Sports Betting in Canada

If there’s one thing that’s true about Canadians, is that they absolutely love sports. In fact, Canadians are some of the most devoted and passionate sports fans in the world. And what better way to celebrate your favorite sports team than by participating in online sports betting, an activity that has certainly gained in popularity in recent years. According to a recent survey, between three and 12 percent of Canadians participate in sports betting each year, with that number only expected to rise. The accessibility of online sportsbooks has helped contribute to the surge in sports betting.

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While the security and convenience of most top bookies make placing a wager easier and safer than ever before. In terms of legality, online sports betting is a hot topic. As it stands, it is legal for provincial governments and online casinos to offer bets on more than a single game.

That being said, a new bill has been proposed to allow each Canadian province to make its own decision on whether or not to allow online betting on individual sports matches and games. While it is illegal to operate an online betting site from Canadian, many of the top offshore bookies happily accept Canadian players with many accepting CAD as a currency option.

What to Look for in an Online Sportsbook?

Looking for the perfect sportsbook to suit your needs used to be a tricky affair. With so many competitors out there, it was hard to choose the right bookie, especially since they all advertise the best odds and the most diverse markets. But that was the past, and these days things are a bit easier.

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, users can simply type in a few key words and millions of results will appear on your screen. Typing in ‘best sportsbook Canada’ or ‘sports betting in Canada’ will present over one million results in just a few seconds. What’s more, many sportsbook review sites take the time and effort into going into detail about what to look for in an online bookie and what to avoid.

Things to Consider

  • Licensing and regulation
  • Reputation and history
  • Safety and security
  • Usability
  • Promotions, bonuses and special offers
  • Range of sports and events
  • Betting options and markets
  • Betting odds and lines
  • Banking methods
  • Customer support

The best course of action would be to sign up for a site that has a good, long-standing reputation in the online betting industry. This is usually a sportsbook that has been in the game for a long time and has been recognized for their quality betting services, whether exclusively online or offline as well. Additionally, it is a good idea to choose a sportsbook in a region with strict gambling guidelines.

If you come across a sportsbook that looks good but you are unsure of, check them out thoroughly on an independent review site or visit your favorite gambling forum before signing up. You want a sportsbook that gives you the most bang for your buck, so it is also a good idea to check various odd comparison sites to find the betting with the best pricing. Make sure they offer the sport that you are interested in and also take a look at their bonus structure. Many sportsbooks will offer sign up bonuses as well as free bets to existing players. Make sure to check out the terms and conditions of each bonus before signing up so that you know what to expect.

What Sports Can I Bet On?

It comes as no surprise that many of the most popular sports played in the United States are favorites for Canadian bettors, while others are unique to the country. By far, the most popular sport to watch and bet on in Canada is hockey, with the NHL including teams from Canada and the United States. Because of the popularity of the sport, you can expect to find odds for most hockey events at all Canada-friendly sportsbooks.

Another favorite is curling, which may not be as well known in the rest of the world and involves two teams of four players trying to slide a stone on ice towards a target. Lacrosse is also popular in the country, while typical American sports like basketball, football and baseball are also well represented. Rugby, soccer, golf and tennis are also constant fixtures at leading sportsbooks, while there are also opportunities to bet on politics, reality shows and celebrities, to name a few.

What Types of Bets Can I Make?

There is a range of different bets you can place on a wide variety of sports in Canada. If you are new to the sports betting scene, things may seem very confusing, but it’s actually easy to understand the different types of bets, although some wagers are more complicated than others. Sticking to a straightforward bet, in the beginning is probably a good idea until you become more confident. That being said, the best way to make money out of sports betting is to learn about the more advanced wagers and apply them. Here are some of the bets/wagers you may come across at Canadian betting sites.

  • Moneyline Bet – This is the most straightforward bet you can make and also one of the most popular. The moneyline or win bet is used in almost every sport you can bet on and is simply a wager on who you think is going to win a match, game or other event. The odds you will get for a wager like this is based on the number of chances of your winning selection. The shorter the odds, the better your chances will be.
  • Straight Bets and The Point Spread – The straight bet is most commonly used on American football betting, but it also popular for other sports. This wager is similar to the win bet as you still choose the team you think will win, but the significant difference is that a point spread is created to make both teams equal favorites. In the UK, the term handicap betting is used, but the principle is exactly the same.
  • Totals Betting or Over/Under Betting – These are straightforward bets where the sportsbook will estimate the total number of points, runs or goals that will be scored in a match. The bettor must then decide whether the actual amount will be higher or lower.
  • Specials or Proposition bets – These bets are considered generally more fun than others as you bet on things not associated with the outcome of the game or event. Popular examples include betting on what team or player scored first, who will score the first goal etc.
  • Outrights or Future – These are wagers on the winner of a specific tournament, competition or leagues before the event or season starts.
  • Accumulators or Parlays – These are some of the most complicated bets to get right, although they can produce some impressive wins. Basically, players must make more than one selection as part of a single bet. If for example, you want to bet on several football matches at once, your picks would form part of an accumulator or parlay. If you get all right, you win, but if you get just one wrong, you lose the entire wager.


Online sports betting at reputable sites is considered to be quite safe and secure. Many top bookmaker sites employ the use of SSL encryption to ensure that all data is kept 100% safe, confidential and protected. Further to this, these sportsbooks also ensure that licensing and registration is sought after by credible gambling authorities such as the Malta Gaming Authority or the UK Gambling Commission, among others. These regulatory bodies assess whether the site operates in accordance to strict gambling laws.


These days it’s quite easy for Canucks to access a world of options when it comes to banking. Many sports betting providers in Canada ensure they offer a wide selection of deposit and withdrawal methods to cater for a wide range of tastes and preferences. Typical CAD methods include Instadebit, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, E-Check, UseMyFunds and Direct Bank Transfers. Many sportsbook providers are also looking at implementing Bitcoin as an additional option.

Mobile Sports Betting

Given the popularity of online betting in Canada, it comes as no surprise that gaming on the go has taken off in a big way. There is nothing more convenient than being able to place your bet anytime, anywhere. Canadians have access to a wide variety of betting sites that are mobile-friendly. These sites are usually available directly from your web browser, or you can choose to download the app for your iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry devices.

Can I Make a Living Betting on Sports?

The quick answer is yes, although if you think this is an easy way to make a fast buck without any hard work, you are mistaken, and I musts say I do not recommend trying. Making a living betting on sports can be either financially fulfilling, although it is neither easy nor stress-free. You will need to dedicate as much time betting on sports as you would at a normal 9-5 job, and sometimes even more, although, if you are truly passionate about it, is a great and exciting way to earn money and escape the rat race.