Finding The Best Canadian Poker Sites
The key points which we have listed above only begin to scratch the surface of what is considered to be a quality poker website in Canada. In order to have the best online poker experience as a Canadian you should also look for the websites where you will have an option to qualify for live events, earn loyalty points and reach for the VIP membership. You will also have a chance to be awarded with other bonuses and unlock more features. It’s a lot to ask for, but there are websites that offer all of this and more. Another important aspect we haven’t mentioned is the mobile-friendliness. In this day and age, a lot of people demand the “on the go” access for playing poker and other games, so online casinos either must have a mobile-friendly website – or preferably an app – in order to attract new players.
When talking about poker websites in Canada we can divide them into two main categories – websites exclusive to poker, and general online casinos. The first category might be the best option if you’re only looking to play poker and nothing else. These usually offer several variants of poker and are what professional poker players prefer. What can be considered as a drawback here is the competitiveness. Poker pros are constantly lurking on these websites and it might be hard for you to win any matchups against them, especially if you’re a newcomer. However, the majority of websites that we have listed here are online casinos that have poker alongside other games as well. Some fall in the category of bookies that focus mainly on sports betting, but also have casino games such as poker, roulette, blackjack, baccarat, etc. Some sites, on the other hand, have slots as their main game type, but don’t leave out table games in their offer. These websites are great for first-time poker players so they can learn and develop their game on more of a “beginner level”. Note that most of these websites aren’t Canadian but only allow Canadian players to have an account along with the players from other countries. As a matter of fact, these websites attract players from all across the globe, so there are several languages that you can choose for browsing them. Canadian players won’t have to worry about this since almost all the websites we listed here have both English and French in their language options.
So, there you go. We did the homework and now it’s up to you to choose a website that’s going to be your new poker room. Take all the aforementioned details into consideration and your choice should be easy. All the listed websites are somewhat different from each other, with one thing in common: they will cater to the needs of any Canadian poker player and make the poker experience enjoyable with them.
Understanding Canadian Gambling Laws
The good news about Canada in general is that online gambling is considered legal to a certain extent.
The laws about online gambling as an illegal activity aren’t very clear, so you can say that it’s somewhat a gray area. This means there are no specific laws that prohibit you from playing real money poker online in Canada. The same can’t really be said for the US, so it’s no wonder a lot of online poker players are crossing the border to enjoy playing worry-free at their neighbours’ up North.
In order to fully understand how this works we must put some Canadian gambling laws under a microscope. As we mentioned before, the sites we listed aren’t strictly Canadian, but rather only allow Canadians to gamble on them. While some forms of online gambling are legal in Canada, the gambling laws that include foreign websites and companies aren’t very clear. That’s why we dug a little deeper and tried to explain what is and what isn’t allowed when it comes to online poker in Canada.
But first, let’s take a quick look into the history of gambling in this country. The “Criminal Code” that was introduced back in 1892 banned all forms of gambling in Canada.  However, this ban wasn’t strictly followed through and a lot of horse racing bets were present at the turn of the century, only to become legal in 1925. Fast-forward to a few decades later, to 1969 to be precise, when a new addition to the Criminal Code gave provincial governments the authority to conduct their own laws (similar to how state laws function in the US). In 1985, a new amendment gave permission to provincial governments that could now administer laws related to slot machine use. It’s safe to say that Canadian laws on gambling have “loosened up” over the years so today we have many forms of gambling that are completely legal in the country.
But what about online gambling? This is where it gets a little confusing. One thing that is clear is that it’s not legal to operate an online casino in Canada. However, there’s an exception. Just like with Native American reservations in the US, Canada has a similar system. The country’s laws consider online casino in Canada legal only if they operate from the Kahnawake reservation in Quebec. They even have their own commision called the Kahnawake Gaming Commission that can give out licences to casinos, but only if they operate from within the boundaries of the reservation.  Additionally, any action involving casinos that operate online but are based outside of Canada is not clearly legislated in the country. Note that this only includes operating and not playing at an online casino. So from a player’s standpoint, you really shouldn’t be worried either way. Generally speaking, Canada is considered pretty safe for all online gamblers. More importantly, there aren’t any records we found about people getting prosecuted or arrested for playing online poker at an overseas website.
As Canadian gambling laws have their roots in the late 19th century, you wouldn’t be wrong if you said that they were a bit outdated. Especially with the new form of gambling (online), Canadian gambling laws remain confusing and in desperate need of some additions. There are mentions about Canadian government sitting to discuss online gambling, but no reports prove that such talks have been scheduled to take place. However, have in mind that this might change in the future, and if it does, we will make sure to update this article as soon as possible.