Online Gambling’s Legality in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of four provinces known collectively as Atlantic Canada. As such, gambling activities within the province fall under the remit of the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) — an organization that governs, regulates, and distributes gambling verticals to residents in the Atlantic provinces. The ALC runs an online gambling site offering slots, bingo titles, and table games such as blackjack and roulette.
The official government line is that Nova Scotians can only gamble online at the ALC site. For a long time, this has been a blanket rule for all Canadians, with provinces only permitting online gambling at state-run sites; however, there is no law that forbids Canadians in any province from legally accessing offshore online casinos licensed in other gambling jurisdictions.
In February 2021, the ALC agreed to launch an exclusive online casino for players in Nova Scotia. This follows the launch of a similar site in New Brunswick in 2020, splitting the ALC into separate gambling territories while still overseeing activities within its four provinces.
‘The Grey Zone’
Although provincial governments ban the practice of online gambling at private casino sites within their borders, Canadians are legally allowed to play at offshore sites licensed elsewhere. So, when we at BestOnlineCasinos.ca discuss the best online casinos in Nova Scotia, we’re referring to the best sites available to those residing in the province. These sites are all safe and licensed by reputable gambling territories, such as the Malta Gaming Authority or UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).
You’d be forgiven for thinking this approach to online gambling seems unclear. Indeed, the framework supporting Canada’s gambling laws has created a space known as the grey zone, so-called to represent the uncertainty around legislation and the missed financial opportunities to regulate the industry within Canadian borders.
Governments at both the provincial and federal level are aware of the amount of gambling that occurs at offshore sites. The ALC has even estimated that around $100 million leaves Atlantic Canada alone every year through residents gambling at these sites, and arguments have been made to allow this revenue to benefit the citizens of Canada rather than foreign gambling territories.