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Do I have to Pay Taxes on Gambling wins in Canada?

Photo by Touann Gatouillat Vergos on Unsplash

Gambling and lottery winnings aren't taxed in Canada. Read on to find out if there are exceptions to this rule and when gambling profits are taxable in the Great White North.

Who Owns the Casinos in Canada?

It depends on where the casino operates. In some provinces, they are the exclusive property of the Canadian government.

The local tribal communities own those in the First Nation reserves.

Finally, there is a third group of casinos in the hands of private corporations.

What Taxes Do Casinos Pay in Canada?

As a rule, gambling operators in Canada pay a 28% federal tax, plus any relevant provincial taxes. Tribal casinos do not pay taxes to the Canadian government.

Do Gamblers Pay Winning Taxes in Canada?

The Great White North has very liberal gambling taxation laws. The federal government does not regard personal gambling winnings as a steady source of income; hence they are tax-exempt.

Betting for Fun Is Tax-free

You can walk with the money tax-free, no matter how much you won in a casino, racino, or sportsbook. Wins at Ontario casinos online are no exception.

Online sportsbook winnings are also tax-exempt, as are those from the state lottery. However, if you put your casino winnings in a deposit account, you would owe taxes on the interest.

Sharps & Beards

These have nothing to do with a barber's shop. Professional gamblers are also known as "sharps." Because many casinos in the US and Canada have blacklisted them, they often play through proxies or "beards."

Sharps and casinos are in a complex relationship. On the one hand, casinos and sportsbooks do not want them on their sites and premises because these guys come to make money, not bet for fun.

On the other hand, casinos acknowledge sharps' expertise, and some let them bet up to a specific limit to adjust their odds and moneylines.

Professional Gamblers Have to Pay Winning Taxes in Canada

Because sharps gamble for a living, they have to pay taxes on their winnings or revenues from gambling-related activities.

Professional gamblers have to pay between 15 and 33% of their winnings as a personal income tax, depending on how much they win.

How Do Canadian Casinos and Sportsbooks Pay off Winnings?

Small personal winnings are paid directly to the winner in cash, with a cheque, or bank transfer. Winnings equivalent to $250,000 or larger are usually paid off in monthly installments over a set period.