Gambling taxes in Canada

They say that the only two sure things in life are death and taxes. But if you happen to be a recreational gambler in Canada, you can remove the tax element from that equation!

Thanks to consumer-friendly laws in this country, if a Canadian player wins at an online casino, the winnings are tax-free. You will not be hounded by the tax authorities and you won’t be asked to declare your winnings. So enjoy chasing these jackpots and if you are lucky enough to win, keep everything you won!

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Understanding Canada’s tax laws

The Canadian Income Tax Act rules that casino winnings (online and offline) are not taxable. Therefore Canadian online gamblers can go into their sessions, safe in the knowledge that their winnings are tax-free.

The law goes all the way back to British legislation which stated, in principle, that the winnings that come from placing a bet should not be taxed, while the winnings of a bookmaker taking the bet should be taxed.

When are casino winnings not tax free

Only if you are a professional gambler, and winnings are deemed income from your business, you could be taxed on your prizes.

Canada Revenue Agency’s position is that “an individual may be subject to tax on income derived from gambling itself, if the gambling activities constitute carrying on the business of gambling.” Note that this includes all currencies besides just CAD, although it’s questionable if bitcoin gambling is included here.

However, it should be stressed that in the past, when gamblers have appealed a Minister’s assessment that taxes should be paid on gambling winnings, the courts have been reluctant to resolve in favour of the authorities.

As such, unless your winnings are directly related to your vocation (as a professional, self-declared gambler), you can rest assured that your winnings are tax-free.

The advantages of tax free gambling

It is clear that when you go into a gaming session knowing that every cent you make is yours to keep at the end of the evening, you’re a happy camper.

While players from other countries may have to give up huge percentages of their jackpot winnings to their governments, Canadians are extremely lucky that even life-changing, multiple-figure sums are theirs to bank.

As such, Canadian players are among the most numerous at online casinos that offer big jackpot prizes and regularly place a significant part of their bankroll on progressive games where jackpots climb to over ten million Canadian dollars.

Summary

Canada has the best tax laws in the world, when it comes to recreational gambling.

canada revenue agency logo

Gambler’s best friend – who would’ve guessed?

You don’t need to pay a cent in taxes, which makes winning jackpots much more satisfying and allows maximum returns when playing online.

Bottom line is that if you don’t go about declaring yourself a professional gambler, you get to keep everything you win. No matter how much you win.