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Gambling Regulation and Licensing in Canadian Territories 2020
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.
The Northwest Territories (NWT), Nunavut and Yukon are mysterious northern regions of Canada, which are famous among the travelers with their wild nature, incredible local traditions, and cultures of indigenous people, which weren’t affected by the western civilization. The vast area of this part of Canada in conjunction with the low density of population allows tourists and visitors to enjoy the wild nature and feel the unity with the world. However, the real fans of gambling and games of fortune may face serious problems here. However, it’s not that bad.
There’s only one casino for all three territories. At the same time, one doesn’t really need to go to the traditional casino to play roulette, blackjack, baccarat or other popular games. You don’t even need to leave the comfortable conditions of your home. You can play whenever you want by having a gadget connected to the internet. You can start your amazing journey together with us: read our amazing guide in order to find all the information about gambling in the territories of Canada and even more.
- Key Information about Gambling in the Territories
- Help and Support Services for the Players
How to Check the Casino Owner
As already mentioned, only provincial government organizations can be casino owners in Canada, so it makes no sense to check them. You can check foreign licensees and Kahnawake licensees by using special resources (read more about them in our article).
Key Information about Gambling in the Territories
- Traditional casinos. Yukon has only one traditional casino – Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall (it’s one of the oldest venues in Canada). NWT and Nunavut have no traditional casinos, even though they are not prohibited by law.
- Online casinos. There are no officially registered online casinos here; however, one can use the vast majority of foreign portals and websites.
- Key laws in the field of gambling. Lotteries Act (NWT and Nunavut) and Lottery Licensing Act (in Yukon).
- Regulating authorities: NWT – Municipal and Community Affairs (Consumer Services Department), Nunavut – Consumer Affairs, Department of Community and Government Services, Yukon – Professional Licensing & Regulatory Affairs Branch of the Department of Community Services.
- Minimum age of the players in these territories. 19 (and 16 for official lotteries in NWT and Nunavut).
- No taxation for winning. All prizes and winnings are free from taxes (unless you are a professional gambler).
- Official forms of gambling offered in these territories. The lottery is an official offer of the region, which is carried out and operated by the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC), while people are able to get tickets through the wide network of retailers. Also there are charitable and religious gambling in the form of one-time events and series of games, bingo, draws, Nevada ticket lotteries, sports draft lotteries. People really keen on VLTs here.
Help and Support Services for the Players
Contact information of the regulating authorities in order to file complaints, and send requests to solve issues related to the violation of consumer rights:
Phone: 1-(866) 223-8139 (toll free).
Phone: (867) 667-5111, Toll-free (in Yukon, NWT, and Nunavut): 1-800-661-0408 local 5111.
In case if you feel that the game becomes a real problem or a serious illness:
Phone (toll-free): 1-800-661-0830.
Phone: 1-(867) 979-3333 or toll-free 1-(800) 265-333.
Phone (toll-free): 1-800-661-0408 + 4 digit extension.
Traditional Gambling in the Territories
It may seem that these regions offer no chance to enjoy traditional gambling because there are almost no venues offering casino games, bingo or slot machines. At the same time, there are no casinos in NWT and Nunavut, even though they are not officially prohibited by the law. Perhaps, the reason is hidden in the strict rules for casinos in the territories (for example, they are not allowed to work after midnight on Saturday and before 13:30 on Sunday).
Yukon also can’t offer a wide range of gambling houses. Players are able to go to a single casino called Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall. There are also lotteries offered for local people. They can be as officially supported by state: NWT and Nunavut Lotteries, and Lotteries Yukon, as well as carried out as single events (raffles and bingo). Furthermore, one can find Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) in various venues all around the territories.
However, it’s not really all the things offered in the region! Fortunately, the world of online gambling is really developed and offers a wide range of opportunities, which can be reached via a device connected to the internet.
Online Gambling in the Territories
NWT, Nunavut, and Yukon offer an official website to participate in the sports draft lotteries. It’s called SportSelect and operated by WCLC (however, it’s seriously limited with the Canadian laws; for example, one is not able to bet for a single event, which seriously limits the range of opportunities for the customers). There’s no official online casino offered in the region.
However, players are not really limited to the sports draft lotteries at SportSelect, because they can use many online casinos offering a wide range of astonishing and interesting games. These casinos are managed by foreign companies located in other countries. As a result, they are not limited by the laws of Canada or its regions.
It’s worth noting that the field of online gambling is rapidly developing all around the world. In other words:
- The number of online casinos offering more gambling options (for example, one can use the multiplayer mode in foreign casinos in order to compete with real players from all around the world) is constantly growing as well as the size of the prize funds.
- At the same time, the laws in the field of online gambling are constantly developing; more and more national and international regulating bodies are created to control this lucrative area of business (for example, IAGR). Online gambling has already reached the stage of maturity, thus allowing one to find a reliable website to play favorite games.
As a result, legal online gambling is offered in many countries all around the world, giving access to the endless world of online games and eternal happiness. People are able to cross the borders without leaving their homes.
Is It Legal to Use Such Websites in Canada?
We are not going to make bold statements about the legal status of gambling in Canada. Officially, all kinds of gambling, which are not directly allowed by the provinces or territories, are prohibited in Canada. There is no information about the legal status of online gambling in the territories.
At the same time, Canadian laws can’t affect the activity of companies registered in different countries and jurisdictions. In other words, the foreign online gambling websites can’t be banned or prohibited in Canada. This rule is not officially confirmed by the current legislation; however, it’s the current interpretation of the effective laws in Canada.
Furthermore, authorities of both Canada and regions have never tried to ban such websites and portals. It’s worth noting that there are several cases, which confirm the legal status of foreign online gambling in Canada. As a result, players in the territories are able to have free access to the most popular gambling portals all around the world. Furthermore, players bear no responsibility for participating in games, which are not legally approved by the state.
Legal foreign online casinos have to act on the basis of a license or approval issued by one of the international jurisdictions. In the majority of cases, they prefer registering in one of the European countries (currently, Europe is the most rapidly developing gambling market). Furthermore, such licenses can be issued by Kahnawake (Mohawk territories in Quebec). More detailed information about online casinos and regulations can be found on our website.
Please note the following: even though the online gambling market is constantly developing, one may still face a lot of mischievous and fraudulent companies working in this field. Thus, you need to check all the information about the chosen operator or the website before starting the game. Try to find all the information even in case if you see positive reviews at forums.
You can follow our clear recommendations or use our detailed rating of the best casinos, which were chosen by the real experts. By doing so, you will be able to make an informed decision and enjoy the comfortable process of gambling. In case if you want to understand the world of gambling in details, we kindly recommend you reading the best articles written by our experts about the regulations and gambling all around the world.
Key laws in the field of gambling are the Lotteries Act in NWT and Nunavut, and Lottery Licensing Act in Yukon; these documents are relatively simple and easy in comparison with the acts implemented by other provinces. As a result, one doesn’t need a lot of time to get familiar with them. The most important information offered in the law: forms and types of gambling offered in the territories, rules and requirements for the licensees and players, maximum prizes and general requirements It’s worth noting that every casino is considered a services provider, thus it has to comply with the regulations in the field of consumer rights protection. Each territory has its own Consumer Protection Act, which protects the right of consumers (NWT and Nunavut, Yukon).
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.
Safety of Players
As we mentioned before, the world of online gambling is developing incredibly fast, while the safety of the players remains one of the key priorities. According to the best practices all around the world, the most reliable casinos have to offer the highest level of safety and security for their players, as well as convenient payment tools and modern approaches to the personal data processing. Nevertheless, such standards may vary depending on the country. It’s worth noting that the United Kingdom implemented one of the most strict requirements for online casinos and gambling portals. As a result, one can be sure in the trustworthiness of a casino that has a license issued by the UK.
Deposits and Payouts in Online Casinos
More detailed information about the payments in online casinos can be found here.
These territories offer virtually no access to gambling. One can enjoy local lotteries and unclear betting process. At the same time, you are still able to choose one of the numerous online casinos working 247 – the huge number of options, which can satisfy demands even of the most advanced players. Never forget the fact that the enjoyable gaming process starts from the choosing of a reliable casino. Be wise and play responsibly.
Key Facts about the Territories
- These are the most northern regions of Canada.
- NWT and Nunavut are one of the largest regions in Canada: Nunavut (2 093 190 km2) is the largest one and NWT (1 183 085 km2) is the third one after Nunavut and Quebec.
- Nunavut is the youngest region of Canada, which was created on April 1, 1999, when it was separated from NWT.
- Local population: These territories have the lowest population in Canada. According to the official information, the total population is 116,467 people, which is less than in Prince Edward’s Island (the tiniest province of Canada). The majority of local population in NWT and Nunavut is represented by the First Nations (Innu people and other nations). For example, there is more than 84% of them in Nunavut. They don’t speak French or English at all. If you really plan to visit this part of Canada, you need to know the basic words in Inuktitut (the local language of the Innu people).
- The climate in the territories: Due to the large size of the region, the climate can be different depending on the chosen part, especially if one compares the northern and the southern parts of the territories. However, this place is not the best choice for the fans of heat and sun. the polar climate can be found in the majority of territories.
- How to get and what to see: Territories of Canada are one of the best places in the world for the real fans of the wild nature and those, who want to leave noisy cities. They offer mountains, forests, rivers, waterfalls, wild animals and many other unique things, which will definitely satisfy your needs. We really liked the official websites of the territories, where one can find not only the most important information about the touristic routes but to get access to special maps and more (we recommend the following: NWT parks, Spectacular NWT, Nunavut Tourism and Travel Yukon).
- Stars and polar nights: this is the main reason to spend a night in the local forest. Even though, one can enjoy them not only in distant places but in such developed places, as the capital of NWT called Yellowknife. In order to get more information, you may use such special websites as Astronomy North.
About the author
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.