Alright, so the brick-and-mortar casinos are out of the question as social distancing is now a thing. The machine-based online casino just doesn’t cut it anymore as the card counting tactics don’t work and the bartender at home just isn’t the same. So, obviously, the next move is to take a look at what the casino Canada market has to offer in the online setting and get our hands on some of the best live casino games we can find. Times might be tough, but having our cards dealt by a live dealer will get us through this.
- 1 The best sites to play live casino games in Canada
- 2 Which live dealer casinos should you avoid in 2023?
- 3 How does live casino bonus work?
- 4 Is live casino online recognized by the Canadian Gaming Association?
- 5 Is bitcoin an accepted mode of payment at live casinos?
The best sites to play live casino games in Canada
When ranking the best live casinos it’s necessary to look at the casinos as a whole, whilst also focusing on what they have to offer in terms of live casino games. Each of the sites has been dealt their cards, now it’s time to work our reviewing magic and see what they’ve got.
888Casino is up there as the clear winner. With such a legendary gambling group behind them, they have an insane amount of games that are dripping with high quality. It’s almost unfair to any other site since they can choose to upgrade and enhance their live rooms on short notice, whilst other sites need to go through the third party they use for their own live dealers. 888Casino also sports a fast pay-out rate, great mobile compatibility, and a very generous welcome bonus (which is why they scored the full 5/5 on this test).
Jackpot City jumps in at a strong second place. They boast a high pay-out rate alongside a welcome bonus aimed at prolonging play for a long period of time and they have a gaming library that trumps most of their competitors. The wagering requirements are a bit high on the bonus, but then again, it’s essentially free money so we can’t really complain. The pay-out time at Jackpot City is a humble 1-2 days, and if our experience as well as those of our fellow players online is anything to go by, it is as smooth a process as it could possibly be.
Spin Casino also brings a pretty decent pay-out rate to the table (no pun intended) and has a large, high-quality gaming library. Their pay-out rate is just a little bit lower than Jackpot City Casino, but the overall reaction from gamblers online is a little worse. As with the other sites, they offer a decent range of live dealer games as well as a good mobile option.
What everyone needs to remember is that live casinos are way more expensive to run than regular online casinos. With everything from getting a good dealer to shooting locations, there are no online live casinos that can afford to match the quantity of a slots library. Having a dozen live casino online rooms is a proper base for any online casino and having two dozen is great. Having much more than that is more than we can reasonably ask for. So, we ask our readers to keep this in mind and don’t expect an online live casino to house hundreds of live casino rooms.
Roulette is as simple as choosing a number or a group of numbers, betting a certain amount, the dealer spinning the wheel, and waiting for the ball to land on the winning number.
The normal online version is usually found on casino sites, but just remember that the table game will be automated meaning that there will be no dealer to chat to or interact with. Although there is nothing wrong with having the software run the show, there are those who like a bit of a chat and prefer to have their game managed by a live dealer. This is when a player needs to visit the live casino games option for top-notch spins and good chats.
Players will find a myriad of Roulette variations, but the three main ones are American Roulette, European Roulette, and French Roulette.
European and French Roulette uses 37 number pockets with pocket space for a zero. This version of Roulette is more suited for the traditional players who don’t like to rock the boat too much when it comes to gambling traditions. It’s clean, no-mess fun. The live dealer will turn the wheel in one direction and then spin the ball in the opposite direction – just like in a real-life casino. If the ball lands on a player’s chosen number, they will take home 36 times the bet amount.
For those who do like a bit more risk and challenging betting odds, we recommend visiting the American Roulette tables as they have an ad-on from European Roulette. There is no major difference in terms of rules and betting layout except for one distinct feature; American Roulette holds both a zero and double zero pocket, thus using 38 pockets on the wheel. This changes the odds a little to increase the house edge, but it’s still one of the popular live casino games, and the live dealers make it a little more fun.
888casino definitely steals the first spot in this category. What we find in their gaming library are roughly 50 live Roulette tables that blow the rest of the contestants right out of the live Roulette waters. We are yet to find a casino that will shine as bright as 888Casino when it comes to providing live Roulette games. Now, this might be an unfair advantage from their side, but they are a part of a huge gaming group that makes it possible for them to host their own live casino games. That means that they are developing and using their own gaming software to ensure quality and do not rely on external parties for their live casino games and dealer interactions.
Jackpot City also stands tall in this category as they offer over 24 live Roulette games. Varying games like European Roulette, Double ball Roulette, Mini Roulette, French Roulette, and Speed Roulette, Jackpot City sure made us impressed when it comes to this particular type of live casino games. The diversity is not overwhelming, but the number of live rooms ensures that there will be more than enough seats available across the Live Roulette tables and in front of a friendly dealer whenever needed. Their games are powered by Evolution Gaming software, so we know these are high-quality live games that will make any player feel like they are in the heart of a casino rather than the heart of their own house.
Spin Casino takes third place in this category. Keep in mind what we said earlier: gaming libraries in the live casino games category are usually not overwhelmingly large. That is the case with Spin Casino. They still knock the other casinos out to keep their place, but that is mostly due to the diversity of live Roulette games available. Whilst they offer more variations of live Roulette than Jackpot city, they only have about 2/3 as many tables. They also have the same software provider, so we’re once again ensured that the quality of the games is on point.
Betway Casino is one of the old sites in the gambling industry that doesn’t bet their all on having a great selection of live casino games. They initially built their brand on sports bets rather than an online casino, but since they emerged on the casino scene they’ve made quite a name for themselves. At Betway Casino, players can enjoy both live and online Roulette, but sadly the live section is not enough to get them in the top 3.
Dizzy from watching the online Roulette tables going around and around? Take a break from the red and black blur and keep the dealers’ company at the live Blackjack tables. Players don’t have to stick to the bog-standard version of Blackjack when it comes to the live casino games. The general aim of all the varieties is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. Playing Blackjack online is getting more fun as the online casinos dare to get creative with new rules, side bets, and whatnots. There is always going to be the classic game, both as online Blackjack and live Blackjack, so everyone who likes their Poker games as they always have been (Blackjack is a form of Poker as an interesting side note) can breathe out.
Pontoon is the most popular card variation of live Blackjack. Most online casinos will offer this fun and quick playing style with a live dealer casino. The key difference in Pontoon is that a player must hit until the cards total 15 or more. Other types include infinite Blackjack, Free Bet Blackjack, Party Blackjack, and Live Blackjack games with various themes to them.
The clear winner in this category is also 888Casino, as their calling card seems to be the live Blackjack casino games. With over 100 live Blackjack tables in different themes, settings, and variations, there is no way any other online casino would have a fighting chance. Once again, the massive gambling group goes out of their way to secure a spot at the top with their own products. Making sure each Blackjack room has its own 888 dealers sure is a way to step the game up a notch.
Spin Casino walks in on stilts as they snatch second place with a whopping 40+ live Blackjack games for us to play within their casino. This is where we see them shine in the live casino games competition. They might not have their own dealer sitting on the other side of the screen, but since Spin Casino employs Evolution Gaming, great dealers with good experience are ensured. We’re willing to bet on it.
In third place, we find Betway Casino that doesn’t have much variety or a very large library. Their point gainer is the quality of the games they currently have, rather than the quantity. They also get the extra points for being a trustworthy casino that does well outside their main focus.
Speaking of when certain casinos shine and get points: Jackpot City has an Achilles heel, and it is the live Blackjack games. But hey, even the sun has some spots, right? They have an amazing range of online Blackjack games, but sadly fall short when it comes to their live dealer counterparts, as they only provide two variations. However, the two games that are offered are powered by Evolution Gaming, so whoever finds themselves in the live Blackjack section of this casino will at least know that they’re in the hands of quality software providers – few as they may be.
Live Online Slots
So, we’ve gone through the live Roulette and live Blackjack of this review and it’s time to get to the most played online casino game since casinos first saw daylight; the slots. Now, the thing is that a live online slot machine is kind of redundant. The whole reason why live casino games became a thing is that there was a need for that human connection that just couldn’t be provided through machine-based online casino games. See, both Blackjack and Roulette works very well with real dealers and croupiers, but there is no need for a human part when it comes to the slots.
However, regardless of how we feel about it, there are actually live online slots out there. They work more or less in the same way as any other live casino games, but they are not very popular, developed, or in any significant way, used by online casinos. It is literally a camera focused on a physical slot that players control through their device, which is not very eventful and not really different from the online slot machines to be honest.
We haven’t found a single prominent casino that actively uses and markets this technology, but it’s an interesting concept that someone was bound to explore at some point. Sadly, we don’t think it’s a thing that will catch on.
The chosen casinos in this review, however, only have online slots. This won’t significantly count towards the best live casino Canada score but is important to bring up since it is a very important part of the online casino scene. We’re not going to dive too deep into this but will judge this category in the same way as the live casino games we talked about earlier. Quality and quantity are key, so let’s get to it.
Spin Casino comes out on top in this category, which is not surprising given their name. With Microgaming as an official software provider, there is no surprise that their slots library is the size it is either. As one of the top software providers out there, we also know that the quality of the slots is going to be superb, both on the mobile and regular web-based online casino. Since the online casino also mixes in games from other providers like NetEnt, there is no doubt that any slots gambling, free spins-loving player out there would feel right at home when getting their spins in at Spin Casino.
Upping their game at second place, Betway Casino gains ground as it shares the same official software provider as Spin Casino, but doesn’t climb as high since it doesn’t quite sport the same library size. We have yet to find their calling card in this review.
Whenever we do general casino comparisons, Jackpot City is usually a favourite. That is because it is an overall great casino that ticks a lot of boxes. Online slots are one of the areas that this casino could do better in, but still beat most of the other casinos. The key here is not the quantity of the games, but rather the quality, and good mobile compatibility also works in their favour.
888Casino is at the bottom in this category. The slot games library here is not very big as it holds a humble 200+ games, as opposed to the 600+ size that spin casino has. Luckily, it doesn’t have anything to do with the live casino, so it won’t affect the rating in this comparison very much.
Which live dealer casinos should you avoid in 2023?
It’s pretty easy these days to get scammed online, especially when it comes to online casinos. Don’t just click on any online casino just because it seems to offer the best deposit bonus west of the Las Vegas strip. Don’t fall for the bedazzling pop-ups either. In general, it’s a scary world for those who are new to the game. Luckily, we are here to do the work to make sure our readers get the best of the best and stay away from the rotten casino eggs.
When diving into the Baccarat, Poker, or other table games, we must know that the games are fair. We all know that live casino games, as well as any other casino games, are created to give the house an edge and make sure they profit in the long run. But that doesn’t mean they can do whatever they want in order to take the player’s money. We are here to have fun and play games, and if a casino makes a promise, we expect them to keep it.
A usual strategy that shady casinos and casino groups use is to do everything in their power to make sure player’s withdrawals are slowed down (or halted completely) to the point at which they just abandon it. This is technically not illegal, as long as they have legitimate reasons to not payout. Such legal reasons could be that players are not fulfilling bonus requirements, don’t provide enough paperwork to prove that they are who they say they are, or simply claim that there is another issue with the payment and they will get back to whoever is owed the money.
Another strategy that is widely used is predatory terms. These usually include a lot of restrictions on the bonuses and wins a player can get on their site. Extremely high wagering requirements on otherwise decent bonuses (70+) is one of them, whilst the bonus win cap is another one. It could even go so far as to claim that a player can’t win more than a certain amount on a jackpot or withdraw more than a certain amount every month. Some of these terms (mostly regarding the bonuses) are more common than rare, unfortunately, which makes the bonuses worth less and less, whilst they look better and better.
Other nasty tactics include the straight-forward unfair and/or rigged games, changing terms to better suit the casino when needed, lying about licenses, and blatant false advertising. One important aspect to keep an eye on is not specifically which casino website is up to shenanigans, but rather which company owns and runs the website. This is a very common reason why certain websites end up on blacklists on review sites. If a company known for scamming players buys a new casino domain, we are blacklisting that one quicker than a kid eats ice cream. It’s important to be proactive and ensure that they don’t get the chance to scam any of our beloved readers.
We have encountered all of these issues on our journey through the vast online casino landscape, and are ready to share our wisdom with any Canadian willing to listen. We are only going to go through a couple of the rotten casino sites. Sadly, we don’t have the time to list all the bad sites out there, so we are going to go by example rather than a list. This way, we hope to show readers which warning signs they should look out for when they choose a casino to handle their bets.
CoolCat Casino is an online casino that is well known for having the same attitude towards pay-outs as toddlers have to house chores. They are blacklisted more or less everywhere, do not have a working license, and have high bonuses with low wagering requirements. The last part is a red flag since a +300% bonus with a 5x wagering requirement is, in fact, too good to be true. CoolCat does not offer any live casino games, so there is no live dealer here, but are still here due to their excellent example of impeccably poor industry practices.
Osiris Casino is one that has lost all trust in the online gambling community due to bad pay-out practices, terrible communication and even pirating games from NetEnt. By pirating the games from NetEnt, the platform owner ensures that it damages both creators as well as the players since the RNG (Random Number Generator) can’t be trusted and it reflects poorly on everyone involved. Osiris Casino offers a wide selection of live dealer games but should be avoided to a great extent.
Win Palace is our last example of a poorly run casino. Gamblers from all over the internet have complained about how unwilling the casino is to pay out their winnings. We’ve always emphasized that online gambling is made for entertainment and not income, but that is no reason to keep people from enjoying the occasional jackpot. Their customer service has also taken a beating online, which is something that makes us review a casino twice before letting them handle our bets.
Luckily for everyone that enjoys live casino games, the moldy bread equivalents of online casinos tend to keep away from any live casino games features. It just gets more complicated to lie, cheat and be unethical when a company mixes in more people from other companies and has to live stream everything that happens from a variety of angles. This is why there are relatively few blacklisted casinos that sport a live casino games selection with live dealers.
How does live casino bonus work?
What’s live casino games without the offer of the best casino bonus? A bonus is that little extra that will make it worthwhile for a player to register and deposit their money on a specific online casino site. These come in many shapes and sizes.
Before we go any further into this, we need to address the wagering elephant in the room. With every bonus comes wagering requirements. The chance to win a bet at a table game is way higher than on the slots and can be controlled by a player to a certain extent. This is why most bonuses make sure that the wagering requirements for playing table games are tougher than those when playing the slots.
The most common type of live casino bonus is the one tied to the welcome bonus. These are usually cash bonuses that players can use on more or less any game they want, including live casino games. They are the bonuses that either come as no deposit welcome bonuses or with the first deposit(s) a player makes.
Regardless of how a player gets a live casino bonus, it works the same way every time. Players claim their bonus and start using it to place bets in various games. Since this basically is free money, the casinos are going to make us work for it. Before anyone can withdraw their bonus, it needs to meet the wagering requirements, which means it needs to be played through a certain amount of times. If we get a bonus of C$100 and the wagering requirement is x20, then we need to play through that money 20 times or win 20xC$100=C$2000 in a series of games.
Every online casino has the best casino bonus, at least, if we want to take their word for it. However, we are too jaded to do that and will make our own judgement, thank you very much. We have two clear favourites for two different reasons when it comes to this; 888Casino and Jackpot City.
Both of these casinos gain a lot of ground based on their reputation alone. We know that they put their money where their mouths are, so we’re not afraid to take them up on their offer. What distinguishes them from each other is how they decided to play their cards in regards to their welcome bonuses. 888Casino offers their players a no deposit welcome bonus, which basically means that players are given free money to play around with before they even make their first deposit. Jackpot City decided to play it as a long game instead, splitting their welcome bonus on the first 4 deposits a newbie makes. They will match the deposits up to C$400 the first 4 times so that a player’s money will last longer and therefore keep them on the casino site for longer.
These are the two best casino bonus offers we could find. Matching the careful newbie who wants to feel out the terrain a little, as well as the bold-as-brass high-roller who wants to get in and play with the big girls and boys.
Is live casino online recognized by the Canadian Gaming Association?
As of now, it is not. Operating an online casino from within the Canadian borders is not legal at the moment, but offshore online casinos are welcome as long as they get the right permit. So why doesn’t the Canadian Gaming Association distribute said permit?
This is a work in progress. Back in November 2020, The Canadian Gaming Association started with legislation to bring online gambling under its authority. As of now, this will only happen on a provincial level, so the Government of Ontario is taking the lead in getting online gaming recognized by the CGA. Right now, the only legal online Canadian casinos are subjected to meet the rules and requirements of the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. It is based in the Kahnawake Mohawk nation that has some autonomous rule from the Canadian government, which they have utilized to create a gambling commission that allows online casinos to operate in Canada. We’re happy that they did since this enables us to enjoy Roulette in our PJ’s in Canada without stressing about the feds crashing our online casino couch party.
Since online gambling is becoming more and more popular in Canada, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to us if it was properly legalized within the very near future. It is already very much present and operating within Canadian laws and borders, so it would be madness to not go all the way and finalise legalization.
Is bitcoin an accepted mode of payment at live casinos?
A bitcoin casino will offer the option of paying and playing live casino games with cryptocurrency, whilst also keeping some of the more traditional payment options available. Even some conventional online casinos offer bitcoin as a payment option. So, if people have some bitcoins lying around, they might as well spend them in the company of classy live dealers.
Bitcasino.io, BitStarz, or 22Bit are some of the Canada online casinos that focus on bitcoins as payment. Players will find a live dealer or two at these casinos, even though they are a bit unorthodox, and the mobile casino is usually very good.
If a player is unsure about the safety of using a cryptocurrency for their bets, first check that the online casino is registered with the appropriate gambling authorities. This also means that the bitcoins used at the casino needs to be taxed like any other currency when it’s used. It’s a small price to pay for the safety and security of our finances.