There are ample ways and means to bet in Canada, where a number of the top betting sites in the business are hosted. Here we’ll break down all you need to know about wagering in the Great White North, as well as the best Canadian betting sites available.
- Is Online Betting Legal in Canada?
- Will Sports Betting Sites Be Able To Operate in Ontario?
- Why Has There Been a Reluctance To Fully License Sports Betting?
- Choosing a Good Canadian Betting Site
- Most Popular Sports To Bet on in Canada
- Popular Payment Methods for Canadian Customers
- Live Betting in Canada
- How To Bet on Online Sports in Canada
- Betting Countries in the World
- Best Canadian Betting Sites FAQs
- ThePuntersPage Final Say
Best Betting Sites We Recommend in Canada
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Is Online Betting Legal in Canada?
In the early 1800s, gambling in Canada was legal; however, towards the end of the century, the government buckled down and passed more restrictive legislation. This did not last too long, though, with amendments made allowing gambling laws to vary within each province. As a result, there is a very diverse set of gambling regulations across the entire country.
Each of the following provinces is a self-governing entity under the federal government with their own gambling laws: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba (the first province to open a casino in 1989), British Colombia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.
Most recently, the Canadian government has turned to Ontario to be the new hub for online gambling. This decision was made in the 2019 budget and will take effect in 2022, allowing residents within the province to play online casino games legally as long as they are 18 years of age or over.
Previously, bettors were restricted to limited wagering options that were licensed through state lotteries. Single-game options were not available, so bettors were required to lodge parlay bets on multiple games.
However, in August 2021, these regulations were updated to allow wagering on single games. The regulation of the industry is of paramount importance to the lawmakers in Canada, so bettors can relax in the knowledge that all gambling is safe and legal.
Thanks to a more lenient attitude towards sports betting, leading operators in the gambling industry are beginning to expand into more territories. We’ll now explain what that means for the first of these regions: Ontario.
Will Sports Betting Sites Be Able To Operate in Ontario?
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has paved the way for online sports betting operators to enter their territory from 4th April 2022. Sites such as FanDuel and BetRivers have already been given the go-ahead to operate in the region, while other leading betting sites are making similar plans to do so.
Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan are among the other territories in Canada following in Ontario's footsteps, although things will take longer to process than the latter's launch date in April. Quebec may also follow, even though sports betting has been firmly entrenched in the region since 1996.
Why Has There Been a Reluctance To Fully License Sports Betting?
Canada did have a problem with match-fixing in the Canadian Soccer League in 2015, where it was alleged that 12 teams in the league had participated in the illegal activity. There have also been similar incidents in darts at the Modus Icons tournament in 2020. As a result, there were natural fears from the government that allowing gambling on a wider scale could put the integrity of games in jeopardy.
However, both Canadian sports betting sites and the authorities have striven to improve both their monitoring and regulations of wagering to ensure that illegal activity is eradicated. There is also hope that the legalisation of single-game betting will ensure that there is greater attention on all sports fixtures.
Choosing a Good Canadian Betting Site
When choosing a betting site to suit your own needs and preferences, there are a number of factors to consider. Below, we’ll now break down the key factors that you should be aware of before signing up to one operator over another.
- Welcome offer – Betting sites usually offer new customers a sizeable welcome bonus as a thank-you for signing up. You will want to pick an operator who provides you with the most value for your money and allows you to deploy it how you see it fit, as opposed to claiming a bonus that comes with strict conditions.
- Range of betting markets – All Canadian betting sites should offer a great range of betting markets for their customers. Some operators will even provide their own tweaks on sports markets that others fail to provide. Since you can view the scope of these betting markets without having to sign up to the site in question, take advantage of that and examine their product to see if it suits your style of wagering.
- Best value odds – Perhaps the most important criteria when looking for a betting site in Canada is the value you will be receiving on your odds. If you’re not going to get the top price with a bookmaker, it is best to take your custom elsewhere. You can easily see which betting sites offer the best value by using an odds comparison website or even by looking through them all yourself. You will find great value at Betway and William Hill.
- Special features – The best operators online come up with new ideas all the time to ensure their customers have the best experience possible. Bet boosts, bet builders, live streaming and quirky games are some of the most popular features among punters. 888sport, for example, have several options available for major leagues such as the Premier League and the NFL.
- Workable app – Betting apps are vital to the success of wagering operators, considering that most of the bets we now place are on the go through our mobile devices. Apps should be aesthetically pleasing and offer ease of use for customers of all computer literacies. If the app is not easy to navigate and you have to struggle to place your bets or deposit funds, it might be worth looking elsewhere.
- Payment methods – You should be able to deposit and withdraw your funds without any issues through a payment service of your choosing, whether through a traditional card method or a digital wallet service like Apple Pay. These payment methods will be listed by the betting site in the relevant section, so ensure that your preferred form of transaction is readily accepted before signing up.
Most Popular Sports To Bet on in Canada
Canadians are passionate about sports. The heartland sport of ice hockey is where most of the money will land on betting sites, but traditional sports such as soccer, along with the top products from south of the border, are also popular, with cricket also being popular in Toronto.
The recent success of the Toronto Raptors, who won the NBA Championship in 2019, has increased the popularity of basketball among Canucks. As a result, there are ample NBA betting options available from the top wagering sites in the Great White North.
The Toronto Blue Jays have waited a long time for their last MLB crown, winning the last of their championships in 1993. However, it has not abated Canadians’ love of baseball.
The NFL has yet to move a franchise into Canada, but the Buffalo Bills have enjoyed a strong relationship with Toronto, playing International Series games at the Rogers Centre.
Naturally, the NHL is what takes significant pride and place in Canada, with several franchises plying their trade in the league, including the Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks representing the country and their respective regions. The NHL is arguably the most popular sport to bet on at Canadian betting sites, which offer plenty of markets on hockey matches and events taking place.
Our last mention goes out to the Canadian Premier League which has only recently been set up and is gaining interest in an exponential manner.
Popular Payment Methods for Canadian Customers
There should be a wide range of payment methods available to suit the modern-day punter at top Canadian betting sites. We've listed the methods that are currently accepted at the time of writing here:
These remain the most popular method of depositing funds into a betting site due to ease of transaction, as well as speedy withdrawal times. Encryption software ensures that your personal and financial details are secured.
This popular online payment system simply requires a username and password from your end to sign up. Deposit and withdrawal times with PayPal will vary depending on the betting site.
Another popular e-wallet, Skrill allows for ease of transaction when processing online payments. The top betting sites accept Skrill method, although deposits and withdrawals can take longer than when using a debit or credit card.
Our third e-wallet on this list, NETELLER allows you to deposit funds into your betting site with great ease. Again, there could be a delay when processing payments, as with most other online wallets.
paysafecard is a prepaid card available in voucher form, allowing you purchase goods online using a 16-digit PIN. Not all betting sites accept this form of payment, however, and deposits made with it can take longer to process due to the terms of the transaction.
Apple Pay allows you to upload your bank details to your Apple device and pay using your PIN or touch ID. It is perhaps the most seamless way of depositing funds, and most betting sites now accept this method of payment.
This follows the same principle as Apple Pay, only with Android devices. Google Pay is now widely accepted by many betting sites as form of making transactions, and the process can be instantaneous depending on the operator.
Bank transfers are still widely accepted by betting sites, although it does take longer to process payments both for deposits and withdrawals.
Live Betting in Canada
As with any sports-loving nation, live betting was always going to be a huge success in Canada, especially since it significantly enhances the overall betting experience and even makes watching sports events all the more thrilling.
Moreoever, in a country where the national obsession is ice hockey – sport where things can turn around in an instant – the ability to bet live and cash out is more than ideal. The top Canadian betting sites will even offer price boosts during matches which can give a generous boost to your potential winnings.
How To Bet on Online Sports in Canada
Placing sports bets is really no different in Canada than it is anywhere else where online gambling is legal. All Canadian betting sites function in much the same way, with many of the same betting operators that are familiar in other parts of the world operating here. So, if you are familiar with how to place a bet, then you really don’t need to worry about sports betting in Canada, whether you're a local or simply a visitor.
Betting Countries in the World
Best Canadian Betting Sites FAQs
We are happy to report that the best betting sites in Canada are none other than the esteemed 888sport, LeoVegas and Unibet.
Yes, online sports betting is legal in Canada. Recent changes to regulations in the country have allowed operators to offer single-game betting options rather than parlays, which were only available through betting sites that procured licences from state-based operators.
As long as you make sure that you are signed up to a licensed and regulated site, yes.
The most popular payment methods for betting in Canada online are debit card, credit card, PayPal, NETELLER and Skrill.
Canadians are crazy about sports, and have enjoyed betting for as long as anyone can remember. Locals particularly enjoy a flutter on ice hockey, football and curling.
Canadian dollars are the official currency of Canada; however, the top international bookies offer a wide range of currency options.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
The Land of the Maple Leaf sure has an appetite for sports betting, one that almost matches its landmass. Online bookmakers in Canada have a huge range of sporting options to legally bet on, at home or overseas, as well as a healthy selection of online bookmakers to place their bets with.
Looking to bet somewhere new? Check out our detailed regulations guide to betting in different countries.