Online Sports Betting in Canada




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.

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.

What are the Best Sports to bet on in Canada?

Sports betting in Canada offers a host of sports including popular and niche events. The full schedule from any sportsbook will include maybe 30 or more options but some will naturally attract more attention than others.

Here is a list of some of the more popular sports to bet on in Canada.

NHL – National Hockey League

Most of the main North American elite sports divisions include at least one team from Canada and the National Hockey League is no exception. In fact, there are seven Canadian franchises included in an overall roster of 31 clubs.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are, perhaps, the most well known team globally but the overall list also includes the Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames.

It’s a big representation and one of the reasons why the NHL betting is so popular among the Canada betting community.

CFL – Canadian Football League

There are no Canadian sides currently playing in the NFL but the country has its own elite division. The Canadian Football League (CFL) was established in 1958 and it features nine teams including Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Toronto Argonauts and Calgary Stampeders.

Teams play for the Grey Cup which is Canada’s equivalent of the Super Bowl after an initial regular season where they are split into the East and West divisions.

NFL – National Football League

This is arguably the most important division in North American sport and, while there are no Canadian teams in the NFL, there are plenty of Canadian players. Eli Ankou, Chuba Hubbard, Brett Jones and Rysen John are among those currently employed in American football’s elite division.

After a long regular season, teams enter the playoffs and ultimately look to do battle in the Super Bowl. Canada sports betting intensifies when the Super Bowl is on but the NFL markets remain busy throughout the NFL campaign.

NBA – National Basketball Association

The NBA currently has just one Canadian team included but the Toronto Raptors have enjoyed some success in recent years. The franchise had claimed a host of divisional titles before finally winning the NBA Championship in 2019.

30 teams currently do battle in the NBA with a long regular season where each side plays over 80 matches. Playoffs follow before a final showdown in the NBA finals series. Read our full guide of NBA betting.

MLB – Major League Baseball

The Toronto Blue Jays are the focus as far as Canadian baseball fans are concerned. Competing in MLB, the Blue Jays won two World Series titles in 1992 and 1993. They are the only Canadian team currently competing in the highest division of the sport.

Like most North American divisions, MLB is played out over a long campaign which starts with a regular season before progressing to the playoffs and that World Series game.

MLS – Major League Soccer

Canada enjoys representation in Major League Soccer and the first taste of success came in 2017 when Toronto lifted the MLS Cup. Other sides from north of the border currently competing in the league are CF Montreal and Vancouver Whitecaps.

With 27 franchises included in MLS from 2021, the competition is expanding all the time and more Canadian sides may be involved in future campaigns. For now, there is a lot for online sports betting canada customers to follow in a regular season which is followed by the playoff rounds.

UFC – Ultimate Fighting Championship

The UFC is the biggest division for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) professional athletes in the world. It’s based in the United States and this is another organization where Canada has strong representation. Among the top competitors from within the Canadian ranks are Rory MacDonald, Georges St-Pierre and Mark Bocek.

UFC has regular events which are defined by numbers – UFC 237 etc. On occasions, special, themed fight nights will be added and all competitions receive attention from sports betting enthusiasts in Canada.


Video gaming now has an extensive professional circuit with millions of dollars at stake for the best teams and players. It’s a fast growing area of online betting too and games covered include DOTA 2, League of Legends and Counter Strike: Global Offensive.

Canada has its own division and the majority of domestic eSports in Canada are covered by the Canadian eSports League. It’s still developing but there are many options for betting on eSports in Canada.

Odds Formats

Across the world, odds tend to be shown in one of three distinct formats:

  • Decimal Odds
  • Fractional Odds
  • Moneyline Odds

Using one example, a decimal odds bet may be shown at 3.00. It’s fractional conversion would be 2/1 while the Moneyline odds would show at +200. All of those figures provide the same equation and, for a $10 stake, a successful bet here would return $30.

Odds Formats

When signing up for sports betting in Canada, it should be possible to set your preferences in terms of odds. Many sites would default to Moneyline odds and customers can adjust if they so wish.

Popular Types of Bets: Canadian Betting Options

Online gambling in Canada currently requires customers to place Parlay bets which require at least two selections. Single wagers aren’t allowed at present but there is plenty of choice among the markets.

Perhaps the most popular pick is the Moneyline bet which requires the bettor to decide which of the two teams or individuals is going to win the match in question. Odds can be adjusted by using the spread which applies a form of handicap to one of the teams.

Over and Under bets will also be a popular choice. These could apply to Total Goals in a soccer match or Total Points in an NFL game. Sports betting companies in Canada will issue a series of lines and it’s the job of the bettor to go Over or Under those lines.

Futures apply to the overall winners of a tournament while the list of options is completed by Prop Bets. A prop bet is defined as a market that doesn’t necessarily have a bearing on the outright winner of a match or tournament. A perfect example of a prop would be a bet on the first touchdown scorer in the Super Bowl.

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.

Signing Up

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.

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.

FAQ for Canadian Bettors

Are Online Canadian Sports Betting Sites Licensed?

Any Canadian company offering sports betting and casino services in Canada has to pass strict government legislation before they can set up business. Full details of the license in question should be set out in detail at the bottom of their homepage.

Those restrictions do not apply to operators from overseas and that’s why Canadian players will see a number of global brands providing those services. In summary, always look for details of licensing and regulation.

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.

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