Finding the best online casinos is not always easy. The internet is full of gambling websites of all sorts and sizes, some familiar, some exotic. Here is our guide for finding the best online casino if you are from Canada.
There are LOTS of online casinos to choose from, of course. To help you find the right one for you we are evaluating casinos using three different criteria:
- Which casinos have the best bonus options for Canadian casino players? The best bonus is not always the biggest bonus. Terms and conditions vary widely from casino to casino and have a big impact on your enjoyment. Just like in real life, size does not always matter!
- Which casinos can you trust? They may exist in cyberspace, but online casinos can still be licensed and audited just like a real-life casino. We will show you some things to look out for, and some to avoid.
- Which casinos are designed for Canadian gamblers? A lot of casinos are in English, but many of these are really designed for the larger UK online casino market. They may accept Canadian players, but their bonuses may not be valid in Canada and they may not accept deposits in Canadian dollars.
Read through our suggestions, investigate for yourself, and see if you can find the best online casino for you!
Online casinos with the best bonus offers
Not all welcome bonus offers are created equal! If you want to have a good online gambling experience you want to make sure you start with the right bonus (and not find yourself trapped with a promotion you regret taking).
The most important factor you need to consider when choosing a casino bonus is what is called the “wagering requirement,” or “turnover requirement.” This refers to how much gambling you have to do with your bonus money before making a withdrawal. A 40 times wagering requirement, often abbreviated “40x,” means you have to wager an amount 40 times before making a withdrawal. If your bonus amount is $100 and you have a 40x wagering requirement, you’ll need to gamble $4000 with your bonus before you can cash it out.
Remember, a bonus is essentially free money, so it is only fair for casinos to impose a wagering requirement. If they didn’t, everyone would just withdraw their bonus straight away! But some wagering requirements are easier to meet than others. Here’s what to look out for:
- Does the wagering requirement apply to your bonus fund only, or your bonus and your deposit? A 20x wagering requirement may sound low, but if it applies to your bonus and your deposit it could be in reality as high as a 40x wagering requirement that applies to bonus funds only.
- Are there limits on what you can play with your bonus? Casino bonuses often restrict bonus-fund-playing to online slots, and even then they regularly restrict which slots you can play. If you’re hoping to play live casino with your bonus, make sure you know what your bonus allows.
- Is there a maximum winnings limit? If your bonus offer limits your winnings to $100 it is best to know this before you win a thousand dollars on Starburst. Bonuses with low winnings limits still can be an attractive way to explore a new online casino – after all it is still free money – but you might want to make a lower deposit if a big win isn’t possible.
Sometimes a great bonus offer is not immediately obvious. We love the first deposit bonus available from Grand Mondial Casino: 150 Mega Moolah spins for $10. This bonus has a 60x wagering requirement, which seems high, until you do some math. Mega Moolah jackpots regularly exceed $1 million. If you have a huge Mega Moolah win with Grand Mondial, you certainly will not mind having to play through $1650 to claim it!
This bonus works because the multiple is so high (the $10 deposit is nearly tripled to a $37.50 balance), and the bonus is designed to be played on one of the most popular progressive jackpot slots. Many bonuses prevent gamblers from using their bonus to play Mega Moolah, not encourage it!
Which online casinos can you trust?
Online gambling is convenient and fun, but only if it is fair. Knowing which casinos are on the level and which are not is not always straightforward.
First of all, it is important to realize that practically anyone can create an online casino with the right software. Things to look out for to ensure a casino is worth trusting include:
- An internationally recognized online casino license.
- Partnerships with well-known casino software providers.
- Transparent player reviews.
ALSO HAS UK LICENSE
24/7 ONLINE SUPPORT
Please note: all online casinos recommended by Canada Gambling.com have licenses from either Curacao or Malta or both.
The two most common jurisdictions that license casinos internationally are the Caribbean island of Curacao, and the EU member state Malta. Both licenses are widely used by online casinos worldwide, but in general the standards demanded by Malta are considered to be much stricter. A small number of casinos are licensed by Gibraltar, which has one of the strictest international licensing programs of all.
As a player, you can quickly check yourself to see if a casino is licenses. Scroll to the bottom of an online casino website and look for the regulator’s logo. These can be a bit hard to see – sometimes they are grey images on a black background – but a careful observer will spot them.
The Curacao license is normally represented by a rounded shield and has the words “eGaming Curacao” above it (please note: sometimes the Curacao license is represented by an older version with a silver shield with a gold crown on top).
The Malta license includes the initials “mga” with half a Maltese cross on the side.
Clicking on a genuine license logo will take you to the regulator’s website, where the casino license will be listed (sometimes on a long, long list, so you might need to check carefully).
Some countries require a special license for a casino to accept players from their jurisdiction. These one-country licenses will not have any bearing on Canadian players, but it is a good sign if a casino has met a wide variety of standards. The most common of these national licenses are the United Kingdom (which is indicted by the words “GAMBLING COMMISSION” at the bottom of a website) and the relatively new Spelinspektionen from Sweden. Italy and Spain also have their own national gaming licenses for online casinos.
When an online casino has a license it means the casino is subject to the gaming authority’s regulations. This can include internal audits, an arbitration process for accepting complaints from players, and requirements to keep player money in a separate bank account in case it is needed for a withdrawal.
Having an international license is not a foolproof method for ensuring you can trust a casino, but does insure a certain level of regulatory compliance.
Which casinos are designed for Canadian gamblers?
CANADA IS THEIR BIGGEST MARKET
KNOWS WHAT THE CFL IS
Despite Canada being a major market for the gambling industry, most online casinos are not yet perfect for Canadian casino players.
One thing to look out for is currency – is that dollar sign referring to the American greenback or the Canadian loonie? Sure, very few online casinos are marketed to Americans at the moment, but the American dollar is still an international currency of choice.
Another issue is online support. When online casinos offer online support it is often for “business hours” only. And as Europe remains the main centre of the online gambling world, that means closing up shop about the time your average Vancouverite is wiping the sleep from his eyes.
One sure-fire way to find a casino that is Canadian-friendly is to join a casino owned and operated by Canadians. SlotJoint is just such a casino. You won’t be surprised to learn that SlotJoint is well regarded for its generosity and fairness (or its 24/7 online support – not “business hours” here, eh?).
Do you think you’ve found the perfect online casino to join? We sure hope so.