Top Northwest Territories Online Casinos in 2024

Welcome to our beginner's guide on gambling in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Our expert team has compiled this guide to discuss every little detail about gambling in this region. We'll provide answers about gambling regulations, taxation, bonuses, and games. This guide also covers our list of reliable Northwest Territories online casinos and a step-by-step guide to finding the best gaming sites.

Northwest Territories is the third-largest land area in Canada. As the name suggests, this region is in the northwestern parts of Canada, bordered by Yukon to the west and Nunavut to the east. The Northwest Territories include the areas of Sahtu, South Slave, North Slave, Dehcho, and Inuvik. These regions cover nearly one-third of Canada and have a low population of around 45,000 people. 

That said, the Northernmost part of Canada isn't known for its gambling activities. In fact, this region doesn't have any land-based casinos. But you don't need to travel to neighbouring provinces to play casino games. Instead, many locals enjoy wagering online, thanks to the liberal gambling regulations at the federal level. Keep reading this page to know every aspect of gambling regulations in this region and which forms of gambling are legal. 

The Legality of Gambling in the Northwest Territories

Gambling laws in NW Territories largely resemble those in other provinces. Everything goes back to 1969, when Canada amended the Criminal Code of 1892. This paved the way for regional governments to legalize any form of gambling within their borders. In 1985, Canada made another milestone by legalizing sports betting, although this only covered parlay bets. Later, in 2021, another amendment was made to legalize single bets. 

All gambling forms in the NWT are governed by the Northwest Territories Lottery Act. This law states that all forms of gambling are legal activities. This includes lotteries, bingo, scratch cards, sports betting, and casino-style games. However, there are no legal land-based casinos in this region. That's mainly due to the region's lack of densely populated towns. 

The good news is that you can gamble in the NW Territories without leaving the comfort of your home. Like other provinces, these territories use a nationalized approach. In this case, the province owns and regulates the only gambling site within its borders. Gamblers in the Northwest Territories can play legally on (West Canada Lottery Corporation). This website operates in five provinces, including the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Yukon. 

Sadly, the website doesn't feature any casino games. While this might change in the future, it leaves gamblers with no option but to play on offshore sites. According to federal law, playing games like slots and blackjack on offshore real money casinos is legal. So, we have searched the whole region to compare and review top casinos with free and real-money gameplay. 

Below is the gambling status in the Northwest Territories:

Gambling statusLegal
RegulatorThe Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA)
Legal gambling age19+
Legal online gamblingYes (
Legal sports bettingYes (
Land-based gambling venuesN/A
Regulated gamesCasino games, sports betting, lottery

History of Gambling in NorthWest Territories

Below is a brief recap of the history of gambling in the Northwest Territories:

  • 1969: Canada amends the Criminal Code of 1892 to allow regional governments to legalize gambling.
  • 1985: The federal law is changed to allow parlay bets.
  • 1994: The launch of the very first online casinos.
  • 2021: Canada changes the law to legalize single bets.
  • 2024: Range Lake MLA Keiron Testart urges parliament to change the NWT's Lotteries Act to allow more gambling opportunities. 

Free Playing in NorthWest Territories

There is a wide variety of casino games in the Northwest Territories. You can play these games for free or place real money bets. With free games, there's no opportunity to win real money payouts, meaning the thrill could be less. Some features and bonus rounds might also be unavailable in demo games. But the advantages of these games could be many, as you'll discover below:

  • A risk-free way to play casino-style games online.
  • Test different games to find the ones you like.
  • Discover and test new gaming strategies.
  • No real money commitments or losses.
  • Know the game rules, payouts, and mechanics.
  • Play for free without a casino account. 

Ranking Online Casinos in the Northwest Territories

The liberal federal law allows thousands of offshore casino sites to operate in Canada. Players in the Northwest Territories can join any of these casinos to play slots, table games, live games, and lotteries. 

However, the unlimited options can make it challenging for beginners to find the best casino sites. Thankfully, we'll share our expert selection guide with you. We have a list of features that a casino site must tick before we review and rate it on 

Below is how we compare and review casinos in the NWT:

  • License and Regulation: We strictly review casinos with valid licenses. A casino must prove to us that it's licensed by a legal body in Canada, the UK, Malta, and other countries before we rate it. This certificate proves the casino is committed to fair play and transparency.
  • Safety and Security: Is the casino secure to play on in Canada? We answer this question by confirming if the website is protected using the latest encryption technologies. An up-to-date SSL encryption means the casino is safe from hackers, scammers, and other intruders.
  • Reputation: We're often keen on the reputation of a casino site before recommending it to you. Our experience has taught us that a licensed and encrypted casino can still frustrate gamers with poor treatment. Therefore, we only rate NWT casino sites with top ratings online.
  • Availability: Online gambling is more convenient when you can access everything anywhere. So, we only rank casinos in the Northwest Territories with smooth cross-platform compatibility. The best casinos are accessible via tablets, smartphones, PCs, and Macs.
  • Bonuses and Promotions: Most casinos have bonuses and promotions. These offers can be free spins, match bonuses, or cashback. However, what makes the best bonuses stand out is the T&Cs. Top casinos in NWT provide bonuses with friendly wagering requirements, validity periods, and game contribution rates.
  • Game Lobby: A casino must provide a dynamic and extensive gaming lobby before we review and recommend it. Our recommended casinos offer a comprehensive list of games from proven software providers. We also confirm whether the games are audited by proven game-testing companies.
  • Reliable Payments: Our recommended casinos process money transfers with a couple of clicks. These casinos support reliable, easy-to-access banking methods like Interac, iDebit, Apple Pay, Visa, and Mastercard. All payments are processed almost instantly.
  • Customer Support: Top casinos in NW Territories are just a click away when you need help. This can be delayed payments, missing promo codes, or account verification. We have searched and listed the casino sites with the most reliable and professional support. These casinos are available via email, phone, or live chat. 

Sites to Avoid

Most online casinos in the Northwest Territories are good places to gamble. Sadly, some casino sites don't meet our high review standards. After much background research, we discovered that some of these casinos are not licensed or don't pay out winnings. You can count on us to highlight these blacklisted casinos. But first, let's list the characteristics of casino sites with dishonest services:

  • Casinos that cannot demonstrate their licensing certificate.
  • Gambling sites that cannot prove their games are tested and fair.
  • Casinos without SSL encryption technology.
  • Websites with a history of withholding winnings.
  • Casinos with unfair terms and conditions clauses.
  • Websites that don't respond to email and phone inquiries.
  • Casinos with known criminal records. 

Must-Have Features of Top Casinos

So, now you know how we choose the best casinos in NW Territories and how to spot a dishonest casino. The next thing is to highlight standard features of a reliable casino. First, a good casino has a positive reputation among players. Read online reviews to discover what players and experts say about the casino's services. Rest assured that we've signed up and played on casinos listed in this guide to only recommend the best. Our casinos don't withhold winnings or frustrate gamers during payouts. 

Another feature of a reliable casino is regulation and security. These features go hand in hand by ensuring fun gaming sessions without worrying about your security. The best casinos in the Northwest Territories have licenses in Canada, Malta, Curacao, the UK, and other jurisdictions. Players can contact the regulator if unhappy with the services. Don't forget to confirm if the casino uses updated 128 or 256-bit encryption. This technology protects all the personal and financial details you upload on the casino. 

Last but definitely not least, check the quality of the casino's support services. Only join casinos with 24/7 email, phone, or live chat support. In addition, ensure that the support is responsive and professional. Confirm this by sending the support team a question or two to gauge their response. Avoid online casinos that take days to reply to your inquiries. Rogue casinos may not reply altogether. 

Bonus Offers and Promotions

No law in Canada or the Northwest Territories prevents casinos from providing bonuses. Most decent casinos have a welcome bonus package for new signees and generous rewards for returning players. 

However, casino bonuses can take different forms and shapes. It's, therefore, best to know how these bonuses work to choose a reward that matches your preference. This can also prevent bonus abuse, leading to the voiding of your winnings or account suspension. 

Here is a list of some typical casino bonuses in the Northwest Territories:

  • No-Deposit Bonus: This is a welcome bonus for players who complete the sign-up phase successfully. You don't need to deposit funds to claim it. To collect the reward, sign up and complete other requirements, such as confirming your email or phone number.
  • Match Bonus: Most casinos in Canada provide new players with a match bonus. It's basically a percentage of your deposit amount, with 100% being the most common offer. Sometimes, a match bonus can be provided on, let's say, first to fifth deposits. The match percentage and bonus amount often vary.
  • Free Spins: These are free rounds to play a slot the casino wishes to promote or your favourite slot game. Free spins can be a standalone package or part of the welcome offer. Winnings accumulated from the free spins often have wagering requirements. However, you can find no-wagering free spins.
  • Reload Bonus: This bonus can be a free spins offer or a matched deposit percentage. But here's the difference: a reload bonus targets returning players who make a deposit. For example, a casino in the Northwest Territories can reward you with a match bonus every Monday or Friday.
  • High Roller Bonus: If you plan to play big at the Northwest Territories online casinos, find a website with a high roller bonus. It's simply a match percentage of your initial deposit. However, the percentage rate, maximum bonus, and qualifying deposits are often higher. Most high-roller bonuses also have friendly T&Cs.
  • Cashback: Casinos know that losses can be painful and devastating. So, to encourage gamers to continue playing, these casinos can run a cashback offer. You'll receive a small percentage of your losses over a specific reference period. For example, you can get a 10% refund on your weekend losses.
  • VIP Program: Most casino sites have VIP programs where you can earn points and win exclusive rewards. After playing real money games, you'll earn points and move to a new VIP level with bigger bonuses and treatments. VIP players can enjoy privileges like faster payouts, higher transaction limits, and exclusive bonuses. 

Always read the terms and conditions of all the bonuses listed above. Confirm and compare features like the wagering requirements, validity periods, and maximum bonus wins. Remember, bonuses with low wagering requirements are easier to convert.

Mobile Gambling in Northwest Territories

Online gambling allows players in Canada to play remotely. You don't have to visit a brick-and-mortar casino to play, saving you time and money. And with the advent of mobile technology, gambling has become even more convenient. You can play on NW Territories casino sites with an internet-connected smartphone or tablet. This flexibility lets you make the most of your spare moments, whether standing in a line or waiting for a bus. 

Most of these casinos let you choose between playing via mobile browsers or casino apps for Android or iOS. The experience is often the same because most casino games and websites use HTML5 technology. However, each game mode has its pros and cons. The table below should help you decide which mobile experience is best for you:

Instant-play casinosCasino apps
No download is requiredInstall the casino app to play
Quick and convenient gameplayPlay with a single screen tap
It doesn't require mobile storage spaceIt needs mobile storage space to install
Most casinos provide this game modeSome brands don't have mobile apps
Some sites aren't mobile-optimizedDesigned for specific mobile platforms
Requires login each time you playUse security features like TouchID

Gambling Income and Taxation

Players in the US know that winning a casino jackpot is fun until there are hefty taxes to pay. Thankfully, this doesn't apply to Canadian players. The law clearly states you don't have to pay taxes after winning a casino game, lottery, or sports bet. Canada doesn't recognize gambling as a stable source of income that should be taxable. 

However, the legal code may require you to pay taxes if you decide to make gambling a career. Also, you must file tax returns for interests accrued from gambling winnings. So, any interest is taxable if you invest a jackpot win in a savings account. But generally, you don't need to worry about gambling taxes in the Northwest Territories.

Responsible Gambling in Northwest Territories

The fact that Northwest Territories have small populations means problem gambling resources can be hard to find. However, this region strives to ensure residents suffering from problem gambling get immediate help. You can receive assistance and advice through the Northwest Territories helpline at 1-800-661-0844. Contact the authorities if you know or live with a person suffering from gambling addiction. 

Online casinos operating in the Northwest Territories also do their part to ensure safe and responsible gambling. These casinos have a wealth of responsible gambling resources and tools to ensure you gamble within your means. The best casinos also provide contacts to agencies like Responsible Gambling Council, GameStop, and GamCare. 

Use the following tools to play more responsibly in the Northwest Territories:

  • Deposit limits: The best Canadian casinos allow gamers to set specific daily, weekly, and monthly deposit limits. This prevents you from depositing more than you can afford to lose.
  • Loss limits: Some casinos let gamers choose the maximum amount they can gamble away. You can have a daily, weekly, or monthly loss limit.
  • Timeout sessions: Playing for a specific amount of time can protect you from huge losses and gambling addiction. Some NWT casinos provide this experience using timeout limits.
  • Cooling off periods: This feature allows you to take a short break from gambling. During the break, you can strategize afresh and reorganize your bankroll.
  • Self-exclusion: This service is available mainly by contacting casino support. You can take a break from all gambling activities on the website, including promotional messages. Usually, the self-exclusion period can be 6 or 12 months.

At, we also encourage responsible gaming by playing within your means. Playing casino games is about fun and not a way of making a living. So, set aside a bankroll you can afford to lose and treat those wins as a mere purple patch. Refrain from chasing casino losses, which can lead to even bigger and more painful losses. Play responsibly!

Land-Based Casinos in Northwest Territories

A few years ago, someone tried to open a land-based casino in Yellowknife, but the plans didn't materialize. That's unsurprising because running a top-class casino establishment in low-population areas can be challenging. So, as it stands, there are no land-based casinos in the Northwest Territories. You can find a range of top-rated casino sites in NWT providing thousands of games on this page.


The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs oversees all gambling activities in NWT. However, this regulator has yet to license the region's first land-based or online casino. 

Yes, online casinos can legally accept gamers from the Northwest Territories in Canada. You can join and play at these casinos legally if you're at least 19 years old. However, most offshore casinos accept players as young as 18 years old. 

Generally speaking, all NWT casino sites provide real money games. This means you can deposit and withdraw real money. But when playing at real money casinos, always have a budget to avoid losing necessary money. Stop playing as soon as you deplete the gambling bankroll. 

Yes, you can play for free using virtual credits provided by demo games. Note that you cannot withdraw or redeem these credits. The motive is to test new games and strategies without spending real money. So, take advantage of free games. 

That's unclear because this territory hasn't shown any seriousness in having an open licensing system similar to Ontario. However, with more provinces mulling over regulating offshore operators, the Northwest Territories might do the same. 

Bingo is arguably the most widespread gambling activity in the Northwest Territories. This region has several bingo halls, although there are no land-based casinos. Most residents also like to play at offshore casino sites with a wide variety of gambling products. 

That depends on the casino site. However, most casino sites on support a range of international currencies, including CAD. When submitting the registration form, check if CAD is part of the supported currencies. 

First, check if a reputable body licenses the casino because fairness is often part of the licensing requirements. Then, confirm if reputable software developers supply the games. And most importantly, the casino must show its game testing certificate and results. 

Stephen Abiola is a reputable casino writer with eight years worth of experience to show. From his early childhood, Stephen has always had a keen interest in casino gambling. During his spare time, Stephen goes visiting land-based casinos, trying out slot machines and table games. Over time, Stephen learned strategies and techniques on how to win and reduce the house edge.