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 also place wagers on single events! Gone are the days of being restricted to parlays.
Canada betting sites are businesses like any other. Therefore, they want to offer the best products they can, to retain their valuable clientele. Canada sportsbooks are properly regulated, so when you wager on Canada betting sites they’re secure and fair throughout.
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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, and often folks can feel bewildered by choice. We bring you two purely Canadian options to check out.
*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.
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 :
theScore Bet has recently announced a partnership with venue operator and educator Canlan Sports. It's likely that some reader out there learned how to skate or play ball at a Canlan facility, so it makes sense that the two would partner to offer sports betting platforms (in-person and online are expected) in Ontario.
They'll start with Toronto, but are expected to expand as betting becomes more popular.
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.
Mobile users will find the platform to be relatively comfortable to use, though there's so many choices for available markets that the interface can feel cramped. Still, it's a great way to pick up and bet on your favorites, including esports, without going through too much hassle.
Neteller, Skrill, Paysafe, and more are available for withdrawals, and the same is true for deposits. Sports Interaction uses Canadian Dollars. For bonuses, they mainly go in for free spins on casino games and a bonus scheme dependent on you game of choice.
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.
Accepting Euros, Canadian Dollars, GBP, and USD, the banking with PlayNow can seem a little confusing. 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.
As far as customer care goes, PlayNow has the options that we'd expect from a modern sportsbook. There’s a live chat function, as well as other means of contact if there are issues, including email and telephone support. Don't expect a response from their email support team right away, however: complex requests can take up to 5 business days if you're unlucky.
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.
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.
The Canadian Gaming Association
The Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) is another major player in the online betting world in the country, and has been an advocate for a safe, expanded betting framework for some time now. Offshore betting continued to be a major problem in Canada, as bettors often wouldn't be prosecuted, and operators could just shut down and run to a new domain, taking their players' money with them.
In an attempt to curb illegal gambling and protect players, in addition to promoting an economically beneficial and safe market, the CGA has been a proponent of legalized sports betting and other forms of regulated gambling since its inception.
Paul Burns, President and CEO of the CGA was quoted in 2021 as saying, “the CGA has been working to legalize single-event sports betting for more than 10 years and Bill C-218 benefited from a groundswell of broad stakeholder support from across Canada." That bill, C-218, was the bipartisan bill that amended Canada's gambling law to allow for single wagers, a practice that was previously banned.
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 the CFL, NFL, and NHL. All of your favorite events are likely to be covered, from the Stanley Cup to the Vanier Cup to the Voyageurs Cup, awarded to the winner of CONCACAF Champions League. Let's get into the specifics of what's available, including events and markets:
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. Nearly everything is represented from regional hockey games, national games, and basically whatever tournaments Hockey Canada is running.
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. We urge all players to do all their diligence regarding where to play, what to spend, and when not to gamble. It’s important to be smart about your choices, because the gambling world is specifically about managing risk. 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.