Legality for Canadians
There is a certain degree of confusion on the part of some Canadian residents when it comes to whether what they are doing is "legal." That is because of the law that is in place prohibits companies that are located within Canadian borders from offering any gaming services to citizens in Canada.
Now, you can interpret this as a way of protecting a certain Canadian government position, because of the fact that there are provinces who are literally in the gambling business, whether it is with lotteries or even online gambling, which appears to be a trend that is going to be very active. But it is not restrictive to the point where citizens must play in those government-sanctioned establishments or play nowhere.
Indeed, it is not illegal for Canadians to play casino games that are offered by companies that are located and headquartered outside of the borders of Canada. What this says, in effect, is that there is really nothing wrong with Canadians opening up an account and playing in an online casino that might be located and/or licensed in Costa Rica, Curacao, Malta, the Isle of Man or Gibraltar. So the police will not come busting down your door if you should exercise that kind of freedom of choice.
Naturally, there are some anomalies in the laws. For example, one of the major regulatory bodies in online gaming happens to be the one called the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which is associated with an Indiana tribe of the same name. This reservation is located within the boundaries of Quebec, yet they not only license online gaming establishments, they house them and operate them as well. And as far as anyone can tell, Canadians have played at some of these casinos without incident.
So how is this done? Well, it is because the Kahnawake nation, unlike other interests that operate within Canada, have been able to argue a certain case for rights as a sovereign nation, and they have not been challenged on this to the extent that the government has made a major case about it. They also, in spots, have not done a bad job of regulating some of the properties it oversees.
However, there have been other tribe leaders who have set up shop claiming the same sovereign status, and they have indeed been shut down. Whether this will continue is anybody's guess.
What government's policy for the future is going to be might be anyone's guess as well. When you consider that gambling online is a growth industry, you must also concede that opportunities for provincial operations are going to be more prevalent, their stake in the matter might cause them to feel a little more proprietary about online casinos. Right now, though, that is not the case.