Quebec is, after Ontario, the most populous province in Canada. A lot of adults that reside in the province enjoy playing games of chance from time to time. Luckily for them, Canada has been gentle with its rules and regulations regarding this activity.
The regulation of gambling in Quebec follows the patterns used by other provinces. The Criminal Code of Canada is respected as the main authority, but it doesn’t do much when it comes to gambling legalities. The country left the provinces to make those choices for themselves, and Quebec assigned the Quebec Alcohol, Racing, and Gaming Commission for overseeing gambling actions.
Although the provincial government of Quebec tried to set a monopoly on online gambling, in the end, they haven’t managed to do so. In this text, we touched upon this matter, as well as many other important ones. If you wish to find out everything about gambling in Quebec, stay on this page.
What Forms of Gambling are Allowed in Quebec?
From the moment the Criminal Code of Canada was amended to allow each Canadian province and territory to regulate gambling within its borders, Quebec started offering legal games of chance.
The lottery was the first version of gambling present in Quebec. After founding the Loto-Quebec lottery commission in 1969, lottery drawings became popular. Today, Loto-Quebec still offers draw games, as well as the instant ones. In 2012, the popular game got its online version and can be played from the comfort of your home.
Land-based casinos are also legal in Quebec. At the moment, players can visit these establishments if they prefer table games like poker, blackjack, or roulette. Also, there are plenty of slot machines at players’ disposal, as well as keno. Additionally, several poker rooms and bingo halls can easily be found in the province.
Then we have sports betting offerings that are popular in Quebec as Mise-O-Jeu. They are a version of Proline games that are common in other Canadian provinces. Although they do offer enough choices for a novice punter, regular ones will probably feel like this is not good enough. There are also certain rules to be followed when placing a bet, like not allowing punters to bet on a single game.
When it comes to animal racing, there is only one option at the moment, and it is harness racing. This is the only form of gambling that is not regulated on the provincial level. All others are regulated by the Quebec Alcohol, Racing, and Gaming Commission.
Canadian Gambling Laws — Is Online Gambling Allowed in Quebec?
When the Criminal Code of Canada decided to let the provinces do what they will with the gambling rules, Quebec took it seriously. The province decided to regulate online gambling on its own under the Lotto-Quebec. For this purpose, the website under the name of Espacejeux was created, which is considered the only legal online gaming platform regulated by the Quebec Alcohol, Racing and Gaming Commission.
The site itself is created in a way to offer as many online games as possible. It includes the most prominent games like lotteries, casino games, skill games, poker games, and bingo. In other words, whatever form of gambling is legal in Quebec can now be found online at their official website — even sports betting. Of course, to be able to play any of these games online, you must be at least 18.
The site has an option for self-exclusion that can be quite helpful for anyone thinking that they might have gone too far with online gambling. However, be aware that, after you sign up for this option, you won’t be able to access Espacejeux.com for quite some time.
The great thing about the Canadian gambling law is that your winnings are not subject to taxes. Therefore, whatever you manage to win online will stay in your pocket with no reductions.
Is Gambling in Offshore Casinos Legal in Quebec?
As it is often the case, a country can set rules and regulations for anyone and anything within its borders. In other words, the government of Quebec has no right to pursue international online gaming operators. If the online casino is not physically located in Quebec, it is safe to operate and accept punters from this province, as it doesn’t fall under Quebec’s jurisdiction.
This didn’t seem like a fair deal to the provincial government of Quebec. To prevent offshore casinos from taking over their customers, they passed a bill that was meant to ban any other online gaming operator. Bill 74, as it was named, ordered Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to put an IP-block on the offshore casinos, thus proclaiming them ‘illegal’ or ‘blacklisted’.
Luckily for Canadians, this did not last for long. The case was brought to the Supreme Court of Canada by The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA). The Court decided to declare this legislation unconstitutional and lift the ban. It also placed matters like this under the Federal jurisdiction and stopped provinces from creating similar bills again.
What to Look For When Choosing an Offshore Online Casino?
Now when we understand that playing in offshore online casinos is acceptable, let’s quickly go through the crucial components a casino must have to be considered the right choice.
Legalities — A reputable online gaming operator must own a valid license by an official gambling regulatory body. The most prominent names are the Malta Gaming Authority, the UK Gambling Commission, the Government of Curaçao, and so on.
Payment Methods — If you are a Canadian resident, you will probably prefer different payment methods to players from some other countries. Always check the banking page of an online casino to see if they support the payment method that suits you best. Nowadays, offshore gambling operators that welcome Canadians offer payment options like ecoPayz, iDebit/Instadebit, and Interac.
Customer Service — Customer service is a vital part of any organization, especially a gambling operator. The best choice is definitely a casino with a live chat option that you can test before playing to check how fast they will respond to your queries.
No, you are not required to pay any taxes on your gambling winnings or report them to the Canada Revenue Agency.
The overall authority is still the Criminal Code of Canada, while the Quebec Alcohol, Racing and Gaming Commission is in charge of regulating gambling on a provincial level.
Yes, many offshore casinos are more than willing to offer their services to the residents of Quebec.
You need to be at least 18 to be able to gamble without facing any troubles.
There is no doubt that online gambling is legal in Quebec. No matter if you choose to play via the official Espacejeux site or in an offshore casino, it is totally up to you.