While Canada has a number of restrictions on sports betting, the practise remains accessible to residents and it is a very popular one. There is a big focus on gambling in North America right now and while much of the attention is on the US, the Canadian market is also under the spotlight.
The betting community in Canada likes a wide range of sports starting with those US leagues where they have some representation. That involves basketball with the NBA, baseball and MLB plus hockey and NHL. Canada doesn’t have a football team in the NFL but there is interest in the sport both with the US version and also with the Canadian Football League (CFL).
A number of Canadian teams are also involved in soccer and MLS so this is another focal point for the sportsbooks that have opened Canadian markets. But the bettors that live here have global interests too so any bookmaker opening up in Canada will need to take that all into account. Global events in soccer, tennis, golf and much more are under the spotlight and a successful sportsbook will need a choice of markets and some strong prices.
In this guide we will take a look at the betting landscape in Canada and how customers can get involved with bets on the relevant markets that are open. We’ll also advise on what qualities that sportsbook should offer and how to pick the good from the unsuitable. Finally, we’ll round off with our own recommendations for the best bookmakers for players in Canada.
Read on and all will be revealed.
Is Online Betting Legal in Canada?
The answer to this question is essentially ‘yes’ but the practise of betting in Canada is highly regulated. The first point to note is the fact that it is actually illegal to bet on a single sports outcome if you are a resident here. To make a legal bet online, it has to be a Parlay which is two or more bets combined into a multiple outcome.
It is legal to set up an online sports betting company with a base in Canada but once again, things are highly regulated. That’s why Canadian companies such as Sports Interaction are quite rare. There is an anomaly of sorts because it is possible for an offshore company such as Bet365 to provide betting services in Canada. Once a license has been approved it is fine for those companies to open their doors to Canadian customers. Look for our recommendations further on in this guide.
How to bet on Sports Betting Sites in Canada
Once we’ve understood the legal aspects of betting in Canada, it’s time to head online and place some wagers. Here’s how you get started.
Is the sportsbook available in Canada?
If you’ve strayed onto a site that isn’t available to Canadian residents, it may or may not be made obvious that you can’t sign up here. Some operators will automatically block access to their site and put up a message that registration is not permitted. It’s not a particularly nice welcome but at least we know where we stand.
Other sites make it less obvious: You may be allowed to see the home page but when it comes to registration, Canada is not shown on the list of countries. If in any doubt, contact customer services or preferably, use our list of recommended sportsbooks instead.
The exact sign up process will differ depending on which operator you use but they will all follow a similar pattern. It all starts with a simple sign up form which will ask for some essential information. This is likely to include Name, Date of Birth and Address.
You can also expect to enter contact details including an email address and cell phone number. If the operator in question accepts $CAD, you would be able to set this as your default currency. Generally, things are then finished off when you choose a username. It’s all very simple but will then be followed by a verification process.
The first simple step involves verifying that email address and you can then expect to be asked to confirm your ID. A passport is the most common document but others may be accepted. Follow the specific instructions and when verification is confirmed, you are ready to play.
Obviously we need some funds to cover bets so you need to ask whether a choice of deposit and withdrawal options is important to you. If you are the type of customer that only likes to play with debit and / or credit cards then all operators will have you covered. However, if you use eWallets such as instadebit and iDebit then you need to choose more carefully.
Not all sportsbooks will take additional payment options: Most will but the range will be very different depending on who you choose. In order to identify what funding methods are available, scroll to the bottom of the bookmaker’s homepage as they are usually listed there. If in any doubt, simply contact customer services.
Placing a Bet
The act of placing a bet is really very simple and it will differ very little no matter who you are playing with. Once you land on a bookmaker’s homepage you will find a list of sports. These will either be in A-Z order or, you may just find that the more popular events come first.
Choose a sport and then find an event that you are interested in: Consider the lines that the sportsbook has made available and then choose two or more options to combine and form a parlay. These bets will then appear in a betslip: You then choose your stake and press confirm to make the bet stand.
Best Betting Sites in Canada
Having covered the process of placing a sports bet in Canada, we now need to know about the best homes for our money. Here are our recommendations based on a combination of choice, value and flexibility which all add up to make a great sportsbook for Canadian customers.
They describe themselves as Canada’s favourite sportsbook and while you should check them out for yourself, we’re not going to argue with that statement. Promotions are subject to change but you can always rely on a generous welcome offer plus a number of ongoing deals for the life of your account.
Those promos just count as additional value to competitive odds on a daily basis while players in Canada can also enjoy one of the widest ranges of sports that are of interest to them. There are lots of alternatives which we will cover now but Sports Interaction really is a good place to start.
The message may not have got over to Canada just yet but in most parts of the world, bet365 are known as the kings and queens of live play. They are the pioneers of this style of betting and even though other operators have worked hard to catch up, most would argue that bet365 have more live markets and better prices than anyone else.
But even if in-play betting isn’t accessible or you’re just not a fan, bet365 are worth considering for their parlay and general pre-event options. Odds are outstanding – they are frequently ahead of the rest and never out of step with the industry. There is a huge choice of markets too which go up nice and early.
If that isn’t enough, there are parlay bonus offers on your favourite US leagues so we really suggest checking out bet365.
When you sign up with William Hill you are getting involved with one of the oldest names in betting. Trust is important when looking for a bookmaker and that’s a big bonus with Hills. However, since coming online they have always looked to move with the times and keep pace with the competition.
While you’re a customer here, you can therefore look forward to one of the biggest choices of offers around. Many of these are generic deals which means you can tailor them for use on any sport. That gives more flexibility and once again, that value just adds to competitive odds on all North American sports.
This may not be the most obvious name but there is a particular reason to get onboard with Sbobet. The company promises the best prices on football, basketball betting and others but while we think it’s impossible to be number one every single time, the odds here are exceptional.
The choice of prop bets may not be as wide as you’ll find with other sportsbooks but it’s all about that pricing. If you like to focus on the moneyline result betting plus one or two additional markets then the odds at Sbobet may well be hard to beat.
It all starts very positively at 10Bet with a welcome deal that is worth up to $100 as a matched deposit. That may be subject to change but promotions form a big part of the appeal here. There’s always something going on and this is also an innovative bookmaker – introducing a new live betting feature called Pulse which was unique to the industry in 2018.
Choice of markets is wide and those prices are strong once again so don’t leave without giving 10Bet a try.