The Best Online Casinos Compared Monthly
When it comes to online casinos, Canadian customers are spoiled for choice. There are hundreds of casino sites that cater to players in this country, and it can be hard to identify those that are the best to play at. That is why we inspect and rate every new casino that arrives on these shores. If we find a casino to be worthy, we write a review and include it in our list of endorsed sites. Only the best online casinos make it on to our list.
When you pick a casino from our recommendations, you can be sure that you are choosing between only the best on offer. All the casinos that we rate and recommend score highly in many different categories, including security, design, game selection, customer service and payment options.
For more information on the specific features of a casino, please visit our casino review pages. There you will find an in-depth overview of absolutely everything the casino has to offer, from the games through to the customer support.
What you should know about Online Casinos
The casino and gambling industry in Canada today are thriving. Successive governments have fostered a relaxed and hospitable regulatory environment, and land-based casino resorts and establishments have proliferated all over the country. Considering that there are so many casinos around today, you may be surprised to know that the oldest land-based casino in Canada only opened its doors in 1971 in the Yukon.
The current casino boom in Canada started in earnest in the 1980s, and there has recently been a renewed increase in the construction of casino establishments. Playing casino games, gambling and sports betting are all extremely popular with the citizens of this country. Some casinos are owned by private companies, while others are run wholly or in part by local provincial governments.
Playing at Casino Sites in Canada
When online casinos started out, they quickly gained in popularity. As technology and internet coverage improved, so did the Canadian appetite for playing casino games online. In contrast to neighbouring America, the authorities in Canada chose to follow a path of less regulation for online casinos. The law does not allow online operators to base themselves on Canadian soil, but it also gives complete freedom to players in this country to use those that are based overseas. All online gambling is legal in Canada.
Today, some provincial governments run their own casino sites for local residents, which are generally of a high standard. However, the majority of play takes place at private online casinos, many of which are run by European companies. Since the market is almost entirely unregulated, there is a staggering number of online casinos to choose from. On the other hand, players use these foreign operators at their own risk.
Security and Licensing at Canadian Online Casinos
It can still be perfectly safe to play at an online casino in Canada, despite the lack of local oversight. All reputable casino sites are regulated in their own territories, and in many cases, they have also been verified by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission which works in conjunction with overseas licensing authorities to grant licenses for the Canadian market.
The Canadian approach has been to leave the market to self-regulate, and for the most part this strategy has been very successful. Well-established private operators recognized the potential of the Canadian market and moved in to fill the gap. This leaves most of the responsibility for finding trustworthy casinos to the consumer, and that it where this site comes in.
To help you to identify where to play, we have compiled a directory of the premium online casinos for customers in this country. We only list casino sites that are safe and secure, and that are licensed and regulated by a recognized overseas governing body. After safety, our priority is fun, so of course, all of our selected sites have a fantastic selection of games to play.
HOW CAN YOU FIND THE BEST ONLINE CASINO?
With so many to choose from, finding the best online casino can be a big challenge. We have taken some of the work out of the process, by discarding those that do not meet our high standards and recommending only those that represent the cream of the crop.
We keep our lists constantly updated, so it is a good idea to bookmark our site and return frequently to stay informed about the most promising new casinos to hit the internet. When you visit a new casino for the first time, you need to look at some of the key features to see if it is worth making an account. For example, whether it holds a license from a reputable jurisdiction, the quality of the games and software providers and if your data is protected by SSL encryption.
How we choose the Best Casinos
With so many different factors to consider, making a choice can be a bit overwhelming. You may be tempted just to sign up at the casino with the flashiest advertising, or an eye-catching welcome bonus, without looking in more depth at the underlying qualities. Our team of casino experts know exactly what aspects to examine, so only the best casino sites make it onto our list.
To help you understand the selection process, here are some of the criteria that we use when deciding if a casino makes the cut.
All the best online casinos have special bonuses and promotional offers for their new and returning customers. The welcome bonus is usually the main event, giving players the chance to match their deposit, and even multiply it, for the chance to play for longer. The very best casinos also have similar recurring offers for players who already have an account.
A deposit bonus always comes with wagering requirements, which are in place to prevent people from taking advantage and to ensure that the casino does not lose too much money. Wagering requirements are indicated as a multiple – for example, 30x means that you must stake the value of the bonus thirty times before any winnings can be claimed. We consider the value of the bonus when compared to the wagering requirement – 35x and less are reasonable, although some casinos impose as much as 50x or 60x.
Another typical promotion is free spins, which can be played on a selected number of slots. These often come as a package with the welcome bonus, and some casinos also give free spins on other occasions, such as when they are promoting a new slot game. Sometimes these offers even come without wagering requirements.
Top casinos also provide a VIP or loyalty scheme for long-term loyal players. Players rise through the different levels, gathering increasing rewards the more they play. Some of these rewards are in the form of bonus cash and free spins, but when players reach the upper levels some casinos also provide exclusive prizes like tickets to sporting events, fine dining and even trips abroad.
Payout Times and Limits
If you are lucky enough to have a big win, it is reasonable to expect that you can cash out your winnings fast. We have found the best online casinos that payout quickly, so that you are not left waiting for your money. Please note that a first withdrawal is often subject to a short delay while the casino carries out mandatory identity verification. After this has been completed, all future payouts should be rapid. Some casino sites have almost instant payout times.
Some casinos do impose limits on both deposits and withdrawals, but in most cases these are generous enough to accommodate the average player. Casinos with restrictive limits on payout amounts do not pass our quality tests unless they show exceptional quality in other areas.
Why do Casinos need to verify your identity?
At some point in your interaction with the casino, you will be required to verify your identity. This usually happens before you can make your first withdrawal, and it is sometimes repeated if you wish to withdraw a large sum of money. You will be required to submit copies of identity documents to the customer service team, which should include a photograph and various other identifying information. This may seem tiresome, but it is required by law as part of the casino’s duty regarding anti-money laundering and know your customer (KYC) obligations.
This is arguably the most critical criterion of all when considering an online casino. The Canadian authorities take no part in regulating online casinos, so players also have no protection should they fall victim to a dishonest operator. A license from a reputable gambling oversight body is a player’s guarantee and reassurance that the casino is legitimate and trustworthy.
If you browse our best online casino collection, you will see that they all hold licenses from authorities such as the UK Gambling Commission or the Malta Gaming Authority. To hold a license from one of these organisations, a casino must adhere to high standards of security, fair play and responsible gaming.
Licensed casinos are audited regularly to ensure that the random number generators controlling the games are operating as they should, and that all necessary processes are followed correctly.
It should go without saying that every single operator in our best online casino catalogue holds a valid license from a recognized gambling regulatory body.
When it comes down to it, fun and entertainment is the name of the game. To earn the title of best casino online, the games selection must be flawless. Ideally, a casino should contain a range of different games, including new and classic slots, table games, live dealer games and even more.
These days, every casino worth consideration is fully accessible from a mobile device. As mobile technology improves, casino providers now tend to avoid making a downloadable app, and instead prefer to create a site that is optimized for mobile. This means that anyone with a mobile device can access the games instantly, whether they use Android, iOS, or any other mobile operating system.
Whatever type of company you are dealing with, it is comforting to know that a representative can be easily contacted to solve problems and answer questions. We vet the customer service team of every new casino that we assess, looking for friendliness, professionalism, competence and promptness.
The best online casinos can also be contacted via live chat or telephone, 24/7. We do not tend to recommend casinos with email contact only, or those which restrict their support centre hours.
In addition to the criteria listed above, we also consider the following when creating our casino reviews:
- Does the casino process weekend payments?
- Does the casino allow manual flushing? This is a technical term pertaining to withdrawing money from an account. If funds have been requested for withdrawal, they may be temporarily held for a short period of time. Manual flushing allows players to block the money so that it cannot be added back to the casino account before the holding period is over. Casinos that allow this show a strong commitment to responsible gaming.
- Languages. For the Canadian market, casinos should preferably have both English and French language options.
- Currencies. Casinos that cater to the Canadian market will accept payments in CAD without conversion.
- Withdrawal limits. The best online casinos allow players to withdraw all their winnings with a generous upper limit.
- Software. There are plenty of software providers that create casino games. A sign of a good casino is one that has titles from some of the top providers, such as Microgaming.
- Payment methods. Most online casinos have a certain number of payment platforms as standard, such as Visa debit, MasterCard and Paysafecard. Those that operate in Canada should also offer some local payment options like Instadebit and iDebit. More options means more choice for customers, so we look out for casinos that support platforms like ecoPayz and pay by mobile.
- Layout and ease of use. Games should be easy to find and play, either by browsing through different categories or by searching for a particular title.
Advantages of Top Online Casinos
There are a lot of advantages to playing at an online casino in preference to a physical establishment. There are the obvious benefits, such as the ease of use and flexibility – with a mobile device you can play from anywhere at all.
Just as importantly, online casinos have much lower overheads, which means that they can afford to be more generous with their bonus offers, promotions and jackpot payouts. Not many land-based casinos give incentives to newcomers, in contrast to online casinos that are in fierce competition to provide the most lavish welcome packages to attract new players, as well as rewards to loyal customers.
There are so many online casinos that it can be hard to choose between them, as we have already seen. However, the sheer number of sites gives players an advantage as well. Because the casinos are all vying for your custom, the welcome packages can be extravagant. Some of the bonuses will match a deposit up to 500% or more, and most also include some free spins on selected slots.
Can online casinos be trusted?
In most cases, yes, but there are some unscrupulous operators out there. To be completely sure that an online casino is legitimate and trustworthy, you must verify that it holds a license from a recognized oversight organization. Some examples of these are the UK Gambling Commission, the Malta Gaming Authority and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. These organizations issue licenses only when a casino meets a number of rigorous requirements surrounding fair play, security and responsible gaming.
Is online gambling legal in Canada?
The short answer is yes, although online gambling represents a grey area in Canadian law. In the states of Manitoba, Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario, the provincial governments operate their own online casino sites. These are officially the only places for Canadian players to gamble online, but the reality is quite different. Neither the federal government nor the provincial authorities impose any restrictions on playing at online casinos that are accessible from Canada. In practice, all online gambling is completely legal and unregulated. For this reason, it is of utmost importance that Canadian players choose only safe and trustworthy casinos.
What is the best online casino in Canada?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as the opinion of what is best depends on personal preference. For some players, it will be the casino with the widest selection of slots games from prominent software providers. Others will prefer a casino with a varied collection of table games, bingo and live dealer casino games. Many players decide on a favourite based on the welcome bonus and ongoing promotions, still others on the payout time. All the casinos that we recommend meet high standards of security and fair play, and so it is up to the individual player to decide which site that they consider to be the best online casino.
Are online casino games fair?
If you are playing at a licensed casino, then the games are guaranteed to be fair. The software is controlled by a random number generator, which means that all outcomes are as unpredictable as they are in a brick and mortar land casino.
Are my personal and banking details safe?
When you play at a reputable casino site in Canada, all your details are protected by SSL encryption technology. This means that none of your data can be intercepted by hackers. So long as a casino site holds the correct licensing, it should be as secure as any online financial institution.
What deposit methods can Canadians use?
The best casino sites provide a large variety of payment options to their customers. These include debit and credit cards, e-Wallets, prepaid cards, pay by mobile and sometimes more. Specifically, for the Canadian market are platforms such as Interac and iDebit. It is important to choose a payment method carefully, as casinos require the withdrawal to be carried out in the same way. This is part of the casino’s commitment to anti-fraud measures. It should also be remembered that some payment methods exclude players from using a bonus – notably certain e-Wallets. Always check the terms with the casino before making any deposits.
Is there a withdrawal limit on winnings?
There can be, but they are usually quite high. The casinos on our list either have no limit, or one that is large enough to cover all but the most spectacular of wins.
Can Canadian players get bonuses?
Yes, of course. Many casino operators now serve Canada, and they have devised bonus offers available exclusively to players in this country. Look out for bonus offers advertised in Canadian dollars, and for promotions that tie in with local events. Canada may be a relatively new market for these casino operators, but they have made sure that Canadian players can enjoy all the same perks that their other customers are entitled to.