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Can I Bet Legally in Canada?
The question “Is Sports Betting Legal in Canada” is a loaded one.
The answer contains a number of ifs and buts, but we’re here to help make it a little easier.
Betting in Canada is legal when using provincial sports lotteries.
Betting with offshore bookmakers is unregulated, but not strictly illegal - many of these bookies have catered to Canadian players by accepting Canadian Dollars, and even Interac.
Betting with Unlicensed Canadian bookmakers, who are usually involved in some kind of shady business however, is illegal.
It’s important to note further, that single game betting is now legal within Canada!
Sports lotteries such as Proline+ (Ontario and Atlantic) and PlayCanada.ca (BC and Alberta) have begun offering single game wagers from 27 August 2021.
In the coming months, it is expected that more online betting operators will enter the Canadian market, with Ontario leading the way.
Legal Betting Sites in Canada
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Your Guide to Betting Legal in Canada
Interested in finding out a little more about the legal landscape of betting in Canada? You’ve come to the right place!
As it stands, Canada is looking poised to join the legal betting fold, as the government recently passed bill C-218, allowing Canada’s provinces and territories to formulate their own legal frameworks.
Here, you can find a mix of facts, as well as options for those of you who are keen to get into some good old (legal) wagering making. Well, online wagering that is.
Click on the “Learn More” button below, or read our table of contents to get better acquainted with some of the topics that will be covered throughout this page.
If you see a topic that interests you in the list below, go ahead and click the quick link to jump to the section on the page!
- ...And more insights along the way!
👨⚖️ So without further ado, let's get started on this legal Canadian betting adventure!
Are Canadian Betting Sites Legit?
FAQs About Betting Legality in Canada
Some commonly asked question about Canada's legal betting landscape
🇨🇦 Is betting legal in Canada?
It is legal for Canadians to gamble using online betting sites based overseas, and any gambling site based in Canada must hold a government-issued license.
🔒 Are betting sites safe?
Any betting site that you find on MyBettingsites.com is completely safe. All of the bookmakers listed on our pages have valid gambling licences and can accept bets online.
🥎 Does sports betting exist in Canada?
Yes. Provincial governments offer land-based betting at kiosks, whilst online betting is also available mostly through overseas gambling sites and casinos.
👮♂ Is bet365 legal in Canada?
Bet365 accepts players from Canada, and there is nothing stopping players signing up to their site which is legally licensed and regulated in Gibraltar.
⚖️ Which Betting Sites have an Ontario License
🎰 Are online casinos legal in Canada?
It is not legal for online casinos to operate within the country. Canadians can, however, play casino games at any gambling site based offshore.
📜 Who regulates gambling in Canada?
Gambling in Canada is regulated by each individual province, all of which implement their own framework for betting.
🤔 Is Single Game Betting Legal in Canada?
Yes, single game sports betting is now legal at the provincial sports lotteries that preside over the country.
You as the player are no longer limited to only betting on parlays, as on the 27th of August, Bill C-218 passed, allowing Canadians to wager on one game at a time.
Is Betting Legal in Canada?
A question that has a number of answers, asking whether betting is legal in Canada is a little broad. Whether betting or gambling is illegal or legal depends heavily on who is offering the service.
Betting in Canada is legal when using government run provincial sports lotteries.
As of 27 August 2021, Canadian players can now bet on single events with these platforms, whereas before, we could only bet on parlays.
Betting with offshore bookmakers remains unregulated, but this does not make betting with these operators illegal.
Rather, these bookies operate in a very much accepted grey area. They all have licenses from central licensing authorities, such as the Malta Gambling Commission, and the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Commission.
Betting is illegal in Canada when using unlicensed local sportsbooks - which tend to be run by organised crime syndicates. Our Advice? Stay away from these guys
Where is Sports Betting Legal
As it stands right now, Canada’s provincial sports lotteries are the source of out and out legal sports betting and gambling.
Each of these products are legal and available in the given province/territory.
Listed below are the provincial sports lotteries that are available in each of the provinces and territories in Canada:
- Québec: EspaceJeux
- Ontario: Proline/Proline+.
- Atlantic: Atlantic Lottery Corporation (NB, NS, PEI; NL)
- British Columbia: PlayNow.ca
- Manitoba: PlayNow.ca
- Alberta: PlayAlberta.ca
- Saskatchewan/Nunavut/Yukon/NW Territories: Sports Select Lottery
While these provincial sports betting products are all officially legal, they lack in quality when compared to what else is out there.
Offshore bookmakers, with licenses in the likes of Malta and Gibraltar, have operated in Canada for decades in what has become well known as an accepted grey zone.
Legal Betting Site Alternatives
Legal Provincial Lotteries
Canadian provincial governments offer betting opportunities in various forms through lottery retailers.
The upside with these playing platforms is that they are fully regulated, available to anyone at the legal age, and they give locals the opportunity to bet on their favourite sports and win real money.
Provincial sports lottery tickets can be paid for with cash which is easier than some betting sites, as well as the option of using popular credit cards.
Pool betting is a regular feature in provincial lotteries.
What betting with Proline looks like.
Players pay to enter a pool and make picks, with the punter who makes the most correct picks taking home the largest share of the winnings.
What’s Available on Legal Betting Sites in Canada
So now that you're certain about the legal situation within Canada, you may be a little more inclined to learn about the sites that you can choose from that are licensed and available.
In this section, we’ll give you a couple suggestions, but if none are to your taste, remember this one important thing:
- The sportsbook must be licensed for you to use them.
Checking a sportsbook license can be done by reading the site’s front page.
As has been mentioned already, there’s plenty more available on offshore, licensed sportsbooks than what is currently being offered on Provincial Sports Lotteries.
- Take a look at the list of options you have when using superior (not illegal) offshore bookies:
Legal Betting Sites - What's on Offer
🔑 Better Features
Provincial sports lotteries simply can’t compare with the features that are available on offshore betting sites.
Think live streaming, cash out, bet builders, and plenty more.
These features have become standard on these international sites, and can really ensure a heightened betting experience that you simply can’t find on provincial sports lotteries.
📈 Better Single Game Value
While single betting is now legal in Canada, offshore bookies offer better value, more options, and overall a better experience.
Single game betting has been a cornerstone on the platforms of these international bookmakers, meaning that they have mastered offering this type of betting.
There’s no doubt that if you’re interested in betting on single events, using offshore betting sites is your best bet.
💸 More Money Lines
One of the more standard bets to make, the money line allows you to choose how you think a game will end.
You can bet on who you think will win, or whether you think the event will end in a draw.
International betting sites tend to simply offer more options to bet on, which is why we feel that going with these bookies will ensure a better experience than what you’d find on provincial lotteries.
🤝 Superior Parlay Options
If you’re Canadian, you’re probably more than well versed in what Parlays are.
Parlays allow you to make bets on more than one event at a time.
You put down one stake, and add different outcomes to your bet.
You only win your bet if each one of your selections is correct.
We advise using offshore bookies for parlays for the simple reason that the value on them is so much better.
📊 Plenty of Points Spreads
Points spreads allow you to bet on the margin you feel a certain team will win by.
As provincial sports lotteries have only recently opened up to single game betting, points spreads have not been at the top of the list of importance - while you can bet on points spreads, the number of options available to you is significantly reduced.
Points spreads can be exceptionally fun to bet on, especially while watching games live, and as a result, confirms our decision to use offshore bookies over provincial sports lotteries.
💪 Potent Prop Bets
Basically described as events within an event that have less of an outcome on the result of the game, prop bets again can take your enjoyment of betting to the next level.
Again, while betting on props is available on provincial sports lotteries, the options on international betting sites are far, far better.
The message is simple, bet on provincial lotteries if you like. They could even be considered great as a beginner - but if you’re looking for a little more, offshore betting sites are where you’ll find the best features and lines on offer.
With that aside, we have constructed a list of bookmakers that are legal to use in Canada:
- Check out our top picks for legal betting sites in Canada:
Top Legal Betting Sites
What makes Betting Legal in Canada?
On the 27th of August 2021, Bill C-218 came into effect, which essentially saw the beginning of a new betting world for Canadian players.
The Bill’s aim was to decentralise decision making on gambling, or in other words, allow the 10 provinces and 3 territories to regulate themselves.
In short, it is Bill C-218 that makes betting legal in Canada, with single game betting in particular.
While the country is currently in a sort of limbo with regard to legality, this recent bill has made a number of things clear:
- Online Betting will no longer be the same
- Provincial Lotteries can offer single game betting
- Provinces/Territories can now make their own rules
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Single Game Betting in Canada
It’s an exciting time to be a Canadian bettor, as single game betting is being offered on Provincial Sports Lotteries in each of the country’s provinces and territories.
Another perk associated with the passing of Bill C-218, was the fact that each of the provinces and territories began offering punters some more options beyond the parlays that were available before.
Single game betting has been offered on offshore bookmakers for decades, so if these sites have been your preference, single game betting is nothing new.
Single game betting however represents a new online betting world in Canada, marking the beginning of a new legal gambling era.
The passing of this bill has essentially given Canadian players more options, and better opportunities to win bets - but the question of value is still thrown into the equation.
When it comes to this form of betting, we think the best sites to use, are those that have been offering it forever, like the ones you can find in the list below:
Best Single Game Betting Sites in Canada
Great for Single Game Bets
✅ Plenty of Lines
✅ Great Value
✅ Top Notch Promos
Learn More about Single Game Betting
Is Gambling Illegal in Canada
Much like what is the case with betting, whether or not betting is legal or illegal is fully dependent on the context in which the operator exists.
- Gambling at land based casinos that are licensed is absolutely legal.
Gambling on online sites however follows the same narrative of that of betting on offshore bookmakers. The government has turned a blind eye, leaving the market unregulated, and open for players.
Gambling is illegal however when players engage in gambling activities that are provided by unlicensed institutions, such as gambling houses without a license, or unlicensed online portals.
Based on this short summary, it’s fairly clear that gambling and betting share the aspects of legality.
While the recent bill in Canada focussed predominantly on betting, it feels that online casinos will form part of the legal upheaval, as in most cases, online casinos are part and parcel of online sportsbooks.
In essence, we are currently in somewhat of a limbo phase with gambling on events that aren’t sports related, much like the situation with gambling on events that are sports related.
The main takeaway is the same - if the proprietor is licensed, you have nothing to worry about.
- If you have a hankering for some online casino action, we recommend looking to do it on one of these platforms:
Best Online Casinos Available in Canada
Canadian Criminal Code
The Canadian Criminal Code mandates what is and isn’t illegal with regards to both land-based and online gambling in Canada.
As per the code, single bets on sports events were unlawful except under most circumstances.
In the past however, this did not stop Canadians from placing wagers at offshore bookmakers. It has not been determined by the courts whether the Canadian Criminal Code applies to foreign gambling operators.
The passing of Bill C-218, has now however led to more provinces legalising single game wagers, now giving Canadians the option to bet with both offshore bookmakers, and provincial lotteries.
Individual provinces and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission have the ability to grant and regulate gambling licenses.
Each provincial government has its own regulations around the gambling offerings for its residents, and because the criminal code has no provisions that deal with online gambling, it is the provincial governments who manage this.
An amendment to the criminal code has allowed religious or charitable organisations to offer various forms of gambling, such as raffles, via computer.
Progression of Legal Betting in Canada
Gambling was first made illegal in Canada in 1892. Developments over the coming decades eventually resulted in big changes and by 1985, Canadians could legally use slot machines. Land-based casinos then came into prominence, and since then, the government has turned a blind eye to online gambling.
To this day, there are no laws preventing Canadians from taking part in betting online, but players should not be found in an illegal betting house. Any gambling organisation operating within Canada must hold a government-issued license.
Since offshore companies carry licenses and are fully regulated, they are able to target Canadians.
Deposits made from various Canadian banks may not be possible, but there are many other payment methods which can be used in Canada to bet online safely, securely and legally.
Making Betting Legal in Canada
The passing of Bill C-218 was somewhat of a milestone event in Canada’s legal betting landscape.
With the new legislation has come a clear ruling: every province for itself. Well, rather, every province/territory will be creating laws and standards, issuing licenses, and allowing certain operators access.
Ontario is currently leading the way in this regard, as lawmakers in Canada guarantee that the province will become a robust and vibrant betting landscape in no time at all.
While the future is somewhat uncertain, we can expect plenty of operators to enter the market.
What’s interesting to note is that it’s looking likely that big name US brands will be heading into the Canadian market. Operators like MGM, FanDuel and Barstool Sportsbook re poised to have considerable market share in the coming years.
What’s clear is that there’s plenty in store!
- If you're keen to get into some betting right away, we suggest looking at the betting sites in the list below: