In the span of a couple of years, sports betting in Canada was completely upended — for all the right reasons. The change was paved by a bill that passed into law in 2021. With that, the “gold rush” that is Canada sports betting began.
If you live in Canada (or are there visiting), we’re about to simplify everything for you in this process. After all, laws and regulations can get murky, especially by province. But we’re here to clear up any confusion and get you ready to begin sports betting Canada.
Best Legal Betting Sites In Canada
Here is a cheat code to start things off with: if you want to lays bets in Canada in a completely hassle-free way AND legally, no matter where you reside, you might want to look into an offshore betting site. We’ve listed five below that rated the highest in our newest sportsbook review section. Any one of these sites has you covered for all things Canadian bet.
What offshore bookmakers have going for them that regulated sportsbooks don’t is, well, they don’t really have to abide by any country, state, or province rules. Since they’re based in foreign countries where sports betting is fully legal, they’re much more accessible, no matter where you live. Cause of this, you don’t have to worry what you can and can’t do in the province you live in legal-wise.
Less regulation also means they offer more betting markets. Take something like politics. That’s largely banned from betting by regulators in Canada and USA, thus they can’t offer betting lines. No such limits exist with offshore betting sites, however. The next time the Canadian Prime Minister is being elected, you’ll be able to lay money on it if using an offshore bookie.
Is It Legal to Bet On Sports Online In Canada?
June 23, 2021 — a day that sports betting forever changed in the Great White North. This is when The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act (C-218 for short) officially passed.
Before June 23, sports betting was legal in Canada, but severely limited. Bettors previously could ONLY bet on parlays. Single bets on one outcome were barred completely until C-218 was signed into law.
No doubt, the U.S. legalizing sports betting at the federal level in 2018 helped start the momentum with their neighbors up north. That and also the tax revenue that’s created from legalized sports betting helped push this bill past the line in both the House of Commons and Senate.
Since then, the floodgates opened. C-218 gave individual provinces the right to allow single bets or not allow it within its borders — the choice is completely theirs. That’s created a confusing situation for bettors and uncertainty around the local rules of their province. Worry not cause in the next section we’ll break down each province and its current betting situation.
Where Can I Bet on Sports Legally By Providence
There are 10 provinces in Canada each with different rules and regulations around sports betting. Here’s a quick overview of where each stands:
Alberta wasted zero time in allowing single-game wagering inside its borders. It launched it on September 1, 2021 — just a few short months after C-218 passed. With the local presence of both the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, Alberta will be one of the hot markets for legal betting.
Atlantic Provinces (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island)
We’re just going to group these four provinces together since, if we’re being honest, they all kinda get forgotten up north anyways. All of these provinces minus Nova Scotia had single-game betting up and running on the first day it was officially allowed on August 27. However, Nova Scotia eventually caught up and allowed it on February 11, 2022 — right on the cusp of the NFL Super Bowl. The only operator allowed among these four provinces is Play Proline Stadium.
This province was also ready on day one in August 27. As it stands, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation is the sole operator in British Columbia. Outside of sports betting, they also regulate the online casino and lottery systems.
Sports betting Manitoba was also ready on August 27. In this province, all betting is run through PlayNow. As you can see, this single-operator model is very common in Canada — a sharp departure from the capitalistic United States market.
Nunavut, Yukon, & the Northwest Territories
Online sports betting remains banned in these northwest territories, and there seems to be little appetite to change that. However, in-person retail betting is allowed.
It’s the wild wild West in Ontario — the most populous and lucrative province of all thanks to Toronto. Online sports betting went live here in April 4, 2022 with a flood of sportsbooks fighting for market share. There are dozens of bookies here including local theScore bet, FanDuel, DraftKings, and way, way more. It’s an absolute dogfight to be the best betting app Canada throughout this province.
Loto-Quebec has a monopoly on sports betting in Quebec. Its site and host of retail casinos started taking single bets on August 27 and haven’t looked back since.
Last but certainly not least, we have Saskatchewan which launched single-game betting in 2022. Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (or SIGA for short) runs the whole operation by themselves.
One thing about Canada betting. There is no one-size-fits-all rule on the legal age to gamble in Canada like in America (21 years old). This is also a decision by province, but generally speaking, the sports betting in Canada is either 18 or 19 years old.
The Top Sports To Bet On In Canada?
The top sports in Canada to bet on is highly subjective. “Best” should be personal to you, the bettor. What sport do you have an “edge” in? By that, we mean personalized knowledge that’ll help you outsmart the sportsbooks in? That’s what should decide what sports and leagues you actually throw money on.
Of course, ice hockey is one of the biggest sports in Canada that’ll draw a lot of betting attention. NHL betting will be readily available up and down the country. The presence of many local teams (Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Oilers, etc.) sure helps amplify the betting interest.
MLB is another sport to look out for. The fact that it has 162 regular-season games means betting opportunities are absolutely abundant from April to October. Bettors that develop an edge in MLB have more opportunities to profit than just about any other sport, which doesn’t have nearly as many games to wager on.