The Game Haus

Online Casinos: the USA vs. Canada—Laws, Regulations and Main Differences

This is a paid guest post.

Canada and the US are similar in many ways. They both share an uncanny love for sports. Tipping at restaurants is customary, patriotism is strong and both have miles of acres of natural beauty.

When it comes to laws, however, the fine details tend to differ. Take online gambling as an example. You can play blackjack, poker, or roulette in either country. You don’t pay tax on your wins in Canada, but there’s a 25% cut in the US.

On the flip side, you can gamble online regardless of where you live in Canada. We can’t say the same in the US. Continue reading for a comparison of how Canada and the US treat online gambling. What similarities do these neighbors share? What are the differences?

Regulatory Climate: Canada vs. USA

In Canada, online gambling is a grey area. No laws prohibit it, so it’s not illegal. However, the government doesn’t license online casinos, meaning you won’t find many online casinos based in Canada.

So, what happens? Canadians can play casino games through websites based offshores. They can play slots via a Malta-based company or relish poker with friends using a London-based operator. That’s the freedom Canadians have.

Of course, freedom of choice doesn’t mean you should use just about any website. Discover the best Canadian online casino sites at Then join one or more websites that offer games and bonuses you like.

In the US, a 2011 interpretation of the laws by the assistant Attorney General showed states had the mandate to legalize online casinos but not sportsbooks. Fast forward to 2020 and American states now have the freedom to regulate online gambling entirely.

Let’s start with New Jersey. It permits both casinos and betting companies. It also licenses operators, which is why a significant number of iGaming businesses in the US are based in New Jersey.

Delaware is another state that permits both online casinos and sportsbooks. Below are more jurisdictions with legal iGaming laws.

  • Colorado
  • West Virginia
  • Pennsylvania
  • Michigan
  • Indiana

Some states—say Nevada and Oregon—permit sports betting but not online casinos. Others allow a few games like poker but not slots. In other words, the state of online gambling in the US varies from one state to the other.

Software Providers and Games

Because many of the best online casino sites for Canadians use are located offshores, there are no laws that dictate what games they can or cannot offer. They can provide slots from every software provider in Europe or choose to work with developers based in the US.

As a result, Canadians have no limits on which software provider’s games they can use. If Microgaming releases a new slot in the Isle of Man, Canucks can play it immediately it is offered at their favorite gaming websites.

Across the Southern border, however, casino games aren’t created equally. Real-Time Gaming (RTG), Betsoft, and Scientific Games have licensed to operate in the US. But many of the brand names, including NetEnt, Microgaming, Playtech, and Quickspin don’t offer their games to American casinos.

Things are changing, though. States like Colorado, New Jersey, and Nevada are gradually welcoming international software providers. And soon, the best US casinos will offer games from all known developers.

Banking Options

When it comes to banking options, Canada and US casinos use the same companies. They accept Visa, MasterCard, and Maestro for debit/credit cards. In contrast, they allow PayPal, Paysafe, Skrill, Neteller, and EcoPayz for e-wallets.

Another similarity comes in your betting, deposit, and withdrawal limits. You can fund your account with as little as $10 and bet ten cents or more per game. If you have the financial muscles, you can increase your limits to as much a $500,000 per bet.

With that in mind, your betting experience can still vary depending on which casino you use. If subjected to high fees, for example, your cash balance will be less than someone who plays at a website with zero fees.

Similarly, how fast you receive your withdrawals depends on the management of a casino. So, regardless of whether you live in Canada or the USA, ensure it’s a reliable company.

Bonuses and VIP Offers

The US, more so Las Vegas, is synonymous with lavish casinos. It’s a gambler’s haven, especially if you have the money to splurge. When it comes to online gambling, however, the most stylish casinos aren’t based in the US. They have their offices in Malta, Gibraltar, London, or Curacao.

These casinos might not be famous to the general public. But they are famous with players where they operate, in this case, Canada. In other words, Canucks have access to the best bonuses and offers around the world.

Americans aren’t badly off, especially now that British casinos are gradually infiltrating the fast-growing market. Many Curacao-based casinos running on RTG software also offer generous bonuses to Americans. But when you analyze the quality of bonuses offered, Canadians receive the best deals.


Imagine winning $7.5 million from an online casino and walking away with the entire amount. That’s a reality in Canada. A lucky Canuck won $7.5m playing the progressive slot Mega Moolah in 2015. And since Canada doesn’t tax online gambling wins, he was allowed to spend the entire amount.

Things are different in the US. Taxation is compulsory regardless of how much you win. But you can always claim deductions if online gambling is your way of life. Still, the 25% standard tax most Americans pay after winning is too much for many players.

It’s a quarter of your profits taken away by the taxman. And depending on your average gambling income per month, it can be the difference between being a profitable or indebted online casino player.


When it comes to online gambling, things are better for Canadians than they are in the US. Canucks get to play at the world’s best casinos. Down the border, only a handful of states permit iGaming.

More beneficial is that Canadians don’t pay tax when they win. Americans part with a quarter of their profits. Fortunately, the US is slowly catching up with the rest of the world. And sooner or later, all US citizens will have access to the best online casinos in the world.

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