The online sports betting industry is booming right across the globe, and it’s no different here in Canada. Sports fans have taken to betting like fish to water, which isn’t surprising at all. We’re a nation of sports lovers, after all. Now, after years of being banned, Canadian bettors can place wagers on single events! Gone are the days of being restricted to parlays.
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In 2021, we saw sports and casino wagering continue to experience a veritable explosion in North America. There have been major changes in what's legal and what's not regarding Canada sports wagering. Here's a rundown of the recent developments in the sports betting legislation process:
Best Canada Sports Betting Sites
Sportsbooks are plentiful on mobile devices and desktop sites in the US, but as far as Canada is concerned, the market is still expanding. There are a few platforms still offering the old style, parlay-only bets, but many of these (and some newcomers to the Canadian market) will likely enter the market soon.
Top Canada Betting Sites
Here is our selection of the top 5 betting sites in Canada that offer with welcome bonuses and in some cases Promo Codes :
*bet365 Canada Offer T&C's : Up to $200 in in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit $10. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. The bonus code INSIDER can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Last Updated January 20, 2022 7:21 AM ET
Ontario was one of the first provinces to start offering single-event wagers with the OLG's exclusive betting app, PROLINE+. Users in Ontario can get online with PROLINE+ today for a $25 welcome offer on signup.
theScore Bet has announced a partnership with Penn National, parent company of well-known brands like Barstool Sports. In a sweeping deal, Penn and theScore Bet will team up to offer iGaming and sports betting services all throughout Ontario, with more provinces to be potentially added as the partnership matures.
Sports Interaction (SIA)
This Canada sportsbook has been around since 1997 and has done a lot of work in that time. In addition to casino fare, Sports Interaction offers a great selection of sports markets. As far as sports betting apps go, SIA offers a competitive selection of available markets and a good deal of extra features to play with, perfect for all kinds of bettors.
From horse racing to the NBA, and hockey through to cricket, sports are all pretty well represented. You'll even find betting on niches like esports, darts, rugby, lacrosse, and more.
PlayNow is well-rounded platform that does things a little differently. Effectively regulated directly by the Canadian government, the profits from PlayNow are all plowed back into the local community. This is a great selling point for sure, as BCLC revenues go towards things like education, healthcare, and measures to improve local economies.
Hopefully, as the betting scene in Canada becomes more regulated and streamlined, the process of withdrawing or depositing money into your PlayNow account will tighten up as well. You can use many of your preferred payment methods, though, including Visa, PayPal, WebCash, MasterCard, AMEX, and more.
How to Place a Sports Bet in Canada
It’s a simple process to place a bet. In fact, betting in Canada differs little in practice from anywhere else. Canada betting sites and apps are plentiful, and the market continues to expand now that single wagers are legal.
When you're signing up with a given sportsbook in Canada, you're going to have to provide some personal details in order to continue with opening your account. These details will be shared with provincial authorities, but it's only to make sure that your identity is protected and that the operator is using reputable security practices.
Any worthwhile sportsbook is going to have SSL technology and other top-to-bottom protections to make sure your data is safe as a user.
Once you’ve set up your account, the expanding world of sports wagering is open to you. It's always a good idea to take advantage of any promotions and welcome offers that might be available to you, so make sure you check that out before making your first deposit.
Often, these welcome offers will expire if you don't use them or if you make a deposit before opting-in. We'll make sure you're up-to-date on all the newest bonuses and how to get them.
Why not try out the welcome offers at one of our favorite Canada Sportsbooks?
Canada Sports Betting Laws
Canadian betting laws were recently in a state of flux, but it's looking like the market has opened up to more bets than ever before. We’ll explain the situation in a little more depth for you here.
History of Betting in Canada
Initially, Canadians had limited access to gambling until the late 1960s, when government-sponsored lotteries were added to the list of available betting events. That gave Canadians the ability to bet on the lotto and horse races. The Canadian Criminal Code continued to be amended throughout the 70s and 80s, but sports betting really started to take hold in the 1990’s.
In the 90’s, provinces started adding their own legal sports betting platforms like Mise-o-Jeu and Sports Action. You’d have to be in the province in order to wager your money on these games, but they remained a popular pastime for Canadian bettors for years. However, you could only bet on parlays as a result of the language of a 1985 amendment to the Criminal Code.
Internet Betting and US Sports Betting
As sports betting on the internet became more popular, provincial and tribal authorities saw the opportunity at a new source of untapped revenue. Hence, commissions like the tribal Kahnawake Mohawk Gaming Commission saw it fit to offer their own sports betting services on tribal land and, later, online.
Fast forward to 2018, where Canada saw their southerly neighbors in the US get full access to legal online sports betting, including single wagers. Initially, Canadian lawmakers wanted to go through a similar legalization process, but the value of offering this new revenue source wouldn’t be fully realized until 2020-2021.
In the wake of a global pandemic, governments all across the world looked at ways to reinvigorate their economy, add jobs to the labor pool, and bring in some much-needed tax revenue. Canada was no different, which is a considerable factor in their decision to legalize single-wager sports betting.
This legalization process would essentially give Canadians and eligible visitors to bet online in the same way as someone in, say, New Jersey could just by downloading and using a dedicated sportsbook app.
Two bills that would have seen an end to the exclusivity of parlay betting in Canada were kicked around for years. Parliament failed to pass them on a few occasions for varying reasons. Bill C-221 and Bill C-290 both contained provisions that would have opened up the betting market, but weren't able to get the necessary momentum.
It’s unclear why the political parties weren’t focused on this at the time, since a legalized betting framework is a clear win for all involved. Canada sportsbooks are good for sports and good for the economy, and politicians know this. It was a combination of many issues, mainly involving the appropriation of the revenue (where the money would go) and tribal involvement. Gambling revenues in Canada and the US remain a protected source of income for federally-recognized native tribes, so making sure that First Nations and other native leaders were able to participate was of prime importance in the passage of a sports betting framework.
Ultimately, another bill got passed through the House, instead. MP Kevin Waugh introduced Bill C-218 in 2020, a bill which updated the provisions of previous bills while including more inclusive language allowing provinces to decide the terms of their own specific frameworks. In 2021, his bill passed the Canadian Senate, giving it the go-ahead to become law in the country. That means that now, if you're an eligible bettor, you can wager on single events!
Previously, Canada had a longstanding ban on single-game wagers as a part of their Criminal Code. This meant that, up until recently, bettors in Canada could only wager on parlays, which were considered as more of a lottery-style game. In summer 2021, that restriction was lifted after the passage of C-218, so now you can bet on all types of single events in Canada.
You'll have access to bets on all your favorite sports, including:
Recent Sports Betting News in Canada
Canada Online Sports Betting: Events and Betting Markets
It’s unsurprising that a fair chunk of betting in Canada features hockey. After all, it’s the national pastime. What was a small collection of internet bettors has flourished into a serious market, with Canada betting sites featuring nearly all global sports events. These markets are in line with the wider industry that you'll find in other countries, such as the US.
Therefore, the popular markets on betting platforms offer national and international events in addition to niche markets and newcomers to the world of competitive event gambling.
Betting on Pro Sports Teams in Canada/US
Users whom are ready to begin sports wagering likely already know what they're looking for in a sportsbook. However, if you're uncertain, there are a few points to keep in mind:
This applies whether you’re wagering on the NHL or Football. You can find Canada sportsbooks offering the spread on a Lakers/Raptors game or a totals bet on a Winnipeg Jets matchup, but you're going to want to make sure you have a good grasp on what you're betting on and when to call it quits. Gambling isn’t only about the tips, odds, and teams. It’s about you, too.
Ensuring that you play responsibly is a huge part of it. If at any point you're feeling like you need a little assistance, Canadian iGaming authorities will always provide Responsible Gambling resources for their users to access when they want a cool-down period, need information or support, and more.
Canada Online Sports Betting FAQ
Are Canada sports betting apps legal?
Yes, they are. Wagering apps are perfectly within all legal requirements and offer safe and fair gambling for Canadians. Just make sure they're regulated by a provincial iGaming authority or tribal equivalent.
Where can I bet on Canada sportsbooks?
Sportsbooks are regulated on a province-by-province basis. Check the drop-down menu at the top of this page for specific information about your preferred area.
Can I use my phone for Canada sports betting?
Yes, you can. Most Canada betting sites are fully mobile compatible and enable you to use apps on the go.
Do I have to register for betting in Canada?
You do indeed. For gambling sites across the world, some form of registration is required. The same is true for Canada sports betting.
Is Canada online sports betting safe?
All fully licensed and regulated sites in the Canada online sports betting industry are safe and have a fairness policy and complaints procedure too.
Final Thoughts on Betting in Canada
Legally speaking, the iGaming industry in Canada is experiencing a renaissance. After being restricted to parlay betting for the majority of its existence, now legal sports betting in Canada covers everything a bettor could want. Moneylines, totals, spreads, parlays, and more are available to the eligible sports bettor. Whether you're at home or on the go, your province likely has some options for sports betting available, so use this guide as a resource to get started off on the right foot.
We're looking at a whole new world in Canada, and it is certain that operators from all over the world will champ at the bit to enter this burgeoning market. Stay tuned for more information and developments on the legal scope of betting in Canada and what you can expect from some top-tier operators as the industry matures.