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Gambling Regulation and Licensing in Nova Scotia (Canada) 2021

James Taylor

April 19, 2021

20 min read

Our priority in CasinoNow Canada is to guarantee locals an excellent experience playing online casinos. Our tests & reviews are always unbiased. Sometimes an online casino is 100% convincing and we decide to partner with it. However, this does not affect the objectivity of our assessment.

Important notice: all the information is intended to be used only as a reference. It’s not advertising and shall never be considered legal or economic advice. In order to get the precise information, you need to address all your questions to the regulating authorities and organizations in your country.

If you live or want to travel in Nova Scotia, and you are a real fan of gambling, we have some great news for you because this province offers a lot of opportunities to play your favorite games. In order to enjoy the process, you need to have a gadget and an internet connection. At the same time, you also need to find a reliable operator and a trustworthy website. Read our detailed guide to find a lot of new things about gambling in Nova Scotia and make the right choice in order to enjoy a truly safe and exciting gambling process.


  1. Key Information about Gambling in the Province
  2. Help and Support Services for Players
  3. Conclusions

Key Information about Gambling in the Province

  • Available casinos: both traditional (a wide network of different gambling houses and slot-machines in a casino) and online casinos (an official website of the province and a wide range of foreign casinos) are available in the province.
  • Key laws in the field of gamblingGaming Control Act.
  • Regulating authorityAlcohol, Gaming, Fuel, and Tobacco Division of Service Nova Scotia.
  • Minimum age of the players: 19.
  • All legal forms of gambling in the province: Video Lottery Terminals (VLT’s), casinos, Atlantic Lottery Corporation games, bingo, charitable gambling, various fairs and exhibitions with games of fortune. The most popular form of gambling (according to the official data) is VLT (more than 43% of all bets in the field of gambling).
  • Taxation system: there are no taxes for prizes and winnings (except professional players and gamblers).

Help and Support Services for Players

  • Here you can find the relevant contact information of the regulating authority in order to file a complaint and get additional information.
  • Your Best Bet – this is a website with detailed and useful information, which can be used to help gamblers in trouble.
  • Take 5 – Nova Scotia gambling support network (toll-free gambling helpline: 1-888-347-8888).
  • Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program (VSE) – you can use this unique solution in case if you want to terminate participation in the gambling for yourself or one of your close people (currently, it includes only traditional casinos and lotteries in the province). More detailed information about VSE can be found here.
  • This service can be used to file a complaint about the violation in the field of consumer rights.

Nova Scotia Laws in the Field of Gambling

Gaming Control Act is the basic law that contains all key provisions related to the field of gambling in the province. In particular, it includes the following information:

  • The list of entities required to get a license in the field of gambling, as well as the detailed information about the licensing process.
  • Similar information related to the suppliers and the employees (assistants) working in the field of gambling.
  • General admission rules for the players of the casino.
  • Information about violations and charges.
  • Information about the regulating authority and its rights.
  • Information about the state corporation of the province and the key principles of operation.

Please note the following: on the federal level, the field of gambling is regulated and governed by the Criminal Code of Canada; this document defines the rules and the conditions of operation all around the country (one can find more detailed information about the federal gambling rules in our guide).

The Gaming Control Act was used as the foundation to create unique rules for every type of gambling available in the province. Such rules offer more detailed information about each type of gambling, For example, Casino RegulationsBingo Regulations.

Consumer Protection Act as any other companies working in the field of services and product sales, all casinos and operators are required to observe the laws in the field of consumer right protection. One needs to know their rights. By doing so, you can prevent all types of fraud and find the most attractive offer in all cases.

It’s worth noting that the Consumer Protection Act contains a lot of articles and information. If you have no time to read it, you can use the official website of the province administration in order to get the key facts about your rights. Furthermore, you can use a special service to file a complaint in case of violation.

Please note the following: one can also use the Canadian Consumer Handbook in order to get detailed information about the protection of the consumers in Canada.

Regulating Authority

Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco Division of Service Nova Scotia (AGFT) – is a division of the Office of Service Nova Scotia (SNS) responsible for the licensing and control of the activity in the field of games of fortune, distribution of alcohol and entertainment (cinemas and theatres); furthermore, it oversees the overall activity in these fields in order to provide fair conditions. In addition to the licensing activity, the AGFT oversees and controls all the activity in the mentioned fields, settling the disputes and processing the complaints. All licenses in the field of gambling in Nova Scotia are issued by the AGFT.

Gambling in the Province: Offers Available for the Players in the Province.

Online Gambling

Atlantic Lottery operated by the Atlantic lottery corporation is the only official online casino in the province. There’s a wide choice of online gambling options, which can be found there. You can enjoy the following games: Monopoly, Crossword Spin, Lucky 7, ProLine (sports betting).

Even though it offers a wide range of games, the Atlantic Lottery is a limited solution. Furthermore, one needs to be a resident on one of the four Atlantic provinces in order to use the Atlantic Lottery. In addition, you need to be located in one of such provinces in order to enjoy all the benefits of the Atlantic Lottery.

However, we have some great news for the fans of online gambling. In addition to the Atlantic Lottery, one can use a wide range of different online operators working in Nova Scotia. These operators are not officially registered in the province while acting in accordance with international laws and legislation. Licenses for such portals are issued in one of foreign jurisdictions, which allow creating online casinos and gambling portals in the web. There are also several casinos registered according to the requirements of Kahnawake.

We have already told the audience about the casinos with foreign licenses and those registered in Kahnawake, but we would like to remind you the following key facts:

  • The legal status. Foreign online casinos are not obliged to comply with the laws of Canada. At the same time, local authorities (except the administration of Quebec) never tried to ban such casinos and websites. As a result, players are not limited in their choice.
  • Availability. One can enjoy all the benefits of online gambling right in the comfortable conditions of their home. You can wear your favorite sweater or even a robe. Just use your gadget and start gambling.
  • No limitations. In order to participate in the Atlantic Lottery, you need to be a local resident and stay within the province. In the case of foreign websites, you are not obligated to stay there. You can be a resident of a different country, while still being able to enjoy all the benefits of online gambling in Nova Scotia.
  • Variety of payment solutions. The US Dollar is the most popular payment method even in case of online casinos. However, many of them will allow making all payments in Canadian Dollars just to satisfy the needs of local people. Furthermore, the holders of the cryptocurrency are able to use the wide range of website and portals accepting their digital assets. In fact, the cryptocurrency is widely accepted at many foreign websites all around the world.
  • Player oriented approach. By choosing the most reliable of them, you will always be welcomed and appreciated.

Please note the following: Never forget that operators are registered in different countries, thus they always act in accordance with the foreign laws. As a result, you always need to take the country of registration and the applicable laws into account.

Making the Right Choice

In order to enjoy the gambling process, you need to find a reliable casino. At the same time, you need to remember that operators of the casinos will not always keep their own words. These are online casinos, and you can’t see the person, who takes your money. That’s why you need to check all casinos before starting the game. This is an important step on the path of your own safety.

We have already published a detailed guide that helps to check the most important parameters of online casinos in order to evaluate the level of their trustworthiness. We also kindly recommend you to read the key rules of the foreign online casinos in order to get access to the most relevant reports about the casinos from all around the world.

If you need some help in the process of casino choosing, you can easily use our detailed rating of the most reliable gambling portals and casinos offering the vast range of games and applications, while following the rules and offering the fair gaming atmosphere.

Please note the following: despite the fact the Atlantic Lottery is an official website of the province, we kindly recommend you reading their T&C and Privacy Policy in order to understand all the pitfalls.

Legal Traditional Gambling in the Province

Video Lottery Terminals (VLT’s). According to the Video Lottery Regulations, VLTs can be owned and operated only by a state-owned corporation. We are talking about the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) that was incorporated by four provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador) in order to control the field of gambling. The shares were divided among the mentioned provinces (Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation in our case).

Private companies and individuals are able to install VLTs only after the proper registration with the AGFT and signing a contract with the ALC. At the same time, VLTs can be installed only in the following venues:

  • In venues, where the owners have an alcohol license in accordance with the Liquor Control Act (e.g. beverage rooms, lounges, cabarets).
  • In reservations of indigenous people in accordance with the agreement between local authorities and the ALC.

Casinos. In accordance with the Casino Regulations, all casinos in Nova Scotia have to be state-owned and controlled by the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation. Private companies and individuals are able to provide only specific services in accordance with an agreement with the state corporation (providing software, servicing equipment and so on). Such entities are considered “gaming assistants” and have to be registered with the AGFT. There are two traditional casinos in Nova Scotia: Casino Nova Scotia Halifax and Casino Nova Scotia Sydney. Both of them are operated by the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation.

Ticket lotteries and bingo. There are two main types of lotteries and bingo:


If you want to play only with the local companies of Nova Scotia, you will be limited in your choice. In other words, if you really love gambling and games of fortune, you need to discover the world of foreign online casinos. At the same time, you need to be very careful in order not to make a mistake. Follow our tips and you will find the most reliable and trustworthy online casino.

Key Facts about the Province

About the author

James Taylor

James Taylor is the chief editor of CasinoNow Canada Portal. This is the professional name of our bilingual go-to guy who adds value to all our work. He has been working as editor-in-chief at CasionNow Canada since 2018. Previously, he studied at the University of Quebec in Montreal and worked in market research companies.