Gambling in Nova Scotia
Online gambling in Nova Scotia is very much possible, with many of the top casino sites accepting CAD deposits. There are also several great gambling venues in Nova Scotia that facilitate real money play. Our guide to gambling in Nova Scotia, Canada, will give you detailed information about all legal forms of gambling in this jurisdiction.
Nova Scotia gambling guide
Nova Scotia is the second-smallest of Canada’s 10 provinces and in a gambling sense is much like the rest of the country.
You will be able to wager at land-based gambling venues boasting casino staples, slots, the lottery and harness racing.
Online gambling at both casinos and sportsbooks is perfectly legal, and you will find some that are licensed in Canada, although the offshore scene is also thriving.
All gambling, barring horse racing, in the region is regulated by the Nova Scotia Alcohol and Gaming Division. The gallops are governed by the Canada Pari-mutuel Agency.
Sports betting in Nova Scotia
There is a legal sports betting option in Nova Scotia because it is part of the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) Pro-Line Stadium platform. But to be honest it just doesn’t offer the sort of flexibility available at offshore sports betting websites.
In Nova Scotia, much like in other Canadian provinces, bets placed at government-regulated shops or online have to be parlays, meaning you have to include more than one event in your wager. It is technically illegal to bet on single sporting events in Nova Scotia.
The legal options provided by the ALC, which operates in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, include the Pro-Line, Pro-Line Fantasy, Pro-Line Futures and Stadium Bets.
The one Canadian-licensed sportsbook that is government-condoned is SportsInteraction but there are still restrictions on bet types that don’t afflict offshore websites. To date no Canadian has been charged with wagering at an offshore betting site, so until legislation changes we strongly recommend doing so, to receive better odds and betting options.
Lottery in Nova Scotia
Lotto draws are governed by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation in Nova Scotia, with two main draws featuring each week. These are Friday’s Lotto Max Draw, which regularly tops $50 million; and Lotto 649 which takes place on Wednesdays and features a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million every draw, plus a chance at a jackpot, which was upwards of $9 million at the time of publishing.
It is possible to buy lotto tickets in these draws at both retail outlets and online, where you can set up a calendar, with auto scheduled tickets. The Daily Grind draw also takes place Mondays and Thursdays and goes by the catch-cry “1000 dollars a day for life”.
Horse, harness and greyhound racing in Nova Scotia
It is all about the harness racing in Nova Scotia with three tracks holdings meetings – the Truro Raceway, Inverness Raceway and Northside Downs Raceway.
Truro Raceway is one of the oldest racing facilities in Canada and operates all year round with both live racing and simulcast featured. It is owned and managed by the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Commission and has more than 200 horses stabled there.
Inverness raceway has had racing since the 1920s and is owned by the diocese of Antigonish and remarkably is leased for 100 years by a non-profit organisation, which puts everything back into the facility and participants. The Inverness track operates most of the year and has live racing more than 20 nights per year.
Located in North Sydney, Northside Downs has been racing since July 1, 1898, but has had a turbulent history, including a shutdown from 1989 until 2007. The track features both live racing and simulcast and has again suffered some down times in recent years.
Betting on horse racing can be done at other venues in Nova Scotia, including the casinos, while if you want to wager online on the local nags you will have to bet with a locally licensed operator.
Online casinos in Nova Scotia
Consumers in Nova Scotia are free to play at online casinos that are based offshore and while it is technically not legal, it is not illegal to play.
There has been plenty of discussion in Nova Scotia about the merits of licensing a gambling site but so far the conclusion is that it would contribute to problem gambling.
It seems a matter of when, not if, an online casino is licensed in the region and there is every chance the Atlantic Lottery Corporation will be front and centre in any online gambling pursuit.
In the meantime there are many online casinos based in offshore locations such as Malta and the United Kingdom which will accept your bets.
Land-based gambling in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia has a thriving gambling scene for a province of just under 1 million people. Casino Nova Scotia has sites in both Halifax and Sydney which have been open for business since 1995. The province is also home to race tracks and thriving bingo halls. You will also find slots at some bingo halls and race tracks.
Horse racing tracks
Address: 112 Forest Street, Inverness, Nova Scotia
Info: Holds harness racing and simulcast racing.
Address: 73 Ryland Avenue, Colchester County, Truro
Info: The biggest of the horse racing venues in Nova Scotia. Harness racing is massive at Truro with more than 300 horses stabled at the course. The venue also features off-course betting and simulcast racing.
Address: 105 Regent Street
Info: This venue holds harness racing and features simulcast betting at the course.
Casino Nova Scotia – Sydney
Address: 78 Churchill Street, Nova Scotia
Casino Nova Scotia – Halifax
Address: 1983 Upper Water Street, Halifax
Membertou Entertainment Complex
Address: Membertou Entertainment Center, 11 Chief Ben Christmas Awti’j, Membertou
Bridgewater Legion Bingo
Address: 78 Churchill Street, Nova Scotia
Dartmouth Sportsplex Super Bingo
Address: 110 Wyse Road, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Farrell Hall Bingo
Address: 276 Windmill Road, Dartmouth
Halifax Forum Super Bingo
Address: 2901 Windsor Street, Halifax
Sackville LDRA Bingo
Address: 133 First Lake Drive, Lower Sackville
Online gambling laws in Nova Scotia
The Nova Scotia Alcohol and Gaming Division is the gambling regulator in Nova Scotia, although the Canada Pari-Mutuel Agency looks after horse racing.
Since 1976 lottery has been legal in Nova Scotia, but it took some time for more forms of gambling to be given the green light. In 1991, Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) were allowed under Canadian law, which essentially meant online slots become common-place.
Nova Scotia requires its citizens to be 19 years of age to to gamble in Canada, which is in-line with the rest of the country.
Because Canada has not regulated online gambling, when players win at an offshore online casino they do not have to pay any tax. This is one of the main reasons the government is again considering reframing the laws surrounding forms of online gambling, including sports betting and real money casinos.
There is a growing push to allow single-event wagers in Canada which will lead to regulated sports betting. This has been put before the government by several prominent politicians, and in the wake of the proliferation of online gambling because of covid-19 we think it’s just a matter of time until gambling online in Nova Scotia is deemed legal.