Canada Online Sports Betting Laws
In Canada, hockey reigns supreme. Nearly 60% of sports fans in the country follow the National Hockey League (NHL), with football, baseball, soccer and winter sports all popular, too. Sport is a huge part of life in Canada, with fans getting even closer to the action by betting on it.
Yes, it is legal to take part in online sports betting in Canada. However, it’s worth checking the minimum age for legal betting, which varies between 18 and 19 according to your location. If you use a website operated within the country or province, that sportsbook must hold a valid online gaming license issued by the federal government.
When it comes to Canadian sports betting on offshore sites, the law is unclear about whether this is legal or not. But it is worth noting that there have been no prosecutions, or even arrests, of people taking part in offshore Canada sport betting.
The reason for this complexity is that Canada’s sports betting laws are outdated and in need of revision – particularly in the wake of the rise in popularity of online betting.
Gambling in all forms used to be completely legal in Canada. This changed in 1892 with the writing of the Canadian Criminal Code, which suggested all forms of gambling be outlawed. Over the years betting laws were slackened and the authorities tended to turn a blind eye to the more socially acceptable forms of gambling.
An extra layer of complication is added by the fact that each Canadian province and territory has its own set of laws – it is always worth checking these out, depending on where you are located.
As the law stands, companies should not operate any illegal online gambling service within Canada. However, it does not stipulate that Canadian bettors should not take part in online gambling. This leads to the general understanding that, as long as you are of legal age, accessing offshore betting sites in Canada does not constitute an illegal activity. You can feel free to play on them.
Moreover, Canada does have a Responsible Gambling Council, an independent non-profit organization that works to help victims of problem gambling. If you want to enjoy online sports betting in Canada, you have a vast array of websites to choose from. Many are based in the country and many more operate offshore.
When you want to enjoy Canadian sports betting, you will find that sportsbooks present their prices in the American odds format. This is in contrast to decimal odds and fractional odds, which are used in other parts of the world.
Let’s bet on Calgary Flames to win the North division of the NHL in the coming season. This might be expressed as +500. That means for every $100 you stake you will win $500, plus your stake, for a total return of $600.
If the same bet was shown in decimal odds, as used in Europe and Australasia, the price about the Flames would be 6.0. That means if you stake $100 and the Flames win, your return will be $600.
The same bet in fractional odds, as used in the United Kingdom and Ireland, would be 5/1. You get five times your stake, plus your stake returned, for a total of $600.
You can compare all three formats using our free bet calculator.
Hockey is the national sport and a source of lifelong devotion for millions of Canadians.
Seven Canadian teams play in the NHL, a competition that was founded in Canada, although it includes teams from the USA today. Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs hold two of the three top spots in the list of winners of the Stanley Cup, the biggest prize in the sport, while no nation has won more hockey gold medals in the Winter Olympics than Canada’s men and women.
Hockey is a national obsession, and it’s the most popular sport for online betting in Canada, with people betting on the NHL, as well as other leading competitions around the world.
It is a source of Canadian pride that James Naismith, the inventor of modern basketball, was one of their own who was working as a PE instructor in the US. Canadians have been extremely keen on playing and watching basketball ever since.
Numerous Canadian players have featured in the NBA, the world’s top league. Toronto Raptors, the only Canadian side in the competition, stunned their American rivals by winning the NBA finals for the first time in 2019.
The NBA is popular on betting sites in Canada, as is the NCAA’s March Madness – even though Canadian colleges are not allowed to enter.
Despite none of the 32 NFL teams being located in Canada, fans north of the border take a keen interest in the sport. The NFL has staged numerous matches in Toronto, and scores of players from Canada have featured at the very highest level of the game.
You can also catch gridiron action in the Canadian Football League, which has slightly different rules to the NFL but stages high-quality action between June and November.
That means a huge amount of top-class play for visitors to the best betting sites in Canada to enjoy for more than half the year.
Baseball has been played in Canada almost as long as it has in the US. It’s no wonder that it is extremely popular with people from coast to coast.
Toronto Blue Jays are the only Canadian team in the MLB, but they delighted fans north of the border by winning the World Series in 1992 and 1993.
About 75 Canadian towns and cities host minor league teams and there are numerous amateur leagues across the provinces. As a result, Canadian betting sites see plenty of activity when it comes to the top baseball action.
When it comes to participation numbers, soccer is the top sport in Canada, and the world’s favorite game is becoming increasingly popular in the country.
Canada has qualified for the World Cup finals only once, when they lost all three group matches in 1986. But the nation is co-hosting the 2026 finals along with Mexico and the US.
Three Canadian sides – in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver – play in Major League Soccer, which is boosting the profile of the beautiful game further. It is no surprise that the best sports betting sites in Canada see serious interest on matches in North America, the English Premier League and top European leagues.
There is plenty of choice when you want to enjoy sports betting in Canada. It is advisable to use a site that is licensed and has a good reputation. The best sports betting sites in Canada have a wide variety of markets on a big range of sports and make it easy for you to wager.
Yes, it is legal to take part in online sports betting in Canada. However, please make sure you are wagering with a website that is entitled by law to operate in your location. There is also a general understanding that you may bet on offshore websites available to Canadians.
The best Canadian betting sites will usually offer a bonus for new players to attract them and try to turn them into loyal customers. This is often in the form of a free bet that matches or multiplies the amount of your first wager, or a flat amount that is placed in your account.
Yes, you can. Sportsbooks have invested considerable sums in the development of apps in recent years to enable their customers to enjoy Canadian sports betting. Look for apps that are user-friendly and make it easy for you to find, and wager on, the markets you are looking for.
Yes, you can. The best Canadian betting sites will accept wagers in the local currency, like all high-class sportsbooks across the globe. However, it is always worth double-checking to make absolutely sure that your chosen sportsbook accepts C$ before you start wagering on your favorite sport.