Casinos of Canada Age limit to gamble by Province/Territory
In many countries, the age limit at which individuals are legally permitted to gamble is static. Then again, most countries don’t have such a vast number of provinces and territories as Canada.
In the Great White North, there are 13 self-regulated areas, each with their own individual views on gambling. This includes their interpretation of how old a person must be before they are deemed responsible enough to play the lottery, spin the slots reels or toss chips at a blackjack table.
Canada isn’t the only place where the casino age limit varies. Our neighbors to the south legislate similar, chronologically defined measures. With 50 U.S. states to account for, the range there scales anywhere from 18 to 21.
Here in Canada, regulators are a bit less strict. Young gamblers will have to be either 18 or 19 years of age to enter any casinos in Canada. Age limit restrictions also apply to entering any restaurants or entertainment venues within a resort property where gambling takes place.
Gambling Laws of Canada
Also like our southerly neighbors, the Canadian government passes the job of regulatory oversight on to the provincial and territorial governments. Aside from a few nationally-issued mandates as to what is and is eligible for legalization, each area is responsible for defining its own gambling regulations.
There are essentially six legal forms of gambling in Canada. They include lotteries (drawings and scratch tickets), sports and horse race betting, charitable bingo, casinos, video lottery terminals (VLTs), and online gambling. Which province you are in will determine what forms of wagering are legal in that area, and how old you’ll have to be to participate.
Slot Machines vs. VLTs
Despite outward appearances, I should note that there is a rather drastic difference between slot machines and VLTs. Slot machines are generally playable in casinos. VLTs are often restricted to bars, pubs, and other non-gaming venues where minors are prohibited. In some areas, even the casinos will have VLTs instead of slots.
Slot machines are programmed with random number generators. They carry a specific RTP (return to player), but all results are random. A player could just as easily win 10 spins in a row as they could lose 10 spins in a row. A jackpot could strike twice in one day, or take years to pay out. No one—not even the casinos or the games’ manufacturers—knows when this will happen. In the long term, though, they will meet their RTP.
VLTs, on the other hand, are more like lottery scratch off tickets. These machines will win so many times, paying a certain amount of money, over a specific number of spins. Imagine throwing a pile of lottery scratch-off lottery tickets into a bucket. The lottery corporation knows which tickets are winners, which are not, and exactly how much they’ll pay out.
Spinning the reels on a VLT is like dipping your hand in that bucket and choosing a random ticket. In this way, regulators can keep the games random, but still control exactly what payout percentages their machines will deliver in the short term.
Casinos in Canada Age Limit
The following list includes each of the nation’s provinces and territories, the age limit at which gambling becomes legal, and what forms of gambling they offer.
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