Is Sports Betting Legal in Canada?

As the sports betting industry in Canada continues to evolve, it’s important for bettors to understand how they can bet on sports legally to avoid consequences. With the recent addition of single-game betting in Canada, many residents are becoming more interested in giving sports betting a shot.

Each province in Canada has its own regulations regarding sports betting and gambling, making it important for individuals to familiarize themselves with their local laws before placing any bets. Even if you do live in a province that supports legal sports betting, there may be restrictions regarding how and where you can place bets.

Here’s what you need to know about whether or not sports betting is legal in Canada.

Sports Betting in Canada

On a federal and provincial level, sports betting and gambling are allowed when done through Canada’s betting system. However, regulations vary from one province to the next, making it important for residents to review their local laws to know whether or not they can legally bet on sports.

Depending on where you live, you may only be able to bet on sports in person via a local betting company, or you may be able to place bets online.

Online sports betting in Canada is legal in a relatively limited capacity. Online sports betting is only allowed in seven Canadian provinces, including:

  • British Columbia
  • Nova Scotia
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Ontario
  • Quebec

Other provinces may support online sports betting in the future, but for now, bettors in other provinces may be limited to in-store betting.

Previously, Canada required betting tickets to include at least two games, and all picks had to be correct to win. This type of wager is known as a parlay and was the only type of sports bet individuals could place in Canada.

However, with the passing of Bill C-218. Canada legalized single-game sports betting. As of August 2021, single-game sports betting is no longer illegal in Canada. Though it is still up to each province to support single-game sports betting.

Certain provinces including Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia were quick to support single-game sports betting, while others have yet to allow residents to place this type of wager. Residents in Canada should review their local regulations to determine what types of wagers they are able to place.

Canada Sports Betting Lotteries

Each province offers its own sports lottery that residents can use to place wagers. Land-based kiosks are available to anyone in any province or territory, while online wagering is only available to individuals who live in and are currently within the borders of the province they are betting in.

Bettors in Ontario and Atlantic Canada wager on PRO-Line platforms, while those who live in Quebec can place bets via the Mise-O-Jeu sports lottery. Manitoba and British Columbia offer PlayNow, and prairie provinces and territories use Sport Select.

While sports lotteries and betting platforms vary from province to province, they all offer straightforward against-the-spread and game-total sports betting options. They may also offer pool betting, quasi prop wagering, and other types of bets.

How to Bet on Sports in Canada

When betting on sports in Canada, individuals have two main options: PRO-Line betting and online sportsbooks. While online sportsbooks generally offer a better experience, they are not available in all parts of the country.

Some of the most popular online sportsbooks in Canada include PowerPlay, Sports Interaction, and BetWay — all of which are regulated and provide a wide range of betting options for users to choose from.

After choosing a sportsbook, here’s what you need to know about how to bet on sports in Canada.

Understand the different types of wagers

Each sportsbook will offer different types of wagers, but most will offer the following types of bets:

  • Moneyline: A moneyline bet is one of the most common types of wagers. A moneyline bet simply involves betting on the individual or team you believe will win the sporting event.
  • Over/Under: Over/Under bets let bettors wager on whether or not they think two teams will combine to score over or under a certain amount of points.
  • Spread: Spread bets involve betting on who you think will win and by how much. For example, if Team X is a 12-point favorite over Team Y, then Team X needs to win by 12 or more to cover the spread.
  • Futures: A futures bet involves placing a bet on the outcome of a season or series rather than an individual event. For example, a popular futures bet is predicting the Super Bowl champion at the beginning of the NFL season.
  • Puckline: Punchline wagers are the NHL’s version of MLB’s runlines, which give the underdog a 1.5 goal head start to level the playing field.
  • Prop bets: Proposition bets are bets that are not directly connected to the outcome of the sporting event. For example, a prop bet might include betting on a specific player scoring a certain number of points, rather than betting on which team wins.

Understanding how these different types of bets work makes it easier to make more informed wagers.

Deposit money

Canadians can choose from several deposit and withdrawal methods when using online sportsbooks.

After opening your account, you can typically deposit money via:

  • Credit card (e.g. Visa, MasterCard)
  • Neteller money transfer
  • Moneybookers
  • InstaDebit

Each sportsbook may offer different deposit and withdrawal methods, so be sure to review your sportsbook’s terms and conditions to see which options are available to you.

Review odds, promotions, and offers

Sportsbooks in Canada are heavily regulated, meaning they need to be transparent when providing betting odds. Before placing your first wager, take your time to carefully review betting odds to find a bet that suits your preferences and risk tolerance.

You should also check to see which promotions and offers are available to you. Many sportsbooks offer promotions for new and existing users, including welcome bonuses, free bets, contests, boosted odds, and more.

Place a bet

After opening your sportsbook account, depositing money, and reviewing odds, it’s time to place your first bet.

When placing a bet, your sportsbook will show your odds and potential winnings. If you are OK with the terms of the bet, you can submit your wager and wait for the results.

If your bet is successful, your winnings will be deposited into your account, and you can withdraw them using one of the methods supported by your sportsbook. Depending on the method that you choose, the time it takes to receive your winnings may vary.

How to Practice Responsible Sports Betting

As with any type of gambling, sports betting comes with a variety of risks that bettors should be aware of. From gambling addiction to illegitimate sportsbooks, it’s important to practice responsible sports betting to avoid falling victim to one of these risks.

Responsible sports betting practices include:

  • Setting and sticking to spending limits to avoid overspending and losing excessive amounts of money.
  • Setting time limits to reduce the chances of developing a problematic gambling habit.
  • Sticking to reputable sportsbooks that are regulated. There are many illegitimate sportsbooks that aim to steal users’ money and personal information.
  • Don’t chase losses. Chasing losses is tempting as bettors want to win their money back, but it often results in bettors suffering even more extreme financial losses.
  • Taking regular breaks to minimize your losses and reduce your chances of developing a gambling addiction.

Sports betting can be a fun recreational activity when practiced responsibly. Individuals should be sure to follow these tips and seek help immediately if they believe they have or are developing a problematic gambling habit.