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Sports Betting in Canada
There are many online betting sites in Canada. It can be confusing to decide which sports betting site to choose to place your sports bets. The great thing is that there are dozens of trustworthy and reputable Canadian sports betting sites that Canadian bettors can access. Here we will go through our recommended sports betting sites in Canada and also give all the information you need about online sportsbooks, the sports betting industry, what you can get on and everything else you need to know. THESE BONUSES ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR WAGER IN ONTARIO.
Best Canadian Sports Betting Sites
THESE OFFERS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR WAGER IN ONTARIO
Latest Online Sports Betting Articles and News
Here are our latest articles about online betting in Canada. We will discuss how to select the best Canadian online sportsbooks and highlight their competitive odds, any free bets, the best picks, and more. We will also provide sportsbook reviews that look at the welcome bonuses, odds and betting types, and the different available payment methods. If it has to do with online sports betting in Canada, we have it covered.
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How we Evaluate Online Sports Betting Sites in Canada
If you are interested in sports betting there are a few things to consider before placing your bets. Firstly, it is important to keep in mind that sports betting is a form of entertainment. You should only bet as much as you can afford. We will discuss responsible gaming later on in this article. Connected to this, you also want to make sure that when you bet online everything is secure and the sports betting site is trustworthy. You also want to make sure that your personal and financial information is secure and will not be compromised.
The main things we look at when we consider a sports betting site are the selection of odds, the betting markets offered, what betting options are available, the overall site security and trustworthiness and customer support. We will discuss all of these factors in more detail below.
Of course, if there is anything else we need to cover we will do so, but those factors are the main ones that influence our final ratings. If you want more information on how to review all online gambling sites, take a look at the iBet Network Criteria. Our goal is to always provide the most comprehensive sportsbook reviews so that you can make informed decisions.
When we review online sports betting sites for Canadians, we look at the following factors:
If you are going to place some sports bets you want to make sure that the site offers competitive odds. There is no point in placing a bet if the odds are not advantageous or too far off the rest of the market. In all of our predictions and tips we will always strive to give you a selection of the best odds so that you can then choose the sports betting sites that you find most favourable.
We also check that the site offers odds in different styles as not everyone is familiar with all the different odds styles. On most sites, you will be able to choose between American betting options (-200), Fractional (1/2) or Decimal odds (1.5). In all of our articles and content, we will use American odds as the default option.
It is also important that the betting site provides enough betting markets. This includes the different sports that you can bet on but also different options other than sports. You might also want to place bets on some special markets or political outcomes. Many sites try to give the option to bet on anything, even upcoming TV shows and contests. If you want to take a small aside and bet on something other than sports, then you should have that option as well. It is also important to create markets for one-time special events or sporting occasions.
All the best sports betting sites in Canada should have multiple betting types available. These include point spreads, moneylines, parlay bets, Over/under betting, and totals. You should also be able to find special bets and other types like player and team props, futures, and more.
You should also be able to bet on live sporting events and not just pre-match odds. There should also be live betting or in-play sports betting markets offered.
Security and Trustworthiness
All the Canadian sports betting sites that we recommend should be completely trustworthy and secure. What this means is that any money you deposit or withdraw will be completely secure and safe and everything on the site is done using advanced encryption. The site must also use secure and trustworthy payment methods. All online betting sites will have the correct gambling licenses to operate in their territories or provinces.
Unfortunately, even though we expect the best sports betting sites to be perfect, issues sometimes pop up. The important factor is that any issues that sports bettors have are dealt with quickly and adequately. It is also important that there are more than one customer contact option and customer support should ideally be available 24/7.
A History of Legal Sports Betting in Canada
For many years single-game sports betting was not legal in Canada and it was only possible to gamble using government-created sites. However, over the years there were many changes to laws, leading to law C-218 which was passed in June 2020. This law allowed provinces to legalize single-game sports betting. This meant that it was up to each province to regulate sports betting as they deemed fit.
Most of the provinces have agreed to legalize it. Here is a quick round-up:
- British Columbia: Allowed through lottery retailers
- New Brunswick: Allowed through lottery retailers
- Manitoba: Allowed through lottery retailers
- Newfoundland and Labrador: Allowed through lottery retailers
- Ontario: Allowed through lottery retailers, regulated online betting
- Prince Edward Island: Allowed through lottery retailers
- Quebec: Allowed through lottery retailers
- Alberta: Allowed through lottery retailers
- Yukon Territory: Retail locations only
- Northwest Territory: Retail locations only
- Nunavut: Retail locations only
- Nova Scotia: Allowed through lottery retailers
Here is an update on each province’s current status regarding sports betting:
Ontario is by far the most advanced among the Canadian provinces in regard to online betting. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario created a regulatory group called iGaming Ontario which issues online gaming licenses. Unless an operator has a license from AGCO they cannot operate int he province and they cannot provide sports betting to Ontario residents. This covers all online gambling from sports betting to online casino games.
Since this change, the online sports betting market in Ontario has received a lot of attention with major US and European online sportsbooks applying for an Ontario license. These operators include Fanduel, BetMGM, Betway, and others. The previously only legal online betting site ProLine Plus also began offering single-game betting.
If you are based in Ontario please check out our Ontario Online Gambling page.
In Quebec, the public lottery corporation Loto-Quebec announced that it would begin offering single-game betting as soon as it was legally permitted. This launched on August 27, 2021. Unfortunately, this is still the only legal online betting site in Quebec unless you opt for gray market sports betting sites.
British Columbia also jumped at the opportunity to offer single-game betting as soon as possible. The British Columbia Lottery Corporation, through the PlayNow.com platform, added single-game wagers on August 27, 2021. In Quebec, the only legal online sportsbook is operated by the provincial government.
The reason we group all these together is that all online gambling taking place in these provinces is overseen by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation. New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island all added single-event sports betting as soon as it was available. However, Nova Scotia lagged slightly behind and introduced it on Feb 11. All four provinces limit bettors to using Pro Line.
Prairie Provinces & Territories
Similar to the Atlantic Provinces, the three prairie provinces and the three territories all formed the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC), which oversees lottery games and sports betting in each of the six areas. They have all implemented slightly different versions of the law though.
Manitoba added single-game wagering to its online sportsbook on August 27, 2021. However, this is only currently available through PlayNow.com.
Alberta introduced single-event sports betting slightly later than the other Prarie provinces, on September 1, 2021. This is available through the online platform of Play Alberta.
The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) also has a deal with BCLC to create yet another version of PlayNow.com for their province which allows single-game online sports wagering.
Nunavut, Yukon, & the Northwest Territories
Online sports betting is not allowed in these areas. It is only possible to bet using retail shops.
Most Popular Sports to Bet on in Canada
No one will be surprised to see hockey on this list but some might be surprised that the NHL is not the most heavily bet on sport in Canada. NFL is the most popular betting sport.
NFL: Football Betting
Although Canada does not have a team competing in this league NFL football betting is the largest betting market in Canada. Canadian sportsbooks get more bets on the National Football League than any other sport. The best football betting sites offer a large and varied amount of NFL betting options. We will go through the different types of betting options later on.
NHL: Ice Hockey Betting
It is no surprise to see NHL as the second most popular sports betting market in Canada. Canada has seven ice hockey teams and has provided some of the best players of all time to the league. This attracts plenty of sports bettors to place bets online on their preferred teams almost every night while the NHL season is going on. The most common bets are money line and puck line bets. While many customers place pre-match bets live betting is also very popular when it comes to ice hockey.
NBA: Basketball Betting
Betting on basketball is not as popular as on football or hockey, but it is rapidly increasing in Canada. The popularity further increased after the Toronto Raptors won the title in 2019. The most common bets placed on the NBA are point spreads, totals, and under/overs. NBA bets are also very popular with bettors that like to place live betting options.
English Premier League: Soccer Betting
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and there are dozens of games happening all over the world. Many Canadians support a foreign team, mostly from the English Premier League. There are also hundreds of different betting options available for soccer as well, including match winner, correct score, over/under bets, and tons more.
MLB: Baseball Betting
For a sport that has introduced us to so many advanced analytics, you would think that there would be a lot more betting on baseball and the MLB. While it is one of the top sports that people bet on, it is not as popular as the other major sports. The most popular baseball bets are Moneyline bets, the run line, and a lot of different prop bets.
College Football Betting
American football is so popular that many sports bettors also place bets on college American football. The NCAA football season is massive with the most popular bets being Moneyline, point spread, and player props. The different college Bowl games are some of the most popular sporting events of the year.
College Basketball Betting
College basketball betting is also popular but does not really peak until March Madness. The best sports betting sites in Canada offer the best odds during this time. The Canadian betting sites offer Moneyline bets, player props, futures, and parlay betting.
MMA and Boxing Betting
While boxing has a much richer pedigree, MMA is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. There are now fights taking place almost every weekend. The most popular sports betting options are 1×2 results (this means you can bet on the winner or the draw), method of victory, length of bout, and individual round betting. Combat sports are also very popular for live betting with Canadian sports fans.
ATP: Tennis Betting
There are a good number of tennis tournaments taking place throughout the year and betting on tennis usually peaks around the Grand Slam tournaments Wimbledon, the US Open, the Australian Open, and the French Open. The most popular bets placed on tennis are futures, moneyline bets, set spread betting, and prop bets.
PGA: Golf Betting
Betting on golf tournaments has also increased in popularity over the last few years as online sportsbooks have become more popular. The most popular types of bets on golf are futures, tournament winners, lowest scores, and tons of different prop bets.
Types of Sports Bets
The variety of different types of bets is one of the things that makes sports betting so popular with Canadian bettors. Betting has evolved past just placing a bet on the winner and there are so many events, actions, and players that you can place bets on nowadays. In this section, I will go through the most popular types of sports wagers and describe them in more detail. It is also important to note that in Canada most odds are shown using American odds which focus on how much you need to bet in order to make $100. We will also discuss this in more detail below.
This is the most common and simple type of bet. Placing a bet on the Moneyline is just betting on which team you think will win. However, what makes the Moneyline more interesting is that the ‘draw’ option is not part of the bet. This makes it somewhat different than the more traditional 1×2 result odds, where 1 and 2 represent the home and away teams and the x represents a draw. What is also interesting about Moneyline bets is that it uses $100 as a baseline. The favourites always have a – symbol, for example, -100. While the underdogs have a + symbol, for example, +100. When you combine that with the $100 baseline, for favourites you need to risk that particular amount of money to win $100, and with underdogs, you risk $100 to win the odds amount.
- A -150 favourite means you must place a bet of $150 to win $100.
- A +150 underdog means you place a bet of only $100, but you win $150.
The second most common bet type is the point spread bet. When betting on points spread, you are betting on a team’s margin of victory rather than the final result. As with the moneyline bets a – symbol is a handicap on favourites and the + symbol is extra points given to the underdog.
- A -7.5 point spread means that the favourite must win by more than 7 points.
- A +7.5 point spread means that the underdog needs to win or lose by not more than 78 points.
Certain sports have a variation on point spread betting for example hockey has puck line betting and baseball has run lines. These are point spread bets but are calculated at -1.5 and +1.5 for the favourite and underdog.
The O/U Totals bets are just bets on the point total to either go over or be under a certain amount. The totals is just the combined number points scored between both teams. For example, in a football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants, the point total might be set to 50.5 points. It does not matter which team scores how many points, the only thing that matters is that both teams combined either score more or less than that amount depending on whether you bet over or under.
- The Eagles v Giants have a Point total of 50.5 points.
- If the final score is 27-20 (47 points), under bettors win.
- If the final score is 35-21 (56 points), over bettors win.
A parlay bet is a bet on multiple events or bets winning. To win a parlay event each bet must win. Each separate bet on a parlay is called a leg, so if you bet on 5 separate things it is called a 5-leg parlay. This is also called a multi bet or an Acca (short for accumulator) bet. If even one of your legs loses then the entire bet is lost.
Although the probability of winning a parlay bet is much lower than on single bets, what makes them so attractive is that the odds of each event are combined. This means that you can place a low wager amount and potentially get a huge return if your parlay comes through.
For example, if you bet $10 on a four-leg parlay that includes:
- Toronto Bluejays Moneyline (-200)
- Boston Red Sox Moneyline (-150)
- New York Mets Moneyline +4.5 (+200)
- Las Vegas Raiders Moneyline (+350)
You would win $327.50 if all of those bets win.
A proposition or a prop bet is any bet that is not related to the final score or result in a game. Prop bets also vary between player prop bets and game props. Any bet to do with the game or players in a game, which is not connected to the final outcome is a prop bet. There are hundreds of these types of bets available for different sports. For example, you can bet on the first player to score a touchdown, hit a home run, or score a certain number of points in a game. A game prop is a bet on something to happen in a game, such as the first team to score 20 points or which team will score first.
A futures bet also sometimes called an outright bet, is a bet on a future outcome of an event or tournament. For example, betting on which team will win the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup finals, or the NBA Finals. There are also player futures bets, like who will be MVP, score the most touchdowns, or get the most home runs. The important thing to take into consideration for most futures bets is that the bets do not settle until the end of the season. Sometimes, if there is a clear winner before the season is over a Canadian sports betting site might pay out a futures bet beforehand.
A live bet, also called in-play betting, is just placing a bet on a game that has started. What makes live betting interesting is that the odds change in real-time as events unfold throughout the game. The same types of bets are available as for the prematch bets but there are also a few specific live bets.
How to sign up at a sports betting site
Before you can start betting on different sports you need to sign up to online betting sites. The great thing is that signing up and creating a new account is not difficult. Obviously, Canadian betting sites do not want to make this procedure complicated. As long as they follow all the compliance requirements, the process should be as quick as possible.
The first step is to include your personal information and contact information. Then you will need to include information about your address and some other details. Each sportsbook site is different.
Once that is ready you should then have a new account ready. To become a full customer you will then need to make your first deposit and place your first bet. At some point, you will also have to authenticate your information. Canadian betting sites have very strict compliance and safety measures that they need to adhere to, especially the ones which have an Ontario license. Part of that includes authenticating and verifying all their customers. You can do this by submitting a photo of your passport, driving license, or any other visual proof of identification. Once again, each site will have its own requirements.
Once you have been authenticated then you will be able to withdraw any winnings and get the full experience of sports betting in Canada.
Tips for choosing the best sports betting sites in Canada
- Make sure the betting site offers what you want. This might seem obvious but it is important to choose an online sportsbook that offers the types of bets and sports that you are interested in. If you are someone who is only interested in NFL football betting then it would be pointless to join a site that specializes in soccer. If you only want to bet on your phone then it would also be important to find a site that offers a mobile app or a very feature-rich version of their mobile website.
- Read online sportsbook reviews. We dedicate a lot of time to reviewing Canadian sports betting sites so that you can get the information you need to make an informed choice about which one to create an account with. Our reviews will give you a snapshot of what that site offers, what are the pros and cons, discuss the different free bets that are available, and give our honest opinion at the end of the review. Our reviews are completely editorial and are not sponsored, so you can rest assured that they are our actual opinion about the site.
- Read the Terms and Conditions of any sports bonuses. I mention this all the time and we even have a video series dedicated to deconstructing bonuses offered by online casino sites. It is so important to look at the terms and understand them correctly. Although big numbers might look nice at first sight, if the restrictions and requirements are too tight, it might not be worth taking up the bonus or free bets in the first place.
- Make sure any site you use has proper licenses. For many years the online gambling market in Canada was considered to be a gray market because even though there was only one legally provided method of placing bets there was a loophole that allowed overseas companies to also provide their services to Canadian bettors. Now that the provinces can decide for themselves whether to make online betting open to regulation or not there are a few things to keep in mind. So far Ontario is the only province to regulate sports betting so if you are based in Ontario you have to bet with a site that has an Ontario license. Conversely, only sites which have an Ontario license can accept players based in Ontario. All the sites that we recommend always have the correct licenses to operate in their respective provinces and territories.
Sports Betting FAQ
Here are the most common questions we get asked about sports betting in Canada.