Online Gambling in Manitoba: Laws and Regulations

The land of 1,000 lakes — that’s how most Canadians call this peaceful and well-regulated province located right in the central part of Canada. Manitoba, much like several other provinces in Canada, falls into what professional gambling analysts consider the ‘grey area’ of the law.

Gambling laws in Canada are mandated on multiple levels. It all starts with the federal government, and then each province has its corresponding regulations. What’s more, until the actual law is proposed at the court system, it’s difficult to say whether offshore casinos are illegal or not. Apart from online gaming, residents (and visitors) of Manitoba can enjoy numerous forms of gambling within the state’s borders.

Let’s see what the gambling laws of Manitoba have to say on the matter.

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What About Online Gambling?

Following the success of a government-owned gaming website in British Columbia, Manitoba adopted the same business model in 2013. At the moment, PlayNow Manitoba is the only gaming establishment operating within the borders of the province.

PlayNow is a website run by British Columbia Lottery Corporation in partnership with MLLC. Players can enjoy a vast choice of traditional casino games on this site, including lotteries, slots, poker, betting, and even bingo. There’s even a website controlled by the WCLC that offers sports betting services called SportSelect.

Offshore Operators and Companies

Even though online gambling is severely limited in Manitoba, players have no real reasons to be worried — they can still find hundreds of different options to enjoy online casino gaming. Manitoba residents can access one of the vast majority of online casinos managed by foreign companies and entities. The majority of these websites are targeted at players throughout the globe. As a result, you can play a wide variety of games with huge and virtually unlimited winnings and prizes.

Foreign operators are licensed in different countries. Consequently, they comply with the licenses and laws put forth by various jurisdictions, like Malta or Curacao. These regulatory bodies may demand a gaming operator to create an office or a branch on their territory or even limit their services to their native countries. For example, Kahnawake issue licenses only for operators that have all their equipment located in the Mohawk Internet Technologies data center.

What we’re trying to say here is that you can play on offshore sites with a peace of mind. The licensing jurisdictions we were talking about have stringent policies, most of which were designed to protect the players. Such portals are legal in Canada, and Canadians can access them hassle-free. Playing at foreign casinos is not considered a crime in Manitoba, and there are no penalties for doing that.

Numerous forms of gambling are legal in this Western Canadian province, and activities are regulated by the Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba.

  • Land-based casinos — Manitoba has plenty of tribal and government-owned casinos. Winnipeg has two gaming facilities (Club Regent Casino and McPhillips Station Casino), and both are owned and operated by the provincial government.
  • Lottery — The Western Canada Lottery Corporation sells scratch-off cards and lottery tickets. Residents can purchase them at licensed retailers (convenience stores) or online.
  • Sports betting — The Sports select system allows punters to bet up to $250/day on two or more sporting event outcomes. The minimum betting age is 19, and players can choose among options such as pools, props, and over/under bets.
  • Horse racing — The province organizes both standardbred and thoroughbred races, with Assiniboia Downs being the only permanent track for such events. Winnipeg has several off-track betting establishments offering both simulcast and live events. These facilities are overseen by the Manitoba Horse Racing Commission.
  • Video Lottery terminals — These games of chance can be purchased exclusively at VLT lounges throughout Manitoba and are regulated by Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries. The most popular variants of the game are poker, reel, and keno.
  • Charitable Gaming — Non-profit organizations in the province can apply for a license to host one of the following forms of charitable gaming: raffles, bingo, Calcutta auction, break open, sports draft, Monte Carlo, and Texas Hold’em poker tournament.

A Timeline of Gambling in Manitoba

1982: The local authorities in Manitoba founded the MLF (Manitoba Lottery Foundation) that became the only seller and the distributor of the lottery tickets in the province.

1984: The Opaskwayak Cree tribe entered into the first agreement with the authorities to launch casino operations.

1990: The Opaskwayak Cree tribe signed a deal with the Commission, getting exclusive rights to issue licenses for the charitable and social gambling events hosted within the territory of the reservation.

1993: The Manitoba Law Foundation changed its name to the Manitoba Lotteries Corporation. Two entertainment centers were launched — McPhillips Street Station and Club Regent — both managed by the MLC.

2002: The Opaskwayak Cree tribe launched its first casino called Aseneskak.

2009: MLLC and the Manitoba tribes signed 32 agreements on the usage of the video lottery terminals in reservations controlled by organizations created on native land.

2013: The British Columbia Lottery Corporation launched PlayNow online casino in partnership with the MLLC.

2018: The Manitoba government enacted a law temporarily banning the extension of gambling activity in the province.

Manitoba Gambling Laws

The Liquor, Gaming, and Cannabis Control Act — As the name suggests, this law doesn’t regulate only gambling, but also the alcohol and cannabis distribution. In the provisions of this law, players can find the list of people and entities allowed to participate, a full list of responsibilities, requirements for casinos, different ways to dispute settlements, and charges for violations.

Consumer Protection Act — Since every casino is considered a services provider, it has to abide by the regulations regarding consumer rights protection.

The Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation Act — This law is particularly significant for those who want to play the lottery in offline establishments. It regulates all the principles and rules of lottery operations carried out in Manitoba, as well as the sales distribution. MLLC is the official lottery regulatory body in Manitoba and controls the game together with Western Canada Lottery Corporation.

Order-in-Council No. 110/2014 — This law regulates the process of licensing special games performed by native tribes operators and local councils.

Keep in mind that gambling in Canada is regulated (on a federal level) by the Criminal Code of Canada. This document governs the rules and the conditions of gambling operations across the country.

Tips for Choosing an Offshore Online Casino

Since there are no legal obstacles, Manitoba residents can indulge in online gaming on offshore sites with a peace of mind. However, it would be best if you went on your gaming journey prepared. Online casino platforms offer a plethora of content, from slots and all the classics to progressives and poker and bingo rooms. While the diversity of the provided games certainly makes these sites appealing, it can be quite confusing to find your way around.

For that reason, we’ve prepared a few tips that could be worth considering when you’re trying your luck at offshore sites.

Security — The safety of your personal and financial information is of paramount significance, especially if you’re sharing them with offshore companies that cater to players from many different countries. We advise you to check for encryption certificates and seal of proof from reputable audit companies. Furthermore, look for sites that have a license from an esteemed regulator (Malta Gaming Authority, UK Gambling Commission, Curacao)

Bonuses and Promotions — Virtually all casinos nowadays offer these kinds of incentives designed to attract new customers and keep the existing ones entertained. These gifts come in many forms, from no-deposit and welcome offers (deposit-related bonuses) to time-limited promotions and exclusive deals. You should check out the terms and conditions of these rewards before you decide which one suits your gambling taste the most.

Customer Support — Players often overlook the significance of customer support, but in this case, it is of crucial importance. Whenever you encounter any legal or technical problems, you can get in touch with the support agents and resolve the matter. Make sure you only play at sites where customer support service is readily available (preferably through live chat).

FAQs

No, only professional punters have to pay taxes on winnings, so don’t have to worry about it.

Yes, you can, but you have to do it on offshore sports betting websites like William Hill, 888Sports, Betfair, and others that offer greyhound betting.

Most online casinos accept Canadian residents, and that includes the ones living in Manitoba. To make sure, you should read the casino’s list of restricted countries or check with the customer support.

It all depends on the operator; that’s why you should choose only the most reliable companies operating in accordance with the laws and principles of fair gambling. The best indicator of the site’s legitimacy is the license from a reputable regulatory body.

You must be 18 or older to enter a land-based casino in Manitoba.

Author:

Chief editor and creator, Tom drives the direction of CanadianCasinos.ca with the goal to provide the best and most honest resource for online gambling enthusiasts in Canada