Online Casinos in Toronto

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Toronto might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of gaming, but your mind might change when you hear the fact that the Ontario Lottery & Gaming commission pulled in CAD 8.3 billion in revenue in 2019.

The organization has been regulating gambling since 1975 and provides the province with options like lotteries, charity casinos, commercial casinos, and slot machines.

Toronto is also home to the legendary Woodbine racetrack established over two-hundred years ago. This prestigious racetrack has been host to the British Royal family for the annual Queen’s Plate race as far back as 1939 when King George VI became the first reigning monarch to witness the race.

They’ve taken that dedication to a world-class standard and passion for gaming from the racetrack to the Canadian online casino sphere.

Finding an online casino in Toronto that you love is as simple as finding the best deal combined with your favorite stable of games. Unfortunately, although there is legal clearance for a casino to be built in Toronto, as of now, the city remains without a physical casino due to conflicting forces and a general lack of space for such a structure.

Top Online Casinos in Toronto for 2021

Online Gambling in Toronto: History, Laws, and Help

Due to the fact that Toronto doesn’t have a casino within city limits, it was one of the first major cities to establish a seriously dedicated online player base back in 2006. Since then, countless petitions for casino construction have been filed as well as bills concerning online gaming regulation.

Slot machines have been added to racetracks, but a fully-fledged casino still has not been built within city limits to date, so online gambling continues to be one of the biggest venues for players stationed in Toronto. Players have a wide variety of options with OLG endorsed venues for additional security and peace of mind.

History of gambling in Toronto

The history of modernized gambling in Toronto starts on May 17, 1975. That’s when the newly formed OLG (then the Ontario Lottery Company) released its first lottery game to the public, Wintario. Wintario ran from 1975 until it was discontinued in 1996 after paying out over CAD 1.1 billion in winnings. Prior to the OLG’s formation, one of the biggest venues in the city was Woodbine racetrack, which has been in operation since 1881.

Now the city is considered to be the home of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. In 1994, one of the largest track reconstruction projects ever took place at Woodbine, resulting in three new tracks for harness, thoroughbred, and turf racing.

In 2000 with the help of the OLG, Woodbine opened a new entertainment facility with a 57,000 square-foot slot machine floor, restaurants, bars, and a second-floor grandstand. Woodbine is still a must-visit stop for passionate players and tourists and should not be missed on Montreal’s vacations.

Now the OLG has multiple divisions that include games from lottery jackpot draws to scratch-offs, sports betting, casinos, slots, and even E-bingo. Woodbine racetrack and casino near Toronto are some of the closest in-person gaming available to city-dwellers and tourists.

Laws Regulating Gambling in Toronto

The laws for gambling in Toronto laid out by OLG are fairly standard for most of Canada. The minimum age for things like lottery drawings and scratch-offs is eighteen. But to patronize a Toronto casino or parimutuel parlors like the Blue Heron or OLG Casino Brantford, players must be at least 19 years of age.

Interestingly enough, casinos can employ workers under the age of 19, and that would grant them access in the context of work, but not outside of working hours. OLG holds all gambling venues to their Rules of Play and Operation standards. Any venues found skirting the standards face heavy fines and the possibility of losing their license.

Toronto has had to battle scandals involving convenience store clerks stealing winning tickets from customers and claiming them as their own. In one instance, the $250,000 winning ticket of an 82-year-old man went unpaid for four years due to a convenience store clerk’s theft and OLG’s lack of enforcement response.

Spurred to action, the OLG has mandated new security measures to protect lottery customers, which range from customer-facing ticket check displays to special music being triggered by winning tickets. Since 2008 all lottery tickets have required a signature, including digital ones.

Getting Help For Problem Gambling in Toronto

Players concerned that their gaming habits may be growing out of control or putting stress on their finances may enter into a voluntary self-exclusion program organized through OLG.

The self-exclusion program allows players to register themselves into a database that will be used to deny them access to OLG regulated venues in-person, online, or if desired, both. Players can choose a self-exclusion of six months, twelve months, or an indefinite period.

After the passage of their term, they can choose to submit a formal return to the play request, but it must be approved by OLG for reinstatement to occur. OLG is also legally allowed to request a player’s financial records and other documentation when making their decision.

While not entirely unusual, OLG’s program has been cited as controversial due to its use of facial recognition technology that gives gaming venue cameras the ability to match your face with a database, allowing casinos to escort you off-premises.

There’s another issue: a study conducted by OLG in 2015-2016 found that less than 40% of gamblers were aware of the self-exclusion program, only 26% were aware that responsible gaming resources are available at all Ontario gaming sites. The program faces criticism for failing to reach more problematic gamblers.

Discover the Best Casinos in Toronto

With so many great options online and surrounding the city, “best” is a bit relative here. There are more great options to choose from than even the most passionate gambler could enjoy in a week.

The best casinos in Toronto to play from your couch might be slightly different from the best place to see a horse race. What makes Toronto a great gaming escape for players is the variety of options available to suit the experience they’re looking for.

The good news is we’ve done the scouting for you, and we’ll help you understand how to find the best places for your gaming adventures.

Online vs. Offline Toronto Casinos

Any offline casino in Toronto operates under the OLG which provides players with securities, protections, and regulations to stop theft, fraud, or otherwise unfair casino practices. Certain online casinos operate with those same protections, but not all.

Online casinos that exist out of OLG regulation should be approached with caution, as players will be significantly limited in their options of recourse if their money is stolen. If you’re okay with doing your research offshore online casinos can be safe, but offline casinos require no research as they operate under the provincial government of Ontario and should be considered 100% safe by players.

Of course, one benefit of online casinos is that they can be accessed from nearly anywhere, including while traveling, and typically they offer more deals to first-time players as well as daily and weekly deals to keep players coming back. Land-based or offline casinos typically can not make the same kind of offers at the same frequency that online casinos can.

When it comes to the overall experience and the building of great gambling memories, it’s hard to argue that offline casinos don’t have the advantage. There’s something special about witnessing a horse race and feeling the tension in the air before the gates drop, or listening to the slots spin in anticipation of a big jackpot win.

How to Choose the Best Online Casinos in Toronto

Choosing the best online casinos in Toronto Ontario is about finding a casino with a great first-time offering for games like you to play, and then making sure that the casino is legal and legitimate. So, let’s say you’ve found a casino you’re ready to deposit your money into because it’s got a great deal on slots and some of the table games you like as well.

The first thing to check is that this is a legal online venue. If it’s part of OLG.CA’s stable of online games you’re set. That means it’s held to the same standard as in-person gaming venues, and that the software used for the games is tested by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

The second thing is to make sure that there are enough games to make a deposit worth your while. OLG online options tend to have “Play demo” options that allow you to test-drive games without using real money before making a deposit. This is a great option to ensure the number of games available can keep you entertained. Lastly, make sure the deposit and withdrawal methods aren’t inconvenient or needlessly complicated. You can also check reviews to see if other players have had issues with withdrawals.

Top Land-Based Casinos in Toronto

While there are no casinos within Toronto’s limits, there are three prime casinos that surround the city. Each with their own unique qualities to offer and definitely worth a visit.

Whether it’s bingo, the race track, or table games that call your name, you can’t miss some of these options below that are within just an hour or two of the city.

Great Blue Heron Charity Casino

The Great Blue Heron Casino is one of the most traditional casinos in Toronto. It features a traditional run of games including poker with a progressive $10,000 jackpot as well as Hold ‘Em Poker and Omaha with both limit and no-limit options.

Players also have the option for stadium gaming with a 32 seat station that allows players to enjoy multiple games simultaneously like Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, and Sic-Bo. At the player’s request, game operations can also come by to answer questions or provide tips. The larger casino floor is over 15,000 square feet and accommodates some of the classic gaming tables like Roulette, Craps, and Blackjack.

Woodbine Racetrack & Casino

Anyone with any interest in horse racing needs to make Woodbine Racetrack & Casino a stop on their list. It’s one of the oldest and longest-running race tracks in all of Canada and has been the home of some serious thoroughbred champions as well as historic races. Locals refer to it as the “home” of the Canadian Horse Hall of Fame. Quite literally, it’s been a place where royalty has watched horse races since its inception.

The race track has added a casino gaming space that’s nothing to sneeze at either. Woodbine Casino features three different types of poker tables, three different types of blackjack tables, and two different types of Baccarat games, as well as Live Craps, American Roulette, and High Card Flush. Not to mention thousands of slot machines, hundreds of e-tables and even dealer assist stadium games for newcomers.

OLG Casino Brantford

OLG Casino Brantford, now known as Elements Casino Brantford, was first opened in 1999. Despite being popular, it has seen its visitors’ numbers shift downward due to the addition of more slot machines and casinos nearby.

Still, the casino is well kept with plenty to do for avid players. There are over fifty-five table games, including blackjack, baccarat, Let It Ride, Sic Bo, Three Card Poker, Spanish 21, Roulette, and Craps. Texas Hold ‘Em is a big draw for Elements casino, so they have a fourteen-table poker room dedicated to Texas Hold ‘Em.

Toronto Casino FAQ

📌  Are Online Casinos in Toronto Safe to Play?
Yes, OLG sponsored online venues are regulated to the same standards as in-person Toronto casinos. As well, OLG partnered with iGaming for securing online gambling through the iGaming platform.
📌  Who Regulates Online Gambling in Toronto?
OLG regulates online gambling in Toronto. Offshore websites should be displaying their license within their territory or province.
📌  What is the Gambling Age in Toronto?
For lottery tickets, drawings, and charity gambling like bingo players must be 18 years old.
For casino games in-person or online players must be 19 years old.
📌  Do I Need to Pay Taxes on Winnings?
No, the Canadian government doesn’t collect taxes on gambling winnings. It’s one of the reasons Toronto is a great place to play!
📌  What are the Recommended Payment Methods?
Visa and Mastercard are still some of the most trusted methods for deposit, while withdrawal methods via Bitcoin and Paypal remain popular for their speeds.

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