A Guide to online sports betting in Canada

Sports betting is constantly changing and evolving. For Canadian players who are new to sports betting, there are a few things you need to know. First of all, with online sports betting Canada-wide, the priority for new and experienced bettors is to find a reputable sportsbook online.

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With various sportsbook platforms available to Canadians, figuring out where to start can be tricky.

In this guide, we will provide a breakdown of Canada's online betting landscape, focusing on navigating online betting legally and successfully with legit operators.

Online betting Canada in a nutshell

online sports betting Canada

Canada Gambling and sports betting.

Gambling has been part of Canada's history for many centuries. The earliest evidence of bet games dates back to the 15th century with playing cards. It is fair to say that sports betting would have flourished around significant sports events in Canada.

Horse racing betting has been popular in Canada since 1767 when the first big racing event occurred in Quebec City.

Unregulated gambling contributed to the introduction of laws to prevent illegal activities. In 1892, the Canadian Criminal Code was enacted to restrict gambling activities substantially. The Code allowed for pari-mutuel betting on horse racing.

The betting laws introduced by the Canadian Criminal Code progressed until the 1970s finally ironed them out. The government gave power to the provinces, letting them establish their gambling laws to control the betting facilities at hand.

However, come the digital revolution, Canadian bettors now have a plethora of online sites to choose from. As a major part of sports betting happens online, players familiar with processes in physical establishments require guidance to gamble safely.

Most popular types of sports bets in Canada

It is impossible to think of Canada without thinking about hockey.

Hockey is by far the most popular game to play in Canada, earning it the top rank as the most popular sport to bet on too.

Statistics for online sports betting in Canada show that bettors favor primarily:

  • hockey
  • baseball
  • basketball
  • football
  • golf
  • tennis
  • UFC/ MMA

Each of these sports and many others available on online sportsbooks is accessible through a variety of betting options. Canadian bettors will have a choice of placing a wager via:

Moneyline: This is the most common bet and the easiest to master. Bettors wager on an individual or a team to win.

Over/Under: This type of bet lets you wager on the outcome of a figure or a score in a specific game. A player can bet on a specific football match on Over 3 goals, which means the bet will pay out if the combined score of both teams is over 3 points.

Spread: Spread betting is a wager on who wins and with which value. To receive the bet payout, the team or individual has to reach the value determined by the wager, which could be a score.

Futures: This type of bet is placed on the outcome of a series event, such as a championship. You can place a futures at any point during the season BEFORE the end of the season.

Puckline: This wager is not based on the wins and losses but on goals scored. Beware; the puckline bet is typically -1.5 goals for the favorite and +1.5 for the underdog. The favorite must win by two goals, and the underdog can win or lose by one goal.

Prop bets: Proposition bets focus on the event and are not linked to its final outcome.

Sports betting laws in Canada

As of August 2021, the betting laws in Canada have changed in many ways.

Firstly, the Canadian government now allows single-game sports betting across Canada. Previously, gamblers needed to use parley bets or online sportsbooks. A parley bet requires multiple picks in a single wager.

You can also find them under different names:

Bet accumulators, combination bets, etc. The odds in each pick are combined and multiplied into your parlay odds, which show your potential payout when applied to your risk amount.

However, according to Bill C-218, provincial governments must determine who is authorized to offer sports betting, which sports are eligible for wagering, and the types of bets permitted.

Online sportsbooks were and remain a great way to bypass the parlay bet.

It is essential to differentiate federal laws and provincial regulations. Canada currently counts nine territories with legal online sports betting, meaning that four territories have not legalized online sports betting.

Ontario and Alberta welcome third-party operators, while other provinces have not yet clearly indicated it.

Province & territories Is online sports betting legal?  Is single-game sports betting legal?
Alberta yes yes
British Columbia yes yes
Manitoba yes yes
News Brunswick yes yes
Newfoundland and Labrador yes yes
Nova Scotia yes yes
Ontario yes yes
Quebec yes yes
Prince Edward Island yes yes
Northwest Territories no yes
Nunavut no yes
Saskatchewan no yes
Yukon no yes

Where does online sports betting happen in Canada?

Retail sportsbooks have enjoyed long popularity with national PRO-Line betting. While the majority of bettors are moving to online sportsbook platforms, isolated regions have retained PRO-Line betting as the primary betting option.

The best online betting sites in Canada

We strongly recommend the following online sports betting sites for Canadian bettors:

SportsInteraction

With over two decades as one of the largest premium sportsbook providers, SportsInteraction has been a favorite of gamblers in Canada and abroad.

The online sports betting platform operates with a license from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Canada and a second license from the Jersey Commission in the UK.

SportsInteraction provides many secure payment channels, including credit cards and Interac e-Transfer. They do not have a cryptocurrency payment yet.

Its CFL partnership makes this online betting site a favorite, as bettors can benefit from exclusive odds, promotions, and betting lines specifically tailored to CFL partners. The operator is also the official sports betting partner for the NLL in Canada.

PowerPlay

The most popular online betting platform in Canada, PowerPlay has a fantastic reputation for its vast range of betting options and its user-friendly interface. The operator counts almost 4 years under its belt and has applied for an Ontario license.

Bettors praise the 24/7 coverage of major sports events and the over 1,000s daily live betting options.

PowerPlay also knows how to make new bettors feel welcome with a generous first deposit bonus. It is one of the online sports betting operators that accept cryptocurrency deposits via Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Players can also choose to use credit and debit cards and banking transfers.

Bodog

Bodog was first launched in 1994 and has since then built a reputation for being a trustworthy and reputable operator. Unlike the other operators, Bodog is an offshore casino that operates with a license by Antigua and Barbuda Financial Services Regulatory Commission. The Canada-accessible version of the site is bodog.eu.

Its easy-to-use betting interface makes it a preferred site for recreational and inexperienced gamblers. The operator is dedicated to bettors in Canada and emphasizes Canadian sports events. But players can also find international leagues in the sportsbook.

With the early cashout option, bettors can settle their bets before receiving the final results. Players can also request unique wager situations through social media.

Generous welcome packages with 100% match on deposit and up to $400 bonus win the approval of countless gamblers. Players can make a deposit via credit card, cryptocurrency, and bank transfer.

Dos and don'ts of the best online sports betting Canada

As gamblers look for the best online sports betting site available in their region, they may come across many different operators. Therefore, it is crucial to identify secure and legal betting sites in Canada.

Legal betting sites shares common traits

  • They preserve bettors' anonymity at all times.
  • They promote responsible gaming measures and provide dedicated service to those struggling with gaming addiction.
  • They are transparent
  • They showcase their security protocol

We recommend researching the operator and checking their reviews before signing up with a new platform.

How to start placing sports bets online

The three operators mentioned above have an easy registration system, allowing Canadian players to open online betting accounts rapidly.

Some platforms include a generous welcome package, enabling gamblers to maximize their first deposit. The bonus can allow you to place further bets for free.

Legit offshore operators may not require to verify your identity when you register. However, online betting platforms aimed at the Canadian market must validate members’ IDs to create a profile.

Online sports betting in Canada FAQs

Is placing online sports bets legal in Canada?

Yes, online sports betting is legal in Canada with any platform operated with a valid license in its jurisdiction.



What are the most common types of odds found in online sportsbooks?

In Canada, you are likely to find three main types of odds: American (-500), Decimal (1.20), and Fractional (1/5). Most online betting sites in Canada let you select the type you are most familiar or comfortable with.

How can you recognize a suspicious online sportsbook?

As a rule of thumb, bad sportsbooks are unregistered and can feel confusing to navigate. The user interface is often messy and poorly put together. In case of doubt, always play with a recommended operator.