At its core, gaming should be a simple affair. People like to test their skills of probability and math while also dealing with a few unknown quantities, such as in poker and blackjack. Other popular games like slots are celebrated for their quirky and engaging designs that come with exciting prize opportunities.
However, those in North America may find there are a few key considerations to take before heading to an online casino. In Canada, the rules of engagement are a bit more straightforward given the country’s established gaming and sports betting industries. South of the border, the US is still in a strange gaming legal limbo.
However, given the cultural similarities in both countries, the reasons why citizens like to game and which games they’re looking for are largely the same. For this reason, Canadians and Americans can find common ground on a variety of popular gaming sites. Let’s go over the basics.
Finding a Legal & Reliable Site
Gaming in Canada went under major revision in 1970, and then again in 2010. Nationwide rulings were designed to prevent unlicensed gaming houses from popping up around the country. Those looking to game or wager on sports in Canada only need to make sure their online casino is registered with Canada, though regulations apply depending on which of the ten states a site is registered in.
In the US, online gaming laws are dependent on each state. Though most states have live brick-and-mortar casinos, the jump online has been a challenge for lawmakers, who must deal with poker, online games, and sportsbooks as separate entities.
Though the US may feel like a trickier location to game online given the strange laws and the state-by-state changes, there are ample secure and competitive options available for Americans. In fact, there are 38 gambling destinations to choose from when looking for an online casino site in the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, and (coming soon in) Michigan.
But keep a lookout—as mentioned above, US law handles sportsbooks separately from online casinos, which means sportsbooks could be legal, but online games like slots and roulette may not be.
Similarities & Differences in Games
As mentioned above, cultural similarities between Canada and the United States means the countries share most forms of entertainment. From major films to world-famous pop stars, the border between the North American countries tends to be quite porous.
Like in Canada, games such as poker, blackjack, and slots are incredibly popular. However, Canada is home to two games that some Americans may not be familiar with: euchre and kaiser. The first game, though played in many British Commonwealth nations, originated from the French game écarté.
Though depending on the variation, euchre is played by two teams who each seek to win at least three of five ‘tricks’ to secure the game. Kaiser also requires two teams of players to work together, though in kaiser they seek to score 52 points first to win by bidding on the number of tricks that will be won. More than euchre, kaiser relies on memory skills.
Language Options for Gamers
Given the permeation of popular online casinos from other countries, there’s an online casino available for almost any language. However, local options in Canada and the US are most likely to offer English and either French or Spanish language options for gamers.
According to the 2016 Canadian Census, just over 7 million Canadians speak French, which accounts for about one-fifth of the population. This means that sites based in the state of Quebec and surrounding areas like New Brunswick are likely to be structured in French with possible English translation options.
In the US, nearly 23 million residents are bilingual, though up to 41 million are likely native Spanish speakers according to recent US Census data. Throughout the country, radio stations to TV channels to government agencies provide Spanish-language content and services. Unsurprisingly, it’s just as common to find online casinos in Spanish in the US as it is to find French variations in Canada.