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Are Gambling Winnings Taxable in Canada?

For those who enjoy gambling in Canada in land-based or online casinos, it is important to be aware of tax laws. When they play at a Canadian casino and generate payouts players will need to know whether these winnings are taxable. Here, we discuss the current tax situation in Canada and provide you with the details they need. If you are an experienced gambler or one that is looking to register at an online casino to play lottery titles or other enjoyable options, you will want to check out this information on gambling taxation in Canada.

Online Gambling in Canada

Accessing titles for real money at a casino site in Canada is 100% legal. It is something that many enjoy, and as a player, you want to know whether you will be responsible for any tax on gains. 

There are various gaming authorities within the country that operate and oversee legal casino websites. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is perhaps the most notable. It is located in Quebec and was established in 1996. Initially, the commission was one of the most popular licensing authorities for websites that used Microgaming software. Today, the commission licenses sites that use many other providers and ensures the legal operation of such websites. Among the online casinos that are licensed by Kahnawake Gaming Commission there are Zodiac Casino, Yukon Gold Casino, Casino Classic, Golden Tiger, and many other sites with an impeccable reputation.

  • Zodiac Casino is known to regular users for offering over 550 casino games, $1 minimum deposits, and a wide range of payment methods for Canadian players.
  • Yukon Gold provides the players with safe and secure gameplay, offers more than 500 games, high payout percentages, and large jackpot slots.
  • Besides over 550 popular casino games available at Casino Classic, there are massive jackpot slots, high payout percentages, and 24/7 support.
  • Golden Tiger is renowned for its great welcome bonus for new players, the highest payout percentages, and game variability is also impressive.

Our experts from LeafletCasino, who have recently reviewed Zodiac Casino, have analyzed the gambling market and casino sites in Canada in order to give some factual data on taxes.

Recreational vs Professional Gambling

If you are asking, “are gambling winnings taxable in Canada?”, you will need to know the difference between casual and professional play. When it comes to gambling tax in Canada, there is a difference based on how income is earned and reported for tax purposes. The Canadian Income Tax Act states that a professional gambler is one who generates income solely from gambling. Professionals will make the majority of their earnings playing selections such as poker or blackjack. Any person that earns gambling income will be required to pay a Canadian tax on what has been won.

Are casino winnings taxable? If you play casino selections at an online site for fun, the amount won will be free from any taxes. When Canadians spend time betting online and enjoying lottery or slots, it is a casual experience and is not considered a form of gainful employment. This means it is not considered income. Despite being free from taxes, any player that wins payouts will have to claim all gains by fling a T5 form. 

To understand taxation on gambling in Canada, one must know what income means. Any betting income will be deemed as a non-taxable windfall or a business taxable income. To be considered taxable, people must be professional gamblers who have realistic expectations of generating profits. Any amount of winnings earned on casino games of chance will not be deemed gambling income and will not be taxed in Canada.

Deductible Losses

As a Canadian resident, there are no legal barriers to gambling. You will find many operating websites that accept those from Canada. These all provide access to hundreds of real money games as well as hosted tournaments for massive prize pools. As one of the leading online gambling legal countries, casual gamblers here are able to enjoy the thrills of accessing games without the implication of taxes. Lottery winnings are also exempt from taxes.

If you are a professional gambler and do have to pay any taxes on amounts won, you may be able to deduct your losses when filing. Many argue that this will depend on whether you are a recreational or skilled bettor. If you choose to play for excitement and fun, you will not be able to deduct any losses.

Those that are considered professionals and who keep track of all expenses may be able to receive a break when filing each year. Professionals will also have the ability to deduct game-related expenditures. This could include tournament fees paid to enter some great events for poker or blackjack.

Online and Offline Winnings Taxation 

The Income Tax Act does not make any difference between playing online and offline. This means that the same rules apply here. If you are not a professional gambler, it is not obligatory to pay taxes on your winnings.

If you play at a licensed website, you will be able to access many cash games, and most of these sites attract casual members. However, there are some top-rated websites that provide great poker tournaments, and these often attract professionals. The reviews usually praise 1 dollar deposit casinos Canada because they are secure, and their minimum deposit is perfect for those who do not want to spend too much money. When playing at casinos that provide a minimum deposit option, most will be making smaller transactions and are seldom professional players. However, there are sites that highlight poker events that have huge prize pools, and some of these are minimum deposit websites. In any case, one shouldn’t worry about taxes when enjoying an occasional game here.

If you are a Canadian that visits a land based casino in another country, such as the US, you will have to know tax rules. When you win at these venues, you are subject to a 30% withholding on gambling income. The US and Canada have a tax treaty that includes the IRS having the ability to tax Canadians that win from gambling in the US.


When engaging in gambling activities, Canadian gamblers need to know whether their gambling income is subject to any tax. Taxable income will be based on whether one is a professional and is using gambling as a main source of earning income. The income will also include any funds that are won from sports betting. Here, we have provided a complete outline of the tax laws. After reading through this, you will know whether the income earned from your activity is fully taxable or exempt.