Let’s start with the good news: Legal online sports betting is now available in Canada! Of course, not always. We’ve come a long way in making it safe and easy for ordinary Canadians to bet on their favourite sport.
This is an inspiring time for sports fans in Canada.
Like the US, Canada’s sports betting laws vary from province to province. Historically, only betting with local sportsbooks has been legal in some parts of Canada. Still, as of August 2021, regions have the power to tax and regulate regular sportsbooks under their provincial laws.
Most have adjusted their local sports betting infrastructure to include single-game betting. Ontario leads the way when it comes to opening up to international books.
Current online betting in Canada
In August 2021, everything changed in Canada when the Canadian legislature passed Bill C-218, which amended the national criminal code to allow legal single-game wagering. However, this did not suddenly legalize sports betting nationwide.
Instead, it allows each province in Canada to enact its own sports betting laws, just as PASPA was abolished in the U.S. a few years ago.
Many provinces have moved quickly to incorporate single-game sports betting into their existing frameworks.
However, progress has been relatively slow in terms of the emergence of new online sports betting — similar to the explosion we’ve seen in places like New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Ontario has been the most proactive, with the province officially launching legal single-game sports betting in April 2022, and many international books are up and running.
Others are following suit with their laws.
You might be wondering why we’re talking about legal Canadian sports betting when it comes to “single game” betting. Well, that’s because Canada has a long history of legal betting – it’s always been a parlay.
Before C-218, Canadian gaming laws were vague, but provincial lotteries had offered parlays (combining multiple bets) since 1985.
Offshore sites – which technically operate outside Canadian law and accept Canadian sports betting – have also flourished in recent years, with billions of dollars flowing out to online bookmakers in other countries.
Canada’s old laws mean it’s hard to stop players from using these sites, and the practice is largely ignored.
However, as we all know, there are always risks associated with using offshore sports betting. Using a service that’s not subject to the same laws as you means theoretically nothing is stopping these books from doing what they want with your money.
From a safety standpoint, local legal and regulated sports betting is something else entirely.
When we talk about single-game betting in this context, we are referring to what is known as regular sports betting, which has been happening in Las Vegas for decades and has been spreading across the US since 2018.
We’re basically on the first side of the Canadian Sports Betting Monopoly Commission.
Thanks to Bill C-218, each province can now enact its own sports betting laws. Ontario is the first country to open up to international books, with sports betting set to live in April 2022. The rest are on the way.
Legal Online Gambling in Canadian Provinces
Ontario became the first province in Canada to offer full-fledged single-game sports betting and non-local sports betting on April 4, 2022. Various U.S. sportsbooks are available soon, and other sportsbooks from Europe and the UK are also ready.
These sportsbooks are groundbreaking: not only are they offering single-event betting for the first time, but they are also among the best online betting sites in Canada, and they have decades of extensive betting experience in the industry, offering betting guides for the Canadian market.
These are the best online gambling sites in the world. They make betting to collect your payouts just as easy.
Ontario is the most populous province and home to some of the biggest and most popular sports franchises, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, and Toronto Blue Jays.
There are nearly 30 casinos in the area, and live poker is also legal.
As the first province to cross the border and truly open up, Ontario’s situation can guide sports betting in other regions.
Quebec wasted no time adding single-game betting to its existing gambling options, which will go live in August 2021. Unlike Ontario, Quebec currently only has local sports betting, including the opportunity to wager via mobile apps.
The first sportsbooks to go public were Mise-o-jeu and Sports Interaction.
The Montreal Canadiens are probably the most major professional sports team in Quebec and could attract a lot of betting activity.
The New England Patriots, just across the Massachusetts border, should also be famous.
BC was one of the most outspoken provinces before C-218, and it’s no surprise that they moved quickly to legalize single-game gambling whenever they got the chance.
Currently, the only sports betting platform is PlayNow, owned and operated by the British Columbia Lottery or BCLC.
PlayNow has been offering parlays for years, adding more or less instant bets where possible. Mobile betting is possible and requires your phone’s geolocation software or a downloadable add-on. You must be at least 19 years old to bet.
Vancouver dominates the sports world with the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL and the Whitecaps in the MLS. With its diverse professional team, Seattle is just a stone’s throw from the border.
The only sportsbook in Alberta is PlayAlberta, which offers in-person and online betting. Unlike some provinces, PlayAlberta was created primarily with the new era of sports betting in Canada and launched in September 2021.
PlayAlberta appeared to be the only show in town for a long time, but the province has since embraced offers from other private sportsbooks.
Hockey is the biggest passion in this area, and the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames are in the NHL.
Like BC, Manitoba has its own PlayNow platform, although it is run by the Manitoba Liquor Lottery Corporation (MLLC). Manitoba already has a healthy gaming heritage, and PlayNow has been offering sports betting, poker, online casino games, and lottery games, including mobile games, since 2013.
It remains to be seen whether Manitoba will expand its betting options to outside books.
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador
Sports betting is legal in these regions and regulated by the Atlantic Lottery, collectively known as the Atlantic Provinces. The only sportsbook is Proline Stadium, and they offer parlays and single-game online betting.
The local laws in these provinces are slightly different, but Proline is the only betting option.
Sports betting is legal in Saskatchewan through its only operator called Sports Select, but for now, it’s still just parlay betting. It remains to be seen what will happen to single-match betting.
Northwest Territories and Nunavut
No province currently offers online single-game betting.
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