A Guide to Gambling Legally In Nova Scotia

Gambling in Nova Scotia has long standing traditions and this can be seen in their land based casinos. As the second smallest territory, many are surprised by the presence that gambling has, but NS has always been ahead of the gambling curve.

As well as physical gambling venues, you can bring the entertainment to you with casino online venues. To make sure you're up to speed with all things casino related before you start playing, either on or offline, we've provided all the vital information including:

  • Brief history of how gambling came to existence in Nova Scotia
  • Important regulations & statutory provisions governing online & offline gambling
  • The best Nova Scotia casinos, online & land based
Quick Facts
  • There is a total of 1,097 lottery retailers in the province
  • NS had around 1,500 total gaming venues as of 2014, but only 2 casinos.
  • The total government-operated revenue in 2014 was around 280 million Canadian Dollars

The Roots of Local Gaming

gaming roots

Even though gambling is currently widespread and there is an abundance of gaming venues throughout the entire country, this wasn't always the case. Gambling was first introduced on the territory of Canada hundreds of years ago in the form of dice games. They were banned back in 1380 by Richard III and reinstated as legal activities on the 15th of March, 1999, 611 years later.

When it comes to Nova Scotia, the first official act was back in 1969 when the Federal and Provincial Governments were officially given control of the lotteries which were duly legalized. In 1976, Nova Scotia introduced the first lottery and the Atlantic Lottery Corporation was established. In 1999, the Canadian Criminal Code was formally amended and it legalized the game of craps as well as other dice games.

Important Gambling Legalities in NS

Following the move to allow provinces to regulate gambling on their own, NS took the bull by the horns and led the way.

The NSGC (Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation) is thoroughly responsible for the business of gaming. However, the entire gaming industry is licensed & regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Division of Service Nova Scotia as well as by Municipal Relations. Furthermore, the average day-to-day operations of gaming that are regulated in NS are usually carried out by the operators which are the Atlantic Lottery - governing ticket lotteries and VLTs while the Casino Nova Scotia governs the Halifax and Sydney casinos.

Horse racing, on the other hand, is also popular in NS with 3 racetracks. They are regulated by the CPMA as well as the MPHRC and managed by the latter and independent operators.

Popular Nova Scotia Casinos

Casino Nova Scotia - Sydney

Casino Nova Scotia - Sydney

Associated with the one in Halifax, this one opened its doors for visitors back on the 1st of August, 1995. The casino offers over 272 gaming machines as well as 8 table games. It covers a significant area of 11,100 square feet and it also has 4 poker tables. You can visit the casino through its working hours from Sunday to Thursday from 12am until 4am and 24 hours a day on Friday and Saturday. The casino offers a variety of games such as American Roulette, blackjack, blackjack switch, and Let it Ride.

Casino Nova Scotia - Halifax

Casino Nova Scotia - Halifax

This is the biggest casino in the entire province and it's pretty significant in comparison to the one based in Sydney. The casino is opened every single day from Monday to Sunday and it services players 24 hours a day. It's only closed on Remembrance Day, Good Friday, Christmas, and Easter Sun. It has 750 slot machines and 10 poker tables, totaling 34 table games and covering 34,900 square feet. There are a lot of games included in the casino such as Texas Hold'em, blackjack, Caribbean stud poker, craps, and many more classic casino favourites.

Casino New Brunswick

Casino New Brunswick

  • 21 Casino Dr.
    Moncton, New Brunswick, E1G 0R7
  • 1-877-859-7775
  • www.casinonb.ca

While this casino isn't in NS, it's definitely worth mentioning as it offers a brilliant experience for those who have already visited the other 2 options. Open every day of the week, from 7am to 3am, this casino offers elegance and class to those looking for a great casino experience. There's a great variety of games from slots to poker, and other table games. Some famous slots titles include 'Game King', 'Bamboo Panda', and the 'Walking Dead'. If you become a regular here, check out their Rewards Club Membership to earn rewards as you play.

Gambling in Popular Cities


While Halifax may not have as many land-based casinos as other Canadian cities, it still offers quality options for locals to visit and enjoy games of chance. Located at 1983 Upper Water Street, Nova Scotia Casino boasts of a 34,900 square foot floor, which features more than 400 slot machines and slightly more than 100 table games. The slot machines at the casino are EZ cash and SM capable, a factor that makes playing the games easy and quick, in addition to increasing your chances of winning. It's also a one of a kind casino that features exclusive slots offers on some of the most popular games.

Casino Nova Scotia puts the high-power excitement and thrill of casino gaming on display in all its grandeur. Halifax's headline acts perform at Nova Scotia's entertainment venue every once in a while and every Canadian in Halifax is welcome to enjoy live entertainment from the top acts. You can also visit their dining section and savour the graceful atmosphere. The eatery also features a casual dining section that offers you great meals at very a reasonable price.

Gaming Responsibly in Nova Scotia

Gaming Responsibly

The land based casinos mentioned above are not your only options when it comes to gambling in Nova Scotia, you can also purchase lottery tickets or bet at horse racetracks. Casino online play is also a huge market that you should be taking advantage of, but where do you start?

While the provincial government here doesn't have its own real money casino online, there are plenty of options players can enjoy and that's where CasinoOnline.ca comes in. We invite you to take a closer look at our list of reputable casinos, having been thoroughly tested by gambling experts for top quality security as well as brilliant game variety. You can play until your heart's content!

Start enjoying a Nova Scotia casino online!


The minimum age at which you are allowed to gamble is 19. Before that, you are strictly forbidden of doing so and if you break this provision, you might be subjected to some long-term legal complications as minor gambling is strictly prohibited.
If you are gambling on occasion and rather casually, you don't have to pay taxes on your Canadian Dollar winnings. However, if you are doing this as a means of making a living, then your winnings are going to be subject to taxation.
Gambling is thoroughly regulated in Nova Scotia and there are a lot of authorities which follow its proper development and management. With this in mind, the Atlantic Lottery Commission manages the tickets and VLTs while the NSGC governs gaming as a whole. The ALC also manages the two land-based casinos in the province.
The best way to stay safe at a casino online is to refrain from providing your personal details and passwords to anyone. An employee of the casino will never ask for them. You also want to make sure that you check for the eCOGRA, or any regulatory body, stamp of approval, which is a clear sign that your real cash is being handled safely.