You are not alone
Top tip for any Canadian who loves a flutter, you are not alone. Gambling in the country is akin to a national pastime. Six out of ten adults say they have spent money gambling in the past month. All forms of gambling are popular, and changes to the law across the country have opened up new opportunities. For example, sports betting on single events is now legal. In addition, Ontario has created the country’s first regulated, legal gambling market.
Check the laws in the province in which you reside
Each province regulates gambling control in its jurisdiction, so gambling laws vary across the country. The top tip, however, has to be to only gamble on licensed websites. Gambling is a lucrative business, and there are unscrupulous operators out there who are happy to scam punters out of their cash. Therefore, if the site is not prominently displaying its license, that should be a red flag. Move on and find an approved site.
Check the licenses
Checking licenses is easy if you look at online gambling sites in Ontario. The province opened its fully regulated and legalized market to commercial operators in April 2022. All forms of gambling are legal. Under the auspices of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission Ontario, iGaming Ontario issues licenses to online operators. The regulator has drawn up a strict legal framework. In order to obtain a license, commercial operators must agree to adhere to the framework. This includes ensuring that potentially vulnerable people are protected from gambling harms.
Top tips for safe gambling
While this sounds as though the regulator is out to spoil your fun, it is, in effect, the opposite. If you know you are gambling safely and have the regulator to fall back on if something goes wrong, you can just get on with enjoying your gaming.
- The advice is to remember that gambling is a fun, leisure pursuit.
- Try not to become over-absorbed in play and take frequent breaks.
- Remember to mix up the games you are playing.
- Set yourself a budget for your gambling and stop when you reach your limit.
- Do not wager more than you can afford to lose.
- Never borrow money to try and win back losses.
Find the games you love to play
With many gambling platforms vying for your attention, online casinos have many offers and promotions to entice you to open an account on their platform. However, before getting sidetracked with offers that are ‘too good to miss out on’, remember to find the games you want to play. That sounds a bit simplistic, but one of the top tips is to check out what games are available. Many online casinos have demo versions, so you can try different games without committing your cash. If this is an option, it is a great idea to have a spin on a variety of games, so you can get the best experience when you start to play for real.
Check out the payment options
When you are playing at online casinos, make sure you see which one offers the best payment options. Things to consider when deciding how to pay:-
- Decide whether you want to link your bank account to your casino account or keep them separate.
- Having them linked is great for convenience but not so good for keeping control of your budget.
- Prepaid options like NeoSurf allow you to set an upfront budget.
- PayPal or other e-wallets offer extra layers of security
- PayPal provides a clever hack too. Online casinos in Canada do not let you pay with AMEX. However, if your American Express card is linked to your PayPal account, you can choose it as your source of funding for your casino account.
- If using a third-party e-Wallet, make sure that you use the same email address to register your casino account as you do your e-Wallet. Otherwise, you might encounter delays.
Getting set to play
There are many online casino sites to play on in Canada. If you are in Ontario, you can look for the iGaming Ontario license to ensure you are playing on a legitimate site. It is worth taking a little bit of time when you start playing to get everything set up right. You will have to go through a verification process to prove your age and residential status and upload documentary proof. It is essential to do this; otherwise, you might be unable to withdraw any winnings or deposits. Do check out the terms and conditions to ensure you know if there are any restrictions or charges for withdrawals or deposits.
Offers and bonuses
When you have established that the site has the games you want to play, is legitimate and takes the payment method you want to use, you can see what bonuses and offers are available. For example, most online casinos offer to match your deposit and reward you with free spins. However, these often have conditions attached – be sure to check the wagering requirements.
See what others are saying
It is always worth asking around to see what other people’s experience has been like playing at a particular casino. You might have friends who enjoy an online flutter. If so, get their recommendation. However, you do not have to rely on friends. If you were going to pay money to watch a movie or TV series, you would probably check out the reviews to see what professional critics are saying. Well, you can do the same for online casino games too.
Ask for expert advice
Independent, professional reviewers have looked through all the websites available in Canada and compiled lists of which ones are the best. They base their results on various criteria, including game selection, payment methods, ease of navigation and accessibility. They then award each online casino operator a score and a ranking. Looking at their tips could be just the tip you need.