Sports Betting in Canada
In This Review >
If you’re interested in online sports betting in Canada, you’re in the right place. There are fantastic online sports betting opportunities in the country, and we’re here to help you make the most of them.
We’ll explain how the different sports work, as well as the various wagers that are available. From understanding odds to advice on choosing which team to back, we’ve got everything you need to enjoy yourself whenever you are sports betting in Canada!
What we look for...
To ensure you always register and bet with bookmakers, we subject them to strict reviews. Before we recommend a site to you, we check that:
- It’s licensed and regulated by a trusted authority.
- It offers a good selection of sports events and bet types.
- The banking options and customer support team are excellent.
- It is fully compatible with all major desktops, tablets and smartphones.
- The odds and payout rates are favourable to bettors.
Sports Betting Through Time
Sports betting goes back more than 2000 years and has been around for almost as long as sporting activities themselves. The earliest records are actually of wagers placed by the Greeks during the original Olympic games, held in honour of Zeus!
Since then, the worldwide passion for putting money on the outcomes of races and matches has just continued to grow, and today, it’s possible to bet on almost any sport imaginable, in land-based as well as online bookmakers. Take a look at some of the key historical points in sports betting:
Best Sports Betting Sites
We’ve searched high and low for the best sports betting sites Canada has to offer, and we bring them all to you right here. In other words, we’ve done all the hard work for you! Choose from the bookmakers that we recommend and you’re sure to have a great time.
Best Sports Brands
100% Up To $125
Widely known as one of the best sports betting sites in Canada, Sports Interaction was established in 1997 and is available exclusively to Canadian bettors. This dedication means all banking methods, bonuses, markets and sports are designed and selected to suit Canucks. You won’t find an operator with more appealing offers or more convenient services.
100% Up To C$200
With banking that is exceptionally easy and fast, as well as completely secure, 888 Sports is perfect for busy bettors. Once you’ve put your welcome bonus to good use, you’ll have plenty of regular promotions to take advantage of as you wager and win on the Soccer, eSports, Baseball, Hockey, Horse Racing and dozens of other sports that are available. World-class customer support is available in the highly unlikely event of anything going wrong on this expertly run site.
Get up to C$200 Free Bet
Bet on outright winners, Totals, Propositions and much more at Spin Sports, all at highly competitive odds and with fantastic bonuses and promotions to boost your bankroll. Pre-game and in-play wagers are both possible, and the site is fully compatible with all desktops, smartphones and tablets. The casino and live dealer games make this a complete gambling hub.
Sportsbooks in Canada: What We Look For
We take the job of finding and recommending the top sportsbooks in Canada very seriously. Before we list a review here, the site must pass a series of stringent tests to make sure it meets our criteria. That way, you can choose any of our options with total confidence. The main points we check for are:
Variety of Sports Games and Bet Types – More experienced bettors will want to explore exotic wagers such as multibets and propositions, so we check that the site offers those as well as totals, spreads, handicaps and outrights on a diverse range of disciplines.
Fair and Competitive Odds – You deserve to be paid out well when your bet wins!
Safety and Security – All transactions must be protected with SSL encryptions or similar technology, data privacy must be protected, and the sportsbook must be licensed by a trusted regulator.
Sports Bonuses and Promotions – Online bookmakers use promotions to stand out from their competitors, so they should always be impressive. We also check to make sure that the terms and conditions are fair.
Strong Customer Service – Friendly, efficient experts must be available at reasonable hours, to help you resolve any issue, no matter how big or small.
Is Sports Betting Online Legal in Canada?
You might be asking yourself the question, is sports betting online legal in Canada? The Criminal Code of Canada, which came into effect in 1985, addresses land-based gambling but makes no mention of online sports betting.
Offshore bookmakers and those licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission are able to operate legally online, since it’s such a grey area. Sites like Play Now also show that internet-based legislation within Canada’s borders is relaxing.
Canada’s Criminal Code says each province and territory may create its own gambling legislation including the legal betting age, as described below:
The legal gambling age is 18, and all activities must comply with the province’s Gaming and Liquor Act. Last amended in 2013, this piece of legislation allows for several land-based bookmakers, but online companies may not operate from Alberta.
You must be at least 19 to gamble legally in British Columbia, as ruled by the 2002 Gaming Control Act. Sports betting is completely legal, but there are limited options within the province’s borders, so many gamblers use offshore companies.
Gambling is legal for anyone 18 or older in Manitoba and is overseen by the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Corporation. Online options are permitted but limited, but residents can also access diverse options from offshore operators and those with Kahnawake licences.
The New Brunswick Lotteries and Gaming Corporation (NBLGC) has legalised gambling from the age of 19. The Atlantic Lottery Corporation, acting on behalf of the NBLGC, oversees land-based and the limited online sports betting options. For a wider selection, check offshore sites.
Gamblers must be at least 19 before they can place Pro-Line bets online or at licensed retailers, and they also have the option of registering with international companies. The regulatory authority is the Atlantic Lottery Corporation.
You need to be at least 19 or older to gamble in Nova Scotia, and online and land-based sports betting is overseen by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation. That means that those looking for a broader range of options will need to bet with Kahnawake or offshore operators.
Ontario’s legal gambling age is 19, as stipulated in the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. The Atlantic Lottery Corporation acts on the Ontario Corporation’s behalf and oversees online and land-based sports bets at Pro-Line outlets.
Individuals can gamble here from the age of 19, as the Prince Edward Island Lotteries Commission of 1976 says. Online sports betting is overseen by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, so Pro-Line is the only legal online retailer.
Anyone aged 18 and up is allowed to place sports bets in Quebec according to the Quebec Alcohol, Racing and Gaming Commission. Wagering with offshore companies, as well as locally through a game called Mis-O-Jeu, are possible online.
Bookmakers can accept bets from individuals aged 19 and older, and various bodies regulate the different types of land-based gambling. In this province, it’s best to always choose a Kahnawake-licensed or offshore operator.
Online Sports – What Games to Bet On
Sports Betting and the various terms that are used in the betting space are vast and can be quite confusing. The review team at Casinos For You have consolidated terms – what they believe of importance – for you as a beginner bettor or an Old Hand, to hopefully make your online betting experience fun instead of worrying about what some of these terms mean.
NHL Hockey Betting – There’s nothing that Canucks love more than Hockey! Bet on totals, outright winners, handicaps, spreads and propositions like who will score the first goal.
NFL Football Betting – The National Football League showcases some of the world’s finest athletes and performances every year. All the games are exciting, but the Super Bowl is unmissable!
NBA Basketball Betting – National Basketball Association games tend to be more volatile and generate higher scores than most other sports – which only makes watching and betting on them more exciting.
EPL Betting – The English Premier League is perfect for anyone who wants to bet on European Football, also known as Soccer. Put money on who will get a red or yellow card, other proposition bets, or outrights, handicaps, totals and spreads.
MLB Betting – Major League Baseball bets have a special focus on point spreads, known as moneyline wagers in these games, so that’s where most people spend their funds. Moneylines are a good way to spread your risk, but you can also bet on outright winners, totals, handicaps and specific propositions in Baseball
College Football Betting – College Football betting is as exciting as the NFL wagering scene, and you can also watch young rising stars which will give you an idea of who to bet on down the line.
College Basketball Betting – You can place all the usual Basketball bets on College Basketball games, and because experts and recruiters are watching the athletes so closely you can gain major insights into their individual performances – so use these when you make your own predictions.
UFC Betting – Ultimate Fighting Challenge is a very unique sport and presents unique wagering opportunities. So much of the action is about how much each opponent can get into the other’s head, which adds an interesting psychological dynamic.
CFL Football Betting – Canadian Football will always have a special place in our hearts, whether or not we’re betting on which team will victoriously lift the Grey Cup at the end of the season!
Online Sports Betting: Terms Explained
Get to grips with basic terms before you start your online sports betting career.
Understanding Sports Odds
Bookmakers set the sports odds for the outcome of any event that they offer bets on. The odds show you how likely the bet is to win, and how much you will be paid out if it does.
The sports odds are expressed as decimal figure, and your payout is simply your stake multiplied by the odds. For instance, if the decimal odds are 5.00, you’ll get $5 back for every $1 you wager.
Odds are expressed as a fraction, where the numerator shows the profit, the denominator shows the stake, and the sum of the numerator and denominator shows your total payout.
For example, fractional odds of 4/1 mean that for every $1 you bet, you’ll win $4 in profit. Your payout will be your original bet plus your profit – in this case, $5 ($1 + $4) for every dollar you wager.
American sports odds are expressed as negative numbers for the favourite team, and positive numbers for the underdogs. The negative odds on the favourite show how much you need to bet in order to win $100, so if they are -150, you’ll need to bet $150 to get a payout of $250 (your original $150 stake plus your $100 payout).
The positive odds on the underdog show how much you’ll win for every $100 you bet, so if they are +$150 you’ll also get a $250 payout (your original $100 stake plus your $150 payout).
In both examples the total payout is the same, but your win is $50 bigger if you back the underdog – since they’re less likely to come out on top, you’re taking a larger risk.
In sports betting, insurance refers to paying higher stakes so that you are guaranteed to get your wager back if the event is cancelled or games go into extra or injury time. You might have your money refunded or be given betting credits to use in the future.
Understanding Sports Betting Types
There are several different sports betting types to choose from, depending how much insight you have into the game and athletes. Your options include:
Straight Bet: Straights are the simplest sports betting type; you put money on a single outcome.
System Bet: There are various system bet structures, but they all involve placing multiple wagers on the same ticket. The individual bets are matched in different combinations which all have their own odds. Basically, you’ll cover all bases and ensure a payout no matter what the results are.
Parlay: Also known as accumulators, combos or multibets, parlays involve combining several different stakes on the same slip. All odds and payouts are multiplied together, and you have to win every bet to be paid out – so the risks as well as the rewards are very high.
In-Play Betting: A relatively recent sports betting type for online operators, in-play or live betting involves placing or adjusting your wagers in real time, as a game is happening, in reaction to the events on the field.
Understanding Sports Betting Markets
As well as different types, there are also several sports betting markets available in Canada. Choose the one you feel most confident with, on an event-by-event basis:
Simply predicting the outright winner of a game or match.
Betting on whether the total at halftime or the end of the game will be over or under totals set by the bookmaker.
Point spreads even the playing field between the favourites and underdogs, which start off the game with negative and positive numbers respectively. Their actual scores are added to those numbers, meaning the underdog has a head start and the favourite needs to overcome its negative starting score. Predicting the winner is harder, making these sports betting markets especially exciting.
Teasers and Pleasers
Teasers and pleasers are types of parlay bets, where you are allowed to adjust the point spread and thus lessen your risk. As always in sports betting, reduced risk means reduced reward so your payouts are also lowered.
Point spread bets are referred to as pucklines in NHL games.
Point spread bets are referred to as runlines in MLB games.
Understanding Wagering on Sports
When you’re wagering on sports, you’ll often come across the phrases single, double and treble bets. If there are more than three wagers on a betslip it’s called a parlay, as explained above, but for slips with three or less bets, they are known as:
Single Wagers – Single bets on single events. For instance, if you bet that the total in a Hockey match will be under 8, that would be a single wager.
Double Wagers – Bets on two selections, in two different events. Add the winner of a different Hockey game to your totals bet from the above example, and you have a double wager.
Treble Wagers – Bets on three selections, in different events. If you add a proposition bet, such as who will score the first goal in yet another Hockey game (or in a game of a different sport) on the same slip, you’ll be placing a treble wager.
Online Sports Tips for Beginners
If you’re betting on online sports, you have plenty of time to do research before you place any wagers. Take advantage of the endless resources of the Internet, and look up stats, recent performances, expert opinions, injury reports, and any other information you can find. As you spend more time wagering online, you’ll continue to gain fresh insights.
Start with simple bets like moneylines and totals, and only bet with small amounts of money to begin with.
When you have more experience and feel more confident in yourself, you can move on to propositions, parlays, point spreads, and other complex wagers.
Manage your bankroll carefully; never bet anything on online sports that you can’t afford to lose, and set a budget before you start.
You should also consider deciding on a percentage of your total bankroll to spend on every wager that you place.
Withdraw your online sports deposit from your bookmaker of choice as soon as possible, so you are playing with pure profits and not with any of your own capital.
Register at a few of our recommended sites, so that you can always compare odds and find the best option at the time of placing your bet.
Why Bet on Sports Online?
When you bet on sports online, you have access to many events that would never be available to you at a land-based bookmaker.
You can place your wagers anytime and anywhere that is convenient for you, on your desktop, tablet or smartphone, so your sports betting fits perfectly into your schedule.
You’ll be able to take advantage of generous welcome bonuses, regular promotions and loyalty programmes, as well as lower minimum bets. Online operators have fewer overheads than their brick-and-mortar counterparts, so they can afford to make these special offers, accept smaller stakes and pay out more to winners.
You will be able to compare the odds and markets available at different sites, so you can find the deal that suits you best when you’re wagering on sports online.
You’ll have the time and resources to research all your bets very carefully, maximising your chances of winning a payout.
Did You Know: “Canuck” is a mostly affectionate slang term for any Canadian. Johnny Canuck created political cartoons in 1869 and was seen by the Canadian people as a “cartoon hero and superhero”. In 1942 Johnny Canuck was revived by Leo Bachle to defend Canada against the Nazis in the Second World War. The professional National Hockey League (NHL) in Vancouver not only call themselves – The Vancouver Canucks but they use a lumberjack rendition of Johnny Canuck as one of their team logos.
Online Sports Betting In Canada FAQs
- Make sure the operator is licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission or a trusted international regulator.
- Check online reviews from other bettors.
- Contact the customer service department before making any deposits. If they aren’t courteous, efficient and prompt, don’t waste any more time on that site.
- Choose a sportsbook from our list of recommendations, for total assurance that all fairness, security and other standards are being maintained.
You can place almost any sports bet online, including parlays, straights, system bets and live wagers.
The most popular sport at online bookmakers around the world is European Football, and Basketball, Baseball and American Football are not far behind. In Canada, Ice Hockey and Canadian Football are also perennial favourites!
Sports betting odds indicate the likelihood of a specific outcome in a sports event, as well as how much you’ll be paid out if you win.
Bookmakers set odds themselves, and then add a margin to ensure they’ll make a profit.
Canadian gamblers have a great selection of online sports events and markets to choose from. With our comprehensive guidelines, you’ll be able to find the best deals and learn more about sports betting, in completely secure settings. Check out some of our reviews and start your sports betting adventure today!