How to Find Safe Online Casinos in Canada

If you’re like me and live in Vancouver, British Columbia, and want to join a legally permitted website to play real money online fruit machines or various other classic titles, such as roulette, blackjack, poker, craps, or baccarat, but you don’t know what to look for in a good site, don’t panic.

I consider myself an expert on the subject and know exactly what to look for in a good site, which I feel every Canadian should know, which is why I will be sharing this with you here.

Photo by Aditya Chinchure on Unsplash

I also know how difficult choosing a reliable website like this can be, especially when there are so many to choose from.

In most parts of Canada, such as Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta, you must be at least 19 years old to join one of these sites, but here in British Columbia, it’s just 18.

Let’s dive straight in to discover the most important things everyone should look for when deciding which site to join.

Important factors to consider before registering a new account on any real money gambling site

There are many important factors to consider before registering a new account at the first real money gambling site you come across.

It took me several years to learn, and although I’ve never encountered any problems, I wish I had known all this from the very beginning.

Whether you are a newbie looking to join one of these sites for the first time or a seasoned pro like me just looking for a change of scenery, here are some of the most important things you should always try to find out before signing up anywhere:

  • Ownership and reputation – never sign up to a site that’s known to be controlled by an untrustworthy operator. If you stick to sites that reputable operators control, as I have always done, then you won’t have any problems.
  • Regulation and licensing – to avoid any disappointment, I strongly advise that you find out where the website operator is licensed and regulated. Never join an unlicensed/unregulated site or even one that is licensed by a ‘rubber-stamp’ (aka bottom-tier) licensing authority. Only join sites that are licensed and regulated by one or more Canadian (or internationally acclaimed) licensing authorities, particularly the mid to top-tier gaming commissions. Examples include the MGA (Malta), the Gambling Commission (UK), and the Regulatory Authority (Gibraltar), to name a few
  • Software – never play at sites with content from software providers/studios that nobody has ever heard of. Only play at sites with content from well-established (preferably industry-award-winning) companies, such as Evolution, Playtech, Games Global, NetEnt, Pragmatic, Blueprint, Yggdrasil, Relax, Pragmatic, Play’n GO, Iron Dog Studios, Inspired, Skywind, Novomatic, Thunderkick, ELK Studios, etc.
  • Reviews – ensure that any website you are about to join has excellent reviews on globally renowned portals, like the official AskGamblers website. I like to conduct my own research, but I also like to explore all the options in Canada by reading several expert reviews and then comparing them to find the most suitable sites
  • Website security – a safe website will always protect your money, as well as any transactions you process on the site, any private chats you have with the player support, and any other sensitive data, such as your name, address, mobile number, and email address by using 128-bit or higher SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption. Avoid joining websites that aren’t protected in this way
  • Responsible gambling – You may also want to look for sites that have a range of ‘safer gambling tools’ that you can set to help you stay within your budget and not overspend. For example, low rollers might like to set a C$10 or C$20 monthly deposit limit, and high rollers might like to set a C$2,000 daily deposit limit. You can also set session time reminders and win/loss limits and even take time-out periods (typically from 24 hours up to six weeks)
  • Payments/banking – I always head to the cashier section before signing up anywhere, just to see if they accept my preferred online payment method

The top Canadian sites will always cater to Canadian players by accepting a wide range of secure, convenient, and well-known Canadian online payment methods.

I prefer using Interac, PayPal, Visa, Neteller or Skrill, so I’ll always make sure the site accepts at least two of these methods before signing up.

A good Canadian site will also accept Canadian dollars, so you don’t have to use a currency you’re not too familiar with, and it will be consistent in processing instant deposits and lightning-fast withdrawals.

What else should I look for in a good Canadian site?

Most people, myself included, often sign up to a site based on how good its initial welcome bonus is. However, try to avoid bonuses that seem too good to be true because they often are. Before claiming any online gambling portal bonuses, always read the terms and conditions for that bonus.

I will always head straight to the part in the Ts and Cs about the wagering requirements, which is sometimes called the playthrough, turnover, or rollover requirement, to find out how much I have to wager before I can cash out my winnings.

The Ts and Cs tell you everything you need to know about your bonus, and reading them carefully will help you get the most out of your bonus. I try to avoid bonuses with a 50x or higher wagering requirement attached and will stick to ones with anything lower than 50x (typically 30x to 45x, I’m ok with).

Now that you know what to look for in a good Canadian online casino, it should make choosing a reliable one that won’t let you down much easier. There are plenty of great sites to choose from, and most take less than a minute to join.