Sports betting is a popular pastime in Canada. Plenty of online sportsbooks accept punters from this country and provide lines for various sports and leagues. Although sports betting is legal in Canada, the country’s legal framework is quite complex because each Canadian province is allowed to determine when and how to regulate sports betting.
On August 27, 2021, the federal ban on single-game sports betting in Canada was removed, allowing locally-licensed operators to offer not only parlays but also single-game betting. The loss of sports betting revenue encouraged lawmakers to make this decision. Operators must obtain a license from the local regulator in order to provide their services in the respective province.
Best Sports Betting Sites in Canada
Until August 2021, bookmakers were allowed to offer parlay bets only. Due to the limited choice of betting options, many Canadian punters turned to online sportsbooks that run their operations overseas. However, sports fans who attempted to wager at unregulated online sportsbooks were not prosecuted or penalized.
But after the ban on single-game betting was removed, many Canadian punters started preferring to bet at the sportsbooks licensed in their province. If you reside in Canada and look for a reputable betting site, check our list of the best online sportsbooks accepting punters from Canada.
Best Sports Betting Bonuses in Canada
Most sports betting sites geared toward the Canadian market offer promotions to attract new punters and retain their existing bettors. The sports betting industry is highly competitive, and bookies often use promotions to stand out. But sports fans should be aware that sports betting bonuses are associated with specific terms that should not be overlooked. In this section, we will briefly discuss the sports betting bonuses available to punters from Canada.
Match Deposit Bonus
When you register with a betting platform, you will be offered a Welcome Bonus. But to claim the sign-up promotion, you must make a qualifying deposit. The Welcome Bonus will match your first deposit by a specific percentage. However, the maximum amount you can claim is limited.
Punters who claim a Welcome Bonus should know that they will be required to wager their stake or bonus funds a certain amount of times to cash out their winnings. Most Canadian sportsbooks offer Welcome Bonuses with a wagering requirement of 5x to 15x the bonus funds. Do not forget that you may be required to wager on sporting events with minimum odds as specified by the bookmaker.
Many betting sites that accept bettors from Canada offer a free bet bonus. This promotion is available to newcomers who open a real-money account and verify their identity. The free bet bonus gives punters a small amount of money that they can use to place a wager. Keep in mind that you may be required to use the free bet bonus at once to place a specific bet on a sporting event. Some betting sites even apply minimum odds requirements to such promotions. If you place a winning bet with a free bet bonus, you can collect your winnings, but you will not be allowed to keep the initial bet amount.
Risk-free bets are offered to new registrants and existing bettors. Unlike free bets, the risk-free bet bonus requires punters to place a real-money wager. Assuming the bet loses, you will get the amount of your initial wager back in the form of free bets, which you can use to place more wagers. However, your wagers must win to turn the free bets into cash. To qualify for a risk-free bet, you have to place a wager at minimum odds as specified by the operator.
Accumulator bets combine several selections into a single bet. However, all of your predictions must be correct in order to collect a payout. Even if one selection settles as a loss, you will lose your stake unless you benefit from the acca insurance promotion. This sports betting bonus allows punters to have their stake back in the form of free bets if one leg loses. A qualifying acca bet usually must include at least 4 or 5 picks.
Cashback promotions, also known as money back offers, are quite popular with punters. Such incentives enable sports fans to recoup some of their losses. The refund can be credited in the form of cash or free bets. Many online sportsbooks offer cashback bonuses on a regular basis. Cashback bonuses have a minimum and maximum limit.
Betting Regulation in Canada
Canada has 10 provinces and 3 territories. Sports betting has been legal in Canada since 1985. However, Canadian punters were only allowed to place parlay bets. Single-game betting remained illegal until August 2021 when the C-218 bill was signed into law. Under the new law, Canadian bettors are allowed to place single-game bets. That was a significant step for the Canadian sports betting industry.
Single Game Betting vs. Parlays
If you are new to sports betting, you may not be aware of what exactly the difference between single-game betting and parlays is. Single-game bets provide punters with the opportunity to wager on the outcome of a single game or event or wager on events within a single sporting event. Besides, single-game betting allows punters to place different bet types, with the most popular being moneyline bets, point spread bets, totals, prop bets, futures, etc.
Parlay bets, also known as accumulators, offer generous payouts and combine multiple wagers into one bet. But to win such a bet, every leg of your parlay must settle as a win. Even if one selection loses, you lose your stake.
Single-game betting increases your chances of winning and allows punters to manage their bankrolls with ease. Canada seems to be following in the footsteps of the US, relaxing the laws and allowing each province to determine how to regulate its betting market. Furthermore, each province must select the authority that will regulate the market.
Province-by-Province Overview of Sports Betting Regulations
At the moment of writing, Ontario sports fans can place bets at over 20 locally regulated betting sites, including but not limited to DraftKings, FanDuel Ontario, bet365 Ontario, and others. The authority that regulates the gambling industry in Ontario is iGaming Ontario – a subsidiary of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
British Columbia offers legal online and offline sports betting. In August 2021, the province rolled out single-game sports betting on PlayNow.com. Only two months later, it was reported that PlayNow racked up over $25 million in single-game sports bets. The BC Lottery Corporation regulates all gambling activities, including sports betting.
Manitoba is yet another province that regulated single-game bets soon after the federal ban was lifted. Punters can place single-game wagers via PlayNow.com. Currently, this is the only betting site that has obtained a license from the local regulator – the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation. Both online and in-person betting is permitted in Manitoba.
Sports fans residing in Quebec can place single-bets online and at retail locations with Loto-Quebec’s sports wagering platform Mise-o-jeu. Interestingly, the platform provides sports fans with the opportunity to wager on live events.
Speaking of Quebec, we must mention the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake, which is a First Nations reserve located in this province. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is the authority responsible for ensuring that all gambling operations held on the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake are conducted in a fair and responsible manner. You can find many sports betting sites licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
In 2016, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) announced that operators licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission are no longer allowed to accept bets from US punters.
Other Canadian provinces that offer online single-game betting include Alberta, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan.
Note that online sports betting is not allowed in every Canadian province. The Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon allow punters to place a bet on the outcome of a single event with Sports Select only. Bettors must visit participating retail outlets and convenience stores to place a wager on a preferred sporting event. The Western Canada Lottery Corporation is the authority that oversees Sport Select.
What are the best payment methods for Canadian punters?
Since online sports betting is legal in most Canadian provinces, punters can choose from a plethora of reliable payment methods to execute financial transactions to and from online betting platforms. As a matter of fact, many sports fans from Canada prefer to use Interac because it is safe and fast.
Canadian bettors can also resort to various eWallets for their gambling transactions, including ecoPayz, MuchBetter, and WebMoney. Some betting sites aimed at Canadians also accept deposits via Flexepin and Paysafecard. Debit/credit cards by Visa and Mastercard are also quite popular among sports fans from Canada.
What to consider when choosing an online sportsbook?
Is online sports betting legal in Canada?
The answer to this question really depends on the province you reside in. Seven provinces have regulated single-game online sports betting, including Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. The Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon permit retail sports betting only.
Which are the most popular betting markets in Canada?
Canadians are passionate about sports betting. The sports that attract a great deal of attention include ice hockey, golf, curling, basketball, and rugby. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that most sportsbooks that target punters from Canada accept bets on these sports, and many more.
What is the minimum gambling age in Canada?
In most Canadian provinces, the legal gambling age is 19. However, if you reside in Quebec, Manitoba, or Alberta, you must be 18 years old to participate in gambling activities.