Canadian Sports Betting Sites
Canadian betting sites are popular in part because the sites operate within the confines of legal regulation. Though law varies from province to province, online betting is generally a legal and acceptable way to play games of chance and skill from coast to coast.
Canadians enjoy a kind of freedom in online gaming that their immediate neighbors to the south in the US do not enjoy – a few provincial regulations exist prohibiting certain types of bets (and brick and mortar sportsbook bets aren’t legal anywhere in Canada), but other than that, it’s a gambler’s paradise.
Why is Canada a more gambling-friendly country than America? The country’s liberal position on gambling is a cultural marker, a reminder of a time when Canada was settled by hard-working and hard-gambling frontiersmen. The situation is strange because gaming law right across the border is so harsh; Canadians have the right to place almost any kind of bet they want online. In fact, Canadian companies licensing online gambling are popping up more frequently than ever before.
Today, more than 250 fully-licensed betting sites exist that accept the Canadian dollar as currency and supply games in both English and French, for our Quebecois friends. No matter which Canadian tradition you follow, a ton of sites available in your preferred tongue and currency exist.
Browse by province:
- British Colombia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland & Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Are Canadian Betting Sites Legal?
The short answer is: “Yes; it is legal for Canadian citizens to gamble online.”
The long answer is … well … long.
The ability to gamble online depends first on the site you choose for your wagers. The site must follow certain regulations put in place by Commonwealth and provincial law. Canadian law is unique in North America in that it leaves the regulation of gambling up to each individual provincial government. This has been especially helpful in the age of online gambling – it takes a while for federal regulations to change, while provincial governments could act quickly and address the issue directly in less time. As a result, all provinces have some form of regulated online gambling. Many provinces run their own networks and lotteries.
Canadian attitudes toward gambling are so lenient that even in territories where gaming regulations exist, the government has been loath to actually prosecute a gambler for placing a bet. No Canadian has ever been arrested or charged with a crime related to the illegal placing of any type of wager. Provided you are of legal gambling age in your province, it is almost certainly legal to place a bet on the Internet.
But federal and provincial law aren’t the only things to consider when it comes to Canadian gaming. First Nations tribes claim that they hold a historical precedent over provincial law while on their traditional land. They claim the right to offer games of chance and skill outside of the scope of any provincial or other laws. The best-known example of this is the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, who license casinos that accept bets from millions of bettors from all over the globe. So far, so good for First Nations’ rights to host and license gaming – no action at any level Canadian government has been taken to take away their right to do so.
The result of liberal provincial law and allowances for tribal gaming is that legal online betting is really accessible in Canada. No federal laws exist that make it illegal to place an online bet. All regulation and oversight of the operation of games like lotteries, poker, casino, and sports bets are left to local gaming authorities and laws.
As far as the legality of online sports bets for Canadians – it’s known that such bets are popular, but they’re not necessarily legal across-the-board. According to figures from the Canadian government, its citizens bet some $15 billion a year on traditional sportsbook wagers.
Some forms of sports betting are explicitly legal in Canada – multi-sports bets (known as parlays, teasers, pleasers, futures, props, etc.) are sanctioned by almost every provincial government – but no form of single-event wagering is yet explicitly legal. So no traditional sportsbooks are available to Canadians. However, there’s no restriction that bans Web-based sportsbook participation, provided the operator of the sportsbook is following provincial gaming regulations.
Our Coverage of Canadian Betting Sites
Here’s what you can expect from my coverage of Canadian betting options –
- Site reviews
My reviews are written from my own real experience in the Canadian betting industry. They aren’t written with any concern for marketing or advertisement. I offer you real details on Canadian betting sites, including links to back up what I say about a site.
- Details on Canadian currency support
Not every betting site allows deposits and withdrawals in Canadian dollars. I’ll tell you which ones do – and I’ll help you figure out how to deposit to sites that don’t.
- Canada-specific bonus reports
Bonus offers aimed at Canadians take a few different forms – most are based on deposits and withdrawals using Canadian payment methods. I’ll show you where to find them and how to earn them.
- Details on deposit and withdrawal methods
Because each Canadian betting site has a different lineup of payment methods (and each requires the payment of different fees and penalties), it’s important to look at the deposit and withdrawal methods available at a site before you join.
- Customer service contact information
If you’re sick of spending half an hour digging around a site for a phone number or email address, I’ve got you covered with up-to-date details on Canadian Betting site contacts.
- Discussions of Canadian gaming law
Too often, the legal situation in the United States affects coverage of Canadian betting. I have researched Canada law and approach the topic from a Commonwealth perspective.
Along with that coverage specific to Canada, you’ll find information on mobile gambling, general betting guides, and additional details on all the betting site data that matters to you. I also cover US betting sites in detail, and most of them accept business from citizens of Canada.
Canadians are left out of the gambling law and betting site discussion too often. This is partially due to the loud and newsworthy US betting scene just to our south. For whatever reason, it’s not fair that Canadians interested in online betting get short shrift. If you’re looking for information from a Canadian perspective on betting sites that do business with customers from Canada, I offer everything you need here in one easy to search location.
Canada Betting Questions and Answers
Unlike countries like the United States, online sportsbooks are viewed more favorably in Canada. This being the case, Canadians can access a wide variety of sportsbooks from across the world.
But are there any legal concerns about Canadian sportsbooks? Will you get any special bonuses? We’ll cover these questions and more below.
Is Sports Betting Legal in Canada?
Yes, sports betting is legal in Canada and offers more freedom than what’s seen with the American betting scene.
But there’s no Canadian law that legalizes sports betting on a national level. Instead, each province decides on its own how to handle the matter. Because of this, every province offers some type of regulated online gaming – whether it be casino or sports betting – to earn additional tax revenue.
What Bets Are Available in Canada?
No provincial government offers legal single-match betting. Instead, they offer multi-sports wagering, including futures, parlays, props, and teasers.
This is strange because the vast majority of sports bettors around the world engage in single-match betting.
What Is the Kahnawake Gaming Commission?
Launched in 1999, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KCG) is a regulatory body that licenses online sportsbooks and other gaming sites throughout North America.
The KGC is located in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake (near Montreal), meaning it’s on sovereign land. Due to its sovereignty, the KCG licenses and regulates sportsbooks that operate across Canadian provinces with little worry over provincial boundaries.
Will I Be Arrested for Betting on Sports?
No. Despite Canadian sports betting being a grey area with respect to the KGC, there’s nothing illegal with placing a bet of any kind.
The only thing that’s illegal would be operating an online sportsbook from a Canadian province with no form of licensing.
What Sports Can I Bet On in Canada?
Canadian sportsbooks offer a wide variety of sports to bet on, including lines from the Canadian Football League, MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL, and Premier League.
You’ll also find numerous other sports available, including lines on Aussie rules, boxing, cricket, darts, European hockey, Gaelic games, golf, international hockey, horse racing, international soccer, mixed martial arts, snooker, tennis, and more.
How Do I Find a Good Canadian Online Sportsbook?
This is a matter where it pays to do your research. Unbiased reviews are the best place to start when looking for a good online sportsbook. After all, you don’t want to read fluff that’s just meant to drive you towards a certain site.
Another way to spot reputable sportsbooks is by looking at how long they’ve been in business. The longer the better since sportsbooks won’t stay in business if they’re bad.
Do Canadian Sportsbooks Offer Apps?
Yes, most online sportsbooks in Canada are compatible with smartphones and tablets. If you have an Android or Apple iOS product, you’re almost guaranteed to be able to place bets from your smartphone or tablet.
Given that many sportsbooks have been offering mobile compatibility for a while, you shouldn’t have any trouble with the navigation at these sites either.
Do Canadian Sportsbooks Accept PayPal?
Although PayPal is more specific to the European online betting market, this e-wallet is available at some Canadian-friendly online sportsbooks.
But you won’t see this banking option accepted nearly as much as other e-wallets like Neteller, Skrill, and EcoPayz.
Do Canadian Sportsbooks Accept MasterCard?
We haven’t found a Canadian online sportsbook yet that doesn’t accept MasterCard. You’ll also find Visa accepted at pretty much every sportsbook in Canada too.
Other banking options include: American Express, bank transfer, Diner’s Club International, EntroPay, JCB, prepaid cards, Ukash, and more.
Can I Get Special Bonuses from Canadian Sportsbooks?
Yes, some sportsbooks do offer special deposit bonuses to Canadians, along with reduced or eliminated withdrawal fees.
Canadians are heavy into sports betting, so many operations try to win their loyalty with these special rewards.