Find the Best Online Lotteries in Canada

Canadians enjoy unlimited opportunities to gamble in popular lotteries in the country. In demand, lottery games continue to attract immense participation from citizens. Lottery games are integral to Canada's culture.

Viewed as a form of entertainment, bettors freely place wagers hoping to win it big. From local lotto pools to coast-to-coast betting opportunities, lottery gambling is firmly entrenched in Canadian laws and mainstream society.

Find the Best Online Lotteries in Canada

For years, Canada raised funds for public works from lottery proceeds. These funds paid for crucial infrastructure and transportation projects, such as bridge and building repairs. Canada's provinces relegated proceeds to specific causes in support of vital public projects. As the lottery evolved, local and national governments have created robust lottery infrastructures.

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An earlier form of lottery games emerged from China years ago. Like today's lotteries, funds were used to support crucial public projects for the country and villages. In 1892, the nation's criminal code banned all forms of gambling. However, soon some forms of gambling, such as bingo and raffles, helped support charities.

Gambling on horse racing also became legal and socially acceptable.

In 1930, the international Irish Sweepstakes offered betting opportunities across the globe to raise hospital funds. However, betting was illegal at the time until an amendment to the Criminal code in 1969.

In 1968, the country began a voluntary tax, which involved selling tickets to individuals for a small sum for a chance to win a jackpot. By September, Quebec's Court of Appeals ruled the voluntary tax illegal.

Following an appeal to the Supreme Court, an amendment to the Criminal Code allowed provinces to govern lottery games.

Quebec quickly developed Lotto-Quebec, a corporation for administering the Lotto by 1970, following an intense interest in gambling from citizens. The corporation managed the Lottery formats, budgets, and administration, including weekly draws.

In 1974, Canada introduced a national lottery called Canada Olympic. Established to raise money to support the 1976 Olympics, tickets for the lottery cost buyers $10 and offered a $1 million grand prize. Nine women from Quebec City split the initial grand prize, leading to the establishment of Lotto-Canada.

Lotto-Canada became a successful fundraising source to pay national public works projects and future Olympic costs.

Current and future Lotteries

Current and future Lotteries

Today, Canada offers citizens the chance to place wagers on national lotteries, including Lotto Max, Daily Grand, and Lotto 6/49. Lotto Max Canada, the Inter-provincial Lottery Corporation, manages these lotteries.

Canada's provinces take individual responsibility for marketing the national lotteries within each jurisdiction. The Corporation returns a portion of the sales proceeds to the jurisdictions proportionate to the amount of money raised by the lotteries in the area.

As Canada's lottery continues to evolve, experts predict that the games will move to online operations. Younger players, internet-savvy players are getting involved in lottery gambling. In 2012, Loto-Quebec expanded to online lottery offerings while maintaining in-person ticket sales.

The popularity of the lottery continues to increase, but there is no indication at this point that the lottery administrators in Canada are eyeing an internet-only system.

Current and future Lotteries


By 1985, the federal governments and provinces developed an agreement, which saw the federal government completely withdraw from lottery operations. However, by 2018, Canada's lotteries were run by five corporations, which make up the Interprovincial Corporation.

Beyond the lotteries, Canadian players also search for land-based and online casinos to bet. In 2018, changes to the gambling laws allowed Canadians to frequent foreign casino sites online without fear of prosecution. However, access to Canada's non-licensed online casinos is restricted.

In Canada, it's legal to purchase lottery tickets online and participate in lotteries managed by national bodies or provincial governance. Large corporations are managing enormous sums of money from lottery winnings—these governing bodies welcome participation in the lottery from Canadian citizens in-person and online.

A resident may access information online about their eligibility to participate in lotteries offered by national or local corporations. Canadian lottery laws apply only to current residents and immigrants. However, bettors from outside the country are welcome.

Canada even allows residents to purchase foreign lottery tickets. However, it's incumbent on the bettor to review the laws governing lotteries in the country the lottery is administered.

As Canadian's move toward online gambling, popular international games attract bettors from the nation. U.S. Megamillions and Powerball continue to draw Canadians who reside on the border and drive into America to buy tickets or purchase tickets on the internet.

Criminal Code

All games of chance in Canada are considered illegal. However, national and local governments may control and regulate gambling to generate revenue. The Criminal Code allows for exceptions, including licensed gambling and business promotions.

However, the code makes it illegal to cheat or violate government regulations. Canada's large gaming commissions, corporations, and agencies administer lottery gambling under very strict and detailed rules designed to offer a seamless and fair gambling experience.



Canada's Criminal Code of Canada governs a variety of illegal gambling violations, including the following:

  • Section 201: Any person who manages an unlicensed betting establishment is guilty of violating the Criminal Code.

  • Section 206: Governing games of chance and lotteries, section 206 regulates how both the national government and provinces administer lotteries for Canadian citizens. It also details violations related to the lotteries.

  • Section 209: Attempts to defraud the house or customer while playing games of chance are illegal, a law that protects both the bettor and the establishment.

  • Section 201: Section 201 of the Criminal Code governs many offenses, but the most well-known clauses restrict running an unlicensed betting establishment.

Considered serious code violations, most of these regulations still limit punishment to two years in prison. Unlicensed betting establishment owners may receive a fine and six months in jail.

Although gambling laws in Canada are very detailed and strictly enforced, the laws are considered lenient compared to some other countries. As a country that is expanding lottery and betting access to its citizens, Canada has established itself as a national and international force concerning managing lotteries and the legal regulations governing lottery betting.



Are lotteries legal in Canada?

Yes. Lotteries are legal in Canada. Since the amendment to the Criminal Code, both national and provincial corporations can administer lotteries.

Since Lotto-Canada kicked off lottery betting, the nation continues to turn to lotteries to support public works, culture, arts, and recreation. However, Loto-Canada did face some hurdles from provinces, which wanted to govern lotteries and the money raised from within the jurisdictional boundaries.

In addition, by 1983, the government-run Sports Pool Corp was founded to sell tickets and operate lotteries. An agreement between the federal government and the provinces restricted these actions at the time, and the provinces went to court for redress.

However, the corporation governing national lotteries now works collaboratively with the provinces. National bodies manage country-wide lotteries, and provinces advertise these lotteries to residents, resulting in a win-win arrangement for the state and provincial authorities.

Several laws are at play governing how the provincial and national Canadian governments interact with citizens, including the Criminal Code, which prohibited gambling entirely before it was amended.

Any specific local payment methods in the country?

Any specific local payment methods in the country?


Like most countries, Canadians use e-wallets to transfer money online. These gateways offer convenience to punters who who buy lottery tickets online. There is a long list of e-wallets accessible to lotto players. However, here are a few options for Canadian bettors who seek to use an e-wallet as their preferred payment method.

  • SticPay
  • Jeton
  • EcoPayz

Pre-paid cards

Most Canadians still prefer cards. Whether using pre-paid or credit, cards offer users the ability to purchase tickets by submitting digits for the card online, inputting a code, or simply swiping the card at a retailer. Pre-paid cards may offer more security, allowing the user to choose the amount of money available on the card at any given time. Popular pre-paid cards in Canada include:

  • Neosurf
  • Paysafecard
  • Vanilla Prepaid


With cutting-edge technology changing the way Canadians pay for goods, mobile payment systems offer local retailers a fast way to checkout. For lottery ticket buyers, this is a popular way to pay. Depending on the application the buyer uses to facilitate mobile payment, a consumer may complete the lottery ticket purchase in a matter of seconds.

Canada's lottery system has come a long way since its inception. For Canadian citizens, the country offers both national and provincial lotteries. This means that Canadian punters have a long list of legal options to choose from.

The best part about lottery gaming to Canadian players is that the space is regulated and the proceeds from these lotteries are shared by national and local governments who work collaboratively to fund public and cultural projects.

Any specific local payment methods in the country?