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Importing a Slot Machine into Canada

Expert: CanadaOne

Susy asked:

Can I import a slot machine into Canada for my own personal use?

CanadaOne answered:

We have good news and some not-so-good news for you. There are no provisions in Canada Customs guidelines that prohibit you from importing a slot machine. But, once it gets here, you won't be able to use it.

Here's why. Slot machines are not listed in the Canada Customs prohibited importations tariff items guidelines. Duncan Smith, a program support officer within Canada Customs, advised that the actual importation of slot machines – working condition or otherwise – is not prohibited by customs. But the use of a working slot machine on a premises without a provincial gaming license is an offence under the criminal code for an illegal gaming house. It is not the item that is prohibited, but the use of that item.

Smith said that if you want the slot machine for decorative purposes (such as placement in a recreation room), it has to be de-activated so that you are not charged under the Criminal Code of Canada (section) for operating an illegal gaming house.

We also spoke to OPP Inspector Larry Moodie of the Ontario Illegal Gaming Enforcement Unit who advised that it is against the Criminal Code of Canada for individuals to import, sell, buy or manufacture slot machines. Please see section 202.1B of the Code.

202. (1) Every one commits an offence who

(b) imports, makes, buys, sells, rents, leases, hires or keeps, exhibits, employs or knowingly allows to be kept, exhibited or employed in any place under his control any device or apparatus for the purpose of recording or registering bets or selling a pool, or any machine or device for gambling or betting;

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