a Carnival skill game

Skill Gaming

Games of skill are not caught by the gaming and betting provisions of the Canadian Criminal Code. This means that games of skill can legally be provided to players in Canada.

Operators may offer a platform where players compete against each other by playing games of skill for real money. But what is a game of skill?

In the United States, each state has its own rules about what is considered a game of skill. Common tests include the predominance test (i.e., does the game have predominantly more chance or more skill), and the material element test (i.e., does chance play a material role in determining a game’s outcome).

In Canada, because gaming is federally regulated, we have one set of rules that all provinces must follow. The test was first set out in the 1968 Supreme Court case Ross, Banks and Dyson v. The Queen, [1968] SCR 786 and built on through subsequent cases. Essentially, the courts examine the type of chance present in a game. Does the game rely on a systematic resort to chance or the unpredictables that may occasionally defeat skill?

If you’re a provider of skill games you should chat with Jack. He’d like to learn about your business model and review how it fits in with Canadian gaming laws.

Looking for documentation to provide to potential investors? Jack can provide you with a risk analysis setting out the legal and practical risks of your operation. Need a letter for payment processors or advertisers? Jack is happy to help. Looking for assistance in other jurisdictions? He can leverage his network to help you find the right person.

Representative Work in Skill Gaming

Provided a risk analysis to an established skill-games operator regarding its Canadian operation
Advised a start-up skill-gaming platform ensuring that its business model complied with the Canadian Criminal Code
Provided a letter to marketers on behalf of a skill-games operator regarding its Canadian operation
Provide a letter to payment processers for a skill-games operator regarding its Canadian operation
Provided a legal opinion to a start-up chess platform and assisted it with navigating the initial stages of its business

Let's chat!

Gaming is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world. Jack will help you navigate the Canadian landscape and leverage his experience and connections in other jurisdictions.