Sports Betting in Canada
One of the best places to live under the sun, Canada is a land of opportunity and equality. Therefore, it’s not surprising when you hear that Canadian bookies are some of the best sports betting sites out there. You will have access to a variety of sports markets, great bonuses, and the opportunity to place your next bet legally. There are a few wrinkles to smooth out about that as well, but we will first focus on bringing you what interests you most, such as:
- What the top sports betting sites in Canada are and why
- What Canadian betting sites offer the best promotions
- List of the payment options that help bettors manage their funds quickly
Top Canadian Sportsbooks of 2023
How to Find the Top Sports Betting Sites in Canada
The Canadian market is segmented, but the good news is that it’s very easy to make sense of it. For starters, none of the provinces in the state have any specific objections to offshore sports betting operations. Bookmakers that aren’t located in the country are some of the most trusted names in the industry.
Some are located closer to home, but others operate from overseas headquarters and still win the trust of bettors. We have covered and compared both in our dedicated reviews, and helped our readers benefit from an ultimate guide to the top sportsbooks in Canada. Here’s what we look for specifically:
- Reputation – Do not be surprised to find out that many of the Canada-friendly sportsbooks have been in business for almost 20 years now. This gives you and our reviewing experts enough information to determine whether a bookie can be trusted.
- Available markets – The best bookmakers out there will always cover specific markets that Canadians are fond of. This includes rugby, cricket, hockey, soccer, tennis and the majority of American markets, including the NFL, NHL, baseball, and golf.
- Competitive odds – Sportsbooks must offer odds that can compete and offer bettors a better overall value compared to most sportsbook out there. In fact, odds will constantly change and it’s very likely to see one bookmaker offer slightly better odds on specific events than another and vice versa. It’s always worth having a few trusted bookies that you can compare odds in-between.
- Swift banking – Banking methods are important and therefore you need to only single out the bookies that will offer you the best overall speed of transaction. Fees shouldn’t be a problem at all and the best sites will offer instant deposits and lightning-speed withdrawals.
Each of these conditions is considered a pillar of having a great time exploring the betting options in Canada. Therefore, it would never
A Few Canada Specific Things to Consider
If you are going to bet from Canada, you may as well make sure there are a few things that make the experience more authentic. To begin with, Canadian dollars (C$) should be the currency in which you complete your transaction. There ought not be any associated transaction fees.
As mentioned already, banking plays a huge part in deciding which sportsbook to pick next. Therefore, you will probably want to scout such betting websites that offer Canada-specific payment options. In fact, there are quite a few excellent banking options in Canada that make your betting experience as effortless as you always hoped it to be.
You can pick from bank cards, e-wallets, and cryptocurrency (such as Bitcoin) to conclude transactions swiftly. Specifically, there is, VISA, Maestro, MasterCard, PayPal, Interac, Neteller, and Skrill. There are also pre-paid vouchers and gift cards you can use. The good news is that clearance rate is high in Canada, and you have nothing to worry about when it comes to your financial transactions.
What Do You Need to Start Sports Betting in Canada?
Setting yourself as an active punter isn’t a problem at all. Bookies are very easy to navigate, so long as you are sticking with the best one. Yet, it’s always good to know what the industry’s experts recommend. Here’s a list of legal and practical advice:
- Open a bank account, a credit card or an e-wallet
- Make sure you are of the legal age in the province, 18
- Any money you commit must be expandable, not savings
- Build your knowledge of leagues, sports and teams before you bet
Pick the Best Canadian Betting Bonuses
Nothing makes your day quite as bright as the opportunity to pick up a great bonus from your favorite bookmaker. The bonuses maximum amounts and matched rate will always vary a bit from one sportsbook to the next. You will be able to claim up to C$1,000 while the match rate will change between 50% and 100% in most cases.
These are the welcome bonuses for the most part. There are other promotions to benefit from as well. For example, sportsbooks as BetOnline, offer a so-called risk-free bet that allows you to bet as much as $25 on a game. If the bet doesn’t succeed, you will be repaid the amount and will have another chance to bet on any sport and any event you like.
Meanwhile, there are other great bonuses to claim. Canadian bookies have a variety of special one-off deals, enhanced odds, and various reload and free bet offers to keep your betting game dynamic. Thanks to the high competition in the Canadian market, you can always expect to find the best offers.
Canada’s Favorite Sports
Understandably, some sports strike closer to a Canadian heart than others. The country is quite open to all sorts of competitions, though, so that gives most bookies a golden opportunity to bring every event from the world of sports. Rugby, soccer and tennis usually catch the attention of the Canadian punter, but that’s hardly all.
Canadians strike a middle-ground when it comes to sports preferences. They don’t necessarily stick to a select number of games or events – but rather accept and enjoy every form of athletic contest. In fact, even esports – video games played competitively – are now very popular up in Canada and the country’s one of the largest consumers of such events.
Should You Bet Online?
While Canada is definitely in no shortage of betting options, it’s always good to know that the opportunity to place a wager online exists. There are multiple benefits of choosing to do sports betting online in Canada over any brick-and-mortar facility. Here are some:
- You have a quicker access to all events
- It’s easier to compare odds across bookmakers
- You can benefit from an exclusive promotion
- Live betting is much easier with a dedicated software
- You may end up discovering a sport or a league that you are better at
Time-management is equally important to Canadian punters and you will discover that just like anywhere else in the world, sports fans in the country would much rather want to stay home and bet that way.
Banking Options for Canadians
To enjoy sports betting in Canada properly, you will need the right set of banking options. We have already briefly covered what payment methods exist, but now we will explain – however briefly – the processing times and limits you can expect.
Well, all deposits at sportsbooks in Canada are in fact instant. There are no associated fees and the clearance rate is 99%. The occasional ‘bounce’ might happen, but that’s usually a banking error rather than anything else. Even though Canada is considered a ‘grey betting market,’ withdrawals are just as quick as you would have in a fully-regulated jurisdiction, such as the United Kingdom.
You can expect to cash your winnings in the matter of hours – in most cases. E-wallets have the quickest processing times and some bookmakers allow instant payouts. With other methods you may have to wait between 24 and 72 hours. Bank card withdrawals might take up to 5 business days to be processes, but that’s not an issue at all.
Are Your Winnings on Sports Betting Winnings Taxable?
No, all bookies in the country pay you out the net amount. The Canadian government has no specific attitude towards taxing income from sports betting and considers it a hobby for the most part. Yet, it’s down to individual provinces to determine whether you need to pay anything back to the coffers. As of October 2019, all provinces offer tax-free betting winnings.
Licenses and Regulation in Canada
Sports betting in Canada is a grey market, which means that while the activity is allowed – including on a banking level – there are no clear laws that permit or prohibit it. Most provinces have some form of land-based gaming going in Canada. Only a handful prohibit online betting, but none have specifically targeted offshore betting companies.
Canada’s sports betting sites are usually licensed by the Kahnawake eGaming Commission which issues permits to companies that want to hew as close as possible to a legal form of operation. Of course, there are many other alternatives, such as licensing authorities in Curacao, Panama, and Costa Rica.
No small number of Canadians also tend to trust companies that have been certified by overseas operators such as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). Gibraltar is also another place where you can see a license from.
Are the Top Canadian Bookies Safe?
Yes, completely. Companies that are serious about the betting market in the country make sure that they meet every single standard to make users feel safe. The measures that this entails are various and somewhat intuitive:
- Canadian bookies make sure they have safe and secure payment options
- SSL encryption is always a prerequisite at the best bookies in the country
- All Canadians can pay in C$ to avoid conversion fees and keep their money closer to home
- The best bookies in the country wouldn’t accept a wager from your province if there is a law that bans offshore betting sites
It’s interesting to note that while most sports betting sites are located offshore, they are not given a status of ‘bad actors,’ as they are in the United States. Canada has a much laxer – although strict policy – towards sportsbooks. Therefore, as long as such offshore operators abide by laws and do not mislead their bettors, Canadian authorities are happy to allow them to operate without stigma.
Going Mobile in Canada
Mobile betting is another privilege that Canadian punters can enjoy. Even though their operators are located off the mainland, for the most part, they are fully mobile-friendly and offer quick betting solutions that will help you take the action with you. Some native apps exist as well, which is great for punters who are looking to have a more immersive betting experience.
Why pick sports betting apps in Canada? Here are couple of suggestions:
- An optimized interface
- More convenient way of placing bets
- Quicker to load up when on the go
- Exclusive mobile-bonuses
Of course, they are not a must, but there are still some inherent benefits that can offer a better overall experience. Conversely, some bettors may not like mobile betting when betting on live events, as apps tend to misfire on occasion.
Canadians do share in the thrill of the game and having an in-play (or live) betting market is considered the norm. Therefore, the best bookies – whether they are located in the country or offshore – will always make sure to have a variety of available payment options all ready. Live games are a great way to score big with an underdog and cash out before long-odds get the better of you.
The crème-de-la-crème of Canada’s bookmakers will also offer a live streaming option to make it even easier for you to enjoy your favorite sports. Bet365 is one of the best bookies out there that offers live streams. Live streaming is a catchy option that allows sports fans in Canada to always be able to watch their favorite events and it also aids the placing of live wagers.
However, you need to keep in mind that live streams and actual odds updates are usually 30 seconds apart. Live streams might even be delayed up to a few minutes as well. This is not intentional, and it depends solely on partner companies.
Fighting Gambling Addiction in Canada
While the country is still debating the full-scale legalization of online betting, there are already a number of help lines that are ready to offer assistance to individuals who may be struggling with gambling addiction, for example. Presently, there are several reliable and available charities that offer their services to those who feel their gambling habits are taking the better of them. They include:
- ProblemGambling.ca – 1-866-531-2600
- Responsible Gambling Council – 416-499-9800
- YMCA Youth Gambling Awareness Program – 416-928-9622
Remember to Verify Your Identity
The websites we recommend all need to comply with certain standards – whether back at home – or specifically when offering bets to Canadian bettors. Therefore, you still need to be of the legal betting age in Canada, which is 18 years of age.
Furthermore, you will need to comply with AML and KYC checks that are designed to verify your identity, address as well as that the origin of your money is legal. It’s an important prerequisite before you start betting in earnest on a Canadian sportsbook, so it may be better to complete the verification process right after registration.
One thing that you would expect from CA betting site is to have excellent customer support service. When you need to verify your identity or have some specific query answered, it always helps to be able to communicate with the operator. This includes using multiple channels, such as:
- Live chat
- Instant Messengers (most commonly Skype)
The bookies we recommend all come with an array of excellent communication options. Whether you have a question about a promotion or just want to clear something up with the bookie, staying in touch is always good.
Placing a Bet in Canada
Apparently, the Canadian betting market is quite ample. With Ontario alone generating 20% of all betting turnover, it’s easy to see that Canada’s got a thing for betting contests. More importantly, Canuck punters love sports and their love for betting is just a result of the former. You can almost argue that Canada is a melting pot for all sports betting enthusiasts from the world over. All of this is possible thanks to favorable regulatory conditions as well as the desire of the top sports betting sites in Canada to keep everything in the open.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can place bets legally in Canada and most provinces have passed laws that allow land-based betting. Some have ventured into online betting as well. The majority of provinces in the country also allow betting at respected international sportsbooks such as Betway, bet365, BetOnline, and others.
BetOnline. BetOnline is one of the most respected offshore operators that caters to the Canadian market. You can claim a bonus worth C$1,000 upon completing your registration and choose from thousands of available markets.
Yes, betting on bet365 is completely legal in Canada. You can bet at the website from all provinces in Canada.
Yes, Betway holds a license from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), which is a recognized licensing authority. Most provinces agree that Betway is one of the safest betting sites available to Canadians.