cannabis casino taxes in Canada
cannabis casino taxes in Canada

Sin Taxes: How Canada Regulates Cannabis and Online Gambling Revenue - A Province-by-Province Guide

How does each province decide their cannabis and gambling taxes?

Posted by:
Nanci Chi-Town on Thursday Nov 30, 2023

cannabis and casino taxes in canada

Canada has some unique regulatory differences for cannabis and its iGaming which are recognized as being progressive. It is important for both entrepreneurs, consumers as well and people who want to explore potential opportunities in the market. Statistics show that the market has reached $3.9 billion and is expected to grow until 2029. You can’t do anything if you are travelling or moving to another province without this knowledge. Wouldn’t like to have some trouble, right? So, let's get started.

Overview of Cannabis and Casino Federal Regulations

The Federal Cannabis Act legalizes the cultivation, sale, and use of cannabis. The law also sets mandatory standards for products and defines age restrictions. The government also regulates betting, focusing on responsible gaming.

However, each province has its own licensing and control system. They set local regulations and iGaming restrictions, considering residents' characteristics and needs. Provincial authorities cooperate with federal agencies to meet expected standards and regulations. A good example is WithCasinoBonus casino promotions for Canadian players from legal operators. When you open the website, it checks your location and shows you the information that depends on your province.  It contributes to consistent policies and the fight against abuse.

In navigating the complexities of cannabis and casino regulations, Canada emphasizes balancing federal oversight and provincial flexibility. This dual approach allows for nationwide standardized safety and quality measures while granting provinces the latitude to tailor regulations to local cultures and needs, fostering a diverse yet unified regulatory landscape.

Province-Specific Sections

Each province in Canada has its unique approach to regulating cannabis, reflecting diverse local needs and cultural perspectives. This section delves into the specifics of cannabis regulation in Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, and Ontario, offering a detailed understanding of the legal landscape in there. From age restrictions to consumption guidelines and limitations, we explore how each province tailors its policies to address the challenges and opportunities of cannabis usage.

British Columbia

The province has legalized cannabis for recreational and medical purposes in 2018 as the whole country. However, it has some restrictions on age and location of use (public remains prohibited). Residents can also grow up to 4 plants for personal use. Legal trade is carried out only through licensed shops. Medical help is allowed with a doctor’s prescription.

In terms of gaming, online casino operators must obtain licenses to operate in British Columbia, ensuring safety and fairness for players. To combat abuse, the authorities provide self-exclusion and access restrictions.


The Cannabis Act establishes a licensing system for the cultivation, sale, and use. The minimum age for purchase and consumption is 18 years. Last year, Alberta generated about C$69 million in revenue per month from cannabis. Smoking is prohibited in public and private areas, so you better check it out before travelling there.

Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Commission permits gambling companies to establish self-exclusion programs and protect vulnerable players. The same body regulates cannabis sales in the province and overview that it is distributed responsibly and do not harm public health and safety.


In this regard, the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority controls everything completely. An adult (19 years) must consume less than 30 grams. Local governments also provide licenses for gambling (slots, poker, live games, etc), so you’ll find both traditional and electronic casinos.


The maximum amount of cannabis you can possess in public is limited to 30 grams or the equivalent in other forms (e.g., extracts or edibles). Home plants are limited to four. The law prohibits the sale and purchase of cannabis to persons under the age of 19. Legal sales are made through licensed retail establishments.

The games are standard, and you can place bets from 18. Operators must comply with the standards and receive a certificate, after which they can start working without problems. Of course, with the tax payment.


Ontario regulates cannabis distribution in a similar way to other provinces, but it highly promotes safe and responsible usage. You can use cannabis from 19 years old, the same as alcohol. There are plenty of private stores, that work under the licence. Worth mentioning, that the province may require prescription food medical use of cannabis.


Simultaneously, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) plays a crucial role in overseeing the province's casino and iGaming sectors. The AGCO ensures that gambling activities are conducted fairly, promoting responsible gambling and taking measures to prevent problem gaming. This dual regulatory approach for cannabis and casinos underscores Ontario's commitment to balancing economic growth with the welfare and protection of its residents.


In Quebec, cannabis regulations are among the most stringent in Canada. The province has set the legal age for cannabis usage at 21 years, higher than most other provinces. Also, the average revenue from cannabis was about C$50 million in Quebec. This decision reflects Quebec's approach towards cannabis, prioritizing health and youth protection. The sale of cannabis is managed exclusively by the government-controlled Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC), and home cultivation of cannabis is prohibited, ensuring strict control over distribution and cultivation.

New Brunswick

Cannabis legalization in New Brunswick has resulted in an established legal market that provides revenue for the government and boosts the economy. iGaming is crucial in the New Brunswick economy; it creates jobs and an additional income for the provincial budget. It is legal to consume up to 30 grams from 19 years, but betting starts at the age of 18.

Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador

Here, all the same. You can use and possess up to 30 grams of cannabis or the equivalent in public. Cannabis is sold through licensed stores. It is prohibited to sell to persons under the age of 19. The Alcohol and Gaming Division is responsible for licensing and regulating gambling.

Challenges and Considerations

The introduction of a level playing field for cannabis use and online gambling across Canada reflects a positive step forward in creating a familiar and consistent regulatory environment. It promotes economic development and ensures the same rules for businesses and consumers. The authorities have already solved many problems by legalizing the market, but there is room for improvement.

High taxes and restrictions can trigger black market development, so the authorities should improve mechanisms for cooperation with all stakeholders, including business, civil society, and law enforcement. It will help ensure the sector’s stability, transparency, and development within the law framework.

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