The shared enthusiasm for gambling transcends geographical boundaries. Gambling in the US and Canada may seem similar to the untrained eye. However, once you play casino games online, you get first-hand experience and begin to understand some differences in the laws, bets, and gaming styles.

We take an in-depth look at the differences between online gambling in the US and Canada. Also, if you are in either country, we help you acquaint yourself with the changes when you switch locations and betting firms.


We’ll expressly state Canada is more receptive to online gambling than Uncle Sam. A series of prohibitory laws, rescinding and tightening the noose around online betting, has characterized the US market.

The US passed the Wire Act, which banned gambling in 1961. However, in 2011 the Attorney General interpreted the law to state that it applies to sports betting. The legal hierarchy differences meant that states could easily regulate or ban online gambling.
Some states, such as Delaware, allow online gambling, but you cannot play casino games like in Oregon. Other states have legalized only famous casino games such as poker and roulette.

To answer the question: is online gambling legal in the US? It depends on the state you are in. However, you can not gamble on offshore betting sites across the country.

Canada is a gray area when considering online gambling laws. You can bet on offshore accounts, deposit, and withdraw money, but online gambling is prohibited. It means the act is lawful, but online gambling is not. Now you get why Canada is a gray area for online gambling. Also, the Canadian government does not issue licenses to sports bookers.

However, Canadian gamblers are clamoring for a home-based online gambling site. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission licenses gambling in Mohawk territory. Therefore, technically, you can gamble in Canada without necessarily relying on offshore sites.


It is only logical that gambling is taxed. Well, you may have to reconsider your standing. Canada does not tax online gambling winnings. However, the sites may have in-house taxation or some deduction in withdrawal or processing fees.

In the US, there’s a 24% taxation on your winnings. The rate applies to monetary, house, and car wins you may get at the online casino. You usually report your winnings for taxation by filling and submitting Form W-2G to the IRS.

But you can ask for tax deductions if you can prove online gambling is your sole income earner. The problem is you will be opening yourself up to other tax avenues that the IRS will faithfully tax you.

Transaction Options

The principal merit of gambling in the US is that almost all online sites accept the US dollar. Canadians do not have the liberty of choice since few sites accept the Canadian dollar. Depositing options are mostly third-party enabled.

You may pay via Neteller, Skrill, PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, and cryptocurrency in the US. The same payment methods apply to Canadian sites.

Deposits in currencies other than USD get automatically converted to USD on the Canadian site. You can withdraw the money in USD to the account you used to deposit it. The differences in transaction options are not life-altering, as are tax laws.


The online gambling industry in Canada has cutthroat competition. The US counterparts enjoy dominance as only four licensed companies dominate the licensing front and provide licenses to other firms.

Due to the varying market competition, Canadians receive more bonus offerings than Americans. Although if the firm operates in Canada and the US, it will give the same bonuses to each player.

USA sites have bonuses, too, albeit restricted since federal and state laws change frequently, and what’s legal today may not be legal tomorrow.

Gaming Options and Operators

The US enjoys local and international online gambling sites. Canada has limited options since offshore betting sites occupy the lion’s share of the gambling market. But the difference in betting sites is inconsequential to the user.

The clear-cut differences are the gaming options. The US bans betting on college games, while Canada does not explicitly prohibit the same.

The US limits the gaming providers to Betsoft, Real Time Gaming, and Scientific Games. It means as a US Citizen; you have limited game offerings. Microgaming, Playtech, and Quickspin, which are household game providers, can’t offer services to US residents, but they can develop games for gamblers in Canada.

Some states are becoming receptive to international game operators and are bucking the banning trend. New Jersey and Penn State are some states that welcome international casino game developers.


The love for games of chance seems to equal these two countries in the online gambling market. With law amendments and new legislation enacted frequently, we cannot accurately predict what will be the difference today or tomorrow. But what we know is that gamblers want safe and authentic gambling experiences.

New laws and game models will be geared towards offering the user an ultimate gambling experience. We will always update you on any changes. Stick around.


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