19 Jul

PokerStars Alternatives for the Clever Canadian Poker Player

PokerStars Alternatives for the Clever Canadian Poker PlayerIf I asked one hundred people to name any online poker site, no matter who they are, or what country they’re from, I have no doubt more than half would instantly say PokerStars. It is, by far, the world’s largest online poker room, and has enjoyed such status for well over 10 years.

There are many positive aspects of this elite internet poker site, which is the primary reason it’s so enormously popular across the globe. But there’s also one very poignant negative aspect that cannot be ignored. PokerStars does not allow Canadian players to access their real money tables.

Why Canadians Cannot Access PokerStars

Online poker is perfectly legal in Canada. Countless players access international online poker sites every day. There’s no clause in any federal or provincial law book that prohibits Canadians from accessing these websites. However, there is one tiny little piece of red tape that does prevent a select few online poker sites from accepting Canadian players.

PokerStars Does Not Accept Canadian PlayersAccording to the Criminal Code, any gambling operation with a physical presence‘ in Canada must be approved, licensed and regulated by the provincial government to offer any form of gambling to its residents. For more than a decade, PokerStars fit the bill as a legal option for Canadians. Until…

In 2014, PokerStars’ parent company, Rational Group, was acquired by Amaya Inc. (now The Stars Group). Amaya was, at that time, based in Montreal, Quebec, and has since moved its headquarters to Toronto. Thus, since 2014, due to Canada’s ‘physical presence’ clause, PokerStars has been unable to serve players in Canada. But don’t let that discourage you…

PokerStars Alternative for the Clever Canadian Poker Player

There are plenty of great alternative poker sites for the discerning Canadian. They might not offer quite the same volume of players, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, a smaller player base often points to fishier games with less professional sharks lying in wait. Simply put, both ring games and tournaments can be more profitable.

If it’s a fantastic reputation you seek, you’ll find that some of the best Canada-facing poker sites are just as old, if not older than PokerStars, which took its first real-money wager until December of 2001. PartyPoker was founded that same year. Unibet has been around since 1997. Betsson Poker‘s founders date all the way back to 1963, long before the internet came along. Suffice to say, longevity in this business isn’t hard to find.

A lot of players fear that any other operator won’t offer the same regulatory superiority as PokerStars, but that’s not the case, either. International regulators can be fiercely strict. European jurisdictions like Alderney, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Malta and The UK uphold the highest standards in the industry. Poker sites licensed in these jurisdictions must comply with an abundance of rules, demanding software certification, player protections, social responsibility, and other guidelines. For the record, these are the same regulatory standards PokerStars, licensed in Isle of Man, lives up to.

Many PokerStars alternatives for Canadian poker players are equally reputable, yet offer more benefits to players. Whether it’s larger bonuses, better rakeback deals, easier tournaments, or looser cash games you seek—the clever player will have no trouble finding a poker site that suits their needs.

Party Poker Canada, the most trusted Canadian gaming destination, and our editor’s pick for two years, now offers a wide variety of popular card games: from Texas Hold’em, to  Omaha, to 7 card stud, to Limit Hold’em and even casino games like blackjack. Play for fun, for free, or play for real, for real money that is ! Our editorial pick for 2023.


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