Canada Online Sports Betting
Online sports betting has been around since the early 2000s in “The Great White North,” but its legal status had always been stuck in a rather grey area. Up until August 2021, Canadian bettors were only permitted to place multi-leg parlay wagers, with at least two or more different selections involved in each bet. Due to this caveat, many bettors up North opted to give their action to European bookmakers and offshore operators from overseas instead.
On August 27, 2021, legislation was signed into law to explicitly make single-game sports betting legal throughout the country. This means that each province is now able to legalize and regulate single-game wagering as they see fit. This includes allowing outside sportsbooks to operate in the province, if the province so chooses. Following this change, many of the bigger bookmakers in the United States have already arrived in Ontario, the first province to allow outside sportsbooks.
Continue on reading to learn all of the specific rules and regulations, which sportsbooks are already in Canada, which might be next, and all of the news and information to get started as a new user.
- 1 Top Canada Online Sports Betting Sites
- 2 How did we get here?
- 3 Will sports betting be legal where I live in Canada?
- 4 What sportsbooks will be coming to Canada?
- 5 Additional Sportsbooks Operating in Ontario
- 6 Coming soon to Canada
- 7 What are my betting options?
- 8 How do I register for a new account?
- 9 Banking Options
- 10 Canada Online Sportsbook FAQs
Top Canada Online Sports Betting Sites
How did we get here?
There have been many attempts at legalizing single-game wagering, dating back to 2015, but it wasn’t until 2021 that we saw real progress. C-218 was proposed in February 2021 and bounced around the House of Commons before it was sent over to the upper house of Parliament for final approval. Just when it looked like it was going to be another failed effort, votes were cast on June 23, 2021, and approved by a 57-20 margin.
Just over two months later, online sports betting regulations were set on August 27, 2021, just in time for the NFL’s regular season. Prior to C-218 being passed, parlay betting, casino games and lotteries were legal and live, but prevented players from placing the single-game wagers that they desired. Following the change in law, full scale sports betting is now be permitted in all 10 Provinces and the three territories.
Will sports betting be legal where I live in Canada?
Despite the law being passed by the National Government, each province will be responsible for regulating sports betting on their own. This means that some areas may be live before others with full-scale sports wagering, or not at all if a province determines that they don’t want single-game wagering. Furthermore, each province will have their own set of regulations. Let’s take a look at each individual province and where they stand.
Ontario is live with online sports betting from over a dozen providers, having officially launched on Monday, April 4, 2022. As we have seen before in the United States, first movers usually hold a decent advantage over the rest of the incoming market. The Ontario Lottery-run product went live in August 2021, giving it an eight-month jump on the competition before the bigger brands arrived.
The recent iGaming launch allows for private companies to offer their services to Canadian bettors. iGaming Ontario, established in June 2021 by The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, will oversee all online gaming ventures in the province going forward. Through registration with the AGCO, popular American brands such as BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, and FanDuel are now fully legal and regulated in Ontario
Now that the market is fully open, we expect to see all of the big names from the US market coming into Ontario after they become fully licensed. BetRivers, PointsBet, and theScore Bet are already in the province, and more are on the way.
Similar to Ontario, British Columbia has added single-game wagering to their state run sportsbook, PlayNow. Play Now has all the typical betting options that you would expect from any other online sportsbook. One could easily make the argument that PlayNow is the best province-run sportsbook in the country.
Once the province has had time to get formal regulations in place, they might open up the market to outside companies. So far, there are few indications that this will actually happen, but we are holding out hope that BC will have an open market sometime in the future. British Columbia was one of the most vocal proponents for legal sports betting in Canada, and we expect a large market to flourish there if outside sportsbooks are ever allowed to offer wagering.
For many years, Quebec offered parlay betting via their Loto-Qeubec platform, Mise-o-jeu. Following the passage of Bill C-218, users are now fully permitted and able to place single-game wagers on their platforms as well. Players have the option of placing their bets through Loto-Quebec’s online service, Mise-o-jeu+, or at any of their various retail locations.
Quebec has not stated whether or not they will be looking to add any sportsbooks to the mix outside of Loto-Quebec, so stay tuned for any news. We will provide up-to-date information here at RotoGrinders as it becomes available.
Combining their efforts to form the Western States Lottery Corporation (WSLC), the three large provinces are all governed together when it comes to sports betting and casinos. The WSLC’s online sportsbook, The Sport Select, previously only offered parlay betting, but now allows users to place single-game wagers as well.
Alberta is the most gambling-friendly province of the three, complete with retail casinos and their own Play-Alberta gambling app that offers all forms of sports betting along with various online casino games. Alberta also has stated that they intend to allow up to three outside sportsbooks into the market at some point in the near future.
New Brunswick/ Prince Edward Island/ Nova Scotia/ Newfoundland and Labrador
The Eastern most provinces, also known as the Atlantic Provinces, all have their games provided by the Atlantic Lottery. New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador have all recently approved single-game wagering and now offer it across all of their sports betting platforms.
Despite being placed under the same umbrella as the rest of Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia is a bit different, as it was the last province to allow single-game betting. .
What sportsbooks will be coming to Canada?
Several provinces already have a state run sportsbook active in the area, but what outside sportsbooks will be coming to Canada? Some brands have already confirmed their plans to set up shop in the North, while others have hinted at a potential expansion somewhere down the road. As far as when we may see sportsbooks run by independent companies, the only correct answer is that it will ultimately depend on the province.
However, many sportsbooks are already in Ontario, so we will start our list there. These sportsbooks are currently live in Ontario, and presumably would expand elsewhere in the country if given the opportunity to do so.
Ok, so Bet99 isn’t an American sportsbook, but it is popular in Ontario. Bet99 is actually a Swiss company, headquartered in Zug, Switzerland (cool name, btw). Bet99 offers a premium product and exceptional user experience. Bet99 has been operating in the country since 2019, but is now fully legal and regulated in Ontario, which is good news for bettors because the sportsbook’s security and deposits are subject to industry-leading protections.
theScore Bet is a Canada-based online sportsbook that already has a strong presence in the US market. The company was purchased by Penn National Gaming in a deal worth $2 billion in October 2021, with a goal in mind to reach the Canadian market. That goal was met and exceeded in the first weeks after the company’s launch in Ontario, where it led all downloads and generated higher-than-expected revenue. theScore Bet will be a force in Ontario for the foreseeable future.
The Daily Fantasy Sports giant made the transition to sports betting in 2018, and is among the top online sportsbooks in every US market they enter. FanDuel was live in Ontario on Day 1, and will be a top operator in the province. FanDuel is the go-to online sportsbook for most US players, and will be in Canada, for good reason – including a plethora of betting options, quick cash-outs and a stacked mobile app.
Caesars already has a presence in Windsor Ontario, where they operate the appropriately names Caesars Windsor that overlooks the Detroit River. Caesars is a popular name in Canada and Caesars Sportsbook will be a popular option among Canadian sports bettors.
BetMGM is active in most legal states in the US, and they were also in Ontario on Day 1. BetMGM is a collaborative effort between MGM International and GVC Holdings, and the result is a beautiful sportsbook that has plenty of betting options, safe and secure banking, and an easy to use interface. Their odds and lines are not always the greatest, but will surely beat out the government-run online sportsbooks and most of the competition.
The Australian-based sportsbook has made its mark on the US market with its supersized list of markets and own brand of betting known as PointsBetting. Think of PointsBetting as a spread bet on steroids, where the more right you are on a prop, spread or totals bet, the more money you make. PointsBet continues to add new betting options all the time and is active in most legal US states, which made for an easy transition when Ontario opened up its market to non-state run sportsbooks on April 4, 2022.
Another DFS turned online sportsbook, DraftKings is also one of the top online sportsbooks used by our neighbors down south. DraftKings was the first legal online sportsbook to launch in the US market, and has never looked back. DraftKings is already a member of the Canadian Gaming Association, and also already offers their DFS platform. DraftKings offers a huge array of betting options, plenty of banking options and stellar customer service. It will be a top operator now that it is live in Ontario as of May 17, 2022.
Additional Sportsbooks Operating in Ontario
In addition to the above sportsbooks, the following companies are also operating in Ontario:
Coming soon to Canada
Hard Rock Sportsbook
Hard Rock does not have a huge presence in the US market, but does own casinos in Canada, including Hard Rock Vancouver, and is already a member of the Canadian Gaming Association. Hard Rock’s online sportsbook is the result of a partnership with gaming provider GiG, and is active in New Jersey and Iowa so far, but should be expanding to several other markets as time moves on. The Hard Rock sportsbook app is clean and responsive but does lack some extra betting options that most in the industry consider standard, but overall is a solid sportsbook for beginners.
What are my betting options?
Prior to the passage of C-218, the only option for legal sports bets in Canada was parlay betting, but now, it seems that the sky is the limit. Full-scale sports betting opens the door to a whole new world of betting, and these options include:
- Moneyline: The most basic of bets where you are simply placing a wager on who will win the match.
- Spread: A handicapped moneyline bet where the sportsbook will set a line where the favorite will give points to the underdog. For example, if the Grizzlies are -5.5 over the Lakers, this would mean that the Grizzlies would need to win by 6 or more to win the bet.
- Totals (Over/Under): Betting on the over/under is exactly what it sounds like, you are betting on the total amount of points scored in a matchup.
- Parlays: Combining a series of single bets into one bet where all the legs of the parlay have to be winners in order for the bet to be deemed a winner.
- Props: Props, or propositional bets, are bets on individual or team performances, such as shots on goal, or total yardage. These will be displayed in the same manner as totals bets.
- Teasers: Teasers are a parlay bet where you can move the lines up or down for slightly better or slightly worse odds.
- Live/In-game wagering
Most sportsbooks will have alternative lines available, which would be where they will list spreads or totals that differ from the set line with better or worse odds. For example, if the Maple Leafs vs Flyers games has a total line set at 6.5, the sportsbook may list 5.5, 7.5 and so on, where if you bet the over on 7.5 you will get a larger payout, and the opposite if you bet the under.
Where online sportsbooks can be truly innovative is the advent of live in-game betting. In-game betting allows you to bet on sports, even after the game starts. This means you can bet on every pitch, every down and every power play. The extent of betting options depends on the sportsbook, but lines move up and down as the action unfolds.
Available betting markets
Once again, there does not seem to be any restrictions on what sports are available to bet on, and will rely on each individual province and sportsbook for what events are eligible to eligible for wagering. In general the top markets include:
- College Sports
- Auto Racing
- Many more depending on sportsbook and time of year
How do I register for a new account?
Before we dive in to how to register, its important to note that you must be of age in order to place any bets, and this will be verified before an account is awarded. The legal age in some provinces is 18, while 19 is the minimum age in others. You must also be located within the region that the sportsbook is based in order to place any bets. Your location will be identified via the GPS on your phone or via your WiFi location on the computer.
Registering for a new account at any online sportsbook should only take a few minutes. Similar to signing up for any online shopping account, but with a few extra layers of security to prevent fraud, and make sure that you are who you say you are.
When registering for a new account, be sure to check out our reviews ahead of time. Click through the links on the page and you will be taken to a landing page, which will either be directly to the registration page, or have a sign-up description. Click on register and start entering your information. The basic information will at least include:
- Date of birth
- Security questions
The online sportsbook will run the info through a secure server to validate your info, and once that is complete (only a few seconds) you will be ready to make your first deposit and start getting those bets in.
When betting online, you want to make sure that your money is safe and secure, and with the banking options available at all of the legal and regulated online sportsbooks, you can feel like your money is being processed with care. Each banking option will be fully vetted by the regulatory body of each province, and will be payment processors that you likely use everyday. The most common banking methods at the Canadian online sportsbooks are:
- Credit Cards/Debit Cards: Use your Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express to fund your account. For now this is a deposit option only, but may be a withdrawal option in the near future.
- PayPal: Just as you would use the popular eWallet to make safe and secure purchases online, you can fund and withdrawal money from your favorite online sportsbook.
- ACH/eCheck: Link your bank account via the account and routing number and instantly make deposits and you can send money directly back to your account when you are ready to withdrawal. There is a 1-2 day processing time on withdrawals.
- Online banking: Same as you would pay bills online through your banking website, you can link your account for quick and easy deposits and withdrawals.
- PayNearMe: The cashier will provide you with a barcode that you can bring to several local convenience stores along with cash, and the cashier will take the cash, scan the barcode and the funds will be in your account within 15 minutes.
- Play+ Cards: A prepaid card that you can register for directly in the cashier, and fund with a bank account or credit card. Once you receive the card in the mail within two weeks, you can take cash out at any ATM, use the card anywhere Discover is accepted, or just send the funds back to the linked bank account.
- Bank wire: You can also wire funds into and out of your account.
- Paper Check: For the patient sports bettors among us, you can request a paper check in the mail, but beware, it may take a few weeks to get to you.
Canada Online Sportsbook FAQs
Is single-game wagering legal in Canada now?
Single-game wagering went live in Canada on August 27, 2021, through the government and lottery-run websites. We expect outside sportsbooks to begin setting up shop at some point in 2022, depending on the local rules and regulations of that specific province. Ontario opened its market and allowed private companies to take action on April 4, 2022.
What sportsbooks are coming to Canada?
In Ontario, all the top online sportsbooks are already live, including theScore Bet, BetRivers, DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, Caesars, and BetMGM. Time will tell which additional companies expand their reach into Canada.
What sports can I bet on at Canadian Online Sportsbooks?
Depending on the online sportsbook, there is no limit on what games you can wager on. This includes popular sports like NHL hockey, NFL football, MLB baseball and NBA basketball, all the way down to the more niche sports like snooker, table tennis and handball.