what is and isn’t legit. This free online guide can clear up any confusion and is full of all the information needed to find a legal Ontario online casino.
The range of games on offer at Ontario online casinos can vary between operators, however, certain table games are almost always present when looking at what is on offer. These include roulette and blackjack. To see if poker also makes the grade, check out Strafe's free guide to using a legal Ontario online casino.
Many online casinos have apps, but availability and quality will vary from one online casino to another. The full story on apps for Ontario online casinos is available in this free online guide, which is designed to tell you all you need to know about finding and using the best legal Ontario online casinos.
If you enjoy feeling like you are standing on the casino floor, you'll be a big fan of live casino games like blackjack and roulette. It may have already been a vital part of your online playing experience. You will be able to see if those options are available to you when you read through our online guides to finding a legal Ontario online casino.
The payout times at online casinos are a subject dear to the hearts of many players, as everyone wants to get their hands on their winnings as soon as possible. By reading the online reviews and comparisons on this site, you will be able to see what the recent legislation means to you, and whether or not it will involve faster payout times.
Players must be 19 years of age or older to reach the minimum age for gambling in Ontario. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) www.igamingontario.ca; or (b) www.connexontario.ca.
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