Best Online Sportsbooks in Canada

Get started with the best & safest online sportsbooks in Canada.

Sports betting has been legal in Canada for many years via numerous offshore sites catering to the bettors in the country. Canadians can sign up and place their bets with a number of top-tier sports betting sites licensed and regulated by trustworthy international organizations like the Malta Gaming Authority.

In terms of legalities, all forms of gambling are overseen by provincial authorities, and so far, Ontario is the only province that passed an iGaming regulation, requiring betting operators to obtain local licenses. Everywhere else in the country, offshore betting sites continue to offer their services, and while their presence is sometimes defined as a “grey” area, there is nothing illegal about this practice.

If you are looking for more information on legal sports betting in Canada and how to find the best and safest sites offering this activity, you have come to the right place. On this page, we provide all the details and explanations you need to get started with the minimum risk and the maximum benefits.

As mentioned, sports betting is technically legal everywhere in Canada. Players have access to a number of international betting sites they can sign up with, deposit, claim bonuses, and place their bets without any obstacles. Beyond this, some provinces also offer locally-licensed betting sites as well.

It is important to note that the existence of these local sites does not prevent offshore operators from also offering their services. Ontario is the only province that explicitly forbids betting sites that do not have a license issued by the local authority. Everywhere else, there is no mechanism for commercial operators to get licensed on a local level, so the status quo remains.

The launch of single-event betting on August 27, 2021 repealed the previous law which prohibited betting on single events. Some provinces jumped onto the new single-event better almost immediately, while others held back. In some cases, the provinces have looked to partner with private betting companies, and in others, they’ve looked to add capabilities to existing provincial monopolies.

So, in addition to offshore platforms that operate across Canada, this is how things look on a local level:

Bettors can place parlay bets through provincial lottery corporations across the country, as has been the case for a long time. The most populous Canadian province, Ontario, which contains nearly 40% of Canada’s 38.2 million people, was among the first to go live with single-event bets through its online lottery corporation, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).

Other provinces quickly followed suit, and Canadians can now place single-game bets in Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. Quebec and Alberta both offer online and retail single-game betting through their provincial lottery divisions, while British Columbia and Manitoba are linked through the PlayNow system. In the Atlantic provinces, the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) provides single-game betting to each province except Nova Scotia, which along with Saskatchewan, has yet to move on the chance to offer single-game betting.

Bonuses and Promotions in Canadian Sports Betting

Canadian sports bettors have access to the best and most competitive bonuses and promotions out there. Thanks to the ability to sign up and play with leading international operators, players can take advantage of generous welcome offers, usually coming in the form of a risk-free bet.

These bonuses give you a chance to place your initial wager without any risk. Namely, if your bet loses, the operator will refund in full, giving you a chance to take another pick and try again. For Canada, these offers can be quite generous, reaching into hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

Beyond this, you will find promotions such as:

  • Boosted odds for select events
  • Free bets for loyal players or on special occasions
  • Competitions & Leaderboards

How to Recognize a Safe Online Sportsbook in Canada

As mentioned, there are two groups of safe online sportsbooks available to Canadian customers. The first group is made of trusted offshore operators working under trustworthy international licenses, such as those issued by the Malta Gaming Authority.

In the second group, there are provincially-licensed and regulated betting sites. These bookmakers will feature a seal of approval from the relevant authority and you can easily verify this information by visiting the regulator’s website.

So, when picking a safe website to bet on outside of Ontario, there are a few things you should pay attention to help you stay away from rogue operators:

  • Licensing Information: You should only give your business to betting operators that are properly licensed. Always check for the licensing information first. If you cannot find license details anywhere or the license comes from a less reputable body, you should steer clear, as there are so many better options available.
  • Player-friendly Website: While the website and mobile app design are not directly connected to the safety of an operator, you will quickly learn that the sites that look shady usually are shady. Look for quality betting platforms with easy-to-navigate interfaces and no strange technical glitches.
  • Clear Terms and Conditions: Serious and reputable bookmakers run their business the right way. This means they let the customers know about all the rules, conditions, and limitations ahead of time and in a clear language. Complicated and hard-to-follow terms are often a sign of a shady bookmaker.
  • Helpful Customer Support: Contacting site’s customer support will help you recognize the type of a bookie you are dealing with. Safe and trusted bookmakers have quality support departments staffed with agents ready, willing, and able to answer any questions you may have before depositing your money.

Why Choose a Reputable Canadian Sportsbook

There is always risk involved in sports betting, but choosing a reputable sportsbook keeps those risks on the bets themselves without risking your personal or financial data, or your deposits. Safe sportsbooks in Canada have a wide range of ways to help keep your information safe while you enjoy betting on your favorite sports.

  • Player Protection: Trustworthy sites will have various layers of protection for players, such as strict age verification and strong data protection policies.
  • Accountability: While many of the sites operating in Canada do not have local licenses, the best of the best still provide a high level of accountability. These are operators with a lot of experience in the industry and carefully built reputations they need to protect, which reflects on how they treat their customers.
  • Responsible Gaming: A core part of all reputable bookmakers in Canada these days is promoting responsible gambling. On the most obvious level, this gives players who experience gambling problems easy access to support and resources, but on a wider level, it provides a level of confidence to all bettors that the bookmakers are not targeting the most vulnerable customers.
  • Local Banking Options: – Bookmakers looking to cater to Canadian customers take the time to set up local payment options to make deposits and withdrawals as easy as possible. You will find that the best of these operator feature options such as Interac, iDebit, and other payment methods popular in the country.

Risks of Playing at Shady Sports Betting Sites

  • Financial Risk: Legal sportsbooks have strong protections for your bankroll on their site, but betting on shady sites could expose you to risks like:
    • Delayed Transactions: Some rogue sites may delay payouts to encourage more betting, giving them a chance to make their money back before the transaction.
    • Account Closures: Shady sites do not care about rules or licenses and can close accounts for any reason, including winning too much. In most cases, the user will have very limited recourse and may find their funds locked out.
  • Identity Theft: One of the biggest risks a player takes when betting on a questionable sportsbook is with their data and identity. Reputable sportsbooks are required to have strong data protection policies, but these shady sites are not bound by the same regulations. The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) offers some solid reasons to play on regulated sites that applies as well to Canadians, while Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) and PlaySmart look at it from a Canadian perspective.
  • No Responsible Gaming: Shady sites have no requirements to have any responsible gaming policy, and there is no guarantee any policy that might be in place is scientifically sound, or will even be followed.

Types of Sports Bets Available in Canada

Having access to the best international betting sites, Canadian have the ability to place a wide range of different bets across dozens of different sports. When it comes to provincially-regulated betting operators, options vary from one province to another.

Generally speaking, if you want to bet from inside Canada, you will be able to place:

  • Singles
  • Doubles
  • Accumulators
  • Over / under bets
  • Futures
  • Prop bets
  • And more

There is a great range of sports to choose from and an excellent variety of betting markets on offer for individual sports and sporting events, so all options are at your disposal.

FAQs

Can I place a sports wager in a province where I do not live?

You can bet on international bookmakers from everywhere in Canada, with the exception of Ontario. When betting with offshore sites, it does not matter what province you are in, as these sites operate under international licenses.

When it comes to local sites, In most jurisdictions in Canada, making an account on a provincially regulated sportsbook requires an in-province address. However, in some specific cases, such as PlayNow which spans both BC and Manitoba, players are able to play in the other shared jurisdiction as well.

Are my sports betting winning taxed?

In Canada, gambling wins are considered windfalls and are generally non-taxable. However, in some cases, players who gamble for a living have had winnings taxed as earnings. That has generally required the state to show the player uses a gambling system to gain an advantage and uses the proceeds of their gambling to earn a living.

Winnings from casual betting are never taxed in Canada, but serious bettors may want to consult a tax professional.

How do I file a complaint?

Complaints can be filed through the relevant provincial regulator or lottery corporation. For example, residents of Ontario can start a chat on OLG to begin the process or call 1-855-978-7529 from 8am to midnight.

For international sites, your best course of action is lodging a complaint with their regulatory body, for example the Malta Gaming Authority.

Can I bet on the NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB and other American Sports from Canada?

Yes. Among the many sports Canadians can bet on are NHL, NFL, NBA, and MLB. In fact, as a Canadian, you will have access to dozens of different sports and hundreds of leagues and competitions to bet on via local and international betting operators.

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